Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

Dependence Day

June 28, 2020 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 4 Episode 4
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Dependence Day
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Dependence Day
Jun 28, 2020 Season 4 Episode 4
Pastor Dave Tucker

On the birthday of the United States of America, also known as Independence Day, It is important for us to remember our DEPENDENCE on God. We must never forget all the wonderful things God has done for us!

This podcast is based on Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18.
Originally presented June 28, 2020 at St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford, TX. 

Show Notes Transcript

On the birthday of the United States of America, also known as Independence Day, It is important for us to remember our DEPENDENCE on God. We must never forget all the wonderful things God has done for us!

This podcast is based on Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18.
Originally presented June 28, 2020 at St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford, TX. 

DEPENDENCE DAY

Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18

The setting of today’s scripture lesson is just before Joshua’s death. He had lead God’s chosen people since the passing of Moses and now the Children of Israel were on the border of the promised land, just about to cross over. Joshua, you might recall was one of the spies Moses sent into Canaan to check things out decades before. The spies came back with stories of how beautiful the promised land was and brought out sample foods for people to taste. The spies came back with a good news/bad news report. Although the land was beautiful, there were giants living in the land and it would be impossible to defeat these giants. Two of the spies had a different report. Caleb and Joshua said, and I quote, “We ain’t scared of giants, God will defeat them for us.” Because of the fear of the Israelites, God made them wander in the wilderness for a generation until all the neigh sayers were dead. Now, God’s people, were once again preparing to cross over into the promised land.

Joshua had just one more sermon to preach to God’s chosen. He had some things that he wanted God’s people to remember before he passed on. Joshua stood before God’s chosen people like a coach giving last minute instructions before a big game. Joshua gave God’s people a history lesson on how God chose Abraham, made covenant with him, and promised Abraham that He would be the father of many… so many that his heirs would outnumber the stars in the sky. Joshua told the story of Jacob and Esau, and how Jacob and his children came to live in Egypt. You remember the story, don’t you? It was the story of Joseph, the Dreamer. Joseph was sold by his brothers to slave traders passing by and lied to their father Jacob, that he had been eaten by wild animals. Jacob eventually moved up the ranks… from slave to second in command in Egypt. The story of how he forgave his brothers is a beautiful one! And, at his request, Jacob and his household became honored residents of Egypt. They were given their own land and Jacob’s descendants flourished. In time, however, there was a king who rose up in Egypt who did not know Joseph or care about Joseph’s God. This king enslaved the chosen people of God and Joshua reminded these people how God sent Moses and Aaron to bring God’s people out of the land of Egypt and into the land of promise. Joshua reminded the people of Israel of all the mighty acts God performed on their behalf. Joshua told how God parted the red sea so that Israel could escape the pursuing Egyptian army. He reminded God’s chosen how the sea then collapsed on the Egyptian army swallowing them up. Joshua reminded God’s chosen about how God cleared the way for them to cross through the desert, all along the way miraculously giving them victory over those who stood in the way. I can hear Joshua proclaim, “Remember Kink Balak who called on Balaam to curse you? Remember how only blessings came out of his mouth? Remember Jericho? How the walls came down after you marched around the city?” I can see Joshua getting excited at this point, “Remember how God sent hornets ahead of you to defeat the two kings of the Amorites? That one is my favorite!” I can hear Joshua exclaim. Then Joshua becomes solemn, “God did all these things for you because you are God’s people. It was not through strategy or superior weaponry on your part that brought us here to this point today. It was only through the miraculous acts of God that you are able to live in a land on which you had not labored, and towns that you did not build. It is only through God’s grace that you are able to eat of the vineyards and oliveyards that you did not plant.” Then I can see Joshua stand a little taller, his voice a little louder, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

On this Independence day, I want for us to remember the goodness of God who still makes covenant with all. The United States of America is a pretty great place to live and our democracy, for the people, by the people, is pretty great too. While I am patriotic to the core, I want us to be careful, however, that we do not fall into the trap that we are the only people chosen by God. Every covenant that is made in the Bible is simply and expansion on covenants already made to God’s people to include more people. “For God so loved the WORLD that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal live.” (John 3:16) “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the WORLD to condemn the WORLD, but in order that the WORLD might be saved through him.” (John 3:17) You see, God’s covenant is for the world… It is a universal love!

I, like Joshua of old, wish to bring the same message to all of us sitting here in the congregation and those watching online. Do not forget how God has blessed us in the past. Remember how we were slaves to sin until God put skin on and came to this earth in the form of Jesus, the Christ to show us God’s love in action. Remember how Jesus’ death on the cross is the extent to which God was willing to demonstrate God’s love to us. Do not forget how God has used this church, St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church over the past fifty years to bring comfort and peace to this community in Bedford, Texas. Over the past fifty years the pastors who served in this pulpit preached messages of a loving God and the covenant of grace. Throughout the past fifty years this church had her good times and not so good times. Yet through it all, God was always there, leading God’s church to be a beacon and a representation of God’s kingdom. 

Remember how God has acted in your lives personally. Never forget how God parted the waters in your life to make the seemingly impossible happen. Never forget the many ways that God has helped you overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in your life… you know, the giants, so that you can enter into a more personal relationship with God. Never forget that we did not get to this place on our own. Every good and perfect gift comes from our heavenly Father. Without God we are nothing… on this Independence Day I want for us to become aware of our total DEPENDENCE on God. God has promised to never leave or forsake. “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” The words of Jesus. Sometimes, it seems like our world is falling apart, at an end… Yet Jesus’ promises are sure! He is just a breath away!

Next week we are going to start learning how to journal those times when God has shown up in our lives. I want to encourage each of you to bring a journal next week. If you don’t have one, I have some in my office that I am making available at no cost. Right now, however, I am going to give some space for the Holy Spirit to work. I am going to end today’s sermon to give you a few moments right here during this service to be still and silent. We are going to invite the Holy Spirit to help us remember the times that God has shown up in our lives. It may not be big, but I can promise that it will be a definite confirmation of God showing up. You might not hear anything just yet, that’s okay too. Just sit in silent prayer. In the coming weeks I will be giving you real and tangible things that will help you see God.

At the end of our quiet time with God, I will conclude with a prayer, and together we will recite the Lord’s prayer together. Let us now enter into this silent space with God.