Series: Grow Strong
Sermon: Growing Why?
Speaker: Japhet De Oliveira
Writer: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit.
Read: Joshua 5–6 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: When you read the Bible, what do you hope for? Are you looking for some insight for today, to help you decide what to wear or how to be a better leader or parent? Are your questions trivial or deep? What about the stories? Are they all written specifically for you? How is it possible that there are 45,000 different Christian denominations today, all reading the same Bible and coming to different conclusions? Surely each story has a point and that point must be definitive and final. Surely the text has only one possible meaning . . . When you start to wrap your mind around how small we really are in the whole universe, you recognize that John 3:16 is not just about you. It’s not even just about this planet, but about the whole universe! This realization causes your perspective to change and shapes what you hope for when you read the text. During the phrases of life in which we “live courage” and “live wise” we realize that we are not ashamed to admit that there is just so much more to life than any of us could ever imagine. I sometimes think about how much fun it would be to travel back in time—but to travel back with the knowledge I have now. To have perspective. To understand that it’s not all about me. To realize that I will get through whatever trials I happen to be facing, and know that there is no need to panic or be overwhelmed by the pressure of life.
Joshua has, in chapters 5 and 6, a reality check with Jesus. This is somewhat similar to the way Jesus brings Job to reality towards the end of his story. Joshua not only renews the covenant, but also admits that victory is not his. It all rests in the hands of Jesus. Victory does not come as the result of anything Joshua has done. It comes through his simple willingness to follow and rely on Jesus.
Recalibrate: What did your last reality check with Jesus look like?
Respond: Pray for the space to hear the voice of Jesus give you perspective.
Research: Where did the Canaanites come from? Where else does Rahab appear?
Live Wonder (ages 0–3):Take time to play with your child today. Be intentional and engaged in their world. Allow them to sense that you are fully present. Remember that not everything is about you.
Live Adventure (ages 4–11): Ask to play one of your kids’ favorite short games. Make sure that they know you could win the game, but let them win instead. Help them see that it is not about you, but about them and that they can do this for others, too.
Live Purpose (ages 12–16): What are the five sources in our lives that help shape our identity? Which ones have the most influence in making us peo- ple that love others? How can we become less about ourselves and more about our friends?