Tag: joshua

Growth Group Lesson #3 – Success

by Pr Denis Sand – sanddenis@gmail.com

Objective of today’s dialogue: Challenge your group to make the Bible their guide and final authority for all their decisions.

Welcome (15) – Fellowship
• Were you ever appointed to replace a very talented and successful person? Share how it feels.
• What do you think is the reason why some people are successful in life while others are not?

Worship (15) – Worship
• Read Psalms 34:1-3
Above all
• Do a popcorn prayer in which each person can give thanks to God for what he is doing in their lives.

Word (30) – Discipleship
• Read Joshua 1:1-8
• What is God promising Joshua and the people of Israel? v1-5,8
• How would you feel if God promises you prosperity and success? v5
• Why do we need to be reminded that God will be at our side at all times? v5
• Why is God telling Joshua to be brave, courageous so many times? v6,7,9
• What does it mean not to turn to the right or left from the law? v7
• What do you think God is trying to tell us in v8?
• How can we meditate on it daily and keep it in our mouths? v8
• Why is success and prosperity tied with obeying and following God’s counsel in the Bible?
• What benefits could we experience if we make the Bible our guide when making daily decisions?
• Share an experience where following God’s advice gave you success.
• How are you integrating the principles of the Bible to your daily life?
• Would you like to study the Bible, get to know Jesus, and discover the divine principles for success?
• What is God telling you tonight?

• To do: Write now on a small card the key text of this week Joshua 1:8. Carry it in your wallet or pocket, place it in your fridge and memorize it.

Works (15) – Ministry & Evangelism
• What can we do as a group to promote the Bible as the key to a successful life?
• Do you know anyone that needs to make the Bible the foundation of his-her life? how can we help them decide to follow God and His word?
• Write their names and invite them to next week group meeting
• Share the vision of reaching others so they can have Jesus as their Savior and experience real success in life.

Refreshments– Fellowship
• Find the way by which you can talk to people during refreshments. Try to talk to those new in the group. Build relationships!

Glimpses of Our God; The Bible And History

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

My grandmother on my mother’s side passed away a couple years ago at the ripe age of 100. A person with so many years is quite a treasure to have, with so many stories about the old days. However, old stories of days gone by is not what I remember about my grandmother. When I was little I remember playing  the rummy game with her. But as I got older, even up until the end, I would go to see her and ask if she wanted to play a game of rummy like we used to. Every time her answer was, “No, I have learned a new game. Let’s play it instead.” I got tired of having to learn the rules to new games all the time, but every time I turned around she had learned a new game. She loved talking about current events. She was always open to trying new restaurants. While she was a centenarian, she simply did not live in the past. You had to probe her to talk about the past. Oh, she did not mind talking about the olden days once you asked her about them, she was so caught up in the here and now that those things did not come to mind unless you asked. She was not a has been. She was always living in the present.

This is how I picture God when I read this week’s SS lesson key verse, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8 God is not a has been either. Sure the Bible is full of rich history which our lesson brings out, but the Bible and God are also very much in the present and future.

When the Israelites entered Canaan they were to take all of the land. However Judges 1 tells us, “And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.” Really? Those chariots of iron were just too much for God huh? I don’t think so. That was no excuse and God knew it. Earlier in Joshua 17:8 God Commanded, “for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.” So what was the problem? Zephaniah talking about the church says, “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees.” Those who are settled on their lees are riding on their past reputation. They have a lot of accomplishments under their belts and they are content to relax with that and be satisfied with past successes. I imagine this was true of the Israelites when they entered Canaan. They had crossed through the Red Sea and the Jordan River. God had seen them through a lot. Let’s stop now and just rest. Why go further? The iron chariots was just the excuse they used to stop where they were, and become a bunch of has beens, content to rest on past accomplishments. That is not my God! That is not the God of the Bible. God is not a has been. God is not just a historical Figure. He is in the here and now! Instead of sitting in His rocking chair talking about what He did in the past He is planning His next great accomplishment in the future!

In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us.- Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, page 31.

There are many valuable lessons in Bible history to strengthen our faith in a lot of areas. As we learn those lessons, we can relax like the tribe of Judah did in Canaan, and rock back and forth in our old rocker thinking wow that was great, or we can be like my grandmother who even at a hundred years was ready for the next new thing. I have to believe some of the greatest stories of victory and triumph in the Christian era have yet to be written. I don’t believe God wants a church that sits around and talks about the great days gone by when our sanctuary used to be filled and our programs used to be strong. I think God is well capable of driving out the iron chariots and making it so that each new day we can say “We have never tasted success as wonderful as the success God had given us today!”

My grandmother could tell you a lot of wonderful stories about how God  led her in the past, yet she was always excited about the present. Even in the nursing home where she stayed briefly, before coming back to my aunt’s home where she died, she was making new friends that she dearly loved. She never compared her current friends with her friends from years gone by. She was happy where she was and with who she was with. She loved life to the very end. Well it hasn’t ended yet. My grandmother has fallen asleep. She needs her rest, because when she wakes up, she has a big day ahead of her! That’s how my God and my Grandmother are. Always ready for the next big thing!

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