We really want to encourage you to, to use YouVersion, and we're going to I'll have this ready mid week. My promise that we'll have our events set up on there so you can look ahead at least at the passage of scripture that we're going to be covering and be kind of familiar with that and, and praying over our gathering in our time. And so today we're gonna talk about something that is so important and as I've said before is we're, we're focusing on modern family and really godly families and that kind of thing. That this is not exclusive in the sense of if you don't have children at home or whatever, that this, that you can opt out and disconnect and you don't need to listen further because this is so applicable and especially what we're talking about today for each and every individual, every one of us, no matter where you are in life, no matter what is going on, we're going to be talking about the power of agreement and how important it is for us to be in agreement.
And so we're looking at a, and if you have your event pulled up, you'll see you have the passage there. We also will have it up behind us here. Joshua chapter 24, beginning at verse 24. We'll talk a little bit about more of what is a ahead of this reading as we go through the message, but the meat of what we're going to talk about. I want to take a look at right here. Joshua chapter 24, beginning at verse 24, the people said to Joshua, we will serve the Lord our God. We will obey him alone. And so Joshua made a covenant with the people that day at check them, committing them to follow the degrees. The decrees and regulations of the Lord. Joshua recorded these things in a book of God's instructions as a reminder of their agreement, say with me, agreement agreement. He took a huge stone and rolled it beneath the terramin tree beside the tabernacle of the Lord. Father, we just ask that you would open our hearts and our minds today too.
The word of God and to what this means for us in this moment where we need to come together in agreement. Father, how we need to make a stand looking at life generationally and not just at our particular moment if father, how we need to understand that bringing our family together in agreement is a process and not an event and that it is an ongoing work that we need. Invite the Holy Spirit
Into and the church family of God, a to surround ourselves with. We cannot do what you're asking us to do alone. We need your help. We need your family and so we're asking for that in Jesus' name. Amen.
Finding agreement can be extremely difficult
And challenging for every one of us, but living in disagreement I think we can all agree is dangerous and disastrous at risk when we live in disagreement is hurting the people that we love the most. Creating a value and directional confusion for our families so that our children don't know who to listen to or what is really a value and what's essential at risk is, is shutting down debate in favor of victory. There are so many people that believe that what comes out of a disagreement is a either loss or victory. And, and so I, they always want to be on the victorious side. And so that we're at risk that way. We're at risk in the sense of a loss of trust and respect for one another. That we can't function as a church family. We can't function as an individual family. If we lose our trust and respect for one another, there is no home that can survive where parents are living in disagreement. There is no church that can thrive where there's avid disagreement among people getting on the same page. Parenting together, functioning together as, as God has called us to is an essential for us. We must come together in agreement. You know, I read proverbs 23 in preparation for our time together and it's, it's, it's humorous in one respect and, and just zings to the heart of the matter for all of us. And it just says it is honorable for a man to stop striving since any fool can start a coral.
There's so much wisdom in that. It's so easy to take the counter side and to argue and to be in disagreement and it's, it's profitable for us. It's honorable for us to stop striving and stop fighting about things and to find the place of agreement that we need to come around and especially in our walk with Christ. It's easy for us to get hyper focused on the details of daily life and to forget that raising our children is a long process, right? We don't need to teach them everything today. We don't need to teach them everything while we're pushing
The cart along in ATB. Every lesson doesn't have to be learned as we're going down the canned soup aisle, right? We have to understand that this is a long process that teaching and and and learning and and laying down the foundations for the essentials we talked about last week. It is a process we have to be committed to. We have to talk about it. We have to train it. We have to live it out on a daily basis. It's not just going to happen overnight, right. We just need to, to understand that there are things that are needful for today, right? And we need to stop living as people who are committed to only the urgent. We have to move from, from being a people committed to just the urgent to people that are committed to the needful what is needful for today. Paul wrote a to to Jude in, in that, in the passage that he addressed June, June one three, he, he wrote to the people who were reading this, this letter some, some instructions that central around what we're talking about with the needful versus the urgent.
And here's what he said in Jude one in three. Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary. Needful. I found it needful to ride to you, exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith, which was once and for all delivered to the saints. What is Paul saying? I want you to be careful that you don't start living in a sense of just the urgent. Everything that that, that jumps up in your life is an urgent thing that gets your attention, gets your energy, gets your finances. He said, I want you to remember that there is something needful for your life and that is to contend for the faith. If you lose this battle, you lose your family. You lose generations. You have to win this battle. You have to focus in on what is needful, not just on what is urgent and presents itself. I created a little diagram to give us an example of the difference between needful and urgent, needful, delayed gratification. Can we teach our kids? Can we teach one another? That it's okay to wait, that you don't have to have the iPhone 10 as soon as it comes out, right?
Is it alright for us to teach them that that is maybe not needful? It is urgent but it is not needful and we're going to live as people who are functioning as those who understand what is needful for our lives. Urgent is instant gratification. I see it. I want it gotta have it in every area of life. The lessons that we are teaching and passing on to our children are going to be lived out in front of our eyes. We're going to see them. If we are living as people who have to have instant gratification. You have to have everything right now who have to have all that we feel is urgent, taken care of, resolved you know, for, to, to our satisfaction. Then we're going to see that in our children as they grow up. We're going to see them demand that they're there.
There's instant gratification for everything that goes on. And I think we are as a society seeing that by and large that there is a cry for more instant gratification instead of delayed gratification. The second one is integrity of character. We are to model that and to teach that. That is so important. We raised our kids too, to understand what a good character was. We applauded in them, not just, hey, you look beautiful today, but thank you for being honest. Thank you for being kind. You did something there. And you know, even not, not too many years ago, my son and I were the, these kinds of things. We would as an example of how, what we would applaud. We were going to home depot, I think he was probably sophomore, junior and in high school. And we had, we were, we had a list of things that we had to pick up at home depot and, and so we had gone in purchase our stuff, we're coming back to the car and he sees a woman's struggling.
I didn't see it. He is, he sees a woman's struggling to put things in the car. I think I was too focused on the cart and things like that. And he runs over and he starts assisting and helping her and, and putting things in the car. And she's so grateful and thankful cause there's no way that all this heavy stuff that she bought to put in her yard, she could have possibly got this in her car by herself. And so when he comes back to the car, you know, and I'm finished loading things up in our car, I'm applauding him for that. And so that's, that's so great. That's exactly who we need to be and what we need to do. The fact that you recognize it was a need in front of you calling out character in our kids and not just calling out talents or abilities, which is it.
We're living in a generation and the urgent side of that is old. You know, you, you're so good at this, you're so good at that. They began to believe that they're not responsible for anything, that their gifts and their talents can get them through everything. You're a gifted athlete. You don't have to really study or prepare or learn anything, cause your talent and gifts are gonna take you all kinds of ways. You're a gifted singer. You're a gift, you know, a gifted person. And in terms of your, your looks and, and, and basic skills and talents and gifts and things like that. And when we began to push those things up, we're, we're feeding into the urgent and we're not talking about the needful. You need to be a person of high character. You need to tell the truth. You need to be honest. The needful is, it raises the value of humility that that is the way that we function with
One another most effectively. And certainly with God, there's a sense of humility. I see it all the time. You know, interacting in social media that I have a number of people since I have a pastor's page that are, you know, that are following me, that are posting things that are not Christian, that are about, you know, or why they're not Christian. And they would post different kinds of memes and things. You know, that was one I saw not too terribly long ago, but it's, you've seen them two things that would just say, you know, why don't, why should I believe it's foolishness, you know, 2000 year old book and all this, this other kinds of stuff. There's, there's, you know, when I look at that, there's, there's, I'm, I'm thinking how can you have such a lack of humility in the presence of creation?
Let's forget, you know, whether or not you believe the book and you believe everything that's in here. How can you walk out under the sun that shines on the planet tilted axis and we have a seasons and we're rotating. We're, we're zooming through the universe at hundreds of millions of miles an hour. Man Cannot create a vehicle that goes as fast as the planet goes. And we're s we're standing here still from, not, not like we're in this, this ride at Disneyland. It's, you know, and we're all getting sick at our stomach. How can you not have humility in the presence of creation?
Forget everything else. How can you just walk out and look at a rose and not have a sense of humility about your place on the planet?
And yet the urgence says, my rights are more important than humility. I got to have certain things and I have, you know, my rights are bigger than humility. Do you need will says live a life that's responsible, live or live a life of responsibility. Understand that you're responsible and and your caretakers of the planet that God has given you. Live a life that, that reflects that. And that shows that live a life that shows that you're a responsible human being and in terms of you have a responsibility to love and to share what the blessings that God has given into your life. That's what the Naples says. But the urgent says, you know, my title is more most important who I am in society and what they call me and I need to keep upgrading that. It's more important. The challenge is we must learn how to walk in agreement and that is easier when we are functioning as those that are, understand what the needful is and not those who are pressed by the urgent. We must speak with one voice as it comes to establishing the values that we talked about last week in our home. We must speak
With one voice as it comes to discipline in our household and what we will go to the mat for. And what we will not go to the mat for. Everything is, is not punishable by death. You know there are we, we have to decide based on biblical essentials where we're going to the mad we've had to do this as parents. There have been times that we thought we would lose a child because they were making a decision that was against what God wanted for their life. And, and we had to to say, this is what we're going to the mat. We're not making any exceptions. If you walk out that door, you walk away from your family, you walk away from your future and you're walking into an eternity unprepared with God and we don't want that for your life.
We must speak with one voice when it comes to living out Christianity.
In the passage that we just read a moment ago,
The people said to Joshua, we will serve the Lord our God. We will obey him alone. And so Joshua made a covenant with the people that day and check them, committing them to follow the decrees and the regulations of the Lord. And Joshua recorded these things in the book of instructions as a reminder of their agreement and he took a huge stone and rolled it beneath the terra month tree beside the tabernacle of ward. When we have conflicts as parents, it's often a reflection of deeper issues in our own lives that God is calling us to examine disagreement. In most homes, disagreements in most church families are centered around some deeper issues in their life that have been left unresolved. Sometimes it's repressed memories,
Something that happened, something someone said flashed back a memory of a, a bad experience in your past of a difficult time in your past. Maybe even a positive experience, something, something that happened and it led to a particular kind of thing of enthusiasm and enjoyment or whatever. It might've been outside the counsel of the Lord, but it's a, it was a memory of AA, you know, that's, that was fun. That was, you know, we should let them explore and enjoy things, but some kind of repressed memory. Sometimes that's the issue. Disagreement will center around just a word triggered or pressed memory. And now there's an argument we should let them, we should not let them. Sometimes it's fear of, of losing control. I'm in control. This family, I'm in charge of this family. And if I let you know, someone else have a voice in this, then I lose control. I'm not controlling. I'm not in charge. Hate to disappoint you, but you're not in control and you're not in charge. You never have been and you never will be. Yes, we have to trust God and put him in control and put him in charge. Sometimes it's out of anger. Last time you won the argument. So this time I'm going to win the argument. Even though I think what you're saying is, Ryan we're not going there this time. I'm gonna win. You're gonna see what it's like to be a loser. Right?
And we have to make a decision, a hard question for parents. Do we want to raise what we consider good children or do we want to raise godly children? Yes. Do we want God's very best for our family and for our lives? Or do we want just what we would consider to be good and okay and and and acceptable? Are we willing to go to the mat and fight the hard battle? Our goals for our children must go far beyond what we can do in our own strength, which only feeds into our pride. We must train our children to trust the Lord with all their heart, all their mind, with all their strengths, to walk with him and put him first. There are many voices that are speaking into parents' lives,
But the majority of them are not necessarily speaking God's purposes into your life. Be careful that you tune in the voices that are talking about God's purpose for you and for your family. God's highest order and calling for you and your family. We are called by God to train up our children to live morally in an immoral world. What greater challenge can there possibly be? It is a task that's too big for us alone, and as we opened up in prayer, we need the work of the Holy Spirit. We need to invite him on a daily basis to help us. God, this job is too big for me as a parent to try to teach my children to live morally, to live right, standing with you in righteousness in an immoral and unrighteous world. It's, it's, it's near impossible. I can't do it God alone. I need the Holy Spirit.
Can you send the Holy Spirit to help me that when I speak to my children, they'll see you speaking through me and, and they will be charged as they're walking through their daily life by the Holy Spirit and convicted to live the way you've called them to live. And the second great gift God has given us is this family right here, this church family. And the church is even bigger than who we are right here. I mean across the nation. God has people that belong to his family and praying God extend the arms of your family around our children, that wherever they go and they go off to college, that there are arms that reach out to them and love them from the family of God. That there are hearts that care about them and and and we'll, we'll cherish them and love them like you love them and the family of God has been so integral in the raising of our children.
We're so grateful that we have raised them up in the house of God. It's been so powerful to have that support system in that structure system that honors what God says and tells them the same thing that mom and dad had been telling them all week long. When they get together with them and they love on them, they tell them and say the same things and pray over them over the course of the week. What a blessing to have God's family. God wants us to think in terms of generations. We have to stop thinking in terms of just right now and what's going on. God wants us to be generational thinkers. We're not only to think about our children, but the Bible tells us to think about our children's children in Deuteronomy chapter six verse two. God's admonition early on was so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God to keep all the statutes of his commandments, which I command you all the days of your life and that your days may be prolonged you, your son and your grandson reflect three generations.
God wants us thinking three generations. The generation that we are in, the generation that we are parenting and the generation that's coming behind them, they're children that we will grandparent. The fear of the Lord is the conscience presence. The conscious presence of God, which influences our lives. And he's challenging us to live in light of that, to live in light of that, that fear and that respect many people live their lives with, with as if God has nothing to say on a day to day basis about much of what goes on in their life. That's just little things that are unimportant and and we raised our kids to know that that whatever is happening in our household is important to God. Little big whatever. It's, it's all important to God. He cares about every minute on the planet. Joshua Chapter 24 19 through 20 the earlier passage that we did not read for our texts, Joshua said to the people you cannot serve the Lord for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your transcription transgressions for your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and do you harm and consume you after he has done you good.
This was Joshua was warning. Joshua here is speaking to at the end of his life to this day, his parting words to the generation that he helped bring into the promised land that God had given them. And Joshua was speaking out of the wisdom of his experience already being raised up as, as kind of a mentor by Moses and watching a whole generation turn their back on God and refuse to crossover into the promised land and die off from a young child. He watched this happen with the generation who got it delivered out of Egypt, out of bondage, out of slavery, and was bringing them to a land that God had promised them. And he watched them die without God.
And he brings people over to the, to the, to the river at Jordan, and he says to them, before they cross over, you better make a decision right now. But as for me and my house, we're going to serve the Lord. God's going to divide the waters. We're going over to take the land that God's taken us a younger Joshua's said that they went across, they began to conquer city after city. And there was, there were some failures early on as the people were stretching out and learning to trust God and believe God that the center they can and, and but God forgave and God helped them conquer and get a place in the land.
And now Josh was standing at the end of his life and he's seeing the signs that he had seen before of that generation who began to kind of live religiously. It's like, yeah, you need to be nice to Joshua. He's, you know, he talks to God and you know, you need to, you know, we need to go to church, you know, I know, you know, it's, we got, we got soccer later on, we've got some other things going on, but you know, we should honor our elders and we should, it became a completely different thing from the original generation who said, I saw God bring us out of Egypt and slavery and I saw God
Part the Red Sea and bring it together over enemies. And we laid up an altar to remind ourselves of what God had done and were. And I want to tell you, son, that is the God that delivered us. Look at those 12 stones that represents all of the nations of Israel that God brought across the Red Sea and God brought into safety
And out of Egyptian slavery and in those waters, God covered his enemies over. It's a fearful thing. Paul said to fall in the hands of living God, son, daughter, we are going to serve God. He takes care of us. He watches over us. When we were hungry, he gave us manner. When we were thirsty, he brought water from the rock and he wants to deteriorate over time to where people said, where is God? Oh, I remember when we were back in Egypt, we had onions. Remember we had onions to cut up all the smell of onions. That was so great. Remember when you had bricks to make with no straw? Remember when you were kicked around and you were slaves. Remember when they, they rode through the camp and and just killed people just for the sake of killing them as an example so that you would work harder and do more. Do you remember any of that? Now they became a religious generation. US things to do. Oh, okay. We'll go to church. The agreement requires more than words. It takes commitment and it takes sacrifice.
The Old Testament and the pattern of generations. Just what I talked about a moment ago, put that slide up. Here's what happened. First generation was passionate about Jesus, fear of God and his commands and were desires shaped. God was important. Community in life was built around God. First. Second generation was a polite generation. Somewhat go by God's command, but also conform to if it's convenient, if it works out, churches having a prayer meeting. I know it's so far down there and it's hot today. It's hot. Conforming, like just this is not important. This is living this thing out. It's just not that important. We have a family Bible that just, it sets on the table. We don't have family all through. We don't talk about all the things that are in the book and stuff like that, but if you get a chance, I threw a bible on your bed, read it. It's a good thing. And moving from the second generation to third generation was perverted. They leave God, they reject God. They raise up their own idols, things that are important to them. Whatever grandpa said is ancient and unimportant, and mom and dad made some stupid rules. We're not going to live that way. We're going to live differently.
And it happened over and over and over again, and that's when God said, you have to live generationally. We are one generation away from an empty building right here. We are one generation away from a bankrupt mission. We are one generation away from lost heritage in Christ. If we don't start thinking generationally, how can we make an in our own lives, in our children's lives and in our grandchildren's lives? Joshua was at the end of his life. He challenged the people again to a commitment as he had at the beginning of, of, of their coming across Jordan into the promised land. He tells him, you can't do it. I've been watching you. You're becoming the polite religious generation. You can't do this. And they go, Whoa, no, we can do this. We will serve the Lord. And so he says, you know what, I am going to write this down.
We're going to make an alter. And every time you walk past here on the marketplace, I believe it was in a very prominent place where God were, where Joshua was, set this up for them, that every single one of them, some part of their day was going to walk by this tree and and this and this rock was going to be the reminder. You said God was first you said you were going to worship him alone. You said he was the most important thing in your life and over time probably people begin to try to take a different pathway to the marketplace because they didn't want to pass the rock. They didn't want to be reminded and then as time passed and went a little further, people forgot what the rock was and what the history of it was. Young child walking by with her parents holding their hand and apparently going, why is that big rock by that tree? I Dunno. It's kind of weird, isn't it? I don't remember. Something happened in the past. Some guys brought that over and set it down. I don't know. Let's go. We need to go buy some groceries.
Joshua said, you can do it unless you're all in. You have to be all in. God is calling for you to give your heart, your mind, your soul and your strength, your all of your energy, all of you, not 99.9 but all of you has to be in and you have to be thinking generationally. His speech was his last words to that final generation that he would see exhorting them to turn back and wholeheartedly except God. I invite our worship team to come and I want to invite you to renew a commitment with God, a hundred percent commitment with God. This morning we'll ask you to stand with me 100% commitment to reorder the priorities of your life. To think what will the church look like in the second generation?
In the third generation, are we prepared as a church? Are we ready for the second generation and the third generation? Are we equipped? Do we have teachers to teach our children?
Do we have places for our grandchildren to remember the lessons of God and the things that are important? Are we walking them out ourselves? Are we living in that kind of a committed relationship? We need first look inside our own lives. We can't make God first in our families if we haven't made him first in our life as a parent, as we can't make him first in our church family, if we haven't made him first in our life as an individual gathered here in his name to worship him, to love him. And so we're going to do something this morning. I'm going to invite you to come and to, to make a 100% commitment to Jesus and say, Lord, I want to start a fresh and a new today. I want a new beginning for me, my household. I want a new beginning for me and for the succeeding generations that I'm going to have influence over that I'm going to meet and talk to.
I want to, I want to put you first in my life and once we've had time to do this and have a kind of a consecration and a renewal with God, then we're going to receive communion together as assemble that God, we've locked in you're number one. Yes, we're breaking bread together as brothers and sisters in Christ and we're saying this is our commitment, the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ shed for each one of us and it is our commitment that we will share that with the nations of the world that got you have placed around us, around our household, around our church, around our workplace, around our schools and so will you just come this morning, can gather around God. Today's the first day of the rest of our lives have renewed commitment. We're going to make right here. We're establishing on these grounds Lord, that we are going to be people who think generationally who live our lives thinking in terms of the generations to come, not just the moment right now father and praying over families and over households and over children and over schools. And you got over our city and over our our community that's around us. Gone pour out your spirit, Lord, in such a powerful way, Lord, start with us. The work has to begin in us. So start in me. Start. Start
Right here, Lord, afresh in a new, let it be to burn and blaze inside of me. Lord, a passion for Jesus Christ that will ignite others who come in contact with me, that the sparks will fly out in the parts souls will, will take flames. Lord, as as as we begin to live out a committed relationship with Jesus Christ, just take a moment to surrender however you want to do that. Raise your hands. Just worship him. Just call out to him. God, we make this our altar, a place of surrender, the terabytes tree. We're putting down the stone. We will serve the Lord. We will serve the Lord with all the heart, with all of our mind, with all of our strength, with all of our mind. Lord, we will put you first and we will think generationally. Lord, we will think about our sons and our daughters and our grandsons and our granddaughters.
That's our influence for our lifetime. Lord, if you bless us to have a longer life than that, it's a blessing from you. But our influence is those three generations. And so God help us to live it out in front of them, to be passionate about Jesus, to love you with all of our heart, with all of our mind, with all of our strength, with all of our soul. Lord Jesus. We thank you. We thank you Jesus. We'll ask our ushers to gather that through represents the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus. We love you. We love you so much. Thank you for, I was thinking through that song that we sung earlier in such powerful words in it. You know that I'm so ally if you know you're the one that loves the one that was left behind and there's a, there's a verse in there that said, talked about God fastening the hill, that he would sacrifice his son.
Although it just struck me as that God made the hill that they would put the cross in to take the life of the son. God fashioned it. What must have been in the heart of God as he's shaping that part of the landscape on the planet earth, the Holy Spirit is moving over the planet, had God's fashioning the place his son will die. It's hard to think and get your mind around. I can't even imagine if I had had some kind of for knowledge about the death of my son or my daughter and I would go in and shape the place where they would die. Did God put an extra attention to that place? How did he fascinate to be a place that would be despised or a place that would be cherished and loved? It's something grow in that mountain of life before they brought this son beaten to where he couldn't be recognized. They laid down that rugged cross on the hill that God fashioned.
You cannot serve the Lord. Joshua said he's a jealous God. He wants all or nothing, and I believe that people in that day really were honest in saying, we will serve the Lord as we are today. But something happened in succeeding generations. After that, the passion began to die down. Sense of religiosity begin to carry on. They stopped contending for the faith that June talked about. This is a needful thing, contend for the faith. Raise it up. We're talking about eternity. This life is so short on the scheme of things. You have to tell people there's something beyond this life. God fashioned the mountain, which is someone die and he loved you in every moment of that saying, I know as I'm fashioning this, Adam's not gonna make it.
I love Adam. I love Eve even before I've created them, but they're not going to make it. Hello Abraham. Abraham is going to bring his son up on the smell and I'm not going to take his son. I'm going to give him mine.
I'll provide a sacrifice. I love Abraham and I love Isaac, but they're not the sacrifice. As he looked at his son, he said, you're the sacrifice. You're the one Jesus knew he was alive,
That he was going to that mountain, that God made his father, me and there to lay down his life for us. Jesus, we thank you. This represents your body. We thank you lord, the sacrifice that you made. How can we offer anything? How was it possible, Lord, that we could possibly offer something less than what you've offered. Thank you for fascinating that he'll thank you for sending your son.
Thank you for forgiveness. God, we thank you. And as we received that represents the body of the Lord Jesus. We renew our commitment to you with all of our heart, all of our mind, with all of her soul, with all of strength. We will serve the Lord in Jesus' name. Receive that which represents the body of the Lord.
Praise you, Jesus.
Father, we thank you for the blood that was shed that was spilled on that mountain that you formed your son sacrifice sinless life given up for us. We are so grateful and as we remember that we renew our commitment
But you have all of us, 100% yeah, we are members of the family of God and the blood that flows through the family of God flows through us. We are 100% in. Lord, thank you for your shed blood. We receive it in Jesus name.