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Facing New Challenges

Date: Sunday, February 25, 2018

Guest Speaker: Rev. John Katagi

Sermon Description: Rev. John Katagi spoke from Joshua 1:1-9, exhorting us to learn from what God told Joshua as he faced the challenge of leading the people of Israel into the Promised Land after Moses had died. In this passage, God exhorts Joshua three times to 'be strong and courageous.' In verse 6, he is exhorted to bind together with others to remain strong. In other words, he was exhorted to not go at things alone or in isolation. Pastor John gave an illustration of how many strings bound together is stronger than one by itself. We too are to remember the importance of strength in numbers. In verses 7 and 8, Joshua is exhorted to spend time in God's word and to live it out, so that he would be prosperous and successful. Pastor John used Psalm 1 as the basis for an illustration of the Word of God being like water, and that there are four types of people in their response to God's Word: Rock (does not retain anything; slips off), funnel (in and out), dish rag (retains some), and sponge (retains a lot). When we soak up God's Word in abundance, then what is squeezed out of us in difficult times is indeed God's Word. In verse 9, the word 'dismayed' has the idea of a coat trying to stand without a person inside of it. The point of the illustration is that we will be dismayed if we are not filled with the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit needs to fill us to have the strength to face challenges.

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