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Building Memorials To Remember God

MAY 26:  Building Memorials To Remember God   Joshua 4:1-24  In Joshua 4, The Israelites have just crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land.  God gave Joshua commands to build Memorials so that they would Not forget what God had done.
  • The meaning of the Hebrew word for memorial is “To Remember.
  In our text, God Commands His People to Erect a Memorial. We’re Given 3 reasons for this Action: First, It is to be a Time of Remembering what God has done. 
  • 7 “These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” The memorial stones were to be a reminder of their own personal experience.
  • Goal Witness: “Tell Your story, keep a clear memory of what God did for you. Tell your stories so that you never lose your own sense of awe and wonder of what God has done in your life.”
  • Each of Us have some significant places in our life that elicit memories. Spend some time thinking through your memorial stones, let them draw you closer to God and remind you of His faithfulness. And Your Responsibility to Invest in Others as He has Invested in YOU.
  Secondly, the Memorial stones were to be a basis of sharing faith with their children.
  • Two places in this chapter, parents are reminded of their responsibility for the communication of God’s Word and his calling on their children. First in vs. 6-7, and again in Vs 21-23,
  KEY:  In the Old Testament the intention of the memorial was to provoke questioning from future generations. Christianity is never more than one generation away from extinction.
  • As we share our testimony God uses Us to Show Christ to the World.
Deuteronomy 6:12-15 “be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.” Third, the Memorial Stones were to be a Signpost to a Lost World.  V-24 “He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”
  • God’s plan is that the whole world should “Know” that He is the Only Living God.
  • Not only was the crossing of the Jordan a stirring event for Israel, but it was also a terrifying event for all the people living in the land of Canaan.
  • Not only a time of remembering what God had done but…
  Memorials are a time of Renewing Personal Commitment:  Vs. 8 “So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down.”   Vs.15-18, tells us that once the twelve men had carried twelve stones to the shore of Canaan, and after Joshua had built his altar in the middle of the river, he commanded the priest to finish crossing the river with the Ark of the Covenant.
  • “No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.”
  • The moment that the Priest’s feet touched the other side, the wall of water that had piled up for miles came crashing back into place.
  Not only was it a time of renewing personal commitment but …IT WAS TO BE A TIME OF ROLLING AWAY OLD DEFEATS. Vs-19-20 “On the 10th day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the 12 stones they had taken out of the Jordan.”
  • Leaving the edge of the river, the Israelites went to a place called Gilgal, on the eastern border of Jericho, Gilgal means “the Reproach has Been Rolled Away.”
  • Forty years of spiritual defeat and failure have been rolled away...It was the dawn of a great new beginning in a new land.
  • The days of selfish refusal to respond to God under Moses were gone, complaining was ended, hopeless wandering in the wilderness was behind them.
  KEY: They Now had a New sense of Purpose, determined to take new territory with God.
  • It is the Same for us as believers today we should be able to look back and see those monumental occasions which standout as times when God changed our directions and gave us hope and a new sense of purpose; a time when we by an act of faith decided to abandon ourselves to God and step out to take new territory for Him.
The monument that was built with those twelve stones was a visible reminder of the faithfulness of God. It was also a silent monument to the special day on which the people of God boldly placed their feet in the surging, rushing current of the Jordan, confident that God would see them to safety on the other side. Ask Yourself…What Are Those Monuments of Your Life that You Need to Remember…To Thank God for…And then Move Forward with Confidence as You have Seen Him Provide for You in the Past! You See…When You Remember All that God has Done for You…How He has Invested in Your Life…His Faithfulness to You Throughout the Years…Then Out of a Heart of Thankfulness…You Will Be Encouraged to Invest Your Life to Build His Kingdom! POINT: “If Your Investments Are Limited to This Earth, Then You Are the World’s Worst Investor! WAYS TO INVEST IN ETERNITY: FORWARD YOUR REWARDS:  We can invest in things on earth, but we must realize that it’s all going to burn up some day, including everything on it (2 Pet 3:10), or we can invest in the things of God and have our rewards waiting for us in the Kingdom.
  • We tend to focus on having sufficient funds to pay the bills or having enough money for retirement, but the greatest rewards for the believer come after we have lived this life on earth and enter into the eternal kingdom of God.
  • 2 Cor 5:10 says, every one of us will appear before Christ to receive rewards, or the lack thereof, as to whether they were burned up or not.
FORWARD YOUR RICHES 2 Cor 9:6 says, If we sow what we have very sparingly, then that is all we can expect to receive.  If we only work for those things that will perish, any rewards we hope for in the kingdom will be gone (John 6:27), but if we Invest in the needs of People and share the Gospel and Disciple others a Rich Eternity awaits us. THOSE THINGS THAT REMAIN:  Any person you share the gospel with cannot be taken away by anything. The kind, loving act you show to someone cannot be removed. The generous gift to that person in need cannot be dissolved by fire. In other words, the things that we cannot see are the things that will remain. Everything else will not matter in the end. POINT: “If Your Investments Are Limited to This Earth, Then You Are the World’s Worst Investor!