(Review of Sermon Preached by Pastor on January 26, 2020)

Text: Joshua 1:1-9
Last Sunday, we learnt how to have a successful new year from Joshua 1:1-9. Let us review these principles via a summary restatement of the main points of the sermon.

Know the Definition of Success (v.1-2)

The Chinese exchange greetings and well-wishes during the Chinese New Year. Many of these greetings expose a desire for material prosperity and fleshly pleasures. The world often measures success by the abundance of goods one possesses. Thus, the greetings “金玉满堂”(a hall filled with gold) and “恭喜发财” (congratulations on striking it rich).

Then, there are others who equates success by getting the desires of your heart. Thus, the greetings “心想事成”(what your heart desires will be achieved) and “万事如意”(ten thousand wishes fulfilled to heart’s content).

However, the Bible’s definition of success is different. It is always measured with respect to fulfilling God’s will for us in our lives. For Joshua, this means that he is now to take over from Moses, in leading the children of Israel to conquer the Promised Land.

Each of us is given different tasks by the Lord to fulfill. Success thus, would be to do that which God has appointed for us to do faithfully, till its completion. What task does the Lord have for you in the year 2020?

The greeting “心想事成”,will take a whole new meaning when we understand the biblical view of success. Our hearts will now be aligned with the heart of God. If that is the case, why should not the Lord grant us success? “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Ps. 37:4)

Rest in the Promise of Success (v.3-5)

While the LORD sent Joshua about his task, He assures Joshua that so long as Joshua abides in His will, success would be guaranteed. As Moses’ assistant, Joshua had witnessed the goodness of the LORD in helping Moses lead the children of Israel through the wilderness. Now it is Joshua’s turn to lead the children of Israel. There will be challenges. There will be difficulties. There will be opposition and enemies. But God will be with Joshua all the way. “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Jos. 1:3-5)

Similarly, we can be assured of the Lord’s help, as we seek to do His work here on this earth. Just like Moses and Joshua, we will face challenges in the task that is assigned to us. However, as long as we abide in the Lord, success is guaranteed.

Follow the Way of Success (v.6-9)

How then shall Joshua achieve success? Not by his intellect or strength but relying solely on God’s Word. The Word, and not the world, is the way of success.

Here is the three-step way of success:
– Read God’s Word (This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth…)
– Understand God’s Word (…but thou shall meditate therein day and night…)
– Obey God’s Word (… that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein…)

However, Joshua will face many temptations and much opposition in his obedience to God’s Word. His faith in God’s Word will be sorely tested. Moral strength and courage are needed in such situations. Joshua must not let fear overcome him. This he can do, and it is by encouraging himself in God’s Word and promises. So long as he follows God’s Word, there will be success! There is no need to fear.

The same principle applies for us today. So long as we do God’s Word in God’s way, success will be guaranteed. How to know God’s way? By reading and obeying God’s Word! When we do so, God will be by our side. If God be for us, who can be against us? And what have we to fear?

May the Lord bless all of you with a successful year for Christ.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew