Asbury United Methodist Church
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September 22, 2017

Yesterday I mentioned that God handed the baton over to Joshua after Moses had died and it was now his time to lead Israel over into the Promised Land.

          I also mentioned the giant pep talk that God gave Joshua during this transition. God reminded Joshua that he’d be with him.

          God told him repeatedly to not be afraid. God also told Joshua to meditate on the Scriptures day and night and he would have success!

          Finally, God concluded the briefing by saying yet one more time, “Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9b RSV).”

          You don’t give someone this kind of pep talk without a good reason! And, God knew that Joshua had some tall orders in taking the land Canaan for the Israelites.

          When I read the first chapter of Joshua, what I see is a mountain so high and so large that it must have filled Joshua’s eyes completely. He was looking at a God-sized job!

          Mountains are nothing new to us either!  Each of us have either faced mountains, we’re going to or we will again!  

          Jesus was someone else who knew a lot about mountains.  And, he was really big on the subject of mountain moving.  Furthermore, he made some really big promises to us!

          Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will be done.  And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith (Matthew 21:21-22 RSV).”

          (Note that this event took place right after Jesus cleansed the Temple. The disciples noticed that he walked over to a fig tree and caused it to wither immediately because it had no fruit. The disciples were amazed at this power and Jesus was virtually telling them that they had not seen anything yet!)

          Of course, Jesus was not speaking about literal mountains when he gave the boys that mountain-moving speech.  He was speaking of the monumental obstacles that each of us will encounter in life.

          Sometimes our problems feel like mountains that are so huge that they fill our eyes! The first time I visited Mount Mitchell I was amazed how it filled the entire windshield of my car.

          The elevation of Mount Mitchell is 6684 feet and it is the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains. All I could see was mountain!  

          Maybe you have a problem today that is so big that all you can see is mountain. Are your eyes full?

          Bear in mind, mountain treks are what life is made of and built upon! What once filled our eyes, Christ handled!

          What once overwhelmed us, Christ has put in the rearview!   What once threatened us has now moved!

          And, all was done so in the name of Jesus Christ!   He’s that kind of savior!

          Hang tough! Dig in!   Stand strong!  

          “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9 RSV).”

          Today is a good day to remember Joshua’s mountain…thirty-one of them to be precise! The mountain before him was the thirty-one kings that he would have to defeat before he could possess the Promised Land.

          Faith is the answer! But…and it’s a big one…Joshua only defeated those thirty-one kings…one king at the time!

          Just sayin’! Call upon Christ and nibble on that mountain! You’ll get though it soon, one of these days!

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