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THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
Intro: As the
As I read
these verses, I see a parallel between the words of Moses concerning
trying to tell
I. THE WANDERING OF THE NEW LAND
A. The Promised Land is described as a land of hills and valleys. As such, it is nothing like
B. I want you to know this evening that 2002 will be a year of hills and valleys. There will
be times when you will experience the mountain top experiences and there will be times when you will walk through the valleys of life. As we enter this New Year, let us not do so blindly, but with the knowledge that it will bring with it both the up experiences as well as the down times too.
C. Be that as it may, let us also remember that all our times, both the ups and the downs,
are controlled by the Lord, Psa. 37:23. Let us remember that God must allow anything that comes our way, Rom. . His intentions for us are not evil but good, all through the year, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”, Jer. 29:11.
D. Therefore, do not be surprised when you descend from the mountain into the valley as
this year progresses. None of us knows what lies ahead, but we walk with a God Who does. We walk with One Who intimately knows the way, and Who has prepared the way as He has seen fit. Since this is true, we need not worry nor fear, but we should walk quietly, peacefully and humbly with the Lord as He leads us through the ups and the downs of 2002.
E. Thank God for the hills and the valleys! Imagine what the world would be like without
these beautiful mountains we are surrounded by! So it is in our spiritual life as well. Imagine a life where every day was the same. Imagine a life that was dull and boring because the landscape never changed. Thank God for the good days of life they produce rejoicing in our souls! Also, thank God for the difficult days of life. They drive us to our knees and cause us to look heavenward for the help to make it through. Friends, we could never appreciate the anchor if we never felt the storm!
II. THE WATERING OF THE NEW LAND
and farmed there had to work very hard to bring water
wants the Israelites that
B. What a lesson this is for the church! The world (
to day to provide the things they think they need. They work and they labor to try and take care of themselves. Sometimes it works and at other times it does not! However, those who have entered the place of rest in Jesus do not have to struggle as others. As we pass through the days of our lives, we serve a God Who has promised to take care of His children, Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-33. He will see to it that the rain falls as it is needed and that this New Year will be a time when we will see the needs of our lives and our hearts met.
C. Let us also remember that when we are on the mountains of life and the rain of Heaven
is falling upon us that that rain will also run down into the valley we will soon enter. The rain from one hilltop is sufficient to water a hundred valleys! There it will cause even the valleys of life to become fertile ground for us. When we pass through the valley, we will encounter the blessings of God and we will find the rain of the hilltop experience sufficient to sustain us through the valleys we are destined to pass through. This is illustrated in Psalm 84:6. When we walk through the valleys of this year, we can do so with confidence knowing that the rains of the hills will cause the Lily of the Valleys (Song 2:1) to blooming for us when we pass that way!
III. THE WATCHING OF THE NEW LAND
A. The Bible tells us that this new land is a land that God cares about. The children of
B. His eyes are on every curve of the road and the see every hill and valley that His
children will face.
He sees the situations that are arising ahead of us and He goes before
to insure that everything we need will already be in place before we ever
arrive. He looks to that way His
children take. (
C. May we never forget that whether our steps lead us through the glorious heights of the
mountain top experience, or through the rugged valleys below, we will never leave the gaze of our Father. May we never forget that with every steps we take, He is watching and He is working our His perfect will in our lives. May we remember that even when the would and life make no sense, we are in His hand and His presence is ever with is, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.
(Ill. Bob Richards, the former pole-vault champion, shares a moving story about a skinny young boy who loved football with all his heart.
Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being half the size of the other boys, he got absolutely nowhere. At all the games, this hopeful athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever played. This teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. Even though the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands cheering. He never missed a game.
It was this way in grade school, in high school, and even in college: he never missed a practice and he never got to play because he was smaller than every other member on the team. He was kept on simply because he was an inspiration to the other members of the team.
At the end of his senior football season as he trotted onto the practice field shortly before the big playoff game, the coach met him with a telegram. The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, "My father died this morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today?" The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, "Take the rest of the week off, son. And don't even plan to come back to the game on Saturday."
Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful teammate back so soon.
"Coach, please let me play. I've just got to play today." said the young man. The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in this close playoff game.
But the young man persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in. "All right," he said. "You can go in."
Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked and tackled like a star. His team began to triumph.
The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you never heard!
Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker room, the coach noticed that the young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, "Kid, I can't believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?"
He looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know that my dad was blind?' The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, "Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it!")
IV. THE WINNING OF THE NEW LAND
A. 34 times during the days of
triumphant note that they were going to possess the land. This was not a maybe so proposition, but it was a divine given. The land was theirs and they would be victorious in entering it, conquering it and possessing it. It was their land and nothing could or would stand in the way of that becoming a reality.
B. There isn’t a person in this room that knows what this year will bring into view.
However, I believe I can tell you with absolute confidence that this year will is your year. When the mix of hills and valleys has all been averaged together, when all things are considered from the perspective of the Lord, when the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled, we will see that God has indeed brought us to the place of victory in our lives. No one is telling you that this will be all fun and no problem, but I am telling you that this year will, in the final analysis, be a great blessing!
C. Please remember that God’s promise to His
children is victory and not defeat,
; 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14. Just
we ever step onto the field of battle. God help us to walk in that truth as we make our way across the hills and through the valleys of this New Year.
Conc: I want you
to notice verses 13-17. The people of