February – March 2024
Reading Joshua - Seeing Jesus
The same god who brought you out is the same god who will bring you in
We are so excited to be launching into a new series this Sunday called, “Reading Joshua – Seeing Jesus.” Did you realize that the names “Joshua” and “Jesus” are actually the same name in two different languages? They are so similar in fact that the translators of the King James version of the Bible used the Greek name, “Jesus” in Hebrews 4:8, while most other translations use the Hebrew name, “Joshua.” It’s almost like saying “George” in English and “Jorge” in Spanish.
Both “Joshua” and “Jesus” mean, “The Lord Saves” and “The Lord is My Salvation.” One of the biggest distinctions in their name, however, is that Joshua was called, “The Son of Nun” while Jesus is “The Son of God.” While Joshua led a specific group of people at a specific time into a specific place, Jesus leads all people from every tribe into an abundant life of salvation through Him for all time.
Joshua’s story is located in the Old Testament, but we believe the entire Bible is one complete story of redemption that all centers around Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:14). The Word of God is living, dynamic, and useful for everyday life (Hebrews 4:12; II Timothy 3:16-17). As we engage in God’s Word – both the Old and the New Testament - the eternal truths from the book of Joshua can create new spiritual dynamics for us to experience in our everyday lives.
To read Joshua literally and then try to apply it to our everyday lives here in America would be a huge mistake! For one, in Joshua’s day, there were natural/physical battles with giants that the Israelites were called to fight and conquer. Today, we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood “giants”, but we are all fighting against “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, NLT). The good news is that Christ has already conquered these enemies spiritually, and now in Christ, we can overcome them too!
In Joshua, we see a people who were once slaves transformed into mighty soldiers. Today, we are called to be “good soldiers in Christ” (II Timothy 2:3-4). As we read Joshua’s story, several themes emerge that will help us enter into the abundant life Jesus died to give us. Each week during this series we will be unpacking one of these themes from the Book of Joshua and exploring some ways Jesus works in us and through us in similar ways:
- Receiving a Calling (Joshua 1)
- Living Courageously (Joshua 2)
- Crossing Over (Joshua 3)
- Commemorating Moments with God (Joshua 4)
- Committing to God’s Kingdom Work (Joshua 5)
- Encountering the Real Commander (Joshua 5)
- Conquering (Joshua 6)
- Catastrophe (Joshua 7)
- Re-Committing & Re-Conquering (Joshua 7-Joshua 12)
- Receiving a Covenantal Inheritance (Joshua 13-Joshua 23)
- Leaving a Covenantal Legacy (Joshua 24)
So, what are some things that the Lord has called you “out of?” What are some deeply satisfying areas in Christ that you believe the Lord is calling you “into.” Remember, Jesus Christ is the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The same God that brought you OUT is the same God who will bring you IN!
We are believing that God will do some amazing things in your life, in your family, and in our
community throughout this series. We encourage you to stay engaged on Sundays and through our What’s App Sunday Message Group so you can also receive our weekly Table Talk Discussion Guides for both adults and a version for Kids.
We love you and are believing God’s very best for you!
Pastors Bob & Paige
POSTSCRIPT: For those who want to take a “deeper dive” into the framework for this series...
God called the Israelites:
- Out of Egypt where they were slaves
- Out of a life of wandering in the Wilderness
- In to a land of REST, safety, and physical abundance that God had prepared for them
Jesus calls people:
- Out of a life of slavery to sin
- Out of a lifestyle of wandering in insecurity, anxiety, false identity, and carnality
- In to the “abundant life” – a deeply satisfying life in Christ destined to bear fruit for Him
which He had pre-planned for them to walk in long ago.
“I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (Jesus, in John 10:10)
The Apostle Paul summarizes these transitions in this way:
“Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.[a] He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." - Ephesians 2:1-10 (NLT)