So Bad We Cannot Be Helped or Have Significance?

Examining The Question, "Why Does God Choose Unlikely Leaders?".

Ross Sawyers
Aug 20, 2023    49m
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We may believe we have done something so bad that God could never forgive us, but all who come to Jesus and believe will find salvation. God chooses unlikely leaders like Rahab to illustrate that no one is beyond God's reach and His grace. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:03] What a beautiful time for us in worship this morning, and to center ourselves on Jesus, whose name is above all names. And we believe that, we believe that our lives are to be centered on him, and what a gift to be able to sing to the Lord today.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:24] I don't know about you, but I was watching the life groups come across the screen. The one I got most excited about was the Monday night women's group, where there's going to be a new recipe every week in what they're eating, and then they're going to eat. And so I wondered if we'd get a guy's equivalent, or if we could make that a couple's group instead so that some of us could participate. I hope that you have found your way into a community, and if not that you will this fall, and that's really the lifeblood of 121 is that small group community and and what God does in the midst of it. So if I could just cheer you on if this is going to be where you're going to hang out, that you'd be a part of just a meaningful and substantive community.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:10] One of the things that happens in that community is the stories of people, and we start to hear and understand what it is that God has done in different people's lives. And we start to see the hard things that have happened to people and the way God has rescued and delivered out of it. We see people in the midst of things, and they need us to be able to walk and encourage them while we're in the middle of it. We see victories in it, we hear people's stories. One of the things that will often see in people's stories is the thought that we might have been so awful or so bad in whatever our sin is or past is, that there's actually no way that God could ever love me, there's no way God would ever help me, and there's no way I could have any worth or significance.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:02] And that's the idea I want us to think about today in Joshua chapter 2. If you'll turn in your Bibles to Joshua 2, we'll be in verses 1 through 24. And we've begun a series last week working through Joshua, and we'll do it chapter by chapter. And there's a part where they divide the land for several chapters, and I did think when we get there, we might scrunch that up a little bit rather than tediously working our way through it. It doesn't mean it's not important, I just don't know how I could figure out how to teach on it week after week, just this new division of land. And then we'll find ourselves at the very end of it with Joshua making some farewell speeches as he wraps things up.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:44] And just to give you a quick overview of where we are, so you may be familiar with the Bible, you may not be familiar with the Bible. It never hurts for us to know the overall context of what God's doing and how this particular part fits in the big picture of God's story. Now, one way that you can find an overview of Joshua, someone sent this to me this week, is on the Bible project. Many of you may be familiar with that, you may not be, they do a phenomenal job of giving introductions to books of the Bible, working through key themes of the Bible. And I believe we have on here, where you can see it on the Bible project, do we have that slide? We don't. We're blank. All righty, so if you go to the Bible project and the Book of Joshua looking animated, complete overview and you can get a really cool overview of Joshua. The animation, they do an outstanding job, so if you're a visual learner, it would be a way that we might be able to do that a little more easily. There you go. and so let me just cheer you on if that's what you like.

Ross Sawyers: [00:03:54] Now, where are we when we get to Joshua? Here's the big overview. In the five books of the Bible prior to Joshua, God has chosen Abraham as a man that he's going to establish a nation. He makes a promise to Abraham that he will be a people, that he will be a blessing, and that he will be given a land for his people, and that promise starts to unfold. And the rest of Genesis, we see the establishment of the people of God coming through the line of Abraham. We get into the second book of the Bible Exodus, and it's there that we find that the people have grown greatly, and now the Egyptians have made them slaves. In the book of Exodus, Moses is raised up as a deliverer of the people who are enslaved, and God will rescue them in a dramatic and miraculous fashion. He establishes them as his people, he gives them the law, which is written out in Exodus, and it's again in Deuteronomy. And then he gives them a way to satisfy him when they break the law. In Leviticus, we have the sacrificial system laid out, and then we move into numbers, and we start to see the move towards the land that God promised them. And as they move towards that, he sends spies into the land, the people end up being disobedient and for 40 years now they'll wander in the wilderness before they get the land that God promised them. That brings us to Joshua.

Ross Sawyers: [00:05:27] Moses dies, Joshua is his successor, Joshua will be the one to lead them into the land. In verses 8 and 9 of Joshua, if I could encourage you, I don't know if you'd like to memorize Scripture or don't memorize Scripture, but this is the theme verse for Joshua. If you memorize this, you'll have the theme of Joshua, and you can have that running through your head week in and week out. This is what it says, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” It's a powerful two verses for Joshua, and it's a powerful two verses for us today. For whatever assignments God gives, we would be immersed in His word, we'd be strong and courageous, not dismayed or tremble, and would know that God is with us.

Ross Sawyers: [00:06:37] That brings us to chapter 2, the people have agreed that they will follow Joshua's leadership, and now we start to see the unfolding of how God will bring them into the land. The question I'd like to ask us today is, in thinking about this story, is, is it possible that we could be so bad that we're beyond God's reach, God's help, and that we're beyond having a life of significance? Some people today think that, and I hope you'll be encouraged from the Scriptures today that God's long arm of grace is long enough for the worst of sins. So when we ask that question, I would say the answer is no, we can't be that bad, that God can't reach and rescue and deliver, and that God actually chooses unlikely people to accomplish His work.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:37] All through the Scriptures, He chooses the most unlikely of people. Let's see how that unfolds in this particular story. In verse 1, chapter 2, "Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim." The word Shittim, is a word that means acacia trees, so it had been a land that was marked by those acacia trees. "Saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab and lodged there." All right, Joshua, I mentioned last week that one of the best ways to learn leadership, one of the best ways to be discipled or mentored is to actually be with a person that is great at that. If you want to be a great leader, you want to be with a great leader to learn from. Now we all can learn from books, we can learn at conferences, we can learn on videos, and there are all kinds of ways to learn. I don't think there's any substitute, though, for being with someone that is excellent at whatever it is they do. And I called that, last week, a with-me principle. And Joshua was with Moses for years, and he observed Moses, he observed his successes and his failures, he saw his character, he saw his growth, he saw what intimacy with God looked like. You name it, he saw it being with Moses. And he was ready to step into the moment because he had been with him, and God had been preparing him for this moment.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:19] Now, one thing that happens in leadership when we're with someone, we also learn what does not work. Joshua was 1 of the 12 spies back in numbers 13 and 14 that went into the land 40 years prior to this moment. At that time, Moses chose a representative from each of the 12 tribes of Israel to go spy out the land. When they returned, ten were scared and afraid, and two said we can take the land, Joshua, and Caleb. This time, Joshua sent spies into the land, but he doesn't send representatives from every tribe. I would just say I'm speculating; I think he's okay with offending some of the tribes, he's making sure he sends two guys that'll get it right. And he sends these two guys, two spies, not 12. And one of the best ways that leaders would say you learn from a leader is to learn from what I don't do right as well as what I do right. And it seems Joshua took that lesson, he sends two spies in that I'm sure he vetted out and was confident that they would come back with a solid report. Because God had already promised the land is yours, you just have to go take it and God will lead them in the taking of it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:47] Now the spies show up in Jericho, which is one of the first cities when they cross the Jordan River, and they go to a Harlot's house, which seems to me it would be a good place to hide. So the spies show up at Rahab the harlot's is how she's referred. Now, over the years, some people have tried to clean this up a little bit and that surely God wouldn't work through a prostitute to accomplish his work. There might be some that's a little more noble, someone a little more upstanding, but there's no hiding. This is one of the things that I love about who God is and what He does in His word, he doesn't hide the sin, the flaws, the mistakes, the misjudgments of his people. And it allows us to identify because we make the same mistakes, we sin in the same way, and we can identify with people because we identify in their weaknesses with them. In the New Testament, Rahab is referred to as a harlot two different times. And the Greek word, which the New Testament is written in Greek, but the Greek word for harlot in the New Testament is the word that gives us pornography. And there's no question that Rahab was engaged in illicit sex and making a living from it and profiting from sexual sin, and yet this is the person that God is using to accomplish his work with these two spies.

Ross Sawyers: [00:12:20] "He was told (in verse 2) the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men from the sons of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” So somehow the king of Jericho, and probably thinks more like a mayor of the city, the kings were kings of independent city-states and so the king here would have been probably more like our mayor's function today. And then in verse 3 says, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” So the king has figured out the spies are there, and he's figured out that they're at Rahab's house. Now, in verse 4, we see an interesting transaction happen, "the woman had taken the two men and hidden them, and she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. 5“It came about when it was time to shut the gate at dark, that the men went out; I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” And she is deceiving, lying to protect these spies.

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:19] Verse 7, "So the men pursued them on the road to the Jordan to the fords; and as soon as those who were pursuing them had gone out, they shut the gate. And the way that city would have worked in that day, it had been surrounded by a wall, and a city gate, and the city gate was shut, then you're trapped inside. So now the spies are stuck inside the city gate. But the other men chasing them are on a wild goose chase in what she led them. Rahab, a prostitute being used by God.

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:55] Let's take a real quick side note, if we could, from this passage. It's in the passage, but this isn't key to the whole thing, it's just worth considering. I don't want to skip this kind of stuff. Is it okay, is it ever okay to lie? And I would love it this week if in your life groups, if you wrestled around with that question. I'll mess around with it briefly, and then I think that would be great small group conversation. It would be great around the family table as well. Is it ever okay to lie? Now some things to consider when you have that conversation. God, it is said of God in his word that he cannot lie. So in God's character, he cannot lie. We're told in the commands, Ten Commandments, to not bear false witness against our neighbor. We're told not to lie about our neighbor. Jesus, himself, is grace and truth realized, he is complete truth, truth as a person, Jesus. In a fallen and broken world, are there moments where it's okay to lie? Rahab took that moment and she lied, she did it to protect God's servants. If she would have told the truth about where they were, they most certainly would have been killed.

Ross Sawyers: [00:15:37] In the beginning of Exodus, the children of Israel are slaves to Egypt. The Hebrew women are having babies upon babies, and the pharaoh says to the midwives, eliminate the babies as they're born, there's too many. The midwives wouldn't do it because they feared God more than they did the Pharaoh, but they didn't tell the truth. They said the Hebrew women are way too vigorous, they have these babies’ way faster, we can't get to them in time, they're having the babies before we can get to them. Was that okay? Is it okay for a policeman to go undercover and deceive those who are breaking the law in order to catch them? Is it okay in war, or is it okay between countries who have spies everywhere, to deceive and lie? Are there times when it's life-threatening circumstances like Corrie Ten Boom and her family in Nazi Germany, and they chose to hide Jews at a risk to their own lives. But to do that, they had to lie to the Nazis when they would come knock on their door asking if they were hiding Jews. Is it ever okay in a fallen world to lie? Is it possible that if we simply stuck to the truth, that God might work a different miracle, other than what we think would happen if we didn't lie? And is it okay to smuggle Bibles deceptively into countries where there's no access to the Scriptures? Good things for contemplation. Not the key to this, just worth talking about why we're in it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:49] The second thing I would say we consider out of this part is that God really chooses unlikely people for his purposes. And I just want to say, again, today, because I know this from reading stories, I know this from conversations with people, so many in the room and so many online today feel so unworthy and don't feel like there's any significance to your life. And you've got some with addictions, whether it's alcohol, drugs, or sex addictions, and in your mind, there is no possible way that God could ever reach down, help you, love you, value you, and give you significance. But I just want you to know this morning that Paul wrote in Romans 15:4, and he said, "Read the things that were written in earlier times so that you might be encouraged, and you might have hope." And I want you to know today there is hope, because God reaches down to the most unlikely of people to give them value and then to give them lives that are significant.

Ross Sawyers: [00:18:58] We see that play out in Rahab with her faith and the things that she did. In James chapter 2, verse 25, this is one place later that she's mentioned, it says, "In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?" This is a conversation James is having about faith and works, that it's faith in Christ alone, and then is it faith and works or is it just works? No, it's faith in Christ, and then it's a faith that's evidenced by the works that we do afterward. And Rahab, the Harlot, is used as an example of how this plays out. That's one thought this morning, on can we be so bad that we're beyond the reach of God? And I would say, no, Rahab, the prostitute, not beyond his reach.

Ross Sawyers: [00:19:57] The second thing that I would say in verses 8 through 14 is that God makes himself known with clarity. God does not hide from us; he makes known who he is and he's clear. Now, one of the things that I've observed over the last few years, this hasn't always been something, and I'm sure I'm not even saying it correctly when I say it. But a phrase that we use so often in our culture now is, I see you. I don't know where that came from, I don't know which movie must have said that, and then everybody picked up on it. But the idea is there, and it's I want to be seen and known, and we want to be seen by someone. I see you. Now, it's pretty stunning that God, who has chosen his people, has this mass number of people that he's about to bring into this land, and then there are all these people in the land that are coming under his judgment and destruction. And yet, in the middle of all of this, he sees Rahab, he has eyes on her. It's an unlikely person, if you look in the city and say, surely there's some upright people, some upstanding people, some noble people. But no, in the midst of all of what God's doing in his massive redemption plan, he sees Rahab. And if I can just borrow today's language, he sees you today. He sees you, and he is game to pour his grace and mercy and love and kindness all over you and you haven't done anything so bad that you cannot receive that. Rahab will have a shift in her identity, and she'll have a life that's significant.

Ross Sawyers: [00:22:04] Verse 8, "Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you." She has quite a bit of information, and she knows already the same promise that Joshua was given, that the land is already his, it's his land to take for God's people, and she knows this. And she says, everybody here knows this, we know this is the case. So somehow, they're aware and they're afraid and they have melted away before you. Now, isn't that a bummer? That 40 years before, they probably felt the same terror and melted away just as much. But the 10 spies out of 12 came back and said, no, we're more afraid of them than they are of us. Often, we make bad decisions based on what we don't know about what somebody else is thinking, but one of the ways we can know what another person is thinking is to ask and to make sure it's understood and that there's clear communication in it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:27] Verse 10, “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed." So she says, look, I've heard, and we've heard, and we know based on what's happened, we know who your God is. He separated and dried up the Red Sea, miraculously, and there had been victory on the battlefield.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:59] Verse 11, "When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath." Rahab recognizes it's not just about Joshua and his people, it's not about these spies in the armies, it's about who God is. And she makes a confession here of who God is, and she's shifting, she had followed these pagan gods for so long, and it would just seem to me, by her lifestyle and what she's chosen to do and the shame and all that would have gone with that, that in choosing all that, her gods have not come through for her. But she hears about a different God, and she's willing to switch allegiances to this God. And she makes a confession, he's the Lord your God, he's God in heaven above and on earth beneath. There's a confession she's making.

Ross Sawyers: [00:24:56] In Romans 10, if we fast forward into the New Testament, Paul writes and he says, "How are people going to believe if they haven't first heard." She heard about God, she didn't see him part the Red Sea, she didn't see him lead the people to defeat the people that were the enemies, she just heard about it and she believed it. And the courage of everyone melts around her, but she shifts courage. Now the courage is coming from the God of the Israelite people, the one true God. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news people can hear?

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:45] Jesus did something similar in John 20, verse 29, he's talking to his disciples after his resurrection and he said, "Blessed are you who did not see, and yet believed." You've seen and you believe, but blessed are those who don't see it, they hear about it and believe it. And that's where we are today, we didn't see Jesus on the cross, we heard about it, we read about it, it's verified again, again and again; and we believe it because we heard this good news. Rahab believed what she knew to that point, and she put her trust in her faith in God. We're on the other side of the cross, do you believe it? What's your confession today?

Ross Sawyers: [00:26:43] Colossians 1:13-14 says, "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." There's a transfer that takes place when I understand what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross when I know that there that he took on all of my shame, he took on all of my condemnation, he took on all of my guilt, he took on all of my judgment, he took it on himself, and by doing that in faith, when I believe what he did, then he transfers me from being in a dark spot into a light spot. Only he can do that, and we're in one of those two places. And some of us today are in really, really dark places, and I just want you to know today that God sees you, and he can move you from dark to light. Paul would also write in Romans 10, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." Is your confession today that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord? And Lord means he's in control, not you, not me, and only by the Spirit of God can anyone make that confession. Is it your confession? This was Rahab's confession of who God is, is it your confession? And then something happens when we believe Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:28:01] At the gym the other day I saw a lady's t-shirt, and it said, Love, and it was all fancy, like the way ladies like to wear, it would not be a shirt a guy would wear. And it said love, and then below it, it said who you are. That's not right, that it's not good, there's something missing there. I don't love who I am apart from Christ, it's ugly, and my brain is a train wreck, I don't love it. I'll tell you what I do love, I love who I am in Christ because Christ is worthy. Christ reigns above it all. Christ is significant. Christ is glorious. Paul writes it this way, he said, "You've died, and your life is hidden with God in Christ." It's who you are today in Christ, that's a kind of love that will satisfy for a lifetime. If I could just have the t-shirt, Love who you are in Christ. There's an identity change that happens, this is about identity. Where do I find my identity? My identity is in Christ and then everything flows from that, the way my character is shaped, the assignments I'm about, where my focus is, everything shifts and it's a lifelong journey of it. Is that your confession today?

Ross Sawyers: [00:30:30] It was Rahab's confession to what she knew, and she would actually be included in Hebrews 11, verse 31, in what people call the Hall of Faith. She's in the mix here with Abraham and Moses and Joseph and Isaac and all these people. In verse 31, "By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace." For what she did here. She's placed into God's Hall of Faith. It's faith over fear. Now, why in James and why in Hebrews does she keep having to wear the moniker of Harlot? Don't you get to lose that if you have a new identity in Christ? Yes, it's not who you are anymore when you're in Christ. But I wonder if God just allowed that to be in the Word for us to see today that there's not one of us beyond his reach, no matter what a mess we might be today. She's in the lineage of Jesus, it's her faith that's recognized. She had works that demonstrated her faith, she's the real deal. Has your identity shifted to where it is in Christ?

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:17] And by the way, all the other Canaanite people in Jericho knew the same thing she did. But for some reason, they must have thought it was foolish to switch allegiances to God. And today you and I, if we follow Jesus, will be considered foolish by the majority. Paul writes this In First Corinthians 1:18, he said, "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." But we want to bring life and at least the opportunity for people to consider it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:59] Verse 12, “Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you." So she makes this confession, now she says, "I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth." She's not just interested in her being spared, she's interested in how now the way she's rescued and delivered and helped, that her family will experience the same thing. Verse 13, "And spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them." So all the relatives, "And deliver our lives from death. So the men said to her, “Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the LORD gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.” So let's kind of make a deal, I've been kind to you, and now will you be kind back to me? And I'm asking, will you spare everyone in my family?

Ross Sawyers: [00:33:55] Now, this same thing is going on right now across the world, it's probably happening right now in the US in homes but let me give you two examples of where it's happening. Rahab was willing to risk it for her faith so that others might have the same experience as her. She wanted others to be rescued and have significance. In Pakistan right now, this morning, as we speak, 12:04, there have been 300 churches burned in the last several days. Christians are being killed. In northeast India, in the city in the state of Manipur, 300 churches, in addition, Christian churches have been burned, women are being raped, there's violence, and people are being killed. That's today, that's our brothers and sisters in Christ in India and Pakistan. And you know what? There are a bunch of Rahab’s right now in that region of the world, and they're taking in Christians who are fleeing and they're hiding them at the risk of their own lives. When we receive the unlikely grace of God, are we willing to risk so that others can come under that same safety that comes in Christ? Rahab, the prostitute, was. Will we?

Ross Sawyers: [00:35:32] In verses 15 and following, God has more valuable things for us to do once we have our trust in Him, "So she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall." Archeologists have said there are two walls that they've discovered, and in between the walls, the poor would often have their houses built, so this squares up with archeological finds. "She said to them, “Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.” She gives them instruction, they are trusting that God has put this lady in their life, and they're going to follow and do what she says. "The men said to her, “We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, 18unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household. 19“It shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be free; but anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. 20“But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be free from the oath which you have made us swear.” And "She said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window." So there was more to do. She let them know where they needed to go, they said, you can't tell this business of ours, and then we're going to honor what we said and spare you in your household. And then they gave her instructions for it, you'll hang a scarlet cord, which would have contrasted against the color of the walls. And anyone that's in your house, you gather everybody up in your house, and anyone that's in there will be spared. But if they're out in the street, that's on you, you have some responsibility here.

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:40] Now we have to be careful when we're making links through Scripture. Some would tie this to the Passover, but some would not because the same idea is there. But in the Passover, they slaughtered the lamb, the innocent lamb, and placed the blood on the doorposts and the lintel above it, and then they would be spared. In the same way, they're going to be spared, the whole family will be spared. I want you to know today, if you desire safety in this world, it's not there. I don't care how gated your community is. I don't care how many gates you have on your driveway. I don't care how many rings you have so you can see all the activity on your front porch and back porch. I don't care how many security cameras you have on the back and on the front. You can be the best provider of those things ever, and I'm telling you today, you're still not safe, somebody can figure out how to get through every bit of that, no problem. I don't say that to scare you, and I know that you probably already know that. I say it to say there's only one place you can be safe today, it's in Christ, that's the only place that you and I can be safe. And you say, well, what about the Pakistani Christians? What about the Indian Christians you just described? They don't seem very safe. No, they knew the price they would pay when they trusted Christ, they're safe in him, and they're good. I'm not saying they're not afraid, they're human, but they're okay because they're safe in Christ, and God's going to deliver them safely home.

Ross Sawyers: [00:39:49] Can I challenge the heads of households with children? It is your job to provide spiritual safety for your children. You might have done a fantastic job, an over-the-top job financially providing for your home. You might be in some of the best homes ever. You've got the best clothes. You've got access to the best sports. You've got access to the best tutors. You've got access to the best schools. You've provided the very best. And by the way, that's awesome, I'm not knocking that. But if that's happened to the exclusion of providing spiritual safety for your home, it's a miss. What kids desperately need is moms, dads, guardians, whoever it is that's over the house, that are faithfully following Jesus, that are safe in Christ, that are living it out in their home. And that there's no question that the kids in that home know my mom, my dad, my grandmother, my adoptive parent, whoever it is, they know, the first thing they think about is my mom, my dad, they love Jesus. They have the courage to follow God. We talk about God. We talk about God's word. We think about God's word in every situation that we face. I'm not saying you're perfect at it, but in general, we know that that's what's going on in our home, and Jesus is center in our home. And my mom and dad didn't pay for a home school or a private school education for me to pawn off the Christian part while I go do my part, no, if they did that, they were still living it out, and they understand it's not the school's job, it's not the church's job, at the end of the day, it's your job. It's your job. And it's okay if you just realized that, and that today is the day that you start doing it. God takes us right where we are and moves us from there. The church, private schools, and homeschool co-ops, all are really helpful, but it's on the heads of the homes to live it out. This isn't one more thing that we pay an instructor to take care of for us, we do it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:42:48] I mentioned a few weeks ago that statistically when the husband/dad leads the charge in the home, typically the family follows. Statistically, if the mom/wife leads the charge, the whole family does not follow. I know that can sound discouraging, but I hope you're encouraged today because while that is statistically true, there are numerous exceptions among which you are many. Rahab is leading the charge here, and her family is going to be rescued through her. Spiritual safety, the only safety we have today is in Christ, and when we know that we can risk like Rahab because we're safe in him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:43:45] Well, she tied the scarlet cord in the window as soon as they left, you've got to love her obedience. She didn't wait, she did it right then, and she had no idea when they were coming back. Just like the people in the Old Testament had no idea when the Savior was coming the first time, they trusted, and they waited. Just like we have no idea when Jesus is coming a second time, but we trust and we wait, he's coming. And just like Rahab had no idea when it would be, we have no idea, the signs are there; but of that day and hour, we don't know, He does.

Ross Sawyers: [00:44:32] Then the last thing in 22 through 24, these guys show back up to Joshua and they give Joshua a really great report about what they've see, God's given us the land. Let me tell you about this prostitute, and what she did, her faith is in God now, let me tell you about her. The most unlikely of people, there's hope for all of us today.

Ross Sawyers: [00:45:00] When my boys were younger and growing up, I was trying to figure out, how do I raise them to be men. That's the target, I'm going to raise my boys to be men. But what's a man? I mean, shoot, we can't even figure out how to define a man and woman today, so how do I raise somebody to be a man or a woman? How do I do that? It seems like I need something to shoot at that I'm aiming for. So as I read some different things, and I'm grateful for my dad in so many ways, but I did not have a model of what it meant to be a Christian man, and how you raise sons to do that, so there's not a picture in my head. So I read a lot and asked a lot of guys that I thought looked like they were doing a great job. But a way I knew how to do it, and I like acronyms and acrostics, and so I created one for my boys and this is what I would say to them all the time. This is what it means to be a man, and this is what we're aiming at. And CHIP is what I used. C, courage, we're raising you to have the courage to follow God in Christ. When our boys were being raised, the culture wasn't nearly as hostile, but we saw this coming. I said it will require courage for you to follow Christ, it's not going to be simple. H is for humility, that you'd have the humility of Christ, that you'd be a servant, that you'd go low, that you'd be a young man of no reputation, that you'd do the most menial things, and that you'd raise your hand for the sorriest of jobs in humility as a servant, that's a man. That you'd be a man of integrity, because you live in a world that doesn't have much. That you would speak the truth when you're on your job. Don't look at somebody else's paper in the classroom. To be young men of integrity. And purity, P, in a sexually crazed world apart from God's design, that they'd be pure before him. And I'm sure they got tired of it, but whenever there were those teaching moments, I'd remind them, this is what we're aiming at, not perfect, but this is what it is to be a man. And I just want you to know today, that no matter where you are, you might think you're the most unlikely of persons that God would reach down and rescue. But that we can all be men and women of courage, humility, integrity, and purity through the work of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.

Ross Sawyers: [00:48:02] Father, thank you for our time in Joshua today. I love the strength and power of your word, God. Thank you for Rahab, and thank you, God, for so many pictures in the Scripture of having eyes for the most unlikely of people. And I pray every person here will be encouraged by that, and by the hope that all of us have that you take us right where we are, but you don't leave us there. So, God, I pray we would all be able to love who we are in Christ today, hidden in you, safe in you, seen by you, known by you, loved by you And Father, that we live lives of significance and worth out of who we are in Christ today. Will you give us risky assignments, dangerous assignments, that our families would be spared, our friends would be spared, and people we don't even know would be spared and know the goodness of what it is to be in Christ today? Will strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ in Pakistan and India today, would you bring them relief and protect them, and we give them strength? And more than anything, they have an inward strength in Christ, regardless of what their days hold in these moments, with a deep trust and a deep faith in you. I pray in Jesus' name.

Ross Sawyers: [00:49:33] If we could just be quiet before the Lord for a moment, I'd like to have this space, just if there's anything left God saying to you or doing with you, that you might be able to process that briefly and then certainly more when you leave here. And then Jordan will wrap us up here in a moment. Thank you.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213