Rules for Prosperity and Success

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Joshua 1:1-9


I.         Moses had died and Joshua now finds himself the leader of a nation about to conquer a land to claim as their own.

            A.        God appears to Joshua and offers words of encouragement - Joshua 1:7-9

            B.        The advise was excellent for Joshua, but it is also useful for you and I - Romans 15:4

            C.        This is the time of year when many graduate, leave home, and begin their own life

                        1.         In some ways, it too is a daunting task

                        2.         There are so many possibilities, both good and bad

                        3.         There is excitement, but there is an element of dread or even fear

            D.        How can a person succeed? The answer is still the same.

II.        God’s advice

            A.        Be strong

                        1.         It must be important, it is mentioned four times in just this one chapter - Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18

                        2.         As David approach death, he told his son the same thing - I Kings 2:2

                        3.         Christians receive the same advice - I Corinthians 16:13

                                    a.         It is not telling us to go lift weights

                                    b.         It is not telling us to be strong headed or stubborn

                        4.         “Be strong” appears 31 times in the Scriptures

                        5.         You see, a man of moral character is going to face a lot of opposition in this world.

                                    a.         After all Satan is seeking to bring good men down - I Peter 5:8

                                    b.         You will find that when faced with opposition, most people seek appeasement

                                                (1)       They don’t want trouble. They don’t want the boat rocked.

                                                (2)       “Can’t we just somehow get along?”

                                    c.         And so in the name of peace, they will a satisfactory compromise.

                                    d.         The problem is that right and wrong are not considered. If you are in the right, any compromise compromises the integrity of truth

                                    e.         Governments saw this lesson with Hitler.

                                                (1)       The more the European nations tried to reach a compromise, the more Hitler took.

                                                (2)       It took the strong leadership of Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt to conquer

                                    f.         Ronald Reagan illustrated this principle when he bluntly took a stand that communism and the Soviet Union were evil.

                                                (1)       Oh, the horrors of it all! People were certain that World War III would begin any moment.

                                                (2)       But strangely, his strong stand directly led to the Soviet Union’s collapse and communism as an economic system became unpopular for decades.

                        6.         It is not just strength in you position, but a firm confidence that you are doing what is right - Ephesians 6:10

                                    a.         We need to be naive about sin, but knowledgeable and confident about what the Lord want from us - I Corinthians 14:20

                                    b.         Have a faith that is acceptable to God and live it without doubting yourself - Romans 14:22-23

                        7.         You do not have to compromise what is right to succeed in life.

                                    a.         People will be appalled.

                                    b.         You’ll be seen as a trouble maker

                                    c.         But in the end, you will still be right

            B.        Be very courageous

                        1.         What better illustration of courage than Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego? - Daniel 3:12-18

                        2.         Or Daniel? - Daniel 6:3-10

                        3.         Christians were told - II Peter 1:5

                                    a.         Just what is virtue?

                                    b.         Greek: arete means manliness in doing what is right

                                    c.         It is taking a stand that is worthy of praise - Philippians 4:8

                                    d.         It is the courage to do what is right.

                        4.         When it comes to moral principles, ethics, and religion, we have a lot of nervous Nellies

                                    a.         The cowardly will not reach heaven - Revelation 21:8

                                    b.         God did not give us the spirit of timidity - II Timothy 1:7-14

            C.        Observe to do according to all the law

                        1.         Taking a firm stand is useless if you are not standing up for what is right

                        2.         The apostles showed this courage - Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29

                        3.         And it cannot be a partial obedience. We have to do it all. - Matthew 28:19-20

                        4.         Colossians 3:17 - Everything with God’s approval, with God’s authority behind it.

                        5.         Partial obedience is not obedience, Saul found out - I Samuel 15:20-23

                        6.         Partial truth is not truth - Psalm 119:160

            D.        Do not turn from it to the right or to the left

                        1.         Oh, that the world would see this! People build religions to suit themselves and not God - Galatians 1:6-10

                        2.         Romans 16:17-18 - Change is a deception, serving man and not our Lord

                        3.         II John 8-11 - Not staying within the bounds set is call an evil deed!

            E.        Meditate in it day and night

                        1.         How do you get to be a good piano player? You practice, practice, practice and then you practice more. You think about it constantly. It haunts your dreams.

                        2.         How do you succeed in staying with the Truth and thereby serving God? You practice it, practice it, practice it, and then you practice it more. You think about it constantly until you even dream about it - Hebrews 5:13-14

                        3.         Psalm 1:1-3 - The blessed man mediates on God’s law day and night.

                        4.         It pays off - Psalm 119:97-99

                        5.         Think! - Philippians 4:8

            F.        Do not be afraid

                        1.         If we must fear anyone, it ought to be God - Matthew 10:28

                        2.         Fearful people do not work - Matthew 25:24-29

                        3.         Right cannot be stopped - Hebrews 13:5-6

            G.        Do not be dismayed

                        1.         In other words: Don’t give up! Don’t quit!

                        2.         Quitters don’t succeed. They don’t make it to the finish line - Hebrews 3:11-12; 4:1

                        3.         Steadfast, immovable - I Corinthians 15:58

III.       Does this mean that following these rules will give us fame and fortune here on this earth?

            A.        No; but then, who wants temporary fortune? - II Peter 3:10-14

            B.        Paul’s example - II Timothy 4:6-8

            C.        Will you be able to say the same?

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