Getting to the Heart of the Matter

By Pastor Dave Peterman

We need to let the reality of what is read hear to sink in. Joshua represented the generation of people that were led out of the land of Egypt under the leadership of Moses. This was the generation that witnessed the plaques upon Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. The Generation of the elders that outlived Joshua, these were the children of them that died in the wilderness, these are the ones that crossed the Jordan into the Canaan land THESE WERE THE MEN OF WAR! God gave them that land! Who was this generation that knew not the LORD neither the works of the LORD?

Judges 2:6-12 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land. 7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. 8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. 10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. 11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: 12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.

Note: who it was that saw the walls of Jericho fall, saw the inhabitants of AI defeated, stood on the necks of their enemies… The generation of the elders were men of war, and they warred well! But what about the “other generation”? They were too young to be present at the battle and had to stay at Gilgal!

Joshua 4:13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.

Joshua 6:3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

Joshua 8:1 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:

Joshua 10:7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.

Joshua 10:24 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.

Joshua 11:7 So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them.

They were mighty men of valour but were not men of vision for the generation to come!

I. The Tragedy of a lost Generation

Some Observations:

I do not aspire to be a great leader in “fundamentalism”, nor should I! I believe the greatest thing I can ever aspire to be a good PASTOR! I thank God tonight, that He has called me, and enabled me to be YOUR PASTOR! As pastor, I can’t help but to take notice of some tragic things, not in fundamentalism, not in Christianity as a whole, but IN THIS CHURCH. Those are the tragedies of losing and weakening of a generation of young people! We have lost many, and some that remain are weak. We must ask ourselves WHY?! If we do not come to grips with what has happened, we are doomed to repeat it is subsequent generations! It is not enough for us to WAR WELL, but we must also WALK WELL and WIN THE HEARTS OF THE NEXT GENERATION!

I am a preacher that holds to Biblical standards! As such, I must take a stand, for without a stand, standards are a disingenuous declaration! Yet, to live by a standard for the sake of man alone is making the law of God of none effect!

*True Biblical faith, begins internally, in the heart, and will eventually result in undeniable external consequences!

*True Biblical Christianity is a result of an internal change that has external consequences!

*False/Forced/Fake Christianity is an external conformity with an internal conflict/confusion.

Not to diminish the external, but the reality is, external conformity is not always an indication of internal conviction. As long as our preaching and practices touch only the externals we are doomed to the loss of those that hear us for we have never reached the internal, we have NEVER REACHED THE HEART!

II. The TRUTH about the Heart!

Proverbs 23:12-28 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. 13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. 15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. 16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things. 17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. 18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off. 19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. 20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: 21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. 22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. 23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. 24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. 25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice. 26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. 27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. 28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

A. Our Hearts Need GROUNDED vs. 12

B. Our Hearts Need GUARDED vs. 17

C. Our Hearts Need Guided vs. 19

D. Our Hearts need GIVEN vs. 26

III. The TRUST of the heart!

God wants us to give him the TRUST of our hearts!

A Trust is: a charge, custody, or care: to leave valuables in someone’s trust.

“Give me thine heart”

A. Given out of Love ~

If our children do not LOVE God, They will not give their hearts!

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

B. Given out of Loyalty

If our children do not know of God’s loyalty (faithfulness) to them, they will not loyally surrender their hearts to Him!

John 8:30-32 As he spake these words, many believed on him. 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

C. Given at the Leading of God’s Spirit through obedience to the Word!!!!

If the commandments are not God’s then we cannot expect our children to follow them with all their hearts!

Deuteronomy 6:4-12 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. 10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; 12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

1. LOVE the LORD

2. LAY His Word to my Heart

3. LEAD the Generation to Come starting with MY CHILDREN!

If I am going to DEMAND obedience as to the Lord, I must first DEMONSTRATE it Scripturally (as truly from the Lord). I must also DISPLAY it lived in my own life (not as a hypocrite). I must DILIGENTLY teach it!

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