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Bible Study: Strengthened by God’s presence

NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.

Bible Passage: Joshua 1

Discussion Questions:

  • What does the promise of God’s presence mean for believers today (see Hebrews 13:5-6)?
  • What are some future promises that help believers be strong and courageous today?
  • Because of God’s presence with you, with whom will you share the Good News about Jesus, who came to save us and give us eternal rest?

Food for Thought:

Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years because of the people’s failure of faith in refusing to take the promised land a generation earlier. Now a new generation had arrived on the edge of the promised land, but Moses would no longer lead them, for he too would die outside the land for his own disobedience.

This next generation would need a new leader, and God had raised up Joshua in the shadow of Moses to fulfill this role. In the midst of a climate of disappointment, failure and death, God set the stage with Joshua to demonstrate His faithful commitment to His people despite their sinfulness.

The Book of Joshua begins with Joshua coming to grips with the reality that he was now the man who would lead the people of Israel. The mantle of leadership came with the pressure of having to lead the entire legion of Israelites into the promised land, but Joshua had the added pressure of having to step into the gigantic shoes of Moses. In the face of all this pressure, God encouraged Joshua by telling him, “I’ve got you.”

Moses was not the once-in-a-lifetime type leader. He was an example of what can happen when a human being trusts God with all that he or she has. The well of strength Joshua was to draw from was the same well Moses drew from: the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

God promised to be with Joshua. That same promise – a promise meant to give strength and courage – applies to us as the church today. He is with us day in and day out.

It is no accident that in the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, we see Jesus was to be called Immanuel, which means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). The promised presence of God being with the people of God carries through the entire Gospel of Matthew and in the last chapter, Jesus tells His disciples, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus’ promise to be by our side is meant to be the fuel that pushes us forward in the long race Jesus has set before us.

The Gospel Project

The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at gospelproject.com.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources