CALEB FOLLOWED THE LORD FULLY

CALEB FOLLOWED THE LORD FULLY
Numbers 14:24

INTRODUCTION
A. A familiar story of the Bible is that of the twelve spies of Israel
1. Sent to spy out the land of Canaan – Numbers 13:1-2
2. They Spent 40 days traversing the land (Num. 13:21-25)
3. The spies brought back both good news and bad news:
a. A land of milk and honey, as evidenced by the fruit – Numbers 13:27
b. A land occupied by strong people and giants – Numbers 13:28, 33
4. One of the spies, Caleb, sought to reassure the people – Numbers 13:30
5. Yet ten of the spies overwhelmed the people with their bad report – Numbers 14:1-4
6. Only Joshua and Caleb had confidence in the Lord – Numbers 14:6-9
7. But the people heeded the bad report, resulting in God’s condemnation
a. Israel was to spend 40 years of wandering in the wilderness (Num. 14:29-34)
b. The ten spies died by a plague before the Lord (Num. 14:36-37)
c. Only Joshua and Caleb were spared (Num. 14:38)
B. The Lord spared Caleb because “he…has followed me fully” (Num. 14:24)
1. A similar statement about Caleb made time and again (Num. 32:11-12; Deut. 1:36; Jos. 14:8-9, 14)
2. What a wonderful epitaph: “He wholly followed the LORD, the God of Israel.”
C. What does it mean to follow the Lord fully as Caleb did? How might we follow Christ fully today…?
DISCUSSION
A. WHAT IT IS TO FOLLOW THE LORD FULLY
1. To Follow the Lord Fully is to Follow Jesus All Our Days…
a. Such was the case with Caleb
1) He followed the Lord in the wilderness
2) He followed the Lord in land of Canaan, 45 years later – Joshua 14:8-10
b. Yet many do not
1) Like Lot’s wife, they turn back (Gen. 19:26)
2) Like the Galatians, they are easily bewitched – led away by false teachers (Gal 3:1)
c. What of us who follow Jesus today?
1) Shouldn’t we follow Him in our youth? – 1 Timothy 4:12
2) Shouldn’t we follow Him in our old age? – Psalm 92:12-15
d. Shouldn’t we follow Jesus like Caleb followed the Lord, all the days of our life?
2. To Follow the Lord Fully is to Follow Jesus With All Our Heart…
a. Caleb followed the Lord “fully”, “wholly”
1) That is, with his whole heart
2) Caleb was the perfect role model for keeping “the greatest commandment” – Matthew 22:36-38
b. Sadly, many try to serve the Lord with divided hearts
1) Like Solomon, who was influenced by his foreign wives – 1 Kings 11:4
2) Like those in James’ epistle, seeking to be friends with the world – James 4:4
c. What of us who follow Jesus today?
1) Shouldn’t we follow Him with all our heart? – John 14:15
2) Shouldn’t we follow Him with undivided affection? – 1 John 2:15-17
d. Shouldn’t we follow Jesus like Caleb followed the Lord, with all our hearts?
3. To Follow Jesus Fully is to Follow Jesus Despite The Hazards…
a. Caleb followed the Lord despite the dangers
1) He was willing to face the giants in the land (Num. 13:33)
2) He was willing to face the wrath of his brethren, they wanted to stone Caleb – (Num. 14:10)
3) He was willing to take a mountain from the giants in his old age – (Jos. 14:10-12)
b. Many will serve the Lord only when it is convenient
1) When it is popular, like the crowds who followed Jesus
2) When it is safe, like Peter before confronted by the maiden (Mat. 26:69-70)
c. What of us who follow Jesus today?
1) Shall we follow Him only when convenient?
2) Shall we follow Him despite ridicule, persecution, dangers? – Matthew 5:10-12
d. Shouldn’t we follow Jesus like Caleb followed the Lord, despite the hazards?
4. Certainly the commitment of Caleb to his Lord is commendable.
a. How was he able to be so committed?
b. How might we be so enabled?
B. HOW WE ARE ENABLED TO FOLLOW THE LORD FULLY
1. We are Enabled to Follow Jesus Fully By Keeping Our Eye On Him…
a. Caleb’s faith was in the Lord, not himself
1) He was confident they could take the land – “we are well able” (Num. 13:30)
2) But that was because he knew the Lord would be with them – “the Lord is with us” (Num. 14:6-9)
3) Thus his eye was on the Lord!
b. So we need to keep our eye on Jesus – Hebrews 12:1-4
1) Looking unto Him as the founder (author) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith
2) Considering the hostility He endured, knowing the Father will help us as He helped Him to endure
c. Shouldn’t we look to the Lord for our inspiration and confidence, like Caleb did?
2. We are Enabled to Follow Jesus Fully By Having A Different Spirit…
a. Caleb was noted for a having a different spirit (Num. 14:24)
1) Different than the spirit in the other ten spies, who were defeatists (Num. 13:31)
2) Different than the spirit in the rest of Israel, who complained (Num. 14:1-2)
b. We can be strengthened by a different spirit
1) Certainly the spirit of a positive attitude will help – Philippians 4:13
2) How much more so, with the Spirit of God helping us!
a) Romans 8:12-13
b) Ephesians 3:16 … How does this take place? Through the word of God – the Spirit’s sword
c. Shouldn’t we have a “can do” attitude, knowing we are clothed in the strength of God’s might? – Ephesians 6:10-13
3. Finally, let us seek to discern to glean from the example of Caleb…
C. MOTIVATION TO FOLLOW THE LORD FULLY
1. We Should Be Motivated To Follow The Lord Wholly Because It Leads To A Useful Life…
a. Consider how God was able to use Caleb:
1) As a leader in Israel (Num. 13:2, 6; 34:18-19)
2) As a servant of God, first to spy out the land, then to divide it (Num. 14:24a)
3) As an example of faith and courage (Num. 13:30; 14:8-9)
4) As a reminder of God’s justice (Num. 14:29-30)
5) As an inspiration of service, even in old age (Jos. 14:6-12)
b. How useful will we be, if we follow Jesus fully?
1) We can be an example in youth – 1 Timothy 4:12
2) We can be useful to the Master – 2 Timothy 2:20-21
c. Don’t we want to be useful to Jesus?
2. We Should Be Motivated To Follow The Lord Wholly Because It Leads To A Fulfilled Life…
a. Consider how Caleb was fulfilled in life:
1) Only he and Joshua were blessed to enter Canaan (Deut. 1:35-36)
2) He received the land around Hebron as an inheritance (Jos. 14:6-14; 21:12)
3) His land had rest from war (Jos. 14:15)
b. What kind of fulfilled life does Jesus offer those who follow Him fully today?
1) One that experiences love which passes knowledge – Ephesians 3:19
2) One that experiences peace which surpasses understanding – Philippians 4:7
3) One that experiences joy inexpressible – 1 Peter 1:8
4) One in which our daily needs are provided – Matthew 6:33
c. Don’t we want to have a fulfilled life?
CONCLUSION
A. Let the example of Caleb inspire you to follow the Lord fully in your life…
1. To follow Jesus all the days of your life
2. To follow Jesus with all your heart
3. To follow Jesus despite the hazards
B. Shouldn’t we, like Caleb, follow the Lord fully so we too may…
1. Have a useful life in service to the Lord?
2. Have a fulfilled life that is blessed by the Lord?
C. Don’t forget – Caleb and Joshua were the only two (out of 603,550 men) who survived the forty years of wilderness wanderings and entered the promised land (Num. 32:10-13).
1. Their brethren did not enter Canaan, for as the Lord said of them “they have not fully followed me”
2. How are we following the Lord? Like Caleb? Or like those who died in the wilderness…?

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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