Joshua 24:14-15

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“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Israel marched with Joshua from the eastern side of the Jordan river, through it, over Jericho and Ai, and throughout all of Canaan. Seven years of war and twenty-three years of settling into the land have taken place. Walls have fallen; alters have been built; the sun stood still; cities were constructed, and civil war was narrowly averted. Now at approximately 110 years of age and about to pass on to his heavenly reward, Joshua gathers all Israel and their leaders at Shechem for his final words to them.
After the time of Moses' death, he left all of Israel in the hand of Joshua, the great war hero who led many battles to get them to where they are. At the time of this verse, Joshua is an older man now. Israel was no longer at war. In that time of peace, Joshua could see a change in the people's worship; they were starting to form themselves gods to worship rather than The LORD GOD. It is amazing when someone is at war or in a life or death situation they are in constant communication with God but as soon as peace comes we turn to our ideals. There is a saying out there and it goes “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”
Joshua was a strong man. But the people of Israel had forgotten what God had done for them in the wilderness and Egipt. So Joshua is not necessarily giving them a choice but instead reminding them exactly what God had done for them. Then by showing his devotion to God by saying one of the most famous statements in scripture “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Now how do we serve the Lord? Joshua gives us good instruction on how we are to serve the Lord. in verse 14

POINT 1 fear the Lord

Verse 14 starts by saying “Now, therefore, fear the LORD. We see many times in the bible that it tells us to fear the Lord.
PROVERBS 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
PROVERBS 3:7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
PSALM 2:11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
PSALM 22:23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
Generations of time have passed and we steal, see the same teaching, fear the Lord serve, and worship him. How many people in this room can say that the world has lost that fear? I'll tell you the world has lost that fear many many times,
and it's up to the followers of the triune God to bring that fear back to the people of the world. By reminding everyone including ourselves that God is the creator of everything and has provided us with eternal life if we choose to take it. Why should we fear God? because he is the giver of life and the giver of Death. The bible says “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” God is a loving God, however, we must not forget that he is a just God.

POINT 2 Ideals

“Put away the gods that your fathers served. Joshua tells his people to but up your ideas and throws them out; they are useless to worship. What have they done for you that God has not. Now I know what someone is thinking. I'm glad that there are no ideals for me to worship. Don't count your chickens before they hatch. An ideal is something that we focus more on than God. we shouldn't think that we don't have as many ideals as the Israelites did, we should be scared because we have even more. What do we call that little box that we keep in our living room? A TV that right there has an endless supply of ideas: movie stars music stars sports stars. I won't lie, I have cut my self spending more time on the TV then I am doing God's work. That's when I have to take a step back and remember who gave me the time that I have. Another big ideal today and even back in Christ time is money there is a very famous saying that shows without a doubt that people have placed it higher than God. MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND. Last I checked God is the one to set the world in motion. Jesus makes Joshua's statement even clearer when he said in Matthew 6-24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” So what do we do to put our focus back on God, spend less time memorizing player stats and more time memorizing God's word, spend less time in front of a screen and more time in prayer, remembering what God has done for you when you choose to follow him. At my house, we do not have cable so my wife and I find ourselves on youtube from time to time.
There was a certain show that we would watch; it was one of the very few family-friendly shows out there. The two men that hosted the show were from North Carolina and would talk occasionally about their southern baptist background. They were humerus and would do random stuff that most would find funny. However, around the first of the year, they came out and said that they had renounced their faith and have chosen to turn away from God. one of the men stated that he could not stand the idea of himself being involved with a faith that calls members of the LGBTQ sinners and refuses to support their identity choice. The other man was asked if he was afraid to go to hell? He stated that he has found no scientific proof that there is a hell and has no fear whatsoever. They made their diction to follow their understandings. And both of them have edited that they are suffering from depression and have had to attend marital counseling. As a result of their diction, It is a very sad thing to watch someone make that diction to turn from God.
Another example that I can think of is that of a creat evangelist said to be one of the best in the world it was him that laid the foundation for Billy Graham and his amazing courier his name was Charles Tempeltoin he was one of the best and partnered with billy they word the Batman and Robben of the crusade world. But after watching a documentary on what to place in Auschwitz, he could not see how a loving God would allow his people to be killed like they were and he renounced his faith. MR Graham said that after what had happened to his good friend he started to pray to God and said to God I may not have all the answers and I may never will but God I will go where you want me to go and do what you want me to do. Both men had made their final decisions. Mr. Tempelton Died an atheist at the age of 85 in Toronto Canada and Mr. Graham even at the age of 99 years old his mind was still 100% focused on God.


Now that we are focusing on the fear of God, and have put our ideals away, it's time for us to serve the Lord here is where our choices come. Are we going to choose to follow the path that God has for us or are we going to choose to follow the ideals that we have made for ourselves? It is time to choose Joshua said in verse 15 “choose this day whom you will serve,” Joshua is stressing about choosing right here right now because we do not new what will happen in the next year, or 6 months, we have no idea what will happen as soon as we exit this building This is a decision that will have a lasting effect in our life so we must choose. I tell you if I had any doubt about where I would go when I died you couldn't get me out of this building until I was saved by the blood of Christ.
Throughout the bible men of God have preached about making a choice to serve God Moses before his death told his people In Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,”
Moses was concerned about this decision because it is one of life and death heaven or hell. And wants us to be aware of the consequences of this decision.
Not only has Moses, and Joshua told us to choose but also Elijah as well. in 1 Kings 18:21 it says And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follows him.” And the people did not answer him a word.
100s of years separating the words said by all three of these men and after all that time they all ring the same message: choose immediately who you will serve, stop limping between beliefs and choose. Do not just say nothing, choose this day whom you will serve.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”
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