God had just enumerated for the Israelites all that he had done for them from the time of Abraham all the way through their deliverance from slavery in Egypt up to the time they entered into the Promised Land. He said that he gave them land on which they had not labored and cities that they had not built, and they dwelled in them, and they ate of their fruit.
That sounds a lot like our salvation. We did nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. Jesus did it all for us. He died for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. Even the faith to believe in Jesus is a gift from God and not of ourselves, which is why such faith will lead us to repent of our sins and to follow Jesus in obedience.
Joshua 24:14-15 ESV
“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in 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.”
Don’t Get Lazy
God did not deliver the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt and then take them into the Promised Land so that they could get lazy and just do whatever they wanted. And we are not saved from our sins just so we can go to heaven one day when we die so that we can take it easy from now on. We are saved for a purpose and God saved them for a purpose, too.
And that purpose was and is that we might fear the Lord God and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness and that we might put away all other gods from our lives. For Jesus died on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now honor God with our lives. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.
We are to give our lives to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our acceptable service of worship to him. And we are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in the renewing of our minds so that we can discern what the will of God is, his good and perfect will for us.
For, to fear God is to honor him with our lives. It is to worship him by giving our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him. It is to revere him and to obey him and his commands, and to follow him wherever he leads us. And it is to no longer live in addiction to sin, but it is now to live like those who have been delivered from our slavery to sin.
And we are to serve the Lord with our lives, going wherever he sends us, doing what he calls us to do, and saying what he wants us to say. And we are to do this in all sincerity and not in fakery, for there are many who fake it but who are still living for the pleasure of self. And we are to serve him faithfully, not vacillating back and forth with regard to serving him or not.
Put away other gods
We can’t worship the gods of this world and worship God at the same time. And “other gods” may include national pride, love and devotion to country and to government, looking to politicians, or to our military, or to medicines, or to particular events to “save us”. Jesus has to be our only Savior. We can’t look to humans or to the things of this world to save us from anything.
We are also not to look to the pleasures of this world to rescue us from our problems, to give us an escape from things we may not want to face. God did not rescue us from our bondage to sin so that we would fall into bondage to idolatry, making the things of this world our “gods.” And these gods may include entertainment: such as movies, secular music, and video games, etc.
For, Jesus Christ is to be Lord (owner-master) of our lives. He is the one to direct our steps, to show us the way we should walk in. He is the one who gifts us and who calls us to particular areas of ministry, and he is the one who has a plan for our lives that we are to do in his power and strength. So, we need to surrender our lives to him and follow him wherever he leads.
We need to let the Lord show us what things are not pleasing to him, and what things he wants put away from our lives. For we are to live holy lives, separate (unlike, different) from the world. There should be an obvious distinction between Christians and non-Christians, but there doesn’t seem to be much of that anymore, at least not here in America.
Too many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are blending right in with the culture of today and they are doing the same kinds of things that the ungodly are doing. They watch the same filth on TV or on computer screens, they have the same conversations, they are addicted to sexual immorality (this is HUGE), and they make excuses for why they are not free.
Choose This Day
So, the Lord is presenting a challenge here. He will not force himself upon us. We must choose who we are going to serve, either him or the world and the flesh, for we can’t do both. We can’t serve (worship) God and the things and people of this world, too. We can’t obey the Lord Jesus and obey sin. For we are slaves of the one we obey, and if sin, it ends in death, not life.
So, we must choose. For, if we continue to make sin our idol, and we continue to deliberately give sin our worship and devotion, and not God, it will end in death. If self is our idol, and pleasing self gets top billing over obedience to the Lord Jesus, that ends in death. And one day we are all going to stand before God and he will judge us by our works.
So, we need to be those who choose to serve the Lord Jesus, who choose to make him the Lord (owner-master) of our lives, to go where he sends us, to do what he commands, and to say whatever he gives us to say, even if people hate and reject us in return. And our Lord will be our strength and our support. He will help us. And we will rejoice that we chose HIM.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]
Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton
I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son
I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
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