Is Serving the Lord Undesirable to You?

Joshua 24:14-15 NIV

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

This 24th chapter in Joshua recounts for the Israelites of that time all the many ways in which God had watched over them and their ancestors, over many years, and how he had provided for them, and how he had rescued them more than once, and how he had fought for them, and how he had given their enemies over to them. And then it recounts how God gave them a land on which they had not labored, and cities that they had not built, and how they were then dwelling in them, and how they were eating the fruit of the vineyards and olive orchards that they did not plant.

The Parallels

And as I read this I could not help but recall all the things that God/Jesus did for us. For Jesus Christ, who is God (the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), left his throne in heaven, came to earth, and was born as a human baby to a human mother. But he was conceived of the Holy Spirit, so God the Father was his birth father. And he grew to be a man, yet he was still fully God, and at around age 30 he began his years of earthly ministry, with 12 chosen disciples by his side.

While he was still on the earth, during his three years of public ministry, he healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, drove demons out of people, performed all kinds of miracles, fed the hungry miraculously, and he preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and he taught obedience to him and to God the Father for salvation from sin and for eternal life with him. But he was hated and persecuted by most of the Jews, especially by those in positions of power and rule and authority.

So, they plotted and carried out his crucifixion on a cross, although he had done no wrong, but only good. But this was God’s plan that Jesus should die on that cross, for in his death, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. For he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we might live for him and no longer for ourselves. So, when he died our sins died with him so that we can now die with him to sin and live to his righteousness.

All is From God

Now we did nothing to bring this about. For in our flesh we can do nothing to be approved and accepted by God. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father draws us to Christ. And the faith required of us to have salvation from sin comes from God and it is gifted to us by God, and it is not of our own doing. So we can’t even decide what this faith should look like. Only God defines what this faith should look like, and his word teaches that it involves us dying with Christ to sin daily, denying self, and following Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands (New Covenant).

So, now that Jesus Christ has provided the way for us to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God, via his death and resurrection, we are to surrender our lives to him, die with him to sin, and live to his righteousness, in the power of God. And we are to fear God and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. And this is what the New Testament teaches, too. And we are to put away any gods that we might be bowing down to, which can be possessions, money, status, popularity, acceptance of other humans, intelligence, talent, giftedness, other humans, entertainment, and sinful and addictive practices, etc.

And then we are to serve the Lord with our lives, meaning that we now belong to God, we are his possession, he owns us, and we are his servants here to do his bidding. Our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want, but now we are to live as slaves to God and to his righteousness. We are to walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, and we are to forsake our sins and follow Jesus in obedience. For if sin is what we obey, and not obedience to God, then it will result in death, not in life everlasting with God.

Now, it appears that not all the Israelites were on board with Joshua and with what he was saying, just as there are many people today professing faith in Jesus Christ, but it is lip service only, because they are still the ones in control over their own lives, and they are still living according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit. And so the counsel here is the same as it was then. If it is undesirable in your eyes to serve the Lord, then choose who you will serve, but please know the consequences of wrong choices. For if sin is what we obey, and not God, we will not inherit eternal life with God.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Follow Him

An Original Work / February 21, 2013
Based off Luke 9:22-25

Jesus, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross.

Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself and follow.
He must take up his cross daily;
Die to sin and self each day.

Father, God above,
Loved us so: gave His Son.

If you want to save your old life;
Keep on sinning, follow your ways,
You will lose your life forever;
Hope of heaven gone away.

Spirit of our God
Gives us life in God’s Son.

Nonetheless, if you die to self;
Forsake your sin; follow Jesus,
You will live with God in heaven,
And forever praise His name!

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