It is Decision Time





(Joshua 24:14-15, Pas. Baines, Jr. 7/2017)

Introduction: In this last chapter of Joshua, he summons all of God’s people together to give them some reminders. Essentially, Joshua calls the people to make a decision about serving the false gods of their day or the true God who has been so good to them. He announces that he and his household will serve the true God.

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Key Points:

1. God has been good to each of us. Notice in vss. 1-13 that God had been mighty good to His people during Joshua’s time. In like manner, God has been mighty good to each of us.

While some may have a paid for home, nice cars, and travel regularly, there are also blessings in having any safe and decent place to stay, having bus far and/or healthy feet, and being able to enjoy the Ohio river, sunsets, and the four seasons of our area.

You may not have the best health, relationships, or contribution of service. But you are blessed that things are as well as they are. Our greatest blessings are salvation and our mindsets (see Jn. 3:16: I Thes. 4:17; Gal. 5:22-23).

With the right mindset, we can enjoy rainy days. But with the wrong mindset, we will find something to complain about even when the sun is shining and it is 72 degrees outside. Let’s be mindful of God’s goodness towards us.  

2. God is the hero of our history. Notice in vss. 1-13 that Joshua highlights God being the hero of the Israelites’ history. Our discussion notes remind us that, God is the hero of our histories as well.

If God punished us every time we sinned or only blessed us when we deserved it, we would have so much less than we have, and many of us would not even be alive. Our testimonies are not about how good we have been but how good God has been to us, despite us (see Ps. 90:1b).

What made the good old days so “good” was the goodness of the Lord, not the goodness of the people. God is still good and promises to be the same tomorrow.

Let’s live like God is the hero of our history. This kind of thinking helps us look forward to what God will do through us, instead of just backwards at what we used to do.

3. Lip service commitment. Notice in vs. 16 that Joshua calls for a public commitment by all of the people of God. We should have a commitment that is not only personal and private but public also.

As members of the same body, we owe one another a certain level of transparency and dedication to the parts that we play in the body. Those in chapter 1 may get a pass, but those in chapter 24 should be quick to at least say that “I will serve the Lord.”

Unfortunately, too many are not making public commitments to serve the Lord. Let’s work on our public commitments to serve the Lord.

4. Real commitment. Notice in vss. 19-23 of our discussion notes text, that Joshua calls for the people to show real commitment by getting rid of their idols. God doesn’t want us to just sing songs about how we surrender all to Him. He wants us to actually surrender (see Jm. 2:17).

When you think about the work that you give to your personal stewardship and doing your part in the body of Christ, is there enough evidence to support that you are really committed to God? Let’s work on demonstrating that we are really committed to God.

5. Repentance. Notice that passages like I John 1:9 teaches that we can repent of our sins. We don’t need to explain, nor do we have to rebel against God. Too many behave as if they want God to change the rules for them, instead of seeking God’s empowerment to live up to His expectations.

Don’t be like the people in Ezekiel 3:5-7. Let’s work on repenting, instead of rebelling against God’s will.

6. Bring your loved ones. Notice in vs. 15 of our discussion notes text, that Joshua talks about he and his household having already decided to serve the Lord. On one hand, we cannot control our spouses, children, and loved ones. But on the other hand, we should do all that we can to get them to serve the Lord.

The way we live our lives is already preaching a sermon. Complaining and half stepping kills a good sermon. But serving with a positive attitude is so much more attractive. Picture those who will be at your funeral but are not serving the Lord right now.

Make it your ministry to reach out to them about how you really want them to get right and tight with the Lord, while you can still see it. Let’s work on bringing our loved ones to the Lord.

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