By David Freeman
Calvary Baptist Church
There are different times that we experience throughout our lives. There are exciting times, times of peace, times of hope, and times of blessings.
There are also dangerous times when people forget there they came from, when we forget what the Lord has done, when people adopt idolatrous religions, and when people enter a state of complacency. We can make up our minds to enter better times in our lives.
Joshua stands for the last time! God wants His people to be dedicated to Him and His work. Today, our church is the Laodicea church (Joshua 3:14-22); we have everything except the presence, power, and glory of God.
You must make up your mind about who you will serve. Who has your love, your worship, your obedience? Does God Almighty or do the desires of this life capture you mind?
There is a time in our lives for contemplation (vs. 1-13). We need to remember where we came from. We need to contemplate God’s power in our lives. The people were redeemed and delivered from Egypt. The victory had been won because God worked in their lives.
We need to remember the times that God has delivered us as well. We need to contemplate God’s presence in our lives. God was with them in everything they faced. Hebrews 13:5 tells us that He will never leave us, nor forsake us.
We must contemplate God’s provisions. God provided them with cities they did not build and vineyards they did not plant. He provides us with things we simply do not deserve.
In life, there is also a time of confrontation. In verse 14, we find a three-fold command. We are to fear the Lord, put away other gods, and serve the Lord. We are to reverence and honor Him and who He is. He deserves to be love and respected by those He has redeemed. Put away other gods, anything in your life that comes ahead of God. Serve God with sincerity. We are to be sold out to God, and fulfill the role of His slave. We should serve Him completely and wholeheartedly with integrity.
We all have a choice. Verse 12 tells us that we can’t serve both. We have to get off the fence and choose which way to follow. God can and will be there when nothing else can be. Verse 15 issues us a challenge. Joshua set an example for us to follow. We need men and women who will do the same thing as Joshua. They will not justify slackness. They will have backbones of steel like Daniel, Ruth, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Paul, and Jesus.
There is also a time of consideration. The people considered what the Lord has done for them in verses 16-18. We are only good when we choose to be good. Does God have to compete for our time, attention, money, love? Sadly, we see this every Sunday in our churches. The people around us are not steadfast like they once were. We have to have resolves to be successful in the Christian faith.
Joshua reminded the people that if you choose poorly, you will pay the consequences. In verses 19-23, there is a stern warning. There are eye-opening verses in Hebrews 12:6-7: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
Galatians 6:7 tells us: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
The reaction of the people comes in verses 24-28. The people set out in a steadfast manner to do the will of God. We seem to set out to do the desire of God, but then we are so easily sidetracked. Hebrews tells us to set aside the sin and weight which so easily beset us.
Let’s make a marker or repent of our sin. I John 1:9 tells us: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We need to decide, like Joshua, that as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.