May 1 – Today’s Readings – Joshua 22-24 and Psalms 121
What a powerful ending to the Book of Joshua – Verse 15 reads, “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, 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 is truly a pivotal portion of Scripture, not only because of its simplicity, but also because of the word “choose”. Throughout the ages, the answer for mankind’s ills has remained the same. We all have a choice to make when it comes to God’s gift of life – Jesus. Here’s how Mark 1:14-18 reads; “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’ As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”
Our eternal destiny is wrapped up in one simple choice – Jesus. Our earthly destiny too is often just as simple as the choices we make concerning our attitudes – concerning our friends – concerning our habits – concerning our obedience to the words “come follow”. God does everything when it comes to our salvation and sanctification. He provided Jesus, the Lamb of God – He pours his grace on us, giving us the call and desire to repent – He then baptizes us in the Holy Spirit so that we are free from sin and powerful against the enemy. The only thing required of us is our response – and who wouldn’t respond to a love like this? Yet some people chose to go the way of the world despite the wonderful news of the Kingdom of God. There is one simple after-thought that I want to share with you about “following Jesus”. This decision must be made every day – it is not a once in a lifetime or even a once a week thing. We will never become genuine unless our decision is a daily one.
The “gods” of this world lead us to slavery and defeat. There is no future for the godless. Only in Christ is our future made sure – only in Christ is our every-day life abundant.
For interest’s sake, re-read Vs. 31 of Chapter 24, “Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the LORD had done for Israel.” – (and after that everything fell apart!) It is crucial that we heed the admonition to teach our children the ways of God and to lead them to a genuine encounter with the master. Our Sunday school, our kids programs, good parenting, proper schooling – these are all critical factors in play for the upbringing of our children. However, the next generation must not derive their spirituality from experiences of their elders alone. Rather, each new generation must KNOW the Lord intimately, experientially, and daily.
1. What spiritual strength can we glean from the faith of our forefathers?
2. Give an example of another spiritual leader from the pages of the Bible who did a good job of passing “the torch” to the next generation.