CHOICES! To Whom Will You Serve This Day?
Please read Joshua 24:1-27
Our entire day is made up of choices. From the moment you get up in the morning, till the moment you lay down at night, you make many thousands of choices. Some of the decision you make throughout the day, you do so without giving it much thought. For example, most of us by habit when we wake up in the morning make a straight bee- line for the washroom. This is of course is a necessity as we generally have bodily needs which need attention. You do have the choice to ignore that need and by-pass the washroom and go straight to the kitchen, or out the door for that matter. You make a choice to go straight to the Java or to the porcelain bowl.
And, even upon entering the washroom you still make choices. Do you stop and look into the mirror first, or perhaps look out the window, or perhaps you may just lean on the sink for a moment trying to catch a few extra zs. Until in some case, you hear your mother calling up the stairs, hurry up, youll be late for school.
Zapped out of your moment of sleep, you move and make your choice. Turn on the shower tap, sit on the potty, or perhaps you lean over against the wall and catch a few more zs.
As the day wears on you make many more choices. Some good, some bad. Just stop for a moment and consider the thousands and millions of choices that you make daily, weekly, yearly and perhaps for a lifetime and into the future.
As you can see, life is made up of choices continually.
Listen to a little story about choices.
Two boys in Pennsylvania accepted Christ as their Lord and savior at the same time. One grew up to be a devoted, consecrated man of God, used of Him in bringing many souls into His Kingdom. The other lived an aimless, half hearted Christian life that brought little glory to God.
What was the difference between the two? One chose to live close to God, and the other chose to live a life of selfish ease.
It is in your power to choose. God has set before you, not only life and death, but also the alternative between completes abandonment to Him or a weak halfhearted allegiance.
WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE?
You may have heard it said that heredity sets the limits as to what you can do. You may have heard it said that your parents and grandparents are determiners of your future, through their genes. Or you may have read that your environment hinders you, that your situation prevents you from becoming what you would like to be. Or you may have been told, that you are the product of your glands, that your glands determines your strength, your personality, your abilities, and your whole life, physical, mental, and spiritual.
There is some truth to each and every one of these sayings. Anyone, can take anyone of these sayings, and use them as an excuse to live below the level of doing their very best, for themselves and for God. If you do not want to assume responsibility for making the most of your life, you can find plenty of excuses. There are thousands of ways you can make excuses to not do your very best.
Your parents have saved lots of money over the years for your college education. They do not pressure you to make a career choice; they leave that entirely up to you. You even throughout your grade school and high school days keep telling them, yes, I want to go to college and make something of myself. But when it comes time to go to college, you run off to a foreign country and blow all your college money on drinking and partying.
We have a Biblical example of the same thing in the Prodigal son. Luke 15:11-32.
The younger son had all he could have wanted if he would stay at home, but he chose to run away with his wealth, his inheritance, and lived the life of a partier, until all his money ran out. Then he found himself eating the grain of the pigs he fed. Fortunately this story has a happy ending. But is that the case for all such stories? Some time yes, sometimes no. It depends on the choices we make.
Looking back to the story of the two boys, the first came from a non- Christian home. (This is the one whom became a man of God.) The second boys parents and grandparents were faithful Christians. Even with this background and influence, he chose to walk an aimless, non- productive Christian life. The first lad proved that you can rise above your environment, however unfriendly it may be.
You can compensate for lacks in your constitutional powers, whatever they may be. You can rise above your environment. To you are given the privilege & the responsibility to choose what you will do with what you have with your life and with your talents.
Matthew 25:14-30 is the parable about the Talents. Many people believe this is about how we handle money. But this is not so. This parable is in part of what is described as the Olivet Discourse in which Jesus is telling people about the kingdom of heaven. The previous parable is the parable of the Ten Virgins and their oil Lamps. The message of this parable is telling us that we need to be ready, be prepared for the Lords return. In regard to the Talents, He is telling us that we will be judged with what we do with what He has given us. That is, He will judge us for the abilities He has given us. What have we done with what we are able to do, to bring glory to Him, to help bring others into His kingdom, etc?
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11 King James Bible
Your greatest enemy, you see, is not your heredity, your environment, or your glandular constitution. But, your greatest enemy is your unwillingness to make right decisions, right choices.
Look again at the passage of Joshua 24:1-27. We can clearly see that Joshua made his choice. The people around him were worshipping idols rather than God. He did not yield to the influences of his environment. We read in Joshua 24:15 Choose this day whom you will serve but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (English Standard Version 2001) Joshua faced his situation head on, with all its limitations. He chose a wholehearted allegiance to God. He chose to walk the walk, not just to talk the talk. He chose to rise above his environment.
We all know the story of Daniel, who was raised in a corrupt court of a heathen king with evil all around him. Yet Daniel did not become the victim of circumstances. We read in Daniel 1:8 He purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself. (King James Bible) He purposed therefore, to put God first in his life.
Daniel chose to make a clear and definite decision fro God, not just once and then turn his back on God, but many times, and throughout his entire life.
Unfortunately many of Daniels fellow country- men chose instead to obey the ways and customs of the heathen people around them, rather than to serve God. Many perhaps put on a show of walking with God, but they were in fact walking the fence, following the ways of the world. They followed if at all, half -heartedly.
HOW WILL YOU WALK?
Remember this. There is and will be a time of reckoning for every believer. The Judgment Seat of Christ (The Bema) We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body. 2 Cor. 5:10 King James Bible. This is not to be confused with the judgment of your sins. They have already been dealt with at the cross. Praise God!!!! Your sins no longer exist the moment you are saved, the moment you trust in God for the provision of your sins. Christs blood on the cross dealt with and paid for all your sins, past, present and future.
But, what are you doing with the gifts God has given you? Do you use them to honor Him while you are on this earthly plain? Are you a half- hearted- Christian walking about aimlessly by doing nothing for His kingdom? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Rom. 14:10 King James Bible.
It is a sure thing, that each and everyone of us will some day stand before Jesus and give account to Him what things we have done on earth for Him.
These are not my words; these are the Words of God, given us in scripture.
So then everyone of us shall give an account of himself to God. Rom. 14:12 King James Bible
This in reality is what the parable of the talents is all about. Our deeds here on earth for or not for Him, will be judged by fire. 1 Cor. 3:12-15 Your works will be tested by fire to distinguish between the durable, the perishable, the precious and the worthless.
Consider these sobering reminders of how the Lord views the careless, lazy believers. It is fool-hearted to ignore these warnings given to us in His scriptures. Note Heb. 10:30, the last line. The Lord will judge His people. (NIV) This is not about the unbelievers, for they are not His people. This is a terse statement. There can be no way to make it say anything else than what it says.
You Will Be Judged!!!
Please read further on in the next verse; Heb. 10:31. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (King James Bible)
Paul added to this warning in 2 Cor. 5:10-11. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. (King James Bible)
In other words, we can fool man, but we cannot fool God. We can pretend we are for God, but you will not fool Him.
So, How about you? Are you walking for the Lord, or are you trying to fool Him?
Will you make a weak surrender to the conditions and circumstances surrounding you? Will you submit to peer pressure? Will you do what everyone else is doing? You have the power within you to say NO You have the power with in you to use the hereditary capacities you have to make your environment a steppingstone rather than a stumbling stone. You can utilize all of whom you are. You can choose to make God; youre All in All!! You can choose to use your God given talents to your full capacities and give Him the glory. Or you can choose to waste your talents and discredit the Christian faith.
Will you choose to compromise your situation and follow half-heartedly the ways of God and thus disgrace Him, or will you choose instead to make an uncompromising stance and stand beside and follow Him whole-heartedly.
If you choose to make an uncompromising stance and follow whole-heartedly after Him, He will become your All In All with all the power and resources available at His disposal, as you unswervingly continue to seek and learn and do His will, rather than your own.
Choose Therefore This Day Whom You Will Serve.
Will you serve the world, or will you server the Lord?
There really is no in-between in the final count of things.
You are either a follower of God, or you are a follower of Baal, the devil.
Listen to this poem by John Oxenham.
To every man openeth
A Way, and Ways and a Way.
The High Soul Climbs the High way.
The Low Soul gropes the Low.
And in-between, and on the misty flats
The rest drifts to and fro.
But to every man there openeth
A High way and a Low Way.
And, every man decideth,
The Way his soul shall go.
Which Way, Which Road are you going?
Are you taking the High Way, or the Low way?
Or, perhaps you are groping in-between, walking the fence.
Maybe you are walking to and from, going neither way at all,
going nowhere in particular at all.
You have a choice to make. Which way are you going?
You have one more important choice to make before you die which will determine your eternity. Believe it or not, you will either spend eternity in Heaven, or in Hell. It is your choice to make. No one can make it for you.
Sure, you can allow your environment and your surroundings to influence your decisions. But, in the end, it is your choice to make by yourself. And you will have to answer to God. You have the choice to follow God, or not to follow God.
If the Lord be God, follow Him! But if Baal, then follow him. 1 Kings 18:21 King James Bible
Moses wrote in Deut 30:19
I have set before you life and death, blessings and cursings; therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live. (King James Bible)
My brothers, most of you have made your choices many years ago.
Will you compromise and take a chance, that what I have just said is wrong?
Perhaps I am! At which point, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain as you do.
But! If I am right, I still have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Whereas, you, if you choose to disbelieve and follow after the ways of the world and walk an aimless, half-hearted Christian life, then you gain nothing, and have everything to lose.
What Will You Choose? Whom Will You Serve?
When we are children, our parents put food in front of us to eat. We often choose to deliberately, decide we do not like it, without having first tried it, to see and decide that we do nor don not indeed like it. Sometimes we will try it, other times, we just ignore it, only later to regret our choices.
Will you regret the choice you have made about God?
So, today, I offer to you, to try Jesus Christ.
Perhaps in the past, you have made a decisive choice to reject Christ. Perhaps, today, it is time to try this food I offer up to you.
You will still have the choice afterwards too accept Him, or reject Him, once you have tried Him.
Do not, I warn you, let others influence your choice.
Do not, make a half-hearted decision.
One way or the other, the choice is up to you to make. One way or the other, the choice that you make will influence how you spend eternity.
It is your choice to make!
Do you choose life or death?
Will you chance and compromise and loose your rewards?
Will you gain or lose?
So make this day your choice. Whom will you serve?
Take a moment now with a sheet of paper and make two columns.
On one side write; Reasons Why I Should Serve the Lord.
On the other write, Reasons Why I should Serve the World.
If you find that you have more reasons to serve the world, then that is where your hearty truly is.
If on the other hand, you find more reasons to serve the Lord, then that is where you heart truly is.
If you have nearly as many reasons in one column as the other, then I suggest to you that perhaps you are walking about aimlessly, half heartedly with the Lord.
I pray that you would have far more reasons to serve the Lord, than the world. And preferably, no reasons at all to serve the world.
Father in Heaven. I come before you today, and ask that you would help me to search my heart to determine truly where my heart is. I pray Father, that you would cause a stir in the hearts of all whom would read these words, and hear it, that you would work within their hearts, to search within themselves to find whom it is that they are following.
Father, the time is short, and your time to come to receive your own is not too far off.
Father, I pray that each and every one of my brothers, be found to be searching whole-heartedly after you. To be wanting and searching for you, to do only what is pleasing to you in your eyes.
Father, I pray that each and every one would walk after you and flee away from the ways of the world.
Father I pray that each and every one would be found worthy in your sight when they stand before you, to give an account, that their works would be found worthy, to be found without dross, to be found pure as gold, that you in turn would reward them with crowns of righteousness, and that you would say to them Well done, good and faithful servant :enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
Matt. 25:21 King James Bible
Choose whom you will Follow
The moral of the story then is to follow after whichever reward you desire to receive in the end. Choose for yourself whom you will follow. Choose life or choose death. As for me and my household, I will follow the Lord.