Friday, February 16, 2024

After The Message - The Way of Devotion

 Friday, February 16, 2024

Therefore, fear the Lord and worship him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt and worship the Lord. But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship—the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord. Joshua 24:14-15 CSB

After The Message - Joshua 24

In Joshua 24, Joshua gathers all the elders of Israel, their heads, judges, and officers at Shechem. He reminds them of God’s deliverance when they were in slavery, their commitment to serve God, and warns them against abandoning God and serving other gods. It is a farewell address and final charge as the chapter concludes with Joshua’s death and burial.  

What was Joshua’s challenge to Israel? 

Joshua reminds Israel of their forefather’s idolatry and all the ways God has been faithful to them from the beginning. He led them out of slavery and was faithful in the wilderness. He delivered on the promised land. He led them to many victories. Joshua challenges the Israelites to serve the Lord and get rid of all their ancestral idols and stresses the importance of the commitment they were making. 

How did they respond? 

So the people said to Joshua, “We will worship the Lord our God and obey him.” Matthew 5:24

The people proclaimed they would serve the LORD only. Joshua warned them against what would happen if they said they would worship and obey the Lord but kept some of the other gods and worshipped them. He assured them that if they abandoned God He would turn against them, harm them, and completely destroy them. 

Joshua then made a covenant with the people that day, setting up a statute as a reminder in Shechem.

Who or what will you devote your life to following today?  

Think of all you have been through – all that God has done for you. Would you think of being devoted to something or someone over Him? Sometimes we don’t realize how much we love other things or people over Him. You can tell if you look at what you spend your time on, your money on, and your thoughts on. 

Our God is a faithful, promise keeping God who is the holy King of Kings. He wants first place in our hearts, and He is a jealous God. He does not tolerate idols. It is important that we remember His faithfulness to our own lives as well as in all times. Who we worship, love, and adore is a choice. Who or what we seat on the throne of our hearts is a choice as well.  Living the Jesus Way is not a momentary decision, but a lifelong commitment, which calls for our complete obedience.

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