Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve, But As For Me And My House We Will  by Ed Pruitt

Joshua 24:14-24

Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve,
But As For Me And My House We Will Serve The Lord

SUNDAY AM 11/28/1999

Joshua 24:14-24
14 “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the Gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD!

15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the Gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the Gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

16 So the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other Gods;

17 “for the LORD our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed.

18 “And the LORD drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve the LORD, for He is our God.”

19 But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the LORD, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
20 “If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign Gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.”

21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the LORD!”

22 So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD for yourselves, to serve Him.” And they said, “We are witnesses!”

23 “Now therefore,” he said, “put away the foreign Gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD God of Israel.”

24 And the people said to Joshua, “The LORD our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!”

LET US BOW OUR HEADS

A man who owned a large manufacturing company visited a great city church during a business trip.

After the service he congratulated the minister on his service and sermon.

"But," said the manufacturer, "if you were my salesman, I’d discharge you.

And of course that raised a few questions from the Pastor.
You got my attention by your appearance, voice, and manner.

Your prayer, reading, and logical discourse aroused my interest.

You warmed my heart with a desire for what you preached.

And then you stopped without asking me to do something about it.

In business the important thing is to get them to sign on the dotted line."

There far too many preachers this day and age that too often fail just here.

Why you might ask?

They don’t want to cause an up roar in the church.

They don’t want to step on any toes.

So they will just sugar coat their words and make the people feel that as long as they come to church and pay their money everything will be all right.

My friends, I am hear to tell you this morning that the time has come for all men of God to ask the same question that Joshua asked!

In the words of Joshua they must say to their hearts, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve".

The words of our text today are the words of a great leader, Joshua.

For many years he had led the children of Israel, and under his hand God had given them possession of the land of Canaan.

He had faithfully directed their activities, and had been like a father to them.

Now his work was over, and God was calling him up higher.

He talks to the people about whom they are to serve, then he utters those immortal words.

“ Choose you this day whom ye will serve,
but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”

The people replied by promising to serve the God of heaven and obey his voice forever.

Let us turn to Acts 5:29

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.

Matthew 6:24
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Daily, we are always serving some God.

We might think that we are free creatures, but we are not.

There are many that say, we will have no God to rule over us.

But, all of us are ruled by one God or another like it or not.

Let us ask a few great men what God they served.

Alexander the great, what God did you serve?
“I served the God of military power and conquest he answered.”

Plato what God did you serve?

“ I served the God of knowledge.”

I tried to go deeper and learn more than any other man”

Edison, what God did you serve?

“I served the God of science and invention.

I kept busy night and day trying to learn more new things in the kingdom of science”

I ask a great artist the same question and he answers, I served the God of beauty.

I worshipped at his shrine.
I put the question to some great scholar and he answers I served the God of wisdom.

Then I put the same question to David and Moses and Paul and they answered as one,

“ We served the God heaven, the one who existed before all else, the one who created the worlds,
The one who holds all power in his hands,

The one who has lived forever and who shall live forever, the king of kings and the lord of lords.

Now I ask all of you the same question.

You are going to serve some God,

What God shall rule over you?

Some serve the God of material things

The correct translation of 1 Timothy 6:10
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Matthew 16:26
26 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Because of the love of money men break God’s holy laws and desecrate God’s holy day.

It is perfectly all right to make money.
To make as much as you can if you make it honestly and rightly and use it in the right way.

But don’t let it be your God, don’t let it come before everything else, and do not let it come before you and God.

There was a day when every Christian closed his business on Sunday.

Today it is in many cases his biggest day.

Something tragic has happened in a mans soul when Sunday is like any other day.

God has promised to care for us if we obey him and serve him as we should.

If you will trust in him he will never let you down.

Let’s make a little test.

On Sunday you have the choice of making $50.00 or going to Sunday school and church.

What choice will you make?

Careful now, this is a real test of your Christianity.

This is not only a test of your Christianity but it is also a test of your faith.

And remember this God works best in the impossible.

But save yourself a lot of heart ache and go to God first and forget the world and it’s ways.

A certain man was dying and he kept his right hand under the bed covering.

His wife tried to pull it out but he stubbornly held his hand down.

When he did die they found a gold coin in that hand. even in death money was his God.

How pitiful!

Some serve the God of pleasure

2 timothy 3:1-5

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

2 for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,

4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

5 having a form of Godliness but denying its power. and from such people turn away!

If there ever was a land that was pleasure mad, that land is America.

Everything seems to be catering to the satisfaction of our senses, every night must be given over to pleasure of some kind.

On God’s day the places of amusements and sports have their largest crowds.

A certain amount of pleasure is reasonable and natural, but pleasure ought not be our God.

In a certain town there was a factory that manufactured artificial flowers.

A number of girls worked there, the wages were good and the work was pleasant.
However one of the girls became ill and soon died.

They did not know what had caused her death.

Later another girl got sick and died.

Upon a through investigation they found that the coloring that was used in the flowers contained a deadly poison.

The girls inhaled this poison and it caused their death.

Some of the pleasures of this old world are like that.

They bring satisfaction for a little while but they are deadly.

They start to get into your system just like that poison got into the women’s system’s.

It can take you to your death.

Look at the number of people that has gone to there death by drinking while driving, or worse yet the number of people that have died because of someone else’s drinking.

Look at the number of people that have died of cancer because of the pleasure of smoking.

Look at the number of people that take drugs, and look at the number of people that suffer because of family members taking drugs.

Look at the number of strangers that suffer because of people taking drugs.

Look at the number of children that suffer because of parents that take drugs.

How do they suffer?

There are children that are starving in homes because all of the money go’s for drugs.

There are children that are suffering because they don’t get the proper medical attention, the proper clothes, the proper family life.

The list go’s on and on.

The pleasures of this world can take you to your doom.

I do not condemn pleasure’s that lift up and make life sweeter and better.

They have there place in life.

But I am saying that pleasure is not to be our God and further more we won’t worship worldly pleasure if we are real Christians.

The trouble with so many is that they have lost there sense of sin.

All of the attractive advertising makes us think that worldly indulgence is perfectly all right.
The things that were once shunned by church members are now done openly.

You say everybody’s doing it but that doesn’t make it right for you.
We must not serve the God of pleasure.

Some serve the God of health

Health is a blessing from God.

A strong body is indeed a good thing.

But some people put health and exercise before God.

They say, I work hard during the week.

I need to get outdoors and get some recreation and exercise on Sunday it’s the only day of the week that I can do it.

So you will hear every excuse in the book when you ask some people to come to church.

But try asking them to go with you to the lake or to play a game of tennis or to go to the golf course and see there answer, anywhere except to the house of God.

Save your Sunday’s for the great things of the soul!

If you feel that you need exercise then you need it a few minutes every evening and not all day on Sunday that my friend is not the proper way to exercise.

Some serve the God of home and family

Matthew 10:32-39
32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.

33 “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

35 “For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’;

36 “and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

39 “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

What the scripture is telling us here is that we can never put family members before God.

There is a lot of time that a family member that is not saved will try to keep you out of the house of the lord.

And we must always put God first, God said that he is a jealous God and will have no other God’s before him.

Let’s look in the book of Exodus

Exodus 20:1-6
And God spoke all these words, saying:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 “You shall have no other Gods before Me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Deuteronomy 32:21
21 They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God;
They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols.
But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation;
I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.

God has to be first in all of our lives and he will not take second place and after all why should he.

The most important thing for you and your family is to stand for Christ and be faithful to him.

Anything that keeps you from doing that is wrong.
some believe that education and social position and “ keeping up with the Joneses “ are the most important things in life.

Are they ever wrong.
The main thing in life is your salvation and the salvation of all of your family members.

Some serve the God of society

It is normal for everyone to have some social life because we are social beings and no one cares for a recluse, or a hermit.

Our social life should be the kind that uplifts.

That enlarges life, that swells the heart with joy and brings the finest fellowship.

That brings no pangs of conscience.

No bad after-effects and no headaches the morning after.

There is another kind of social life.

It is artificial.

It is opposed to Christian consecration, it draws away from God and his church.

It leaves a bad taste in the mouth and brings no permanent joy.

Lets look at what it tells us in

Romans 13:13-14
13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

And again
Ephesians 5:15-21
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Time is a great gift of God.

How do you use it?

It can be used to bring joy to others and glory to God or it can be wasted on those things that benefit no one.

Who means the most to the world?

The one who serves society and gets their name in the social columns, or the one who faithfully serves God and others?

We should serve the God of heaven

We should serve him because he is the true God.

He is the one who deserves our service.

The one most high and holy.

The one above all others.

He is our master and we are his servants.

Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price.

Think of what he has done for you.

If anyone deserves your best he is the one.

There have been blessings all along the way.

His mercy’s are new every morning.

We should serve him because his service is more satisfying.

Bramwell Booth, the great Salvation Army man, was on a train with sir Cecil Rhodes.

He was the man who developed South Africa.

The most prominent man who ever lived there.

General Booth said to him, “are you happy?”

He replied, “I happy? no, no”

“There is only one place to find happiness,” said Booth.

“ That’s at the foot of the cross.

Only there can you find peace and joy”

“Yes I know it” said Rhodes.

“ I’d give all that I have to believe as you do”

God’s service does satisfy.

Try it and you will find it so.

Let us look in
Psalm 103:1-5
1 A Psalm of David.
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:

3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,

4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies,

5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Isaiah 58:11
11 The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Philippians 4:19
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

And God will truly be there for you and he will give you strength.

He will give you happiness.

And all of your needs and that includes y 2k!

We should serve him because there are no bad after-effects in His service.

You can serve some God’s and the time will come when you will regret it.

But not so when you serve the God almighty.

Every sinner at the end of his life regretted that he had served satan.

But not one person that has served the Lord God Almighty has ever regretted it.

I read once of a fine young church member that had lost his life in the war.

His mother was asked this question.

What was the thing that brings you the most joy when you think about your son?

And she answered, the fact that he loved God, lived a good Christian life.

And was so thoughtful of his father and mother.

When you think of a life like that, there are no regrets at the end of the way, nothing to make you sit and weep because of sin.

We should serve Him because our influence will be greater.

People see you everyday, and your Christian influence as they watch you is a blessed thing.

What is your influence in your home?

Your workplace?

Your friends?

Someday you will be gone, how will your children, your friends, the people in your workplace remember you?

Your influence doesn’t die with you, you know.

We should serve him because the results of such service are better.

If you spend your life in worldly endeavors only, the results will last but a day.

Spend that life in His service and the good results will outlast the stars.

The world may perish but your work will remain.

Give him and his church a life and you will be building with material that will last forever.

John 8:51
51 “most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word he shall never see death.”

We should serve Him because the rewards are greater in His service.

There is joy in Jesus that nothing else can give.

There are the memories that you will have in your old age.

The devil has no happy old people.

As you sit down and look back over the gallery of your life, will it be hung with pictures of a sinful life or pictures of a glorious service to God?

Then there is glory at the end of the way.

Instead of being banished from God, He will take you into His glory where you will never shed another tear.
God promises to us all the good in this world and the world to come.

He just asks us to love Him with all our hearts, then He knows we will serve Him.

Won’t you say today I forsake all other God’s and give your life to Him?

And then from this day on you will be able to say as for me and my house were gone to serve the lord!
 

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