Title of Message: Getting My House In Order
Speaker: Tyrone Jones
Text: Joshua 24:14-25
14 “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
16 The people replied, “We would never abandon the Lord and serve other gods. 17 For the Lord our God is the one who rescued us and our ancestors from slavery in the land of Egypt. He performed mighty miracles before our very eyes. As we traveled through the wilderness among our enemies, he preserved us. 18 It was the Lord who drove out the Amorites and the other nations living here in the land. So we, too, will serve the Lord, for he alone is our God.”
19 Then Joshua warned the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord, for he is a holy and jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20 If you abandon the Lord and serve other gods, he will turn against you and destroy you, even though he has been so good to you.”
21 But the people answered Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!”
22 “You are a witness to your own decision,” Joshua said. “You have chosen to serve the Lord.”
“Yes,” they replied, “we are witnesses to what we have said.”
23 “All right then,” Joshua said, “destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24 The people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God. We will obey him alone.”
25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day at Shechem, committing them to follow the decrees and regulations of the Lord.
1. Serve God exclusively
a. 14 “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
b. Making the choice to serve God exclusively means turning your heart to the true God, the God of Israel and serving no other gods.
c. Idols are objects of extreme devotion and Idolatry is the worship of something created as opposed to the worship of the Creator. The Israelites were given a stern warning to forsake idolatry.
i. The children of Israel were very familiar with idolatry because they saw it first hand when they were enslaved in Egypt. The Egyptians were an idolatrous people. Each of the ten plagues were a direct assault against the things the Egyptians had made into a god. The supreme God was making a point, that He alone was God.
d. We can make anything into an idol if we are not careful. Idols come in many forms and are not restricted to an object or statue.
i. We can make our children, our careers, our spouses, our hobbies, etc. into idols. Anything that takes the place of God in our lives is an idol!
e. God is a jealous God and he will not share his glory with no other. We must destroy every idol in our life. God wants our complete devotion.
i. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” Exodus 20:4
ii. In the New Testament, Jesus continues this warning against idolatry. He warns us not to make idols out worldly things ( Matt 6:24 “You cannot serve both God and Money”
iii. Ephesians 5:5 5 For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
f. Take some time to reflect on this point. Do you serve God exclusively or have you made other things an idol?
2. Choose Wisely
a. In life we are presented with choices and one of those choices is who we will serve. Choose wisely like Joshua and make the bold declaration as he did in verse 15, that he and his household will serve the Lord.
b. This was not just a statement for Joshua, this was the way that he lived his life. He had owned this choice!
i. When the 12 scouts were sent to spy out the land, Joshua was willing to reject the report of the majority and declare that God would give them the victory. In that moment Joshua chose to walk by faith and not by sight.
ii. Joshua was willing to embrace the call of God on his life. He served as Moses’ assistance and when it was time to become the leader of Israel, Joshua assumed that responsibility with great courage.
c. Joshua was the priest of his home and realized that his wise choice would have an impact on his family. It is important for men to lead their household well by FIRST making the wise choice to serve the Lord.
d. Do your actions reflect who you have chosen to serve?
3. Forsaking God is costly
a. God is a loving and just God, so we must remember that there are consequences if we CHOOSE not to serve him.
b. There is a huge cost if we choose to forsake God.
c. God will turn against you and destroy you (verse 20)
d. When making your choices, do you think about the fact that there is a cost for forsaking God? How do you think your life would be different if you often considered this warning?
4. Take your choice seriously!
a. Making the choice to serve God is not a one-time decision, it is a daily decision to pick up your cross and follow Him. (Mathew 16:24)
b. It is not just about the outward things that you have done (i.e., getting baptized, saying the sinner’s prayer). It is about living out this decision DAILY!
c. Do not allow compromise to dominate our lives, take your choice to serve the Lord seriously!
d. Are you taking your choice to serve God seriously or are you in a place of compromise?