Summary: Joshua gives some practical instructions to ensure success in serving the Lord.
The purpose of my sermon this morning is to encourage your wholehearted obedience to the Lord God Almighty and to warn you of the consequences of disobedience to Him.
The famous last words of Todd Beamer on US Airlines Flight 93 before crashing into the Twin Towers, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” America will never forget what took place on September 11, 2001. We all remember where we were, how we felt, how we prayed. Because of the evil intent of radical Islams, 3000 people went to meet God that day.
* An issue of the “Focus on the Family Magazine,” [Christin Ditchfield. September, 2002. “A Light In the Darkness.” pp. 18-19] detailed the actions of Al Braca. Al worked on the 105th floor of Tower One. When he realized that they were trapped in the building and would be unable to escape, Al shared the gospel with 50 of his co-workers and led them in prayer and many no doubt were saved before they died. Some of those same individuals had in the past mocked him for his faith. For many Christians, we stepped our witness of the Lord Jesus Christ to others because of that day. In light of eternity, we spoke out with more boldness about the Lord Jesus and the free gift of salvation He purchased for us on the cross of Calvary. Dying, shedding His innocent blood, so we can live forever in His Presence.
Joshua has some strong words every person needs to hear today. These are the words of a dying man, one of the strongest soldiers and leaders in the army of God. Joshua knew his death was imminent. Joshua 24:15 – “Behold this day, I am going the way of all the earth.” So, he gives us, as God’s people, our “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” or “B-I-B-L-E.”
I. Serving the Lord is a lifelong total commitment, not a one time decision. 23:1-2
* Bob Dylan had a hit years ago called, “Gotta Serve Somebody.” I won’t sing it, but here are a few lyrics. “You may be an ambassador to England or France; You may like to gamble, you might like to dance; You may be the heavyweight champion of the world, You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls; But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed; You’re gonna have to serve somebody; Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord; But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
Joshua gives his last sermon near the age of 110. How much would you give to have heard him preach one last time God’s wonderful Word? Caleb was there to here Joshua preach. Eleazar the High Priest and his son Phinehas would have been gathered around close to hear the final charge from the man of God. James M. Boice states, “…the soldiers who had fought with Joshua through the various campaigns (were there). Most of these men would have been mere youths back then. Now they would be grown. They would have families. All would have risen to positions of important leadership in the nation.” Think about Joshua, there was not quit in his bones, only fire in his bones for the worship, Word, and will of God!
* George Dye is 76 years old, but I’ve rarely met a man with such passion to grow in the Lord. When you get around George, it’s like the presence of God kind of comes upon you. He’s like EF Hutton, when George talks, people listen.
* Our very own George Wybenga turned 93 this week. What a wonderful, positive, upbeat believer in the Lord George is and no one in the church gives a stronger bear hug than Mrs. Wylene! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the senior adults of Colonial Woods Baptist Church are the strength of this church. They are the most faithful in worship, Sunday School, outreach, giving, tithing, ministering, teaching, etc.
The older I get the smarter my parents become! We cannot avoid growing old but we can avoid growing cold!
II. Reflect often on the greatness of the Lord and what He’s done for you. 23:3-10
1. Reflect on the day the Lord saved you by His grace. * I was 12 years old, the summer of 1985, when it finally sunk into my soul that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I’ll never forget praying the sinners prayer with Baylor student, Chad Gulledge. “Lord, I need you. I have sinned and come short of your glory. I believe you love me so much you sent your One and only Son, the Jesus Christ to die on the cross in my place. I believe He was buried and is alive forever more. By your power, I turn from sin and want to follow you totally from now on as my Lord. Thank you for saving me in Jesus’ Name. Amen.” That was the greatest day of my life. I’d never had such peace and assurance I belonged to the Lord.