Summary: Whom do you choose to serve?
Choose You This Day!
One of the things that we love about America is our ability to make choices – freely. If we disagree with something, we have a choice not to support it. Our Constitution says that we are all equal and have the right to pursue our happiness. Choices. If you wake up in the morning and decide not to eat breakfast – it’s a choice. When you chose what clothes you will wear that day, it’s a choice. If you choose not to go to work because you want to play golf, it’s a choice, maybe not the smartest choice, but a choice none the less. My point is that everyday we are free to make choices, we have the right, the freedom to choose what we want to do. We have laws in place to govern our actions, yet if we choose to break them, it is our choice. Imagine what our lives would be like without the freedom to make choices, we have fought wars to gain this freedom for others and ourselves. With all of this freedom, the expressions of self that permeates everything that we do, sometimes those very same freedoms and/or expressions can place us in bondage to the world around us. We start to live and express ourselves based on the “image” that is given to others versus what is truly on the inside of us. When this happens we lose a little of ourselves.
Three weeks ago I started this message talking about how good our lives are. You may remember me telling you about George Dawson, the 98-year-old man who enrolled in school to learn to read and write. Remember his father’s philosophy was that life is so good – regardless of our circumstances. I gave you the example of someone giving you the gift of a bread-making machine, how some reject that gift and how others accept it but never use it. It sits on their counter looking pretty, but never becoming functional, doing what it was made to do. This morning I want to finish this message by talking about the one that actually uses the bread-making machine to make bread. In each one of these examples, it came down to a choice. Each person makes a choice as to what they will do with the gift that is given to them – so I want to show you the gift and encourage you to take it and use it.
When we talk to someone who is gifted in an area and they chose not to use those gifts, we talk about them – bad. We say they are wasting their God-given talents. We also make statements like “they should be ashamed of themselves or if I had those gifts I would do such and such”. All of these comments are made because we see something valuable just wasting away when it could be put to good use. That is how I want you to envision your spiritual walk today – do you have gifts that are just wasting away? Have you fully accepted your salvation through Christ and all of the benefits that come alone with it or are you just saved and glad to be so. Your answer to the question determines your faith walk with Christ. I want each of you for the rest of this message to concentrate on yourselves, not the person sitting next to you or someone else that you know. Let the standard of comparison be Christ and what He has done and given to us – not fallible man. What gift have you been given and what gifts have you chosen not to fully utilize? Where are you in your personal walk with Christ? Is He your Savior in every situation or is He just the one who delivered you from hell? Where are you in the “big picture”?
I. Making The Choice
When Joshua was giving his farewell address as he was preparing to die, he remembered everything that the Children of Israel had done since they left Egypt. He knew of their potential to turn from the Lord after their own wicked ways. As he prepared to make his last transition, he said to the people “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the river, or the gods of the Ammorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua asked the people to make a choice as to who they would serve – it was up to them. But even on his deathbed, he proclaimed that he and his house would continue to serve the Lord. How could he make such a statement on his deathbed? It was obvious that Joshua had taught his family about what God had done for him, how he was one of two who lived to see the Promised Land after the Children of Israel’s disobedience. It is clear that they had a faith in God that would not be shaken, so clear was their faith that Joshua felt that he could say that they would continue to serve the Lord. Sometimes our faith gets weak and we are not able to serve God as we would, but Joshua basically said he had come too far to turn back now – he chose to continue serving the Lord. I ask you as Joshua asked them – “who will you serve”?