Question of the Day: How many of us serve or have served in the Untied States Armed Forces.
Now how many know who times 2003 Person of the year was?
Answer: US Soldier.
1. What did these individuals have to do to serve. (4 things I See)
a) A choice must be made ( to serve or not to serve)
b) Join up.
c) Sacrifice. (Giving up your wants for the good of others)
d) Works – Good deeds
Service: In my grandmothers old dictionary service is defined as Devotion to God, as demonstrated by obedience and good works. That is number 11 after Military duty.
Does it seem like to anyone else that this maybe should be first.
Scripture Passage: Joshua 24 (Focus on verse 15)
Background of Joshua: It is a book of conquest and triumph. The Beginning of the book sees Israel on the east side of the Jordan waiting to take the land. The end of the book sees Joshua leading the people of God in a covenant renewal with God. All through the middle you see conquest and victory over the people of Canaan. It is about establishment of Israel in the Land. But much like today when good times come people often need to be reminded where their blessings come from.
Something of interest to me was in the translation of part of verse 15. (I don’t know where you stand in accord to the KJV) But I want you to notice something.
In the NASB, KJV, NRSV, and Niv they are almost Identical in translation.
NASB and KJV say house, and NRSV and NIV say household.
(Word of God is and always will be the same a powerfull two edged sword cutting to the marrow or heart of man)
Word Biblical Commentary says service here describes “the recognition of a relationship of dependence upon Yahweh, based on the liberation from Egypt”
So we should translate that into our relationship with Christ, the recognition of a relationship of dependence on Jesus (Yahweh), based on liberation from sin.
I. Make a Choice.
A) To serve we must make a choice. Joshua 24.15
1) We choose everyday whether consciously or unconsciously Who and what we will serve.
2) Paul tells us in 2 Cor 6.2
“Now is the acceptable time….Today Is the day of Salvation.”
3) Paul and Joshua both say the same thing under the Holy spirits Guidance Choose consciously today who you will serve.
4) Implied in that is that we have a choice. God sovereignly gives you the opportunity to accept or reject him. You cannot serve Him until you choose him.
---Someone once said “No one learns to make right decisions without being free to make wrong ones.”
(You can’t serve in any military until you choose to enlist or be commissioned. )
B) I said just a moment ago it is the recognition of a relationship of dependence on Yahweh or Jesus. In other words we choose who we serve.
C) Much like our veterans and current service people chose to seek out the better good of our nation and its constituents.
Someone once said “choice, not change, not change determines human destiny.
Once you choose join up.
II. Join Up
To join the Us Military you have many different choices. You can go to an academy, ROTC, enlist, be commissioned through taking a test AFOQT.
A) To Join Gods army there is one choice one way to join up.
2) Jesus is the gateway to joining God’s army.
B) Easiest plan for joining.
1) Don’t have to take a written or physical test.
2) Don’t have to have perfect health or vision
3) Don’t have to be a particular age
4) Don’t have to have a college degree to be an officer
C) Just have to make a choice to accept what has already been accomplished.
A) All of our military make sacrifices for you and me
B) We are called as Christians to sacrifice for others, as well as for Jesus.
Romans 12.1 “ Therefore I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present you bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
1) The Hebrew word in Joshua that is translated serve is abad(aw-bad)
It can mean many things, but in correlation to Romans 12.1 it means to worship to serve God.
2) It is our responsibility to sacrifice.
3) Paul is appealing to us, urging, maybe begging us to see that we must sacrifice for our God.
4) Us Military are military 24.7 God through Paul, Joshua, and especially Jesus (Golden Rule) is calling us to be Christians 24.7 Sacrificial daily Christian living.
5) What does that mean?
1) involvement of you Heart, Will, and Mind, not just ritual activity, In other words what is you Home life like, what is your Work life look like, What do you do when you hang out with your friends.
You’ve probably all heard it the joke about the chicken and the Pig.
When we make a choice and join up, and are willing to sacrifice it most often will lead to Good Works.
IV. Good Works
A) Works as a reflection of you recognition of a relationship with dependence on Jesus.
1) My definition of Good works
-- An outgrowth of a right relationship with God through His Son Christ Jesus.
2) Are used as a way to get others to Join Gods Kingdom.
a) What is the number one way people get others to join their groups?
Advertisement and invitation.
What does you Advertisement and invitation or lack there of say about you service to God??
b) Paul tells us in Phil 2.12 to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Jesus Tells us in Matthew 7.21 “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord,” will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”
The Christian Life is about Service to God and to others.
Much as Joshua forced Israel to make a choice in the face of the surrounding cities and religions we are faced with that selfsame choice today. Our society is degrading at an alarming rate. We are faced with the choice to serve God or serve the devil and man. We are given freedom to choose. As Joshua asked Israel to look at God’s history and compare it to the false God’s of the day.
Today the false God’s are much the same. They are Sex, Money, Success, Being Famous, and on and on.
But God calls us to service. We must first Choose, then Join up, be willing to Sacrifice and work towards Gods will in ours and others lives.
In Revelation 2 & 3 Jesus tells us he knows our works and our service, What does he know about your service?
Paul in Romans 12.1 also calls for a renewing of your mind. Why? It is a way to get all the useless junk out and get every thought under control.
1) Daily Bible Reading, devotions & Bible study
2) Daily time spent with God, Sacrifice. Give up that game time, or hobby or part of them so you can Communicate with your Commander in Chief.
3) Be around others like you. If you want to be a servant then get around other servants.
What Choice have you made today??