Summary: To make the listener think about how dedicated he really is to serving God.
“What God Shall You Serve”
Joshua 24:14-24 (Read Aloud)
Prayer For Service
A few years ago I had the privilege of having a friend of mine come from Russia and stay with us for a couple of days. I realize that the majority of people have not been to Russia, but they do not really have a lot of worldly things to draw them away from God. In the environment and cultural that they live in, they have to depend on God everyday for food, shelter, heat, little things like hot water, basic survival. Well, he told me that after spending a month in the States that he was very concerned about the Americans. He said that we have so much that he could see where we could easily be drawn away from our day to day dependency on Christ. My question to you is, “Do you have ‘so much’ that you find it hard to keep a grip on your day to day dependency on Christ?” Or worse, have you lost that grip?
We find that throughout the Bible that people lost their dependency on the One and only true God. We find that they served different gods. We find, also, that today in many households that we are serving the wrong god.
First, we find that some serve the “god of matrerial things”
In I Timothy 6:10 we read this, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief’s.” One of many examples of this would be the lottery, gambling. The philosophy that it takes money to make money. What does God say in the Bible about gambling? Look at Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two master; for either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Mammon refers to wealth, money or property. I am not saying that it is bad to have these things…but I think it depends on the motives that we have when we are trying to gain it. Last month or so the Power Ball was over $200 million dollars. I had some friends I work with ask me to get in a lottery pool with them. I told them thanks but no thanks. That I don’t believe in that. They said they only play $5 a week. I said…I have a different outlook on that. I feel that is taking money that could be used for God’s work. You see, as you know, God has given me several opportunities to travel to several countries. In 1995 when I traveled to Russia I had children that were refuges from the Chesynia war stealing food off my plate. I have been to other parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East where there are people dying every day from starvation. And, lets not fool ourselves, we have the same problem right here in the United States, and closer that that we have people right here in Ballard county that are going to bed hungry. Just think, that one lottery ticket that you buy once a year could be that dose of medicine, plate of food, or buy the chemicals to clean water sources that makes a difference of life and death. Did you know that everyday almost 10,000 children under the age of 5 in Third World countries die as a result of illness contracted by the use of impure water?
Second, some people serve the “god of pleasure”
If we look in Luke 15:11-13 we find a portion of the prodigal son. In vv. 11-13 is says, “there was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” We have this problem from our houses to the White House. We are teaching our children if it feels good, do it. What makes us feel that we can be faithful to our God, if we can’t be faithful to our spouse and family. Who are we trying to kid. You know with all that went on with the previous President it showed me something. It showed me that the Christian world had forgotten something. And that is, that God can still performs miracles, even in the life of the ex president. And also, that God still forgives. We have to remember what Jesus said in John 8:7 “…if any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone…” Also, in Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for Gods wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord” After looking at the legacy that our previous president has set. Ask yourself, what kind of an example am I setting? We like to point fingers at him, but sin is sin. It says in Romans 14:10 “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat.” We will all be held accountable for our sins. Whether sins of the flesh, disobedience or whatever. Also, when I speak of some serving god of pleasure it could be the lake, boating, fishing, hunting, golfing, shopping, etc.. Anything like this that takes you away from worshipping God. Want to know if you fall into this category, look and see what you are doing when the doors of the church open for worship service…and I don’t mean to be rude. But, I am not only talking about on Sunday mornings. I mean Sunday nights, Wednesday nights and Business meetings.