Summary: This sermon encourages the hearers to serve God faithfully.

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“WHY SERVE?” Joshua 24:14-24

INTRO – There are a few things in church life that you can be sure of:

1. Not everyone is going to agree about everything all the time;

2. You can count on some folks to sleep in every service;

3. The preacher is most likely not going to look at his watch while he is preaching;

4. There will be a constant call for you to serve God in the church in some way.

But why serve? Why the constant call for people to serve in the church?

B/c it is clear in Scripture that we have been saved to serve God - Eph. 2:8-10

B/c this is how the Body of Christ works. Each member serves according to his/her gifts so that the Body will be complete and healthy - “A spiritual gift is given to each person as means of helping the entire church,” (1 Cor. 12:7 NLT).

B/c there is great joy in serving God. Happiest, most fulfilled people you will meet are those who know they are doing what God would have them do as they serve Him - “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve” (Albert Schweitzer).

B/c when we realize all that Christ has done for us, we will have a deep, life-changing desire to serve Him out of heart of gratitude - show pictures from the “Passion” book

It is so important that every member of the Body of Christ serve Christ with all their heart for all their lives. That means that everyone who has placed their faith and trust in Christ alone for their salvation should be actively and diligently serving Him. Lewis Timberlake – “There are no little jobs in the Kingdom of God.”

If we are going to take God’s call to serve Him seriously, there are 4 important principles of service that we need to know and apply to our lives:

- Keep God in His rightful place in your life – v. 14 – “Now fear the Lord…”

o 1979 – Bob Dylan – “Gotta Serve Somebody”

 Bob Dylan might not be the greatest theologian of our time, but he was on the right track.

o Joshua knew that the people would serve somebody or something.

 It would either be false gods or the one, true, living God.

 His call to them was to “fear the Lord” – honor Him and keep Him enthroned in their heart and lives.

 They needed to have a deep sense of awe as they considered who God was and what He had accomplished in their lives.

 And they did need to be afraid at the possible consequences of being disobedient to Him.

o You and I need to make sure that we keep God on the throne of our hearts.

 We need to fear Him, honor Him, worship Him, humble ourselves before Him.

 We WILL serve somebody or something. That person or thing will be whomever or whatever we have on the throne of our lives.

 Too many people have self on the throne of their lives.

- Make a lifetime commitment to serve God – “…serve Him with all faithfulness.”

o If there is anything that is needed in our world today is a return to faithfulness to commitments that are made.

 Faithfulness to commitment made to spouse

 Faithfulness to commitment made to kids

 Faithfulness to commitments made to citizens by government leaders

 Faithfulness to commitment made to employers

o But more than anything else, we need a return to faithfulness to God.

 We need to realize that when we yielded our lives to Christ, we were making a commitment to “serve Him wholeheartedly” for our entire lives.

 Not a short-term, temporary contract. Not like Paul Jackson and Son. Their job will be through here in a few months and they will go home.

 Our job here will be through when we go home, too – when we go home to heaven.

o We need to follow the example of Jesus.

 “For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served, but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many” (Mt. 20:28 NLT).

 We’ve gotten it turned around somehow – “The church is supposed to serve me, not me serve God through the church.”

 We need a revival in our hearts that will lead us back to a life-changing, lifelong commitment to God that translates into a lifetime commitment to serve Him!

- Get rid of anything that keeps you from serving Him – “Throw away the gods…(v. 14b) & v. 23

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