Sermons by the Monday Club
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth…
I. THE REASONABLENESS OF SERVING GOD (vers. 14, 15). To serve God, to obey Him, to love Him, to submit heart and life to His control, is only a seemly and adequate acknowledgment of claims felt to be just. God's character, His mercy, His grace in the gospel, His promises of pardon, the gift of eternal life through His Son, create an obligation which, if it be disregarded, makes our attitude towards God not only sinful, but unreasonable. It is inconsistent with all in us that is true and noble and manly. This is the paradox of sin: it makes one conscious of placing an inferior good above the superior, of seeking for dross and refusing the gold, of plucking a bauble and rejecting the crown.
II. THE STATE OF MIND REQUIRED FOR THE SERVICE OF GOD (vers. 19, 20.) The service of God must be born of something more than impulse. It must be the result of choice; it must be the determined purpose of the whole being to enter and continue in a life of obedience. To every one God is saying, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." Many desire to be Christians, they wish they were the servants of God, but they are unwilling to "choose" to become such. If for a time they set their faces heavenward, they soon turn back. When they sink in the Slough of Despond, they struggle to be free on the side nearest the City of Destruction. Such need to remember that, when the service of God is entered, the will is to be unalterably set towards Him.
III. THE RIGHT ATTITUDE FOR THOSE WHO PROPOSE TO SERVE GOD. "Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God," &c. Joshua well understood the benefit arising from such a formal enactment.
1. It would be a test of the strength of their purpose. Often the way to disclose the feebleness of one's Christian aims is to bring them to the test of an open declaration — to ask, "Are you willing that others should know, that all should know, that you commit yourself unqualifiedly to be the Lord's?"
2. It would be helpful by bringing to their aid the motive of consistency. Most men desire to act in harmony with their past record.
IV. THE VALUE OF A SINGLE LIFE DEVOTED TO THE SERVICE OF GOD. Joshua's days are now ended. His work is done, and he is ready for his reward. Few men have lived so worthily. Men are needed everywhere of like decision, and who are ready to thus openly declare for God. Will you be one?
(Sermons by the Monday Club.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.