July 17

Today's Bible Readings
     Joshua 24
     Acts 4
     Jeremiah 13
     Matthew 27
''And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, 'choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord'." (Joshua 24:15)
            As he closes this incredible book, Joshua is making one thing very clear. He has chosen to serve the Lord. He is now placing that choice before the people and exhorting them to choose for themselves. The Scripture is clear that God did not make you a puppet and He pulls all your strings; or a robot and He pushes all your buttons.  God has created you a person of choice. You have volition, a will, and you must choose whom you will serve.
            Your will is embodied in the actions of the whole person. I cannot give up my will. I must exercise it, putting it into action. I must will to obey, and I must will to receive God's Spirit.
            When God gives me a vision of truth, there is never a question of what He will do, but only of what I will do.  God has never failed me, nor failed to carry out His plan and purpose in my life when I have been obedient to Him.
            Has God given you some big visions, proposals, and plans? Are you challenged by the bigness of God's tasks that is laid before you? It is good to remember what you did before you were touched by God. Recall that moment when you were saved. It was easy then to yield your allegiance to God. Recall those moments each time the Spirit of God brings some new vision or proposal before you.
            Joshua says ''...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve..." Your choice must be a deliberate determination - it is not something into which you will automatically drift.
            Every decision will cause you to be more and more isolated from the crowd around you. That is where the tension develops. God allows the opinion of other saints to matter to you, and yet you become less and less certain that others really understand the step you are taking.
            This is when you must will to be faithful, because as soon as you choose to be faithful to Jesus Christ, you probably will not have the crowd with you. When God has made His will clear, you do not need to consult with other Christians, but simply and freely declare before Him, ''I will serve You." Joshua said, ''Regardless of what anyone else does, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
            In verse 19, after the people had indicated a desire to follow and serve the Lord, Joshua said something strange to them. He said, ''You cannot serve the Lord..." - but you can place yourself in the proper position where God's almighty power will flow through you.
            The people then made a deliberate commitment in verse 21 when they said, ''...but we will serve the Lord.'' Do you dare today to make a willful commitment that you and your house will serve the Lord? Do you really dare to let God be to you, all that He says He will be.
            On two occasions, our ministry has had island-wide crusades on the island of St. Kitts. St. Kitts and Nevis are two small islands that have a population in excess of 36,000. St. Kitts has gained an unhappy reputation for drug traffic and money laundering. Although there  are no  known missionaries  that  have gone  out  from this island,  some  of the preachers have gone to America to pastor churches. Only a revival on the island of St. Kitts would change the culture. This is the only hope for the younger generation that is more and more getting involved in drug trafficking.
''There is no true holiness without humility."
Thomas Fuller