"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
This is another of those verses where you know part of it.but not the whole picture. That is why it is important to go to the bible, even if you've identified the verse on a list of topical material or within an article, devotional, or writing. You should always look at the verse in context.
Joshua, the protge of Moses, seems to be quite flippant with the people when he has them gathered at Shechem to remind them of the covenant given to Abraham, to warn them of their rebellious actions and its consequences, and to call them into repentance and service to the most high LORD. As if he's weary from the journey, indeed he dies after this final act, Joshua doesn't prod or cajole the people into seeking God's face. He simply tells them, do what you wish. This is what I chose to do, me and my household.
We seem to think, as Christians, that we need to go out and beat everyone over the head (not literally) with the Gospel. We need to enforce, refocus, and help them to envision that need of salvation. We don't.
It is not us, in any way, shape, or form, that saves people. It is not our words; it is not our deeds, and not even our actions. Yes, those all have an effect upon the non-Christian person and the unchurched, but it is not what saves or even causes that person to seek salvation. It reaffirms God's word, not create it.
We are to tell the story, show the biblical path of salvation, and leave it alone. To represent what Christ has done in our life, pray for those we come into contact with and leave it alone. In the Father's hand.
We struggle as Christians in the worldly environment, constantly seeking that middle ground.where we don't offend those who aren't really for meat (full truth) and where we don't give the meat to the mature and hungry. And we wind up a mess, with fringe groups going one way or the other.
Our churches are seeking to be 'emergent' or 'relative to the society', the message of two thousand plus years has to be updated, revamped, and presented in a culturally sensitive way.
We no longer talk about Hell, damnation, sin, repentance, and the ultimate betrayalrejection of God.
We speak of Love, joy, peace, contentment, and the pathways to those needs.
Accountability? Try reactivity..
Discipleship? Try a program for your brain matter..
Instead of speaking the truth, showing the fulfillment of the hunger that is the Holy Spirit conviction of the seeker, we throw tidbits out and try coaxing the seeker in the door
I prefer Joshua's method.
" have reminded you of the need, the path to fulfilling that need, and now it is up to you. As for me, I'm all set."
As for me and my houseJesus Christ is Savior, Lord, and King.
What's your house?
Jim is a Senior Ordained Chaplain with Chaplain Service Corp. Answering the call to ministry for the sake of all men, focusing on God, Jim writes and pursues with faith the plans of His Father wherever that may lead. www.chapel-michigan.blogspot.com
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