Choosing to serve God

What choice will you make?

Joshua 24:14-24


May 27, 2012 PM

Graham Daly

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.            Introduction

A.       This month we have been learning about the ministry.

B.       We have looked at:

1. What makes a servant of God

2. Why we need to serve God

3. How we can serve God

4. Where we can serve God

C.       Knowing the “why”, the “how” and the “where” is good but it is only the beginning!

D.      As Christians, we then need to make the choice to serve God.

E.       Service starts with a choice and not based on feelings!

F.       Every Christian has been called to serve God.

G.       What separates one Christian from the next is the choice – the decision to obey or disobey God!

H.      Every Christian needs to decide in their hearts and minds that they will serve God!

I.         Have you made that choice yet?

J.         Tonight let’s focus on making this choice and seeing what the Bible has to say about choosing to serve God!

II.            Lesson – Choosing to serve God (Joshua 24:14-24)

A.       Background/Context

1. Chapter 23 – Israel were in a period of rest from warring with their enemies.

2. Joshua who had been leading Israel was old and feeling the effects of it too!

3. Joshua gathered together all of Israel, their elders, their heads and their judges.

4. Joshua then reminds Israel of the many great things that God has done for them.

5. In verse 14 of chapter 24, Joshua then charges Israel with the knowledge of all that God had done for them fresh on their mind.

6. Joshua charged Israel to make a decision - to choose to serve God because of all that he had done!

7. This decision could not just be made without first considering all of the factors first!

8. Joshua had to first explain:

1.       The requirements for serving God.

2.       The conditions of serving God.

9. Let’s look at some of these requirements and conditions?

B.       Serving God requires a fear of God (Joshua 24:14)

1. The word “fear” in this context translates as reverence and respect.

2. It is often referred to as a “Godly fear”.

3. Nothing wrong with Biblical fear – everyone needs it!

1.       Psalms 111:10

2.       Proverbs 1:7

3.       Proverbs 9:10

4. People always obey those who they reverence and respect!

5. Biblical fear keeps people alive:

1.       Sailors/fishermen respect the ocean

2.       Mountain climbers respect the mountains

3.       Firefighters respect the fire

6. Sodom and Gomorrah did not fear God – look at what happened them!

7. Israel had been commanded on many occasions to fear or to respect/obey God.

1.       Deuteronomy 4:10

2.       Deuteronomy 5:29

3.       Deuteronomy 6:2

4.       Deuteronomy 6:13

5.       Deuteronomy 6:24

6.       Deuteronomy 10:12

7.       Deuteronomy 10:20

8. The church has also been commanded to fear God!

1.       Acts 9:31

2.       2 Corinthians 7:1

3.       Ephesians 5:21

4.       Hebrews 12:28

5.       1 Peter 2:17-18

C.       Serving God requires sincerity (Joshua 24:14)

1. What is sincerity?

1.       It is having an honesty of mind or intention.

2.       It is a freedom from simulation, hypocrisy, disguise or false pretense.

3.       It is being humble

2. It is easy to obey a command but it is another thing to carry out that command with sincerity!

3. There is a real lack of sincerity in the Church today!

1.       We are living in the Laodicean Church age – (Revelation 3:13-16)

2.       Too many Christians are being lukewarm

3.       Too many so called “Churches” are trying to coax people in via false pretenses

4.       Much less souls are being saved because of this lukewarm/half-hearted mindset!

5.       The Christians in the Philadelphian Church age had this sincerity – (Revelation 3:6-8)

a.        Billy Sunday

b.       D.L Moody

c.        Hudson Taylor

4. A sincere tree will bring forth real fruit – (Matthew 7:15-20)

5. This Church and every member of this Church need to be sincere in our service towards God!


D.       Serving God requires separation (Joshua 24:14)

1. “Put away” means to separate, to place distance between yourself and something/someone else!

1.       When you draw nearer to something, it draws nearer to you without ever moving – (James 4:8)

2.       An alcoholic should not expect the off-license/pub to move away from them!

3.       A gambler should not expect the casino to move away from them!

4.       When you draw away from something, it draws further away from you without ever moving.

5.       A sinner needs to be the one who draws or separates themselves from the place or object of their temptation!

2. Israel were commanded to separate from Idols, false Gods, past cultural traditions and vain religions.

3. Christians are also commanded to separate!

1.       Christians are to separate from Idols and false Gods

2.       Christians are to separate from past cultural traditions

3.       Christians are to separate from vain religions

4.       If you are being sincere in your Christian life, you won’t need to separate from bad friends – they will separate from you! – (Luke 6:22)

E.       Serving God requires a decision (Joshua 24:15)

1. Israel were called to make a decision – Serve God or don’t serve God.

2. Christians are faced with the same call to make a decision to serve God!

1.       Every Christian has been called to serve God.

2.       Service towards God requires an act of obedience on our part.

3.       We can obey and serve God or else we can disobey and serve idols.

4.       You will always serve someone or something – we are designed to worship and serve!

3. Who you end up serving and worshiping is determined by the decision that you make!

F.       Serving God requires faithfulness (Joshua 24:16)

1. The word “forsake” means:

1.       To quit or to leave entirely

2.       To withdraw from

3.       To desert

4.       To abandon

5.       To depart from

6.       To renounce

7.       To reject

2. Forsaking is not necessarily a bad thing in itself!

1.       We are meant to forsake some things – (Proverbs 9:6) (Forsake the foolish and live!)

2.       We are not meant to forsake other things – (Proverbs 6:20) (Forsake not the law of thy mother!)

3. The act of forsaking involves faithfulness!

1.       We can either faithfully forsake something that is bad for us

2.       Or we can faithfully not forsake something that is good for us (Hebrews 10:25)

4.  When you choose to serve other gods and idols you are in fact forsaking God!

5. Just like Israel prayed here, every single Christian in this Church needs to pray to God that we never forsake the LORD and go serving other gods!

III.            Conclusion

A.       Serving God requires a fear of God.

B.       Serving God requires sincerity.

C.       Serving God requires separation.

D.      Serving God requires a decision.

E.       Serving God requires faithfulness.

IV.            Challenge

A.       Are you serving God right now?

B.       Has God spoke to you over the course of this month and called you to serve him in some ministry?

C.       Have you decided to obey that call and serve him?