“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.” Joshua 24:14 (KJV)
Have you ever taken the time to consider or examine a spotlight? A spotlight is a strong beam of light that illuminates a small or specific area. For example a spotlight will focus on a performer on a stage in order to make him or her the center of attention. This concept can also be applied to a Christian’s life. This week, my objective is to shine a spotlight of focus on our service to God.
The text this week focuses on a specific charge given to Joshua and the people of Israel. However, before we examine this passage, let’s consider the heart of Joshua as the recently appointed leader of Israel. Earlier in the chapter, he recounts the blessing of Israel's history. Being subject to the leadership of God is his life he reveals that Abraham was called out from the Chaldees because of the pagan nature of the culture. Abraham lived in a polytheistic culture and God pulled him away from its spiritual pollution. In verse 13 of Joshua 24, God told Joshua that the Israelites were a people of promise. He had given them the promised land for which they did not and could not work. The promised land included cities that they did not create or build as well as vineyards and crops that they did not plant. God led them to a land that was already apportioned for their provision in the way of homes, food, protection and resources. Where God guided, He provided for them. As a result, in our text, God exhorts the nation of Israel through Joshua to fear the Lord and serve Him in truth!
Through Joshua chapter 24, the word “serve” is mentioned fourteen times. Clearly it is a concept that the Lord is emphasizing to His people so I will highlight it as well. When we serve God several things will be quite evident in our service:
Fear or reverence for God,
Obedience to God,
Worship of God, and
Love for God.
Service is a demonstration of deliberate devotion or wiling service as opposed to demanded devotion in the form of forceful and reluctant service. When we are serving God with a willing heart, our service should spotlight and showcase the following:
Let’s look at a few scriptures associated with each of these concepts.
“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 20:7 (KJV)
“Let all things be done unto edifying.” 1 Corithians 14:26b (KJV)
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Hebrew 12:28 (KJV)
“And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.” Exodus 35:2 (KJV)
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23 (KJV)
We are also instructed to serve in sincerity that is without pretense or conditions, during trials as well as in triumphs.
In closing, I offer you the following challenge to consider: When you serve God, will your service shine a spotlight on Him or on yourself? What will viewers see?
For the Glory of God,