And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:15
I have read this particular passage of Scripture numerous times, as well as heard it preached and it is usually mentioned with the pressing need for immediate action.
“Choose you THIS DAY whom ye will serve!”
I certainly do not disagree with that.
We all need to make up our minds, asap, if we are really and sincerely going to serve God fully and completely – something beyond a superficial, surface level version of commitment. That low level of commitment may (however not necessarily) get us to church on Sunday morning but will not begin to make changes to our lives the rest of the week. I am talking about a Biblical-based, Spirit-led life that challenges us, changes us and ultimately helps transform us into the image of Christ. That level of commitment will absolutely turn our world upside down (or more correctly stated, right-side up).
However, I read this today with a slightly different perspective.
Joshua has been a predominate leader in Israel for about 70 years and he is about to go the way of the grave at 110 years old.
He knows the end is near and he calls Israel together to give them some final instructions and words of wisdom and Joshua closes out the above verse with, an often quoted portion of Scripture and one that may be on the wall at your house, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
This declaration, as wonderful as it is by Joshua, cannot be fully fulfilled by Joshua because his life is about to end.
Fourteen verses later, Joshua is dead.
Joshua will not be there, in the flesh, to lead his family (nor the children of Israel) to serve God.
However, he does have hope for his household because of the EXAMPLE he left for them.
Joshua wanted to make a multi-generational impact and his desire was for his household’s relationship with God to continue well beyond his death.
We, you and I, also have an opportunity to make that type of impact in our own day.
One of the most beautiful things to see at church is a multi-generational family serving God together.
Grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren coming to church and worshiping God together.
A Christian heritage is indeed a beautiful thing and something many are not afforded as often anymore.
However, as wonderful as it is, we must never forget that God DOES NOT have grandchildren.
We cannot base our Spiritual lives or think we have a solid relationship with God because a family member does or did – we, each of us, have to know our heavenly Father personally.
While, I cannot say to parents that bringing their children to church will AUTOMATICALLY make them Christian adults, I can certainly say that it gives them a much more solid foundation to have that relationship with God going forward.
Even after Joshua’s prayer and commands, history and the Bible shows us that the children of Israel backslid and fell far away from God.
But even then, God still honored His promises and had a group of people that served Him faithfully together.
At Upper Room Church (URC) we are very proud to be a multi-generational church.
We have people, from all walks of life and different generations, that come together and worship God as one.
So, even if you do not have that blood relative (in the flesh) to worship God with, you can certainly come to URC and be a part of Jesus’ blood bought church and worship God with your brothers, sisters and the family of God.
Be our guest and experience a multi-generational church for everyone!
In His Service,
Jarryd Raynes – Senior Pastor
Upper Room Church