Parson to person: “Are you serious?”
The serious servant and followers of Christ daily seeks the Lord’s voice and directions.
Looking at Israel renewing their covenant in Joshua 24 at Shechem presents some interesting thoughts.
Joshua summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials and they presented themselves before God.
This reminded me of denominational gatherings seeking the Lord for the future. Coming together presenting yourself to God.
Then Joshua began to speak to the people saying “this is what the Lord the God of Israel says” (Joshua 24:2) How often do we hear a light attitude towards scripture? As Joshua brought his message to the people, they do not question who said it; they accept the message is from God. When we read from Moses, David, the Prophets or the Apostles we accept the message as directing from the Holy Spirit.
Matthew Henry made an interesting comment, “The word of God is to be received by us as His whoever is the messenger that brings it, whose greatness cannot add to it, nor his meanness diminish from it.”
James 1:22 says “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Later in the chapter we hear the famous words “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”(vs. 15)
The people respond to Joshua to be intentional in faithful commitment to God.
Recently, one of the Missionary Church pastors wrote an article asking five questions if we as a church are on target.
1. How seriously do we take scripture?
2. How well do we as a church love?
3. How different are we from the world?
4. Are we making disciples?
5. Do we pray?
I don’t think these question need to be restricted to any one church; but relevant questions corporately and individually for intentional service.
Let me conclude my thoughts with the following illustration:
A railway gatekeeper, who one cold night required every passenger to show his ticket before passing through to the train and was rewarded with considerable grumbling and protesting, was told:
“You are very unpopular man tonight.”
“I only care to be popular with one man.” Was the reply, “and that is the superintendent.”
He might have pleased the passengers, disobeyed orders, and lost his position. He was too wise for that; his business was to please one man – the man who hired him, gave him his orders, and rewarded him for his faithfulness, and who would discharge him for disobedience.
The servant of Christ has many opportunities to make himself unpopular. There are multitudes who would be glad to have him relax the strictness of his rules. If he is their servant, they demand that he should consult their wishes. But if he serves them, he cannot serve the Lord. “No man can serve two masters.” He who tries to be popular with the world will lose his popularity with the Lord. He will make friends, but he will lose the one Friend who is above all others. He will win plaudits, but he will not hear the gracious words, “Well done!”