ODJ: a choice

September 14, 2014 

READ: Joshua 24:1-28 

If you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. . . . But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD (v.15).

One evening my family and I were watching an episode of a TV show called Brain Games. It had a segment in which they tested the ability of people to make choices. One group went to an ice cream parlour that featured 50 to 60 different flavours of the delicious dessert. The other group went to a shop that had only three flavours. The group who had to choose from many flavours experienced more anxiety than the group who had just a few selections. Having choices no longer liberated but debilitated.
Before he died Joshua wanted Israel to realise that their choice to serve Yahweh exclusively would liberate them and positively influence their future. He called the people to Shechem to encourage them to renew their commitment to God (Joshua 24:1). It would have been easy to guilt, shame or coerce them into renewing their commitment, but Joshua did something more compelling. He reminded the nation of God’s great acts of grace.

His first act of grace was choosing them through Abraham and his descendants (vv.3-4). The grace continued with God delivering His people from slavery (vv.5-7). God not only chose them and delivered them, but He also protected and enriched them (vv.8-13).

Joshua then vowed that he and his entire family would serve the Lord, regardless of what the people chose (v.15). And when they were reminded of God’s great acts of grace and heard Joshua’s declaration, they chose Yahweh over the lesser gods (v.16).

When we remember the great acts of God—redemption through Jesus, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the giving of gifts and talents and the daily bread we receive from our Father’s hand—the only logical and reasonable choice is for us to fall before Him in worship.

—Marvin Williams

365-day plan› John 14:1-14

Read Ruth 1:15-16 and John 6:67-68 to see the choices these individuals made. What motivated them to make the choices they did? 
What motivates you more to obey God—guilt or grace? How will you renew your commitment to Him today?