May 31, 2017
READ: Joshua 24:14-24
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).
“You mean, I can choose to believe in Jesus?” my young Nepali friend asked in surprise as I was giving her a ride to the supermarket. She was an international student at the same university I was attending and had been coming for several months to a weekly Bible study. As we were discussing her thoughts regarding the study, she suddenly became shocked by the realisation that she could choose what to believe. She had grown up in a culture where faith was something she was born into, with no choice given to her.
Throughout the book of Joshua, God showed He’s completely worthy to be trusted and followed. In fact, “not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled” (Joshua 21:45). Towards the end of Joshua’s life, he reminded the people of Israel of all the incredible things God had done for them and gave them a challenge—to choose who they would follow and serve.
The people of Israel were at a crossroads in which they had to make a decision whether to “serve the Lord alone” or serve the idols of the nations surrounding them (24:14). God certainly could have forced them to follow Him, but He didn’t do that. Instead, He allowed them to choose. As Joshua said, “If you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? . . . But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” (v.15).
Today, God allows us to choose who we’ll follow just as He did with the Israelites thousands of years ago. We need not allow culture and tradition to be the basis on which we make our decision. May we, like Joshua, have the courage to choose to serve God as He draws us!
—Estera Pirosca Escobar
365-day plan: Daniel 3:1-30
In Acts 26:1-23, note the testimony of one who had lived by cultural and religious rules but after encountering Jesus chose to follow Him.
What is holding you back from following God? Why would it be wise to choose to serve Him today?