1. According to Joshua 23:1, Joshua had grown old. 2. We learn from Joshua 24:1 that he gathered the people of Israel together so he could speak to them. 3. Joshua called upon the Israelites to make a choice about serving the Lord. 4. Basically, the Israelites could either serve the Lord or reject Him. 5. We have to make the same choice today -- we can either serve the Lord or we can reject Him. 6. This is an important choice because our eternal destiny is at stake. 7. The theme of our lesson is "Let Us Choose to Serve the Lord." 8. The first point we need to make is that . . . Discussion: I. JESUS PLACED EMPHASIS ON SERVING GOD
A. When Satan tempted Him, Jesus showed from the Scriptures that only God is to be served (Matthew 4:8-10). B. In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus showed how God and mammon cannot be served at the same time (Matthew 6:24). C. (John 12:26) Those who serve the Lord will be blessed abundantly. D. To help us understand what is involved in choosing to serve the Lord, . . . II. THE BIBLE SHOWS HOW MANY OF GOD'S PEOPLE HAVE CHOSEN TO SERVE HIM
A. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego chose to serve the Lord. 1. They chose to serve the Lord when they refused to worship the golden image (Daniel 3:13-18). 2. They were cast into the furnace (vs.21), but God delivered them (vs.26-27). B. Daniel chose to serve the Lord. 1. He served the Lord when he disobeyed the law by praying (Daniel 6:10). 2. He was cast into the den of lions (vs.16), but God delivered him (vs.23). C. Peter and John chose to serve the Lord. 1. They were told not to preach in the Lord's name (Acts 4:18). 2. Their choice is recorded in Acts 4:19-20. III. THE BIBLE TEACHES US HOW TO CHOOSE TO SERVE THE LORD, EVEN THOUGH THERE MAY BE CONSEQUENCES
A. According to Ephesians 6:10-13, standing with God requires us to "put on the whole armor of God." B. The various items of armor are listed in vs.14-17. C. As fully armed soldiers we are to pray (vs.18). Conclusion:
1. When Joshua called upon the Israelites to make a choice about serving God, he revealed his choice (Joshua 24:15b). 2. Because Joshua chose to serve the Lord, he had a great influence upon the Israelites (vs.29-31). 3. To help us choose to serve the Lord, even though there may be a cost involved, let us remember that: a. the kingdom of heaven is much more valuable than any price we may have to pay (Matthew 13:44-46) b. the Lord will bless us abundantly for any sacrifices we make on His behalf (Matthew 19:29) c. no cost is able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ (Romans 8:35-39). 4. Let us conclude with the appeal made in Hebrews 12:28.