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Pastor's Column 6/25/2023

PASTOR’S COLUMN


“But 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? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15, NLT


“Taking A Stand, And Standing Up!”


The menacing, non-beneficial ghosts of our past will continue to haunt us, until we decide to bury them. Once in every person’s life, comes a moment to decide. We must make a choice between continuing to be enslaved by past practices, ways, and alliances; or giving up those things, to change the trajectory of our lives. The compelling words of Joshua will always touch a good nerve with any of us who need to decide between then and now. Moreover, a person’s future is never predicated on the past; but what you decide to do, now. It is the immediate; this very moment in time, God calls us to act. The choice Joshua gave the new generation of Israelites, was theirs to own. God never forces decisions on us, Joshua urged the people, especially the heads of families, to choose whom they would serve. Although this was a new generation, some of the elders had passed down some customs, which were contrary to the teachings of their God (Yahweh). The gods on the other side of the Euphrates River, was a reference to the gods of Mesopotamia; ancient Ur where the patriarch Abraham was born and reared. The reference to the gods of Amorites; was a nomadic tribe that had ancient roots in Syria and Mesopotamia. Some of the Israelites were both drawn to, and fascinated with, their deities. Joshua condemned those other gods and “deities; but he urged the Israelite households to, “decide” whom they would serve. Joshua says in one of the most compelling statements in all of the Old Testament: “But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua did not condemn his fellow Israelites; he boldly took a stand; and “stood up” for what he knew was best for his family; and what aligned him to God. Joshua’s moral appeal invites us to take a stand; be secure and live in our devotion to God, who takes us from bondage to freedom!

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