1. Hello, listening friends, and thank you for joining us for this broadcast.
2. In this series, we have been learning how to follow God’s call on our lives.
3. That call sometimes leaves us asking the question, “You want me to do what?”
4. And in today’s final answer, we will learn how to tell the story.
5. If you have a Bible, please turn to the book of Joshua, chapter 24.
6. But first, I want you to imagine this imaginary scenario.
7. You wake up in the morning and there is no dawn.
8. Morning passes, but still no sun has risen.
9. And by afternoon, ice begins forming on the trees from unexpected freezing weather.
10. Imagine the panic and the fear and the puzzlement about why the sun has stopped shining.
11. You would ask, “What happened to the sun?”
12. Perhaps, out of fear, churches will begin to be filling up with people crying to God and praying for hours and hours.
13. The next morning, the sun rises again and the light penetrates the darkness.
14. I want you to imagine the joy and the elation of seeing the rays of the sun.
15. Imagine the praise, the thankfulness, and the gratitude to God for the rising of the sun.
16. And yet in our real world, God does make the sun rise every morning.
17. Why don’t we praise God every single day for the sun?
18. Why don’t we praise God every single day for just waking us up?
19. Why don’t we daily have this thankfulness and praising attitude?
20. Why would it only happen after this fearful experience?
21. Because sadly, we do not fully appreciate God and His creation or His gifts.
22. Sadly, we often have to lose something before we fully appreciate it.
23. Because sadly, we are forgetful people.
24. And our forgetfulness is precisely why God tells us repeatedly in His Word, “Remember, remember, remember.”
25. Amnesia is a medical condition that involves the loss of memory.
26. A victim will actually forget his name, where he lives, significant events in his life, and even his family.
27. There is a spiritual equivalence to amnesia.
28. It happens when people allow their present trouble to cause them to forget God’s past mercies.
29. They forget God’s past blessings and provision.
30. They forget God’s past interventions and unmerited favors.
31. God knows our tendency to forget His goodness, grace, and mercy.
32. God knows our tendency to stop appreciating His past blessings.
33. And our forgetfulness is why God repeatedly says in the book of Joshua chapter 24, “Don’t forget what I have done for you.”
34. In fact, the very place where Joshua gathered the people was a deliberate choice.
35. Look at the book of Joshua chapter 24 verse 1.
36. “Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel in Shechem.”
37. Some of you may be asking, “What is so important about Shechem?”
38. Ah, it’s a source of remembrance.
39. Six hundred years earlier, near Shechem, God promised Abraham that God would give Abraham’s descendents the land of promise.
40. And Abraham responded to the grace of God and His promise by building an altar of faith in Shechem.
41. Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, also came to Shechem.
42. And there, Jacob surrendered the idols and removed them in order to worship the one true God in Shechem.
43. And so six hundred years after Abraham, Joshua builds another altar at Shechem to praise God for His faithfulness,
44. and also to challenge his people to make a response to God’s blessing.
45. Six hundred years may seem like a long time to us, but God never forgets His promises.
46. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you probably have your own Shechem in your life.
47. These Shechems in our lives are the places where God had met us in a very special way;
48. places where God blessed us and provided for us,
49. places where God fulfilled His promises to us and answered our prayers,
50. places where God intervened on our behalf,
51. places where God showed Himself faithful to us despite of our faithfulness.
52. There in the city of Shechem, God spoke to His people through Joshua.
53. There He reminded them of how He rescued them from the mud pits of slavery,
54. how He gave them manna in the wilderness,
55. how He gave them the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night,
56. how He gave them victory over their enemies,
57. how He supernaturally helped them cross the river of impossibilities,
58. how He destroyed the impenetrable walls of Jericho on their behalf,
59. how the Lord kept His promises to Abraham six hundred years earlier,
60. and how His chosen people became the inheritance of that promise.
61. Seventeen times in the book of Joshua chapter 24, God used the word, “I,” “I.”
62. “I took you.”
63. “I gave you.”
64. “I sent you.”
65. “I brought you.”
66. “I delivered you.”
67. And God is saying the same thing to you, my listening friend.
68. Do you remember that serious illness that you survived?
69. God healed you.
70. Do you remember the money you just received?
71. God gave that money to you.
72. Do you remember the problem that nearly destroyed you?
73. God brought you through that.
74. And think of the children that you have.
75. They are not your children.
76. They are God’s children and He gives them to you to manage for Him.
77. And here, Joshua reminds them of their responsibilities because of these blessings.
78. My listening friend, God has blessed you for a purpose.
79. And you must discover how God wants you to use these blessings to bless other people.
80. It is not enough for you to review your blessings and say, “Thank you, God. You’ve blessed me so much.”
82. You must respond to the receiving of your blessings.
83. You must remind yourself of your responsibility for what God has given you.
84. God’s blessings were given to you so that you may become a witness for Christ,
85. so that you may be an ambassador for Christ,
86. so that you may be a reconciler of men and women to the Lord Jesus Christ.
87. When Jesus responded in obedience to God His Father, He did something.
88. He came down from heaven.
89. And Jesus said in the book of Luke chapter 15,
90. that when the shepherd discovered one of his sheep were missing, he did something.
91. The shepherd went out and looked for the lost sheep until he found it.
92. And then he put the sheep on his shoulders and brought it back.
93. When the woman in the Bible lost her coin, she did something.
94. She started searching diligently until she found the coin, and then they all rejoiced.
95. Joshua said to God’s people,
96. “You need to remember your blessings, but now you also need to respond to these blessings.”
97. In fact, if you read in the book of Joshua chapter 24, you will notice that Joshua grew frustrated at the people’s apathy.
98. The people’s attitude was something like this—
99. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, we love God. Yeah, yeah, we love God.
100. All right, Joshua, we will see what we can do in response to God’s blessings.”
101. But Joshua became exasperated at their insipid, lukewarm response, and he said in verse 15, “Choose for yourself this day whom you shall worship. If you’re going to worship the false gods of your fathers, go ahead.”
102. These are the words of an exasperated man.
103. And so he goes on to say,
104. “But as for me and my household, we know what decision we are making. We are going to worship the one, true God.”
105. You can sense Joshua’s exasperation as if to say, “Don’t just worship God halfheartedly.
106. Don’t serve Him out of a feeling of obligation.
107. Don’t outwardly do the right things while inwardly your heart is full of selfishness.”
108. Joshua said, “As far as my family and I are concerned, we are going to serve the one, true God.”
109. Regardless of what popular opinions say or what other people do,
110. regardless of what pressures are put upon me,
111. regardless of what others would say about me or do to me,
112. I will only serve the one, true God.
113. But even after these words, Joshua feels that the people still are not convinced.
114. Joshua feels that they were saying ‘yes’ with their mouths but ‘no’ with their eyes.
115. So in chapter 24 verse 23, Joshua says,
116. “Then put away the foreign gods which you are keeping in your homes.”
117. What does that mean today to us?
118. It means that you need to prove your allegiance to Christ and take a stand now.
119. It means that you must let your walk match your talk today.
120. My listening friend, please listen carefully as we conclude.
121. Most covenants are held between two equals.
122. For example,
123. we have a covenant of marriage between husband and wife as two equals.
124. Two businessmen enter into a business partnership as two equals.
125. But the magnificent thing about the grace of God is that the superior, holy, righteous, rich God makes and keeps a covenant with inferior sinners like us.
126. And what a privilege it is to know that the great and only God wants to covenant with us.
127. And so, my listening friend, make a covenant with God today that you will use your blessings to bless other people.
128. Say to God today, “God, You saved me. Now I want to help save somebody else.”
129. “God, You blessed me. Now I want to be a blessing to others.”
130. “God, You provided for me. Now I want to provide for others to hear the gospel and come to believe in You.”
131. Do you know, my listening friend, what honors the covenant-making and covenant-keeping God?
132. Your willingness to trust Him.
133. Trust in His grace,
134. in His provision,
135. and in His promises.
136. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.