Sunday, October 25, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Family: Choice to be with the Lord
 Dhinker Philip
St. Stephen MTC, NJ
14 “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Book of Joshua marks the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. In this chapter Joshua summons all the tribes of Israel and delivers the message of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling the promises beyond all odds and makes a strong call to the Israelites to decide who they will serve. 
Our life is all about making choices. Throughout our lives we encounter situations that require us to make choices. We always try to make sure that the choices that we make are to our best  interest. If we carefully examine our choices we find that many of our choices are based on our past experiences or based on the experiences that we have observed in other people’s life. Also the choices are made with certain expectation. For example, a student who is given the choice to pick the college for his/her higher studies, will pick the best rated college for a particular graduate course(purpose – To get good education) and the expectation will be to get a good job once graduated(Outcome). So there are 2 aspects in making a choice, 1. The purpose 2. The outcome.
The challenge that Joshua placed in front of the people of Israel was to choose whom they will serve faithfully:  is it the Egyptian gods, the gods of the Amorites or the one true and living God who has faithfully led them through to the promised land. Let us remind ourselves that “we” in this generation are faced with exactly the same choice. We might think we are seasoned Christians and might think this is irrelevant to us. But we have to remember that the choices that we make in our day to day lives will define who we are serving. Are we faithfully serving the Lord in the choices that we make in our workplaces, schools, colleges, with our families and friends?  Sometimes this is really hard to practice in our daily lives. At times like these we are to remind ourself that God is not expecting that we pull it through all by ourselves. He has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to faithfully serve the Lord. We need to constantly ask for it. So the purpose of choices that we make in all areas of our life should be to faithfully serve the Lord. When the choices in our life are driven by this purpose, we will see God’s blessings in our lives.
Many a time we get really discouraged when we go through the various circumstances in our life. We may at times go through a period of questioning the reason for the various circumstances that we are going through. It is by fervent prayer and reading the Bible and seeing passages like this that we are encouraged. So the other key message from this chapter is the encouragement to look back on the faithfulness of the Lord in our own lives and the lives of other Christians around us. Joshua takes time to explain in detail all that God has done in the lives of the Israelites and, in that moment of realization,  he acknowledges in verse 15, that he and his household will serve the Lord and there is no question of a different choice. We will be able to faithfully serve the Lord always if we keep ourselves reminded of all the blessings we have received from the Lord in the past. Also we need to note here that Joshua is proclaiming that serving the Lord is not his individual choice but the choice of his family. This is very important. God has called us together and placed us in a family with the expectation that the choice that each individual takes influence the choice of the family. Let us ask God for his divine intervention in the choices we make for ourselves and our  families.


O Lord, our Heavenly Father, thank you for all that You have done in our lives. Please help us to be always reminded of those blessings You have done in our lives and enable us to make the choices in our lives that will uphold our faithfulness to serve You in everything that we do. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
What are the choices in our lives that reflect Jesus for others to see.