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August 31 – Choose you this day

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15

Scripture reading: Joshua 24:1-28

As the book closes, Joshua calls all Israel to him to again ratify God’s covenant. They must publicly pledge to follow their mighty, majestic and merciful God. First, Joshua reminds Israel that the Patriarch, Abraham, was mercifully drawn out of paganism by the Lord (vs. 2). If even Abraham needed God’s divine intervention, how much more do we also! Then God’s continued covenantal faithfulness is expounded upon by Joshua (verses 3-13), reminding them that salvation is always and only the work of Almighty God.

Next, Joshua challenges the people to properly respond to God’s grace. Will they serve the Lord in gratitude and thanksgiving, or will they side with the gods their fathers served or the idols of the pagans around them (vs. 15)? The people promise to serve the Lord, but Joshua questions their commitment (verses 19-20). The people insist, however, so Joshua confronts them about the nature of the God they say they will follow. He will accept no half-hearted followers, no half-baked commitments. So choose you – very carefully – whom you will serve.

This challenge is for us today. Because God is holy and jealous, He demands perfection and righteousness from us. But we too fail in our covenantal obedience. We need the loving sacrifice and the holy righteousness of Jesus. He alone keeps covenant perfectly for us. He alone stands in our place and turns aside the Father’s wrath. God does for us what we can never do for ourselves. Find your eternal rest in Christ alone.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for pulling you out of unbelief and sin. Thank Him for His great show of divine grace as seen in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Ask Him to make that grace known to even more people around the world, until the full number of His elect are saved.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Ed Marcusse is the pastor of the Oak Glen United Reformed Church of Lansing, Illinois.

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