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Sep 23, 2022 18:30pm
Now, Therefore…
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It’s a question as old as time. Many scholars and amateurs have attempted to answer it, but the question is still out there…

“Which came first, the chicken, or the egg?”

What if I told you, I know the answer? Without a doubt I can answer this question with certainty. How? Because I have a book that told me the answer.

It says, “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:20-21)

See? It says it right there…God made real animals and not eggs.

Now, let’s talk about another matter. A debate that has existed for years and years, but today, just like the chicken and the egg, you’ll see which comes first.

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15)

Joshua is giving his final message to the Israelites. In his last words, he uses not his own, but those of the Lord (Joshua 24:2).

Notice the first two words in our scripture: Now, therefore. “Now” is a time reference. It means that something has happened before and in this moment, or because of what happened before, do this. “Therefore” means similarly, for that reason or again, because of.

Remember cause and effect? Something happened and it has an effect.

The effect here is to serve the Lord. But the time reference of “Now, therefore” tells us that service comes after or is the effect of something. So, what is the cause?

Verses 2-13 describe a summary of all that the Lord has done for the Israelites, from before the flood until now. So, what this passage tells us is that because God has done these wonderful things, we should serve Him.

Not the other way around. It’s not saying “because you served me I will do all these wonderful things for you.”

In this block of text, we find the answer to the debate that has gone on between people for years; can works save a person?

Based on the words of God, the answer is clearly no. Why serve the Lord? Why do what God has called us to do? To earn salvation? How can we? How could we ever do enough good to outweigh the bad?

We can’t.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We are saved by the grace of God. Nothing we can do ourselves can save us. If we could, we would boast about it and then what would be the purpose of the cross? Why would Jesus have had to suffer and die if I could earn my way to heaven?

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:” (Hebrews 12:28)

And in turn, because God has saved us by His grace, we serve Him with gladness!

Just as Joshua said, “choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Jesus has already paid the price for your sins, you simply must accept his forgiveness. Will you accept it today?

Now, therefore…

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