Harry Buis

READ : Joshua 24:14–28

Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. (v. 14)

Preaching the word of God is serious business. There is something especially solemn about one’s last sermon to a congregation. Joshua began his last sermon where all sermons should begin, “Thus says the Lord” (v. 2). God through Joshua recounts his dealings with their ancestors and with them. They were gracious dealings by which God blessed them. Then Joshua comes to his punch line: “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness.” Reader, consider God’s gracious dealings with you, how he has saved you through the blood of Jesus, how he has cared for you each step of the way, “and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness.”

Paul uses a similar argument in his great letter to the Romans. He says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1).

Joshua presses the point further. He says, “Choose this day whom you will serve” (v. 15). Reader, this is my last message to you. I plead with you to make a choice, the right choice, to serve Jesus Christ. If you have not done so before, do it “this day.” Joshua closes with this testimony, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (originally published May 20, 1972)


Father, we pray for those who are under the hearing of the word but who have not made a deliberate choice concerning the place of Jesus Christ in their lives. Amen