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“So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshipped on the far side of The river (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God. If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve – and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshipped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.” – Joshua 24:14-15 (Message)
The NIV translation reads “Choose this day whom you shall serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
We have said goodbye to the most influential Evangelist of our lifetime. Rev. Billy Graham was used by God in a dynamic way to bring millions of people to faith in Christ Jesus. He is now rejoicing in his heavenly home. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in the UK wrote that, in 1934 at 16 years of age Billy Graham reluctantly gave his life to the Lord at a revival meeting, led by travelling Evangelist Rev. Mordecai Ham. At that time Billy Graham was about to experience a transformation from a traditional farm boy into an instrument of God. He was walking through the woods one night seeking God’s direction for his faith. The Answer? The Bible – sealed by prayer. He said, “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word – by faith! I am going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be your inspirational Word.”
I would never assume to be on par with Rev. Graham, even though God looks at each of us with the same love and acceptance, but I remember in the Summer of August 28, 1976, seven days before my twenty-third birthday, was the night I confessed my sins to God, my good friend Jim was there with me. I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour. I knew that I did not want to live for eternity separated from God so I made my choice to follow Him and serve Him for the remaining days of my life. Up to this point, I did not like to hear what my friend was saying to me, as he shared the gospel with me but it started to convict my heart. At one point, I reluctantly listened to what he was telling me and then I read in the Bible for myself, what God had to say to me and how much He loved me and that He gave His only Son for me that I could have an abundant life here on earth and an eternal life with Jesus forever in heaven. I knew at that time I needed Jesus in my life.
I had no idea what God would ask me to do in the future, but I made the choice to listen to Him as best I could and to obey His leading and calling in my life. My friends and family did not understand entirely and some even tried to talk me out of serving God. But instead of going back, I chose that day to serve God. Over the years that lay ahead, God confirmed His call in my life and I had to step out in faith and believe His Word and His direction for my life. There were battles to be won and issues to overcome. We read in the gospels how Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus and when he took his eyes off of Jesus he began to sink. Just like Peter, I had to step out of that proverbial boat a few times and I knew that as long as I kept my eyes on Jesus, that He would allow me to overcome any fears or issues in my life.
Choose this day who you will serve, who you will worship. God does have a future for you. He has good hopes and plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Trust Him because He will always be with you. One never knows what great things God has in store for those who put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ wholeheartedly. “My home is in heaven. I am just passing through this earth.” – Billy Graham Choose to serve God as you pass through this life because great is the reward in heaven.