14“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ~ Joshua 24:14-15 (ESV)
Hello my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and thank you for praying with us in our weekly Prayers for the Week message. Today I’ve been thinking about the choices that we all have in our lives — choices for good, choices for bad, and how we all make bad choices in our lives. However, when it comes to God, the absolute most important choice we have to make is to choose who we are going to serve — God, or something else.
My friends, it is out of this choice that so many of our further choices in life will be, in many ways, chosen by us because of how we choose on this single, lifetime choice. For example, by choosing to follow and serve God, we are choosing to be His instrument in this dark, sinful, fallen world. We are saying that we are going to be God’s Light during times when the Darkness has descended so much. A simple look at the ugly way this political season has progressed is proof of how dark this world is.
By contrast, if we choose to look towards our own greedy desires, then we are putting ourselves first; we are telling the world that we are what matters, not you; and we are saying to God, You don’t matter, I am the one that matters here.
My friends, the choice you make in who you will serve is a choice that will decide where you are going to end up. Choosing to serve the Lord is choosing to follow His Son, Jesus, and to have Eternal Life in Heaven; choosing to turn from God is choosing to follow Satan, and that will lead to spending an eternity in Hell. The choice is yours to make, just as it was my choice to make. Lastly, if you decide that you will choose later on, then I urge you to consider it now. None of us is guaranteed a tomorrow; we all will die at some point, and when that is isn’t up to us for the most part. If you die without having made a choice — well, then you have not chosen to serve God, and that is the same as saying no to God.
Now, please follow along and pray over these prayer requests and praises.
Prayer Requests and Praises
- We have a comment from last week’s post from Bamabride09, with a prayer request: Hi Mike! I would really appreciate prayers for my younger brother, Michael. He has experienced chest pain throughout the last week, and the doctor found that the muscles around his heart have weakened. He has been referred to a cardiologist, so hopefully we’ll know more soon. Also, please pray for strength for my mom. My brother is mentally handicapped and has a hard time understanding all that’s happening. My mom is doing her best, but I can tell she’s struggling emotionally. Thank you, Mike!!
- Tuesday, August 9, in Raleigh, NC, the Men’s Study Bible Study is having a free meal to any men interested in signing up for this year’s Bible Study. We’ll be studying the book of Romans and the books of Timothy, so if you live in Raleigh, NC, or the surrounding area, I pray that you would consider joining in our study. It’s life changing! Tuesday, August 9, 2016, at 6:00PM, at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. If you can’t join us at the invitation dinner, but want to sign up, you can do so here.
- Huge praise for the Music Arts Camp that was held this week at Edenton Street UMC. My daughter Sophie was in it, and the staff and children performed a play off of the book of Esther. It was wonderful, and we all were blessed to see it. Special praise to Josh who leads it, and to the Rev. Sally Bates for directing the play, and to all of the volunteers who helped shepherd the children.
- We also lift up prayers to the kids as they start to return to school. Please pray for their continued learning, and also for the administrators who teach and lead our children. May they all have wonderful years full of learning the things they need to learn and not learning the things that just get them in trouble.
- My wife, daughter, dog, and I are all traveling home from a family visit today. Please pray for a safe journey for all of us.
- Lastly, continued prayers for all of those prayer requests that we had last week, as well as in the other prayer posts. Thank you for keeping up with those and continuing to pray over them! Remember, you can email your prayer requests by sending an email to email@example.com.
Heavenly Father, thank You for all of the blessings that You give to us. Please hear our prayers, and act according to Your Will on each and every one of them. Please be with us all in the coming week, and give us safe travels, safe passage through this fallen world, until the time next week when we can connect back up again.
Lord, we ask for forgiveness in all the ways that we sin against You, and thank You for Your constant forgiveness in our lives.
We pray for all of these things in the name of Your Son, Jesus, with Thanksgiving.