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

Recently I asked my older sister, Mary Ann, if she remembered when our family moved into the house where we lived for many years. She replied, “You were about 9 months old, and I remember that Mother and Daddy stayed up all night packing boxes and listening to the radio. It was June 6, 1944, and they were listening to live coverage of the Normandy Invasion.”

Today marks the 70th anniversary of what has become known as D-Day—a military term for the day on which a planned operation will begin. Over the years, D-Day has also come to mean a moment of decision or commitment in our personal lives.

At one point in ancient Israel, their leader Joshua, now an old man, challenged the people to another kind of D-Day. After years of struggle to possess their inheritance in the land God had promised them, Joshua urged them to faithfully serve the One who had been so faithful to them (Josh. 24). “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” he said. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (v.15).

The day we decide to follow the Savior is the greatest turning point in our life. And each day after, we can joyfully renew our commitment to serve Him. By David C. McCasland

Lord, what a privilege it is to say “yes” to You each
day. Thank You for loving me and forgiving me.
Guide me in all my choices today and
help me to serve You faithfully.

Life’s biggest decision is what you do with Jesus.

The Importance of the Act of Baptism

Matthew 3:13-17

Children will frequently identify themselves with superheroes or other characters. For a time, they will adopt the mannerisms, dress, and speech patterns of their current favorite. As Christians, we are supposed to identify closely with Jesus and emulate His actions.

The Lord has commanded us to follow His example in all things, including baptism (Matt. 28:19). At the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, John the Baptist was calling Jewish people to confess their sins and demonstrate repentance through immersion in the Jordan River. The Son of God—who had no sin—asked John to baptize Him. Jesus was affiliating Himself with sinful man. When we follow His example in the waters of baptism, we are publicly confessing our faith in the Savior and identifying ourselves with Him.

By participating in baptism, we demonstrate our connection not only with Jesus but also with our brothers and sisters in the faith: We are all members of one body under the authority of the same Lord (Col. 1:18). It is important to remember that baptism is not a requirement for salvation; only faith in Jesus Christ is (Eph. 2:8-9). But in order to be obedient, we’re to be baptized after making the decision to follow Him.

Belief in Jesus is not something to be hidden away like a light under a bowl (Luke 11:33). It should be expressed in words and actions. Have you matched your confession of faith with the act of baptism?

A Very Present Help In Time Of Trouble

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” (Psalm 46:1-3)

The modifier “very” in this verse is a strong word. God is an intensively present helper in time of trouble; “let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Those who hold a deistic philosophy argue that God is far away, leaving the earth and its inhabitants to work out their own evolutionary salvation after He first started it going billions of years ago. But they are wrong, for God is right here, right now! “The LORD of hosts is with us” (Psalm 46:11).

There had, indeed, been a time when the earth was removed (literally, “the ground was changed”), and even the mountains had been eroded away and washed into the oceans. The waters swelled higher and the mountains quaked until finally, in the words of the apostle Peter, “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6).

This was the great Flood in the days of Noah—the greatest “trouble” in the world’s history. Even then, God had provided a refuge for His people—the Ark which He instructed Noah to build. When the Flood came, “the LORD shut him in,” and throughout the height of the cataclysm, “God remembered Noah, and every living thing” (Genesis 7:16; 8:1). There are great judgments coming on the earth in future days as well (Psalm 46:6-9), when the earth itself will be melted (literally “dissolved,” 2 Peter 3:10).

Again, the Lord’s people in that day can still say: “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:7). From the beginning of creation to the end of the age, God is a very present help to His people. HMM

I will run the way of Thy commandments

I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart.—Psalm 119; 32.
My hands also will I lift up unto Thy commandments which I have loved.—Psalm 119:48.

LOVE is higher than duty. But the reason is that love in reality contains duty in itself. Love without a sense of duty is a mere delusion, from which we cannot too soon set ourselves free. Love is duty and something more. FREDERICK TEMPLE.

Think not anything little, wherein we may fulfill His commandments. It is in the midst of common and ordinary duties that our life is placed; common occupations make up our lives. By faith and love we obey—but by obedience are the faith and love, which God gives us, strengthened. Then shall we indeed love our Lord, when we seek to please Him in all things, speak or are silent, sleep or wake, labor or rest, do or suffer, with a single eye to His service. God give us grace so to love Him, that we may in all things see Him; in all, obey; and, obeying, see Him more clearly and love Him less unworthily; and so, in that blissful harmony of obedience and of love, be prepared to see Him “face to face.” EDWARD B. PUSEY.

A new and living way

A new and living way. Hebrews 10:20

Cain went out from the presence of the LORD. — Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you. — Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.

I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. —Our Saviour Jesus Christ … hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

The way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing. —He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. — The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. —Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Genesis 4:16. Isaiah 59:2. Hebrews 12:14. John 14:6. 2 Timothy 1:10. Hebrews 9:8. Ephesians 2:14. Matthew 27:51. Matthew 7:14. Psalm 16:11.

He will rest in his love

He will rest in his love. Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the LORD loved you. — We love him, because he first loved us. — You … hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. —God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. — Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. — His son … who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.

Deuteronomy 7:7,8. 1 John 4:19. Colossians 1:21,22. 1 John 4:10. Romans 5:8. Matthew 3:17. John 10:17. Hebrews 1:2,3.