In the last Sunday sermon of 2018, Dn. Mervin reminded us that though we are assured of our salvation, we still have to actively work to keep ourselves from being enslaved to the idols of the world. This reminder echoes Joshua’s exhortation in Joshua 24:15, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
In 2019, we will begin our journey from the pulpit by traversing on the rich historical narrative of Joshua. In this book, we will witness the fulfilment of God’s promises to the Israelites (21:45) when the Israelites, led by Joshua, acted in faith. The recurring promise of Yahweh’s “I will be with you” (1:5; 1:9; 3:7) and the resulting victories are contingent on the obedience of the Israelites.
What about us? The promise of God’s abiding presence is also for us (ref: Hebrews 13:5-6) and there is nothing more reassuring for us than to hear God’s, “I will be with you” or “I will not forsake you” amidst our struggles in life. But have we been wholeheartedly obedient to Him? Are there secret idols in our life we are enslaved to? Have we acted in faith on the promises that were given to us? Will we say as Joshua had, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”?
For this year, each month’s memory verse is a promise from God taken from either the Old Testament, Epistle or the Gospels. I would like to challenge us all to, as per the Joshua Code (1:8), keep God’s Word in our hearts through memorization and meditate on them “day and night”. The Word thus received and retained in our hearts and minds will train us to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, overcome temptations from the idols of this world, bolster and strengthen our faith, and build and edify others when recited with our mouths.
May we then act in faith on the promises of God - knowing that Yahweh will be with us!
“God’s Word is shallow enough not to drown the young,
but deep enough that the greatest theologian will never touch the bottom.”
- Early Church Father Augustine
Mr. Daniel Gan