North Anderson Baptist Church
For Me and My House
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Joshua has come to the point in his life and in the life of the Israelites that it was time to really decide who they would serve. God tells Joshua to remind His people of their forefathers, starting with Abraham and the fact that he was called as an idolator in a foreign land to worship the Lord God and then God led him to the land where he would begin the future for the children of the Lord. Joshua also related to them the life of the people of God who lived in Egypt, with their longing to be free and how God delivered them from the Pharoah and even through the Red Sea out of the hands of the Egyptians forever.

He reminded them that the desert was their home for a time, as well, and how they fought other nations against odds and won on the way to the Promised Land by the hand and power of God. When in the land that once was held by the enemies of God, the Lord tells the people that He gave them “a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.”

God declares to them through Joshua that they were now to make the decision to serve the Lord their God and Him only. They were to make this decision in sincerity and truth forgetting and leaving behind the idolatry of their lives and to forsake any of the gods “on the other side of the flood and Egypt” as well as the gods in this new land, and to serve the Lord only!

In his book covering Joshua and this particular chapter, Henry Ironside said, “So long as anything is given the place in our hearts that belongs to God Himself, there can never be the fullness of blessing that He would have us enjoy.”

Who or what, along with God, resides in your heart?

Can it be that you are not receiving the fullness of God’s wonderful blessings because there is something else besides God in your heart that takes priority?

Would you be willing to denounce all, except God, and become willing to follow the leadership of the Lord and live as He declares you to live, “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness?”
Joshua goes on to challenge the children of God when he says, “Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 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.” One of the things I like about Joshua is that he made things really clear for the people. Here he clearly gives them a choice on how they are to live. Stated already is the fact that living for and serving God will bring blessings to them; look what God gave them without working for it. But now he calls for the people to throw away all that is not of God and give complete allegiance to Jehovah.

Expressing the challenge like he does, he gives them the thought that if it seems right to them to not follow God then choose that way. His challenge is plain, follow God or not follow God!

Joshua now clearly spells out his priorities to the people of God. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Here is an old warrior who has experienced everything from the slavery of Egypt, to the wandering in the desert, eating manna plus being pushed into a great leadership position to guide all of God’s people through the long battles of conquering the Promised Land; now he declares without hesitation his loyalty to God, He stands with the Lord and so does all of his household. They are one in the same, he and his house! (Ironside)“His was an unflinching and unquestioning loyalty to the Holy One of Israel whom he had served for so long.

The exchange between Joshua and the people is very interesting, to say the least. The people declare with certainty that they will choose the Lord and serve Him. But Joshua questions what they say. Really? You are not able to serve Him, He is holy God and He is a jealous God and if you sin against Him with foreign gods He will not forgive your rebellion. Again, they declare their loyalty to God. Joshua finally expresses himself to say that they will be witnesses against themselves if they sin. Because of their choice, they are to cast off the foreign gods and obey God only, with the people promising once more, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey Him.”

What does all this mean for us here at NABC? In this New Year one of the things that would make a difference in our lives would be to declare once again our loyalty to the Lord our God! God has a right to ask you and me if we will be faithful to Him in all things.

Will you be willing to serve Him with all that you are?

Do you have the courage to stand before this congregation and declare to Him and to all here that, “As for my house we will serve, follow and worship the Lord Jesus Christ and do all that He asks of us to do in this New Year?”

Remember, God knows our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says,
We all say many things that we don’t follow up on. We make promises that we choose not to keep. On the whole humans don't really believe that the heart is evil and wicked. But if we will just look at what man can do and has done to their fellow human beings then we all can really see how cruel and wicked we can be.

“My dad used to say, but by the grace of God, there go I.” It took me a long time to truly understand that little saying. You see, I could be like those I cringe and complain about and without God in my life I could do what they do to others in this life. But, it is the grace of God that has been placed on my life that I have the ability to walk a different path. I don’t want that kind of heart that hurts, lies and is cruel beyond understanding. I believe that the grace of God has been placed on my life when I was saved and that grace has moved my life from that wicked kind of thinking and desire. But, we all must constantly guard our hearts and minds to make sure we allow the Holy Spirit to speak into them rather than allowing the world to have its influence in my life. Paul has told us that we have to allow “...the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7) If God guards your heart and your mind through Christ, then you will be able to make better and more godly decisions in this life.

You have heard people say, “I did that because god told me to do it.” The act which they did was cruel and evil and what they did they were led by their god, the god of their idolatry, which in reality is satan himself and his demons, who guided them to do the atrocities they did. Don’t trust your heart if you haven't prayed up and walked in the Word of God regularly. Even a saved person can make decisions that are not from God.

How about the young Christian girl who becomes infatuated by the “cool” or the “rebel” of a guy. She thinks she is in love and says that she believes God has guided her to marry and then change him. It is a lie from the devil, she hasn’t heard from God Jehovah, but satan, who has diverted her heart to doing his will. Her heart, even though she is a Christian, is influenced by the world and satan. Jesus once said in John 10:10 that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” and he will do that in any way he can, through his evil influences in our hearts and lives and many times through our emotions. The decisions you make need to be carefully prayed and thought through, with the guidance of the Lord.
In April, 1986, Larry Burkett (on his radio program) spoke of a young couple who wanted to buy a home, but felt it to be too expensive for them. They told God, “If you want us to buy it, 1) have the contractor accept only 1/2 of what he’s asking for the down payment, and 2) have the bank approve our loan. Both events happened and they bought the home. They soon began to go into debt. The problem: what to do now, since God “directed” them to do this! Source unknown

We are not always guided by God but by our own desires even though we blame God for our choices.

Harry Emerson Fosdick, a preacher who once served the First Presbyterian Church in New York, and Riverside Church in Manhattan suggested six easy ways to distinguish right from wrong.

1. Common sense – When you have an important decision to make, think ahead.
2. Golden Rule - “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This principle means that a person should decide his or her conduct on the basis of whether it would be fair or good if everyone used what was about to be done as a general rule of conduct.
3. Best Self - What does my Best Self tell me to do? Don’t fall into the trap of trying to rationalize bad behavior. (Moral relativism)
4. Publicity - When you are thinking about making a decision between right and wrong ask yourself this question; “Would I want everyone to know what I am doing right now?” Things that have to be done in secret are generally not healthy.
5. Mentor – Seek advice from someone or others you trust that has the wisdom and integrity to give you an honest answer.
6. Foresight - Look ahead at issues that may come up. Do “What If” scenarios. Foresight makes it unnecessary to take every path to see where it will lead. It can help to avoid impulsive situations that may lead to negative consequences.
Being willing to say, “I will follow God with all my heart,” is a wonderful statement of commitment and one that can make a difference in our lives. But, remember that God wants ALL our allegiance, ALL our heart, not just part of our lives. We can’t hold back anything from God. You can’t have a room in your heart where you and you alone have the key and Christ isn’t allowed to open up and go into the room. You are not fully committed, if that is the case.

So, with that said, are you ready to declare in this New Year you are truly committed to the Lord and that you want to serve, love and follow Him this year and that nothing will get in the way?

Are you willing to declare that not only you but your household is going to follow the Lord?

I want you to know as Lynda and I start this New Year that we will follow the Lord! We are committed to God and His Word and His church. Even though we will be here only five more weeks, we will stand with NABC and her mission to touch Anderson, the state and the nation and the world with the Gospel. We will be praying for you and the hard decisions that will be made throughout these many months to come. Our hearts are with you and we love you through all this transition.


To do what is required of you in making this kind of confession, if you are not already a Christian you must become a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Some here or at home have been thinking about this Jesus and who and what He claims to be.  I pray that you are ready to make that decision today and then follow through by making everyday a day of commitment.  We are willing to receive you into this church by your profession of faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  To do that you must believe that He is the Son of God and that He came to save you from your sin and that He died on the cross to do just that, taking your sin upon Him.  Then you need to believe that He was buried, because He was dead, and then He arose from the dead on the third day to give each who believe eternal life, which will give you a home in heaven when you die.
If you choose to make that decision today in church or if you are at home, you can pray right now with me by saying,
Lord Jesus I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came to die for my sins.  I believe that you died and were buried and then rose again on the third day to give me eternal life with you right now while I live on this earth and then when I die and live with you in heaven forever and ever. Lord, I surrender to you as my Master and King.
If you made that decision to choose Christ as your Savior and Lord, then be  bold enough to come forward and declare that truth this morning and if you are at home let us know by phone or a letter.  Amen!