Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Classic statement from Joshua as he addresses the nation toward the end of his days. Notice that serving God is something you must CHOOSE to do. It doesn’t happen automatically. It doesn’t happen by default. It’s something you do on purpose. It’s something that requires determination and dedication.
Now, we won’t go into the details of Joshua’s sermon, but I’d like to point out his rationale as to why the people should choose to serve the Lord. These 2 reasons show up over and over again in the word of God.
First, we should serve the Lord because of what He has already done for us (1 Samuel 12:24). This is love (2 Corinthians 5:14). And second, we should serve the Lord because of the rewards He promises to those who do (Colossians 3:23-24). This is faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Having made the choice to serve the Lord, Joshua goes on to exhort the people that what they need is a single mind (Matthew 6:22; James 1:8) and a united, un-entangled heart (Psalm 86:11; 2 Timothy 2:4).
Joshua 24:19-23 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel.