“I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.”
Now, this is the verse right before, what’s probably the most famous verse in the book of Joshua. Joshua chapter 24, verse 15, where God says to his people through Joshua, choose this day, whom you will serve. As for me in my house, we will serve the Lord. So it’d be really simple to pray, just jump right to Joshua 24:15 and pray according to that verse. But the reason why I want to read verse 13 is because this charge to serve God and fear God and obey God is grounded in the grace of God in the verse right before.
God has displayed his great love, provision, and kindness to us.
In Joshua 24:13, God says to his people, I love you so much. Look at what I have given to you, by my grace, land on you’ve not labored, cities that you had not build. You’re living in. You’re enjoying the fruit of things you did not earn. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant. And I just want to encourage you to think about your life in light of Joshua 24:13, just pause and consider all of God’s blessings in your life that are all undeserved. I think about the fact that I know the gospel, that I was born into a place in the world where I’ve heard the gospel. I had nothing to do with where I was born. Why was I not born in Pakistan among the Soormah Sindh people who have no knowledge of the gospel.
I was placed in a part of the world where I’ve heard the good news of God’s love all my life, where I’ve been surrounded by the gospel. I don’t know your whole story, but I’m assuming since you’re listening to this podcast right now, you have heard the gospel, that’s all of grace and we’re just getting started. And the fact that we have any measure of health, the fact that we have clean water, the fact that we have food on our tables, the fact that we have skills, abilities, all grace gifts from God. There is nothing good in our lives that did not come from God. Everything, his mercy is the only reason we’re alive right now. God has given us so much grace and so, yes, we want to love and serve God with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our mind and all of our strength. Yes. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Because of the grace of God, we love because he first loved us and so we realized that at the core of all of God’s commands to us is God’s love for us. And so we pray, God, thank you, and maybe even after this short podcast prayer is over, each of us would just spend a few minutes, specifically thanking God for his grace in our lives. God, we thank you for your salvation and all of our lives. I praise you for loving us and saving us from our sins and giving us eternal life. We know we’ve been saved by grace through faith, and it is not from ourselves. That it’s a gift from your hand, that we will eat of the fruit of your goodness for all of eternity only by your grace. God, we praise you for the breath we have today, for beating hearts. We praise you for water and food. We praise you for the privilege of being a part of your church. God, we praise you for family, for friends. God, so many good things you have given to us all by your grace.
God, I deserve none of your blessings in my life. I deserve to be in hell right now. We do, and yet here we are communing with you, walking with you, enjoying your promises to us, your goodness to us, in so many different ways in our lives. Even when we go through trials, you’re working all of those together for our good. We praise you God for your love for us, and so we say today as the overflow of your love for us, your grace toward us, yes, as for each of us and our houses, we will serve you. Help us to serve and honor and glorify you today. May your grace toward us be to great effect for you. And God, we pray this for your glory among people who need to know your grace.
I mentioned the Soormah Sindh of Pakistan. God may they know your grace. May they know your love through your church rising up and taking the gospel to them. God, please may it be so. May your grace and your love spread through us today, near and far for your glory, that others might know the fruit of your grace in their lives and they might serve you with all their hearts. God, may your grace spread through us for your glory through us. We pray according to Joshua, 24:13 in Jesus’ name. Amen.
View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.