A 20/20 Look at 2020
My wife and I were camping one time. We had hiked all day. It was a warm summer evening, clear sky so we decided to leave the rain fly off of our tent giving us an open view of the heavens above us. In the dark mountain night we gazed at the stars in utter amazement of the beauty and wonder of the stars. this moment was interrupted by my wife letting out a groan of frustration… OH NOOOOO! I can see the stars! I forgot to take out my contacts! You see I am blessed with 20/20 vision while my wife without her glasses or contacts is nearly blind.
According to the American Optometric Association :
20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet.
Having 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance. Other important vision skills, including peripheral awareness or side vision, eye coordination, depth perception, focusing ability and color vision, contribute to your overall visual ability.
Some people can see well at a distance but are unable to bring nearer objects into focus. This condition can be caused by hyperopia (farsightedness). Others can see items that are close but cannot see those far away. This condition may be caused by myopia (nearsightedness).
Some of us over this past year have struggled with our vision as it pertains to 2020.
Some of us have thought our vision was perfect, yet realizing later some things were a little blurry
Some were seeing great in front of them yet allowing tunnel vision to occur failing to see things peripheral things
Some struggled being nearsighted while others looked ahead so much failing to see things right in front of them
Over and over in the scriptures God calls on His people (you and me) to REMEMBER to LOOK BACK:
It has been said that hindsight or looking back is 20/20… in essence we have a (clarity or sharper picture of things)!
It is not perfect vision, but we can often see things clearer
Consider the Psalmist as he declares before the Lord Psalm 33:13-15; Psalm 34:8; Psalm 66:5-7
The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.
O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Come and see the works of God, Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into dry land; They passed through the river on foot; There let us rejoice in Him! He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
In our passage today we see Joshua REMINDING the people what God has done. Joshua 24:1-13 This chapter begins with Joshua gathering all the Israelites together and he has them all look back and
Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel and for their heads and their judges and their officers; and they presented themselves before God. Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods. ‘Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him through all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac. ‘To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau, and to Esau I gave Mount Seir to possess it; but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. ‘Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt by what I did in its midst; and afterward I brought you out. ‘I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and Egypt pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. ‘But when they cried out to the Lord, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them and covered them; and your own eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness for a long time. ‘Then I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan, and they fought with you; and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land when I destroyed them before you. ‘Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel, and he sent and summoned Balaam the son of Beor to curse you. ‘But I was not willing to listen to Balaam. So he had to bless you, and I delivered you from his hand. ‘You crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho; and the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Girgashite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. Thus I gave them into your hand. ‘Then I sent the hornet before you and it drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, but not by your sword or your bow. ‘I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’
Good & bad God was there! Joshua is exclusively reminding Israel of all God had done and HIS faithfulness to them.
Gathered Together… Remind each-other… everyone listen:
Battles and Victories
Deserts & Wilderness
Death And life
Sorrow and plenty
As God reminds them He addresses LIFE and its Ups and DOWNs
You read these first 13 verses and the word that comes to mind is SOVEREIGN...
Over 16 times we see God use “ I “ He was and is working...
We see supreme authority, control, power
Reminded of God’s Sovereignty and working Joshua puts forth a charge… Joshua 24:14
“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
As we approach verses 14 and 15 there is a choice to be made. We as believers all have to make the choice whether or not we will serve the Lord! Joshua begins these verses with…
Commanded to Serve
Commanded to Serve
Before we serve we need to have the fear of the Lord. The past experiences create reverent fear
Ministry opportunities, online, in person, crisis counseling, salvation's and gospel opportunities!!!!
On the 31st of January we will look at what God has done in even greater detail in and through this church family
We were able to purchase $850 worth of gifts for House of Grace in Tijuana and gave $200 for a Christmas dinner. Another 7 kids were adopted by church members and shopped for! What a blessing for these orphans
Hi Pastor, Merry Christmas! Wanted to share this today. Anguel is a soft spoken older gentleman at the shelter, and his vision is getting worse. We had the men’s Christmas celebration Thursday night, and as we were cleaning up there was a hand on my arm. I turned and it was Anguel “Brother Dave, I hate to bother you, but I can’t hardly read my Bible anymore ( I got him a large print Bible a couple years ago). If you can, could you buy me another Bible with larger print?” I said I will be glad to but it’ll be a couple weeks, as the place I order them from is busy with Christmas orders- and they’ve already mentioned orders won’t arrive now until we’ll after Christmas. He said he understood, but it was obvious he was hoping for something sooner. As he walked away I said a quick prayer asking if the Lord would bless me with a few extra dollars to help buy it from Walmart- if they had one on hand... God already had things in motion. I stopped by my PO Box this morning, and found a blessing from you guys at Grace. Got to Walmart and they had ONE Spanish Bible on the shelf- and it was a giant print Bible. Exactly what he needed. I got to the shelter tonight, and he was shocked that I had the Bible already. I told him how God had already known what he wanted, how you had sent a blessing, and Walmart had ONE Spanish Bible left. I wanted to share his smile with you, he is extremely grateful. So am I, thank you for your prayers, love and support all these years. God Bless you all
We know more of Him by seeing Him work in our lives and others lives.
Serve Faithfully or With Sincerity: Freedom from deceit, hypocrisy or falseness… with an earnestness.
Serving God without hypocrisy
Do we serve God as hypocrites? —BLINDED
We serve faithfully by casting off
Requires single devotion
Requires ridding ourselves of hindrances
There were other gods
We have many distractions or other gods as uncomfortable it may seem to refer to them that way.
As we look at this command to serve the first part of the next verse almost seems like an after thought. Joshua seems to give a no-brainer option before us. We have a choice.... Joshua 24:15
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Choice to Serve
Choice to Serve
One will be undesirable to serve
Serving the world has many desirable appeals -- COMFORTABLE
Serving the Lord will only become undesirable when we forget WHO He is and WHAT He has done.
Choose today and every day (This Day)
You are always serving something or someone
To serve is not the choice
WHO to serve is the choice
THIS CHOICE is given in light of the verses prior to it… (Remembering / Reflecting )on what God has done.
There is a command and a choice and I love how we see this passage close. It closes with….the commitment Joshua 24:15-18
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The people answered and said, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. “The Lord drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.”
Commitment to Serve
Commitment to Serve
Despite others around you we have a personal commitment!!!! (FAMILY)
There is commitment to the Lord
There is commitment to each other
A commitment and responsibility displayed here for the leader of the home to lead in serving the Lord. Our choices affect our children.
In Conclusion we may not always see clearly… but God’s Word is very clear on our responsibility to trust and obey. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
Take some time over the next few days to reflect on what God is doing and has done in your life in 2020.
Through the joys and sorrows, look for His finger prints on your life.
Who are you serving and does the who need to change?
May He be the one you desire to serve.