March 29 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“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.” ~Joshua, Joshua 24:15

God has kept His word, and the land is occupied from the Jordan to the Great Sea (Mediterranean Sea). Scattered here and there throughout the land are Canaanite inhabitants, so Joshua warns the people about closely associating with nonbelievers and cautions against intermarrying with those who do not love God (Josh. 23:6-13). Why such warnings? Because, as we all know, relationships have a powerful influence in people’s lives. The people we associate with can impact our thought processes, our attitudes, and even our actions.

If pagan peoples have a negative effect on individuals and community, then the opposite must also be true. The influence of one devoted God follower can deliver a powerful, positive impact. For Israel at this time, that man is Joshua. It is Joshua who implores the people to fear God and serve Him all their days. Follow my example, he exhorts them, for he had already made up his mind: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). What conviction! Joshua is an inspiring example of a person who impacted the lives of people for good. His devotion to the Lord, and his fearless leadership, affected the entire worshipping community. His obituary reads, “Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua” (Josh. 24:31). His life influenced an entire nation to remain devoted to God.

Think today about the power of influence. Who is influencing you? Who are you spending a lot of time with? Have you ignored the warnings in Scripture about the power of relationships? Don’t be fooled, as Israel was, into thinking that the people around you will not impact your life. Also consider how (or if!) you are influencing others to serve the Lord. Have you made a commitment to serve Him no matter what? Have you decided, like Joshua, to put that decision out there? Have you made up your mind to follow Him wholeheartedly, or are you looking around to see what others are going to do? May God give us wisdom to allow the right people into our lives and the strength to influence others to love and serve the Lord all of their days.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.