Back in the 1700s a man named Samuel Johnson said: “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”
The Apostle Peter wrote in that vein to encourage his readers: “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” (2 Peter 1.12-13).
When Joshua was saying his goodbyes, he recounted the history of the Israelite people that had brought them to the situation they found themselves in. (Joshua 23.4 – 24.13), reminding them that it was God Almighty who had given them all they had needed to be where they were. At that point he reminded them also of something very vital. He reminded them that they had to choose for themselves whom they would serve. We do too. Nobody can choose for us and we can’t use anybody else as an excuse. We serve God because we choose to serve Him, or we don’t serve God because we choose not to serve Him. I wish today to underscore that reality, and to add the personal item that Joshua added: as for me and my house, we have chosen to serve the Lord!
After reviewing the record of his involvement with the Ephesian Church, the Apostle Paul, reminded the Elders that though they would not see his face again, God would never leave them. He commended them to Him and to the Word of God’s grace, which, he assured them, would be able to build them up and give them an inheritance among God’s people in eternity. It is the same for us. Let us ever be reminded that it is God’s Word that feeds our faith and makes us grow in Him. It is His grace by which we’re saved and given eternal life when we make that choice to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
And the source of that grace? The Lord Jesus Himself! How carefully Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure by making His reminder into a promise. He would not leave them on their own but would give them “another Helper” to be with them forever. This is the great provision that Jesus has made for those who have chosen to invite Him into their lives and to serve Him. Following Jesus’ death, resurrection and return to Heaven, God the Father through the Lord Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit to be the One who would be available to help those who obey God’s command to repent and receive Jesus.
This is a promise we ought always to remember and which we ought never to forget: it is to those who have chosen to accept Christ and obey Him, that God has promised to be with and give the needed supply of the Holy Spirit. That is His promise, and we can depend on it!