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Joshua 24:19 -

The difficulties of God's service.

I. THERE ARE DIFFICULTIES IN THE SERVICE OF GOD . All are freely invited to serve God; all may find ready access to God; there is no need for delay, all may come at once and without waiting to be worthy of Him; after coming through Christ, the yoke is easy and the burden light. Yet there are difficulties. Sin and self and the world must be sacrificed; God cannot be served with a divided heart, hence complete devotion must be attained; the service itself involves spiritual endeavours and tasks and battles, before which the strongest fail. It is impossible to serve God in our own strength. We can only serve Him aright because what is impossible with men is possible with God; i.e, we can only serve Him in His strength and through the inspiration of His Spirit.

II. THE DIFFICULTIES IN THE SERVICE OF GOD ARISE FROM THE DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN OUR CHARACTER AND HIS . God does not willingly make His service hard; it would not be hard if we were not sinful. It is difficult while we have evil habits and affections lingering about us, and it is impossible so long as we cling to these voluntarily.

III. IT IS WELL TO CONSIDER THE DIFFICULTIES IN THE SERVICE OF GOD . Israel was too ready hastily to accept God's service without considering all that it involved. If difficulties exist they must be faced. It is best to count the cost before making choice ( Luke 14:28 ). Those representations of the gospel which are confined to invitations and promises, and ignore the call to repentance and to sacrifice for Christ, are false and unjust. Christ would have the new disciple face the cross ( Luke 14:27 ). Such considerations should not deter us from the choice of God's service. They should make us

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