These are the final words of Joshua, the leader of Israel for the last forty plus years.  He challenges the people to forsake their false gods and focus all their attention upon Yahweh, their one and only God.  The best part of this chapter, in my opinion, is that Joshua not only challenged the people, but he also led them personally by declaring his own commitment to following Yahweh alone.  He not only led the people, but he also led his family to worship God alone.  This is the ultimate sign of a true leader.  He committed himself to doing exactly what he asked his people to do.  Are you leading your family in the same manner as Joshua led these people?  If you train your children to stay away from filth on television and the internet, are you leading them by doing the same?  If you train your children to show great respect for your spouse, are you leading them by showing great respect for your spouse?  This is the real key to success in parenting and in pastoring a church.  If a parent or a pastor is not living what he is preaching, then his ability to impact people is greatly diminished.  Children and church members do not deal well with hypocrisy.  It normally opens the door for greater sin in the lives of those who are supposedly following your lead.  Is that really what you want for your children and your church?  Stand up just as Joshua did and watch your children and your church follow along.

Help me, Lord, to stand for You as Joshua stood for you in the Scriptures.  Help me to lead my family and my church in truth and the authority that comes from walking closely with You.