Scripture Reading: Joshua 24:16-28
“So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord that He spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.'” (Joshua 24:25-27)
We all need to be accountable to other people. Many have fallen into sinful patterns and lifestyles because they lacked accountability. Some have had a moral tumble which had a ripple effect upon their families, friends, ministries, etc. We are all accountable to God — “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…” (II Corinthians 5:10a). But we also need others in our lives who love us enough to ask tough questions. We need people who will pray for us, encourage us, exhort us and confront us when necessary.
Before Joshua sent the people away to the inheritance they received from God (v. 28), he made a covenant with them. They said that they had chosen to serve and obey the Lord — “The Lord our God we will serve and His voice we will obey” (v. 24). So Joshua had them agree to hold each other accountable to their commitment to the Lord, which was the essence of the covenant Joshua made with them that day. He also set up a large stone that served as a witness to all the people of the commitment they made to the Lord. When they saw the memorial, they were reminded of Joshua’s words — “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord that He spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God” (V. 27).
Let’s face the fact — we all need to be accountable to others. We need people to hold us responsible for the commitments we make. And most of all, we need people who will hold us accountable for our spiritual growth and development. Over my years in ministry, I have had accountability partners who prayed for me, encouraged me, gave me advice, and exhorted me. I am deeply thankful for them.
Lord God, I have chosen to serve and obey You. I know that I am accountable to You and will stand before You one day to give an account. I am also grateful for those I’ve had in my life who have come along side me to encourage and exhort me.
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