Hello everyone. My name is Pastor roderick caesar the third on the lead Pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york. And my prayer is that you would be blessed. You would be encouraged and strengthened by this word. Hope you enjoy God bless a man with a blessing to know that we serve a good God. We serve a great God, an awesome God, an awesome savior. Uh, it’s good to know that we can give him glory forever and ever. That he shall reign forever and ever. And he’s worthy of the honor, worthy of the glory, worthy of the praise. So good to know that we served as God, this risen king, this risen savior and he’s with us today. So let’s be encouraged and take heart in the fact that our Lord is with us. Amen, Amen and Amen. Let’s pray. Dear God, I just thank you so much for this time. I thank you for your people. I thank you for this word. I pray Lord that as I speak and as I share or that you would be seen, you would be heard, you would be felt. You would do what only you can do in the lives of your people. Father through this word through this message, I pray father that uh, you would get all the praise, You would get all the honor. You would get all the glory that there would be no debate Father who is in charge. We thank you Lord for the fact that you’re with us in the midst of pain. You’re with us in the midst of anxiety. You’re with us in the midst of stress, you’re with us in the midst of everything that’s going on in this nation. God, you see it, you feel the pain and you are are with us in the midst of it Father. So I pray you will continue to give us strength, continue to give us hope. Continue to be the solid rock on which we stand. We thank you, We praise you. We give you glory. We ask these things in jesus name. Amen. Amen and amen As we turn our attention to the world. I’ll ask you to uh turn with me to the book of Joshua. Chapter 24, Joshua. Chapter 24 I’ll be reading verses 14 and 15 today. We’re going to be talking about legacy, honoring God with not only the lives we live, but what the legacies we leave. And so it’s so important for us to talk, to think about legacy. To think about what we leave behind. To think about how people think of us uh, when we leave the room or when we leave the scene or when we’re no longer here specifically in these times because we are living through history And it’s so important for us to, to uh think through what kind of legacy. We will leave. I’ll be reading from Joshua chapter 24, verses 14 through 15 now, therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness, put away the gods that your father served beyond the river and in Egypt and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, then choose this day, whom you will serve. Whether the gods your father served in the region beyond the river or the gods of the Amur, rights in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Uh This chapter here marks the end of the book of Joshua. The end of the life of of Joshua and the end of Israel’s consistent, consistent success in the promised land, Joshua says to Israel, look, in essence, you can do what you want, you can do what you gotta do. You can do whatever you whatever you want to do you can do. But as for me in my house, that’s for me and my people. As for me and my my group, we we will serve the Lord. He says, look, Israel. We’ve made it this far. We’ve been obedient here. We’ve been obedient there. God has blessed us here. God has blessed us. Their God has been faithful to us and gotten us in a promised land that we didn’t even deserve. He’s gotten us into a promised land and he’s given us rest when we were weary. He’s gotten us into a promised land and he’s kept his end of the promise As we see in Joshua 24, the Lord says, I gave you a land which you have not labored in cities that you had not built and you dwelt in them. You ate the fruit of the vineyards and the olive orchards that you did not plant. So he says, look, God has blessed us with so much God has blessed you with so many things. God has opened doors for you that you didn’t deserve to be open. God has made ways for you that you didn’t think would ever be made and all these things that he did for us we didn’t deserve. So we can’t forget the Lord. So now he says, Fear the Lord fear the Lord and serve him verse 14. Fear the Lord and serve him. We have to be wise, proverb says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So if that’s the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy one is insight. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the decisions that you make and the the uh things that you jump into without first contemplating and thinking through. Okay, Lord, is this something that I should do? Lord do? I have a healthy perspective of you on my seeking first to your kingdom. We have to realize that everything should be rooted in us seeking and chasing after the Lord. Fear the Lord and serve him. He says, Fear the Lord, so be wise in your doing. Be wise in your decisions. Fear the Lord and serve him so out of this, fearing the Lord comes serving the Lord now for us as believers is so important that we examine our service, examine our service, examine how we do what we do and why we do what we do. We want to serve in sincerity and we want to serve in faithfulness. That’s what Joshua says, Fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. We don’t want to be fake. We don’t want to be phony. We want to take the masks off right sincerity is the quality of being free from pretense from deceit or from hypocrisy so many times we can serve God or do things out of a warped motive. But what Joshua is saying here is be sincere about it. Be real about it. If you’re wrestling with the motives, you take it to God in prayer. If you’re wrestling with some things, you’d be sincere in your faith, be sincere in your doing. Be sincere in your service. It does not make sense to serve this God who laid everything bare for the world to see who was his authentic self while he was wrapped in flesh. Doesn’t make sense to serve him with a mask on. It doesn’t make sense to serve him half heartedly. It says be sincere in your service. So examine your service, serve him in sincerity, but then also serve the Lord in faithfulness, faithfulness. What this shows me is that the Lord is not looking for perfect people. He’s not looking for perfect people. Many of us we hold off on joining a group where we hold off on committing to God because we say, oh God, it’s it’s too much. You want too much of me, I’m not perfect. I’m so far from what I should be. I’m so far from where you want me to be. I’m so far from all this. I’m far from all that. But you know, I’m not there yet. But God isn’t looking for perfection. He’s looking for faithfulness. God isn’t looking for perfection. He’s looking for faithfulness. The text says what he’s faithful even when we are faithless because he cannot deny himself. So even in those times when we fall short, because all of sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, even in those times when we fall short, God is still with us and he’s looking for us to serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness, that means if you fall down, you get back up again. That means when when when the storms come raging and hitting you and trying to knock you off, course you say, no, I’m gonna stay rooted, I’m gonna stay anchored. I’m gonna stand on this firm foundation of christ the solid rock. I’m going to be faithful in this instance. And even when I’m not, I’m not gonna let that define me. I’m going to let the blood of jesus christ define me. I’m gonna let God’s faithfulness to find me. I’m gonna get up. Even when I’ve been knocked down, I’m going to be faithful. So Lord is not looking for perfection. We see this all throughout the scriptures, there are many different individuals that God used. God didn’t say, oh I want to use the, you know only you because you’re perfect and I know the people that God used were messed up. The people that God used that God used were imperfect the people that God used had had things that needed to be addressed and things that needed to be to be uh dealt with. But he still used them in spite of and still used them with their difficulties because he’s not looking for perfection. He’s looking for people that are faithful. So he says serve the Lord with sincerity, serve the Lord with faithfulness. And then he says Joshua says put away the gods of your fathers. Put away the gods of your fathers. So put away the gods that your that your father served beyond the river and in Egypt and serve the Lord. And if there is evil, if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord then choose this day whom you will serve. Whether you’ll serve the gods your father served in the region beyond the river or the gods of the animal rights in whose land you dwell. So Joshua is saying, look, let’s not lie about this here. It’s not, it’s not to say that all our our fathers did great things and all serve the one true god. No, no, no. There’s multiple gods. There’s multiple bales, those multiple idols. There’s there’s multiple gods that our father’s bow down to that we’re not perfect. They bow down to some things that we now need to reject, that we now need to walk in the opposite spirit that we now need to shun. So he says, the gods that that your father served while they were in Egypt the gods that your father served while they were in the wilderness and all these different places that old life, that old way don’t keep those traditions with, you don’t keep those gods with you, get rid of them, leave them and instead serve the Lord and for us, our idols or the idols in our family or the idols and things could could look very different. It could look like patterns. It could look like a mindset that you’ve been taught to do a certain example that you’ve been expected to follow. A certain pattern that you’ve been expected to continue, but today you can say not. So we put away those gods, we see this happening uh, so prevalent today in our society in our life. And hopefully this is something that continues to prevail. But a lot of the racist mindsets and people coming together to fight against systematic racism and fight against the injustices that are taking place in our society, they’re saying no no no not. So we’re gonna put these strongholds aside and fight for change for the future. Let’s take a look at the story of Gideon. Gideon is someone who had to do exactly this to put away the gods of his fathers to be, who God has called him to be. Gideon is in the Book of Judges, chapter six in Judges chapter six I want us to look at verse 11. Now this is after Joshua, so Joshua has now passed, he’s already said, look as for me and my house will serve the Lord put those gods aside, but as for me and my house will serve the Lord, he’s passed on. And so now we see what’s taking place is Israel for a moment, they did fine for a moment, they were okay. But then we see they went right back into sin, right back into serving other gods right back into doing what it is they wanted to do. And so what we see is God now, instead of using Joshua, because Joshua is gone, he raises up some Judges raises up some people to help Israel while they’re in their oppression to help Israel and pull them out of their sin to help Israel get their mind on right, So Israel is now oppressed by a nation named Midian and God is speaking to this man named Gideon and he says in verse 11 of Judges, chapter six. Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terrible that or Pra which belonged to joe ash the asthma. Right? While his son Gideon was beating out wheat in a wine press to hide it from the media nights. Now you don’t beat out wheat in a wine press. Those are two things that are not supposed to happen. But we see that because Israel is oppressed. Gideon is now operating in dysfunction. Gideon is now doing something out of the ordinary. And so often when we live in fear, so often when we feel oppressed. So often when we feel stressed, we run and do things out of the ordinary out of the way they should be done. So we see God had to come and make things right verse 13, God had to come and make things right. He shows up and Gideon says, please my Lord, if God is with us, why has all this happened to us where all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us saying did not. The Lord bring us up out of Egypt. But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of median and the Lord turned to him and said go in, this might of yours and Save Israel from the hand of Midian. Did I not send you? And he said, please Lord, how can I Save? Israel behold my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father’s house. And the Lord said to him, but I will be with you and you shall strike the media nights as one man, I love God because he’s consistent. Remember last week briefly we talked about moses and how moses says God, look at me, how can I be the one to save Israel from Egypt? How can I be the one to go to pharaoh? Speak truth to power and say let my people go and he says, look at me and God says forget all that, I’ll be with you, You’re looking at the wrong, who he does the same thing here with Gideon. Gideon is saying, how can I Save, Israel look at how weak I am, my clan is the weakest and I’m the weakest in my clan. There’s no way you want me. You got the wrong guy. The Lord says, look, it’s not about you, I will be with you and you shall strike the media nights as one man. And Gideon says something that we often say if God is with us, If we are God’s people, then why is this happening to us? And God says, look, I’m with you in the midst of it. Just like we said last week, it doesn’t mean that God is not with you. It doesn’t mean that you will not suffer. But it doesn’t mean that God is with you in the midst of what you go through and that’s what we realized is that what Israel was going through was a result of their disobedience. And God had to come and make things right and use someone that people would consistently overlook because he uses the weak things to confound the wise. And so we see that Gideon saw himself as less than saw himself as weak. Probably walked with his head down on his shoulder shrug, probably never was afraid to look people in the eye. But God shows up and says, oh, mighty men of Valor, go in this strength of yours, look at how God sees him versus how he sees himself often. We don’t see ourselves as being able to leave the healthy legacies that we desire because of what we’ve seen growing up, Because of the things we’ve experienced it. And because of the difficulty that change sometimes brings, uh we we we sometimes don’t see us being able to do what it is that God has called us to do. But aren’t you so glad that God calls us, how he sees us. He calls us to tasks that are bigger than ourselves. And he knows what he’s put in us and he knows that we are stronger with him than without him. We’re stronger with him than without him. How many of you could say that in your lives that you know that you’re stronger with God than without him. That you’ve tried it your way. You’ve tried to do it with your mind. You try to do it in your strength but you’re stronger with God than you are without him. And the Lord said to him, I’ll be with you and you’ll strike the media nights as one man, God is with you when it comes down to his will, God is with you when it comes down to getting those things accomplished, God is with you. When you have a desire to break free from oppression, God is with you when you have a desire to break free from destructive habits, God is with you when you have a desire to renew your mind and walk in the ways of God God is with you when you want to be transferred from the domain of darkness and walk in the kingdom of his marvelous son, jesus the true and living christ God is with you. He’s with you so his will can be accomplished. And then he gives Gideon some instructions. Some difficult instructions but necessary instructions you see many times we say we want change. Oh I want to change. I want to be better. I want to do better. But are we willing to roll up our sleeves and do what’s gotta be done. So our talk can be transferred to action. Yeah this is what the Lord commands to giddy and he says that night the Lord said to him, take your father’s bull in the second bull seven years old and pull down the altar of bail that your father has. So Israel they were trying to serve God and worship idols and God said no no I I am the only god you should have no other gods before me. And so he says Gideon I’m calling you but you have to tear down the altars that your father is built. You have to tear down the idols that your father has built up. So take the bulls and and pull down the altar of bail that your father has and then you also cut down the astra that is beside it. So his father is dealing with two different idols bail and Ashara and he says he’s calling his son Gideon to tear these things down and he says instead, once you tear this down, you build an altar to the Lord, your God on the top of the stronghold here with the stones laid in due order and then you take the second bull and you offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the asteroid that you shall cut down Verse 27. So Gideon took 10 men of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of his town to do it by day he did it by night. Okay what I what I love about this text is Gideon was obedient but he stepped out in fear he was obedient but he was afraid of what the individuals would think of him. He was afraid and rightfully so because after we see that in the morning, when they realized this took place, they say who did it, who did it, who did it. And then they all realize it’s Gideon and they’re trying to jump on him and to try and beat him up and stone him and all these different things. But the father intervenes and says no, no he’s done right, we shouldn’t be serving these gods. But we realized that Gideon was afraid of their opinion. So he did. He was obedient but he was obedient at night. Many of us sometimes it’s fearful, we become fearful to take a stand or fearful to do what God calls us to do. So we do it but we may do it in a way where it’s kind of round about or do it in our steps or our increments. But it got done. And what I realized is like I said, God isn’t looking for perfection. He’s looking for faithfulness. So for some things God is saying, okay I want you to do this to the t to this, this this God didn’t say when to do it to Gideon. He said what to do. So Gideon says, okay I’m gonna do this by night because I gotta protect myself, you know? And so for us what what what this means for us is God is looking for us to be faithful. Looking for us to be obedient but not perfect. And so he stepped out even though he was afraid, even though he was fearful and unsure. He said, look, I’ve got a word from the Lord. I’ve got a command from the Lord and I want change more than I do for us to stay the same. I want change more than I do for us to say the same. Now compare this man to how he saw himself earlier in the chapter he said, I’m the weakest of my father’s clan and my clan is the weakest. But yet here he is tearing down strongholds. Yet here he is pulling down idols and so for us we may see ourselves as less than. But take a look at how God sees you. God says you are more than a conqueror. God says that no weapon formed against you shall prosper. God hears your prayers. Your prayers have weight and strengthen the presence of God. You may be afraid to step out and obedience are afraid to stop habits that you’ve seen your whole life. But it’s important if God has brought it to your attention and sometimes the legacy that we have left before us or the legacy that is left. Excuse me, The legacy that is left before us is not one we need to follow. Not every example is worth following. Not every example is worth following. Some some legacies are not ones that we need to follow, but ones that we need to tear down. You may have had a bad example or an absent example. Once again, we see this in our society playing out. Many individuals are confronting racism at their doorstep. Many individuals are having a difficult conversation and not running away from it. Our country is changing one day at a time from moment to moment with tragedy after tragedy confronting and and turning from some of the sins of the past in some way, shape or form. And what we need to understand is that we can’t shy away from what’s difficult. Some of us we have to have the necessary conversations and it may not be uh, with with racism. Some of us we may need to perhaps check lust at the door. We may need to check anger uh, and fits of rage at the door. We may need to check a co dependency at the door. We may need to check any unhealthy pattern that we’ve seen and adapted and adopted. We may need to check it and cut it off from our hearts, cut it off from our lives. God says not so not my son, not my daughter. I want you to live above it. I want you to live differently. I’ve called you apart. And so what we need to know is that the example that we’ve seen does not define us. It can influence us. Yes, but it does not determine who we are. We are sons. We are daughters of the most high God. God has called us beloved, called us great called us great and given us his grace to help us through these difficult and turbulent times. So as we go through and as I close, I think it’s just so important for us to know, to know that we have power to know that we have a choice to know that our choice and our decisions matter to know that your choice and your decision is not just affecting you, but those that are coming after you. It’s not just affecting you, but those that are in your circle because you have an influence. You have a circle. You have influence within your sphere, within your friendships, within your your your family. You have influence. What did Joshua se said? Not just alright. As for me, I’ll serve the Lord. No, no. He says. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. The decisions you make have an impact. The decisions you make have a ripple effect. Others will be made by your decisions. So honor God. Yes. With the lives you live. But let’s make a committed decision today to honor God also with the legacies that we leave. Amen. Amen. Let’s give God praise. Thank you Lord for who you are, who you’ve called us to be for how you’ve called us to live in spirit and truth. We thank you so much God for the legacies that you’ve given. Each and every one of us. We thank you God for the strength for the things that you’ve called us to turn away from the strength that you’re going to give us the grace in the midst of our pain. The grace in the midst of what we’re going through. I pray Lord that you would give us strength, that you will continue father to be the banner that we hold high to be the one that we hold on to. We give you glory. We give you honor. We give you praise. We thank you for the legacy that you left with your son, jesus, how you said, look, tell others about me. I’ve given salvation to you. Have given you the ability to be set free. But now tell others about me. And so I pray God that we would carry on that legacy, That legacy of right living, that legacy of holiness. That legacy, God of being sons and daughters of the most high God, we thank you. We praise you. We give you glory. We ask these things in jesus name and all of God’s people said Amen. Amen. And Amen. If you’re here and you don’t know, jesus christ you’ve heard this message. You’re watching online and you realize, look, I don’t have a relationship with jesus and I want one. I want my legacy to be different. I want to walk out in a different way than the one I’ve seen and I don’t have the strength to do it. If that’s you, I’m gonna ask you just to repeat after me. Dear God, I thank you so much for this time. Thank you for those that are repeating after me father, I pray that you would be with them and strengthen them repeat after me. Let’s say this together. Dear God, I’m a sinner and I want my life to be changed. I realized father that I’ve fallen far from you and I want things to be different. I believe that you sent jesus christ and he died and rose again to save me from my sin to save me from my my my sin that held me down for so long. I pray God that I would be made new. I pray God that I will be made whole. I believe that I’m forgiven and I believe that I’m set free. I thank you and I praise you. We ask these things in jesus name and everyone said Amen, Amen and Amen. Hello again, Pastor roderick caesar third here, thank you so much for watching my prayer is that you were blessed. You are encouraged and strengthened by that message. If you would like to be a blessing to the ministry, you can text B. G. T. F. I 277977 again you can text B. G. T. F. I 277977 to sow a seed into the ministry. And we thank you. Thank you so much for your generosity. Or you can visit our website at b g t f i dot us For more information. Thank you so much. Once again, I hope you are blessed. I’m praying for you. We love you here at Bethel God bless.