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Once to Every Man and Nation

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“Choose you this day whom you will serve!” (Joshua 24:15).

Choose Ye This DaySooner or later a man must make up his mind what he will do with his life. This is equally true of a woman as well. The poorest among us are those souls who pass though life serving only themselves — loving things and using people. There is a much better alternative. We can choose to serve the Lord — loving people and using things.

This choice is not only right, it is courageous; especially in a day when “doing the right thing” is not always celebrated. One of my favorite old hymns, Once to Every Man and Nation (written in 1845 by James R. Lowell) says it best:

“Once to every man and Nation comes the moment to decide in the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side. Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight. And that choice goes by forever between that darkness and that light.

Then to side with Truth is noble, when we share Her wretched crust;
ere Her cause bring fame and fortune, and ’tis prosperous to be just.
Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside
until the multitude make virtue of a Faith they had denied.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.”

Joshua stood before his countrymen and called them to the great moment of Choice. “Choose you this day whom you will serve,” he said — and even now so says to us. The question, therefore, is will you serve yourself, or will you serve the Lord.

May Joshua’s confession become your very own, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”

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