Monday, June 17, 2019

Pastor's Ponderings, June 17, 2019

The Choice is Yours

God gives us a simple choice in life. The Bible declares on the one hand that there is a roaring lion, the evil one, an adversary and a thief who has been hanging around our lives waiting to destroy the mission on which God has sent us.  On the other hand, there is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who holds the universe in His hands, who died for all of our sins, but who assures us that we are accepted in the beloved.  

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses also gives the Israelites a stark contrast. They could serve God and live or serve idol gods and die (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19).  The choice of whom to serve seems clear, but few will choose God and most will choose the lifestyles of the temporarily passable, but permanently damned.

Why? The devil blinds most of our minds (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).  The devil deceives us into making unwise choices to disobey God (2 Corinthians 11:3). We have not let Christ’s viewpoint dominate our thinking because we are focused on worldly concerns and not on Godly commandments.  However, God tells us to set our concern and affections upon things above and not on things of the earth (Colossians 3:2).

This is the same choice that we must make continually.  We can choose to serve the worldly system that seeks to only please oneself or we can choose to serve the true and living God who gives us His benefits everyday (Psalm 68:19).  Today, let us choose the straight gate and the narrow path that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14).  Let us decide that in spite of what your friends, family, or neighbors are doing, we will choose to serve God (Joshua 24:15). We are influencing those who are watching us choose life or death.  Let us choose life in God.

Deuteronomy 30:15, 19
New International Version (NIV)
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

2 Corinthians 4:3, 4 
New International Version (NIV)
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 11:3
New International Version (NIV)
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Colossians 3:2
New International Version (NIV)
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Psalm 68:19
King James Version (KJV)
19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

Matthew 7:13-14
New International Version (NIV)
13“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Joshua 24:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

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