Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Author, poet, and journalist William Arthur Dunkerley (a.k.a John Oxenham) once penned the words of this simple yet powerful poem,
To every man there openeth
A way, and ways, and a way.
And some men climb the high way,
And some men grope below,
And in between on the misty flats
The rest drift to and fro.
And to every man there openeth
A high way and a low;
And every man decideth
Which way his soul shall go.
We don’t just make choices in life; our choices make us. The daily decisions you and I make form our destiny. Moses says this exact same thing, in essence, to the upcoming generation in the wilderness. They had watched their parents drift in fear, doubt, worry, and selfishness for 40 years, but now it was their time to rewrite the story. By the way, aren’t you glad that we are not defined by the decisions of those who came before us?! I grew up in a godly home, but maybe you grew up in a broken home. Good home or broken home, doesn’t matter, the choice to follow Jesus and do what’s right is still up to you. Moses here senses that this generation is the one under Joshua’s leadership to finally conquer the Promised Land. But before they begin the battle he reminds them, life and death is before you. Choose sin and the consequence is death. Choose life and you will be blessed by God for your courage and faith.
C.S. Lewis once said it like this,
“When the author walks onto the stage, the play is over. God is going to invade, all right; but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else comes crashing in? This time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. That will not be the time for choosing; It will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.”
Every day you and I are faced with the choice; the choice to glorify God and point others to Jesus or not. Today you can change the tone in your marriage from self-centeredness to service. You and I can flip the script today with our kids from tension to tenderness. We can turn the page this day on past offenses and failures and start a new chapter of love and forgiveness. We can bury proverbial hatchets today and repair severed relationships so that others might be saved. The power is in our hands. Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, when we turn from sin and trust in Him we have His divine power now living in us. The authority is yours and mine. So, what are we going to do today? I challenge you this day to draw the line in the sand and say, “no more!” No more living for me or choosing defeat. I choose life in Jesus now! I choose the love, peace, and glory of God above all else!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, you have given me the freedom to choose obedience to You. I ask You today Lord to rewrite my story. Start a new chapter in my life of love, grace, and forgiveness. Today I choose to obey You. I want to live for You no matter what. In Jesus name I pray, amen
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”