Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reflections for June 16, 2010


Life is all about choices. Each day we are faced with circumstances that require us to make choices about whom or what we will serve. We sometimes act as if we can avoid these choices but we can’t. In most cases we are spared from verbally expressing our choices. The absence of verbalization, does not excuse us from choices, because our actions speak more loudly than our words. The question each one of us should ponder is does my actions reflect my allegiance to God or do they reflect an allegiance to the gods of this world?

In his book, Who Are You When No One Is Looking, Bill Hybels explains our choices this way: “Every single day we make choices that show whether we are courageous or cowardly. We choose between the right thing and the convenient thing, sticking to a conviction or caving in for the sake of comfort, greed or approval. We choose either to take a carefully thought-out risk or to crawl into a shrinking shell of safety, security and inactivity. We choose either to believe in God and trust him, even when we do not always understand his ways, or to second-guess him and cower in the corners of doubt and fear.”

Before making our choice, it would be wise to examine our choices. In other words, we need to ask the question, “If not God; who or what?” There are hundreds of things from which we can choose, but most of them would fall into one of four categories. First, we can choose the god of pleasure. It causes us to become caught up in our own comfort and enjoyment. It does not leave room for concern for others. It offers much but in the end brings disillusionment, because no matter how much of it we obtain, it does not fulfill our deepest needs. Second, we can choose the god of popularity. When we worship this god, we forget about principle and do anything to be accepted into the group we think is most important. Popularity never brings the self-confidence we seek because we can never please everyone. This quest leaves us constantly seeking to obtain the approval of someone. Third, we can worship the god of power. It is a cruel taskmaster. It requires us to step on anyone who gets in our way as we push ourselves to the top. The problem is when we get to the top we find it to be a lonely place to live. Fourth, we can worship the god of philosophy and worship whatever the current popular trend is. Presently, it is the spirit of secularism. While it does not always deny the existence of God, it does say that He is irrelevant and that man can fix all of his own problems. All of these gods share a common flaw. Not one of them can fill the empty space within man. It is a space that cries out for fellowship with his creator.

The alternative to these choices offered to us by the world is the gift of life offered to us by our Heavenly Father. The Apostle John wrote: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24 NASB). The eternal life Jesus makes possible means more than length of life. It also means a quality of life that can be found nowhere else. The life He offers promises abundance, peace and joy. These blessings are available to all who follow Him but are realized only when we walk in obedience to Him.

Each day we are given the opportunity to choose between the world’s way or our Lord’s way. One brings at best temporary satisfaction, but it ultimately leaves us empty and unfulfilled. The other gives us the opportunity to follow Jesus Christ and results in a life characterized by joy, peace and abundance in the things that truly matter. Who will you choose to follow today?

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