Daily Devotional for Sunday February 17, 2013
The Choices You Make
(1 King 18:21)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, after the recent tragedy in Connecticut and other similar events, even after an individual passes away, I hear people saying such things as "Heaven has gained another angel," or he/she has become an angel. Personally, I don't believe that is the truth. If a person has accepted Jesus Christ as the Savior, then he/she is a Child of God, not an angel. However, I believe that an unbeliever immediately goes to Hell when they die. I realize that people have good intentions by saying the dead are now angels but I wondering if there is a scripture verse that shows we are not angels but children of God's. Please advise me if there is.
ANSWER: There is NOT and you are 100% correct. When we die, if we have accepted Jesus as your Savior by faith, our soul is immediately in Heaven. It does NOT transform into an "angel." Sadly, those who are not Biblically literate say such things to try and comfort those who are suffering the death of a loved one. Worse, I even hear pastors say such foolish things. Lying to someone does not help. The good news is all of those children are in Heaven like all babies and children who die are, because of God's grace (Eph 2:8,9) since they did not have the ability to mature to a place where they could understand their sin.
One of the greatest responsibilities God has given each one of us is our ability to make our own choices. We often take for granted the fact that God has given us this free-will ability to choose. Even though you do it subconsciously, each day you make hundreds, often thousands of choices. From when you get up, to what you eat, to what you wear, to the roads you drive, to what you say, and on, and on, and on.
The choices you make, ultimately, determine the direction your life takes. Because we make so many choices instinctively, we lose sight of how important each choice can be to how we live our life!!!
The reason I continually challenge you in your DAILY walk with Christ is for this very reason. When you start the day, even if it is only 20 minutes, praying, reading the Word of God, it helps to give you a Godly focus to your thoughts and a Godly foundation from which you will be making all of those choices during the course of the day. Church is critical to the life of a believer, since again, it helps you build that spiritual foundation in your life, from which you make your day-to-day decisions.
Paul said to "pray without ceasing". Literally, it means to "stay connected" with God at all times. You see, when you are "connected", it makes it difficult to make the choice to rebel against God. We make our bad choices, and we make our rebellious choices when we are "unplugged" from God.
This is obviously a very deep, and intense issue that people have spent their entire life studying. The point I want you to understand today is that God has given us this incredible ability to make our own choices during this life. Many have questioned why, since it is our freedom to choose that destroys people's lives.
The alternative, though, would leave us a little more than robots. God gave us free will, so that we could freely, on our own, choose to love Him, serve Him, glorify Him. We say with our mouths how much we love God, how important Jesus is in our life. The way we prove that is in our daily decisions, the choices we make day in and day out. That is how we ultimately tell God we love Him. The old saying, actions speak louder than words, is very true.
I love you and care about you so much. I grieve daily as the emails pour in from all over the world from people who have had their lives destroyed by the choices they have made. The good news I want to share with you today is that God is in the restoration business. He can help you overcome the bad choices. He can strengthen you to make wise, Godly choices in the future.
Be aware that as you make each and every choice in the course of a day, it is a responsibility God has given to us. Take a second and ask yourself if the choice you are making is the choice God would want you to make. After all, when you know Christ, it is not your life any longer, it belongs to Him. Pray!!! If we prayed as much BEFORE we make our choices, we wouldn't have to pray so much AFTER we make the wrong choice. It only takes a second to ask God for guidance.
Lastly, the most important choice you will ever make in this life is the freedom God has given you to choose your eternal destination. The greatest choice of this life is to choose to accept or reject Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. If you want to make that choice today, simply go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm
God has given us the freedom to make choices in this life. I will be praying today that you will make wise, Godly choices.
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,