Daily Devotional for Saturday October 25, 2014
Our Ability to Make Choices
(Psalms 25:9, 119:30; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 30:21)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I heard on Moody radio that there is a great number of Muslims turning to Christ. Is this a sign we are closer to end of times?
ANSWER: I don't know if it any sign of the end times, however, it is a great testimony to those ministries focused on evangelizing Muslims. We praise God for those who not only will listen to the Gospel, but often put their life and the lives of their family on the line to convert to Christianity since Islam calls for such people to be put to death!
I was standing in line at the bank the other day, patiently waiting for the person in front of me to go through her bank statements for the last year to figure out why there was not more money in her account. As I was waiting, I read a warning about someone who had been robbing banks in our area. When it was my turn, there was that instant when I realized instead of making the deposit I was there to make, I could simply ask the teller to give me all of the money in her drawer. I doubt I would get very far since everyone in the bank watches the Liveprayer television program and my office is about 2 minutes away, but the point is, I had the ability to make that choice.
There are a multitude of reasons why I did NOT make that choice. I would have been letting God down and disgracing His name, that money did not belong to me and it was against the law for me to take it, I love my wife and the consequences of that choice would hurt her and our marriage, not to mention I have already had one government sponsored vacation in my life and have no desire for another. I am sure we could come up with many more reasons but suffice it to say it would have been a horrible choice and the consequences of that choice would have been life changing.
Obviously this is an extreme example, but the fact is God has given us the ability to make choices and we exercise that ability over and over throughout the course of each day. You may not have to make the choice to rob a bank or not, but you may have to choose whether or not to call someone who you know is not good for your life. You may have to choose whether or not to go to lunch with someone who is not your spouse that the enemy is tempting you with. You may have to choose whether or not to lie to close a business deal that means a substantial amount of money in your pocket.
You may have to choose whether or not to drink alcohol or take drugs. You may have to choose whether or not to go to a strip club. You may have to choose whether or not to access pornography on your computer or watch an X-rated movie on your television. You may have to choose whether or not to eat food that you know is not good for you. You may have to choose whether or not to exercise or just sit on your couch and do nothing all evening. All throughout the day we are making choices and each choice is critical because they carry consequences. Good choices bring forth good consequences and bad choices bring forth bad consequences.
This is why the Bible talks about the "renewing of our mind." This is why so often I remind you how important that daily walk with the Lord through prayer and the Word is. The closer we are to the Lord, the more we take on the mind of Christ. The more we think like the Lord, the more Godly our choices will be. So much of the pain and heartache we face in this life stems from our own poor choices. As we make those choices in our lives throughout the day based on what God would want us to do, what would please Him, what will honor Him, after a while making the right choices becomes easy and natural. The more we practice making Godly choices, the easier it becomes to make Godly choices.
I love you and care about you so much. This may seem like a very elementary word today, but it is one of those basic issues that needs to be addressed from time to time. We go throughout the day making choices, much of the time not ever really thinking about those choices or the consequences of them. I want you to take some time today and reflect on how important the choices you make are. Making the wrong choice can literally change or even cost you your very life. Conversely, making the right choice can bring blessings to you and many others. YOUR CHOICES MATTER!
I will be praying for you today to consciously think about the choices you are making in your life each day and simply ask yourself if this is a choice that honors the Lord, if this is a choice that an ambassador of Christ, a follower of Jesus should make. I can tell you from my life, the best choices I make are those that I take a moment to pray over. So much of the time we are making one choice after another, going through the entire day making sometimes very important choices with major consequences without even taking 10 seconds to pray about that choice.
If you know Jesus as your Savior, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. It is the very power of Almighty God available to you. To not take advantage of asking the Holy Spirit to guide you and help you in the choices you make throughout your day is simply foolish. God loves you and cares about you so much. He even cares what you choose to eat for lunch so please, don't ignore Him when you are making your choices each day. It is God who gives us the ability to make choices, and it is God who will guide us as we make those choices if we will ask Him.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,