Tag Archives: life

What Choices Do We Have?

20 Mar

So much in life is beyond our control and choice. Flood, fire, earthquake, tornado, hurricane—each powerful and demanding. We’re forced to kneel before Nature’s fury. Other situations may trap us and deny our power to choose.

Consider other people’s choices. Children have no choice regarding frequent moves due to a parent’s occupation or military service. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse rob many of dignity and hope. Thieves “choose” precious possessions in the dead of night and hijack our treasured security. A spouse decides he/she no longer wants to remain married consequently jeopardizing our financial and relational world. Someone drives drunk on the Interstate, creating orphans and heartbreak.

Another category:  choices we make but can’t choose resulting consequences. We abuse our sedentary bodies with food, alcohol, and tobacco despite the doctor’s warning. We now face hospitalization, perhaps long term care. We practice shopping therapy—clothes hang in our closets still wearing price tags, a “keeping-up-appearances car” fills the garage. Yet we’re helpless to control a plunging credit score and high interest credit card bills. We take our spouse for granted refusing support, affection, and attention. Unfortunately, we can’t control the response of “too little, too late” and the divorce that follows.

At these times, life seems to offer no alternatives, no choices.

Don’t despair. We were created to choose. The first thing God did was to give mankind work and a choice (Genesis 2:15–18). He designed humanity with the ability to choose between good and evil.

Choosing God brings life.

Deuteronomy 30:19 Today I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses. I am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now, choose life! Then you and your children may live (NCV).

There are several kinds of death other than physical. We can experience mental, spiritual, emotional, and/or intellectual death.

When other people’s choices threaten to destroy us, we can choose bitterness and anger, resentment and revenge. We can ask “why me” and wonder “if only.”

Or we can choose life and trust .

Romans 8:28a We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him (NCV).God

This isn’t a promise for everyone; it’s only for those who love and trust God. With His help we can rebuild after a disaster. We can choose to exercise, eat healthy, and give up harmful habits. We can decide to get counseling rather than rely on shopping therapy. We can learn to communicate and cherish loved ones even if we can’t undo past mistakes. We can trust God to bring justice in His time and His way, even if we don’t see it (Romans 12:19).

Most of all, we can choose to forgive—forgive others and ourselves. When we pray the prayer Jesus taught, we say, “Forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors.” That may be the secret to living fully—continual confession and continual forgiveness, accepting and offering the forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. Let’s choose wisely, friend.

It’s Time for Some Good News

18 May

There’s no shortage of bad news. The media thrives on our morbid curiosity, our tears, and our outrage. When an upbeat story finds its way to social media, people like it and share it multiple times. We long for good news.

I have good news that can bring smiles and change our outlook on life. For some, this is a reminder of what you already know. For others, the good news will be brand-new.

Here’s the Good News: You are loved.

This is not the “I love you for what I can get out of you” kind of love. That’s not love at all; that’s lust. You are loved affectionately, unselfishly, and wholeheartedly. You are valued just as you are. This isn’t a love you earn. It’s a gift. However, you do have to accept or receive the gift.

How do I know so much about love? If you read my post on April 13, you know I choose to believe the Bible. It’s a love story from beginning to end. It’s my joy to share a vital part of that love story.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that [God] loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10 NIV).

Sin means missing the mark as an archer might miss the bull’s-eye or straying from the path as in getting lost. God created us for perfect love and relationship with Himself and others. That’s the target, the ideal path in life. Admitting we miss the mark is the first step in recognizing our need of a Savior. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NASB95).

All—every one of us needs a Savior, My friend Mike says, “Some of us can jump further than others, but no one can jump the Grand Canyon.” That’s why Jesus came from heaven to earth.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16–17 NIV).

What should we believe about Jesus Christ? Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians.

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to [more than 500 people]” (1 Corinthians 15:3–5 NASB95).

If Christ remained in the grave, the story would be over. However, because He lives, we live also. Jesus said to [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26 NASB95).

How will you answer that question? Will you believe and receive Christ and His affectionate, unselfish, and wholehearted love? “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NASB95).

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. “ If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:9–11 NASB95).

Please share your response to this good news. I’d be honored to hear from you.