Summary: When we sort through the implications of our choices, be they major or minor, how does a relationship with Jesus Christ figure into the equation? There is perhaps no greater choice facing us each and every day of our life than this choice. If you decide n
Opening illustration: Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Missy Sullivan noted that many user agreements, warranties, and disclaimers that come with products are nearly unreadable. Intentionally set in very small type, they actually discourage people from understanding them. Because of this, many people don’t read all the terms of contracts before signing them. A university professor of graphic communication pointed to a 32-page user agreement that came with his new smartphone, and said of the company, “They don’t want you to read it.”
In contrast, the Lord is always seeking to communicate with His people in clear and compelling ways, with no attempt to confuse or deceive. When Moses spoke to the Israelites just before they entered the Promised Land, he said, “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. . . . I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:11, 19).
The Lord wants us to understand His plan and purpose clearly, so that we may love, obey, and cling to Him—for He is our “life and the length of [our] days” (v.20). That’s plain to see. (Illustration from David McCasland, Our Daily Bread)
Let us turn to Deuteronomy 30 and check out the choices the Israelites made … will we want to the same?
Introduction: Now, in attributing much of the decline in our culture to the baby boomer generation, I don't, by any means, intend to suggest that the guilt we bear as a "culture of death" is to be born only by such a small minority. The fact is our common guilt, for what have become our cultural norms, is evident in our isolationist views of the ills of abortion and euthanasia, attacks on life at both ends of the spectrum.
We are faced with choices daily. Some may seem trifling: what to wear, how we will use our time, what to eat. Other choices are significant, having ramifications for the future: schooling and career choices, where we will live, whom we will marry. The existentialist of a generation ago, Jean-Paul Sartre, knew of the importance of decisions made on a daily basis when he said; "We are our choices."
Yet of all the choices with which we are faced, of all the barrage of options set before us, there is none as important as to how we, as created in the image of God, will respond to our Creator. When we sort through the implications of our choices, be they major or minor, how does a relationship with Jesus Christ figure into the equation? There is perhaps no greater choice facing us each and every day of our life than this choice.
How to make the right choices?
1. Choose Obedience over excuses and disobedience to God (vs. 11-16)
All of the great saints who had lived before the time of our Lord had experience God’s mighty power and deliverance because of their faithfulness and obedience to Him. God kept Daniel safe in the lion’s den because he chose to obey God. Esther’s strength and courage comes when she trusted in God for the salvation of her people. Noah and his family were saved because he had found favor in the eyes of the Lord. He was a righteous man and blameless in his generation. Joseph remained faithful to God despite of becoming a slave and prisoner in Egypt and through him; his kindred were saved from the famine. Through Moses, God had performed great miracles and He delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. These are only some of the great saints who wholeheartedly obeyed God and put themselves at God’s disposal, willing and ready to do His will. When people like Cain, Saul, Samson and even the Israelites chose to have excuses to disobey God; they lost it all and did not end pretty well. They went on to become a stumbling block for many who came after them and for some to justify their own disobedience toward God.
“To obey is better than sacrifice.” What an incredible truth this verse is for our day-to-day lives. It supports the verses of Ephesians 2:8-9 which tells us that our salvation is by faith and NOT of works. While God is concerned about what we do with our lives and the fruit that we can produce for the Kingdom from our efforts, He is first and foremost concerned with our obedience. You see, our obedience flows from a heart that is yielded to Him, a life that is surrendered to do HIS will and not OUR will.
Tremendous blessings come as a result of obeying God. Think about what the world would be like if everyone obeyed everything God said in His Word. If we were all fully obeying God all the time, this world would be Heaven on earth! Our obedience would bring love among mankind and justice to everyone.