We make choices every day. Some choices really don’t matter very much. What we shall eat, or wear. What car shall I buy? What team shall I support? It really doesn’t matter whether I drive a Ford or Chevrolet, a Toyota or Honda, or even a Mercury or Buick. As a photographer, It doesn’t matter if I shoot a Nikon or Canon. This morning I had to choose which suit to wear and what tie to put on. It really did not matter what suit I chose to wear this morning.
Other choices are very significant and have long term affect on our lives. A student chooses not to use his mind are refuses to study. What career, who we will marry, where we will live.
We also face choices between right and wrong. Two young people choose to have sex and the girl becomes pregnant. That is a choice that has long term effects. Then there is the choice to have an abortion. That is a choice that will affect the rest of life.
Then there are choices we make that matter for eternity. It is the choice of what we will do with Jesus Christ. That is a choice that will affect how we live our lives in the now and where we will spend eternity in the future, whether in heaven or in hell.
Moses had come to the end of his life and in the book of Deuteronomy he is preaching to the people and preparing them for entrance into the Promised Land. In his farewell address, he challenges them to accept God’s offer of life. The choice he gives is a choice between life and good, and death and evil. He tells them how to choose life:
1. Love God: This is of course from the great commandment or Shema.
2. Walk in His ways
3. Keep His laws
The result of this is life. God offers us life. God is our life. Joshua said, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” As we examine this passage more fully, Observe how people will respond to God’s offer of life.
I. SOME PEOPLE WILL CHOOSE LIFE (16b)
They will choose to love God, to walk in God’s ways, and keep God’s Word. Look at the wonderful results of choosing life.
A. They will live: The Bible tells us how we can have a full and meaningful life. It speaks of eternal life and abundant life.
B. They will increase: God wants us to have a fruitful life.
C. They will be blessed: We cannot expect the blessings of God without loving God, walking in His ways, and living according to His commandments. Deuteronomy talks about blessing and cursing.
II. SOME PEOPLE WILL CHOOSE DEATH (17)
They will turn away from God, rebel against God, disobey God. This is the reason for the culture of death that is so prevalent in our country . (abortion on demand, Euthanasia, suicide, etc.). It also involves the worship of self, and the worship of other gods. Choosing the way of death results in:
A. Destruction: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25)
B. Dispossession: It is possible to forfeit the blessings of God. Because of sin and rebellion ancient Israel forfeited their right to live in the promised land. They were taken into captivity.
III. WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE? (19-20)
Neil Anderson wrote, “Life means to unite…death means to separate” Spiritual life means union with God. Spiritual death on the other hand means separation from God. “When Adam became a living being, his soul was in union with his body.
When he died, his soul separated from his body.”
Life or death, blessing or cursing. God says through Moses, “Chose life” Then He gives some reasons for choosing life.
A. Choose life that you may live. Joshua, at the end of his life said to Israel, “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14-15).
B. Chose life that your children may live. It is sad that so many parents neglect God in the raising of their children. This is true even in the church.
ILL. A lady in one church had a notorious reputation for having one affair after another. Then one day her son got on drugs. She called on the church to win her son but she herself refused to come to Christ. She chose death and her child followed her example.
People who refuse to love God, to walk in God’s ways, and keep God’s commandments, chose death for themselves and their children walk in their ways.
You cannot be neutral. Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” (Mt. 12:30).
Here we are in the first decade of the 21st century. Tragically, all too many people are choosing death over life. They have come to believe that God is an outmoded concept for our world today. The Bible has been relegated to ancient history that has no value for today. Yet God has never changed and the Bible is still the Word of God.
A great Christian leader of long ago said, “Thy Word oh God is a fountain of life eternal that fadeth not away.” “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Will you choose Christ or will you choose the way of the world? Will you choose the way of life or the way of death.
“Choose life, so that you and your children may live.”