Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012 … Life or Death – The Choice is Before Us

Blogger’s note: I know this one is long; but trust me, it’s worth the read!

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Deuteronomy, Chapters 30-31 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Reference Passage : Deuteronomy 30: 1-6 … 1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
Highlight Reference Passage #2 : Deuteronomy 30: 11-16 … 11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. … 15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
Highlight Reference Passage #3 : Deuteronomy 30: 19-20 … 19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

My Journal for Today: Today I was led to Chapters 30-31 of Deuteronomy; and I think I could write a small book in journaling on these chapters. In fact, as you see above, I had trouble limiting the highlighted passages that I really wanted you to read and study along with me this morning. And really God’s message – through Moses to His people – back in that day, when the people were about to follow Joshua into the promised-land, was quite stark … and really quite simple. Certainly I’m not saying it was easy, because God knew that His beloved and chosen people were going to fail Him; and for Moses and Joshua God even predicted that one day He, the Lord, would have to abandon His loved ones for a season for them to realize the consequences of their collective sin (to see this prediction, read Chapter 31 from the link above).

But God’s mercy and His promises are everlasting; and God will one day bring His recalcitrant Hebrew children into the promised-land; and so, in the meantime as the history of disobedience was to unfold in their future, as they crossed over the Jordan and were to follow Joshua into the promised-land, the people were reminded (again) of their options; and I charge you to read and meditate on those options in the Deut. 30: 19-20 above.

And my dear ones, who might be reading with me today, aren’t these the same choices that have today? In fact the Apostle Paul even reminded New Covenant Christians of this life-death choice when he wrote – for God – to the Romans (and now for all time to all Christians) in Romans 10: 5-8, and in doing so, he referred to the Deut. 30: 11-14 passage copied above for you.

By reading and meditating on the words of God through Moses and repeated later in history by Paul, we must realize that everyday we have these choices in front of us … obedience versus disobedience … life versus death … selfishness verses “Saviorness.” And so many times, our choice can seem so difficult. Yet, as Moses and Paul point out, it is really quite simple. Do we really believe God and His promises; or do we believe what Satan would want for us to believe? It was the same choice which Adam and Eve had in the garden, knowing God’s commands and being confronted by Satan. And we know the result of their choice, don’t we?

Today, you and I will confront something which says to us, “Okay, which choice will you make, … life or death … sinfulness or Saviorness?” And we’re going to have to make the same choice which was made by God’s people in response to the charge given to them as they were to march forward into the promised-land; and we know, from the Bible, how miserably they failed. But we also know, from the same Bible, that God has provided the perfect redemption and atonement for the sins of His people; and that redemption also comes from a choice. And oh how I pray you have made that choice … to receive God’s everlasting grace of salvation; and I pray that we’re marching – this very day TOGETHER – toward God’s promised-land.

Now, one last word, my friend; … I know, from experience, how easy it is to make sin choices and get so mired in habitual sin, walking far away from God, that you don’t feel you can choose to move back into a state of harmony with God. But my friends, God always has the choice of sinful death or eternally cleansed and blessed life out in front of us. And if we’re willing and able to make the “life choice” today in repentance, He’s ALWAYS ready to take us back in to His loving arms. That, of course, was the message of Christ’s wonderful and powerful “prodigal” parable, wasn’t it? And if you’ve been away from God for a season in your life; and you want to know what God has waiting for you IF you can make the choice to come back to Him today, listen to this wonderful song, performed by Phillips, Craig, and Dean, and relish in the love of God as He says to us this morning, “Come back home!”

Here’s the link to that song on You Tube; and I so hope you’ll take 5 minutes and be lifted up by the reality of God’s grace. And then if you have a few more minutes, listen to this song by the same group, singing of how God and His angels will celebrate when and if we can make the righteous choices He lays out for us today. And then one last link to a song in this little mini-concert about the grace of God when we choose the Savior over self.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I’m so grateful that You were willing to pursue me with Your grace and to give me the time to choose Your grace; and now I’m so grateful for Your patience in allowing me to become the Saint You are shaping me to become. Today, from the choices You will offer me, … I will choose LIFE! Amen

No comments: