30th July 2020
'between life and death'
Today I am giving you a choice between good and evil,
between life and death. Deuteronomy 30:15
Choice is something that begins with God.
God chose to keep the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the centre of garden,
so there was no chance of Adam & Eve missing it.
And God passed on this gift of choice to mankind.
The choices that we make in our everyday life determine our future.
Statistics say, human beings make roughly 5,000 choices every day.
Do you know that it is between 18 to 30 years,
that we make most of the difficult and important choices in life
that decide our future.
We call this 'youth';
it is the time we decide on our job, career, life partner, education, etc. -
some of these choices can never be reversed.
Yesterday we thought about God being there,
ready to guide us back on the right track when we stray.
But we cannot put it all on to God.
We must take responsibility for our own actions -
we must make the final choice.
Our verse today makes it very clear that God has not made us robots;
we have to choose between what is right and wrong.
I was talking to a friend recently (yes, I do have one or two - boasting again!);
she confided in me, wanting my opinion;
a temptation was compelling her to cross a line she had drawn
and I believe she wanted my approval.
I couldn't do that;
instead I suggested she pray and think hard before making a decision.
Temptation can take us by surprise;
often we are not given the luxury of time to think things through
before making a decision;
more often it is a split-second decision.
Often we pick the option that seems the easiest;
although in the end, it usually makes life more difficult.
God knows this and loves us unconditionally;
If we are willing to go to him and ask for help,
he is ready and willing to meet our needs.
When we stay grounded in his word,
scripture can be our mainstay.
Prayer helps us stay plugged into our source of strength.
Staying clear of triggering situations can help;
for instance, an alcoholic would do well to stay out of bars
and avoid others who drink.
When we find ourselves at a place of instant decision making,
take a deep breath and say a quick prayer.
God will be your mouthpiece,
and if you do make the wrong decision,
God will help you start again.
He knows about temptation;
he knows that we can be weak.
He also loves us enough to forgive and use our brokenness
to make better choices in the future.
So if we make the wrong choice, don't despair,
for as Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans
And we know that in all things
God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose. (8:28)