Troy Thornton • Pastor of Small Groups and Outreach
Our lives are full of choices. They range from the simple choice of what to get at Starbucks to whom we will marry. Choices are a constant in life, sometimes we choose wisely and sometimes we don’t. The book of Deuteronomy contains more instances of the word “choose” than any other book in the Bible (23 times). The interesting aspect of the occurrences of “choose” in the book is that most of the time it refers to God’s act of choosing, not people’s. God chooses to relate to us in love out of Grace. So many times the follower of Jesus can forget that God chooses to fellowship with us. The Father did not owe to us anything that He had to send Jesus to die for us, nor did the Son owe it to us to send the Spirit to guide us. These were acts of choice by a loving God! He is the loving Chooser of our soul!
For Today: Thank God that He chooses to know and love you!
Joshua is considered to be a great leader who made great choices. Perhaps his most famous quote in Scripture is when he challenged the people of Israel by asking them to make the critical choice: “…choose this day whom you will serve.” This challenge was to make the people think about whether they would choose to serve God, or gods. We face a similar choice each day. All too often, our choice is to serve ourselves as a sort of “god.” We must make a conscious decision each day to serve God, and not ourselves, nor any other “god” we set up in our lives. Following Jesus is the daily battle of the self–actively struggling to serve God above all else. What, or rather, Whom will you choose to serve today?
For Today: “Choose this day Whom you will serve!”
Arthur Lewis said, “Only good choices are free, bad ones come with a cost.” Our lives are defined by the choices we make. I spend time with folks in prison from time-to-time. Almost all of them eventually get around to discussing the (often) bad choices that define their lives. These stories of bad decisions are heart-breaking, even though God has enough grace to cover it all. The key is to minimize the bad choices in life, and then there will be fewer worries about where it may lead. Jesus challenged His followers to begin all choices with His kingdom in mind first. If we do this, then we will not need to worry about what tomorrow may bring because it will all be for His kingdom. So, make Kingdom choices, not bad ones.
For Today: Seek First the Kingdom.
The USDA has three main grades of beef: select, choice and prime. Select is the minimum grade and prime is the higher. Choice is the grade where quality, versatility and usefulness all collide–it is the “Everyman’s” grade. Choice is the cut that can generally be prepared in more ways than either select or prime grade cuts. Followers of Jesus should be “choice grade.” We should be satisfied with living useful quality lives that appeal to the “Everyman.” God has worked in our lives to make us useful to Him, not to just meet the minimum, or to strive for the “prime” life. God wants to work in us and use us to reach people with how we live our lives. He is faithful to complete what He has started in our lives and we will ultimately receive the highest grade–we will be like Him!
For Today: Choose to be choice.
2 Timothy 1:7
From November 27 to December 13, 1950, the U.S. Army and Marines fought Chinese forces in a fierce battle at Chosin Reservoir, Korea. Over 6,000 U.S. soldiers were killed, and an estimated 25,000 Chinese were killed. This often overlooked battle was fought in sub-zero temperatures, which spurred a unique name for the men who fought there–“The Frozen Chosin.” This is a play on the word, “chosen,” to mark the bravery and Esprit De Corps that those who fought there share. Followers of Jesus have been called to live bravely in this world, much like a soldier. We have been chosen to live with a spirit of power, not fear. The Holy Spirit can guide us and enlighten us as we live the chosen life in God’s power. We don’t live this chosen life alone–we have the body of Christ much like the men at Chosin Reservoir had each other.
For Today: Live the Chosen life with a spirit of power!