The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 7/17

Posted on | July 17, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 7/17

Scripture reading: Matthew 7:24–29

To Eat or Not to Eat,
that Is the Question

Choose this day whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:15)

Nothing is more quintessentially American than freedom of choice. According to our Declaration of Independence, liberty (the freedom to choose) is an “unalienable right” that the Creator himself has given us. Our forefathers believed this was “self-evident.” We have fought wars and amended the Constitution so that all citizens have the right to make their own decisions. If you doubt this, just visit the cereal aisle of your local grocery store. O how we love choices. The Bible teaches that human freedom is not just a political right, however, it is a theological imperative. In the Garden of Eden, a tree bearing forbidden fruit was God’s way of confronting his creatures with a choice. To eat or not to eat, that was the question. Again and again, in the Bible God leads his people to a crossroads, a moment in time when a decision must be made.

_ I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life . . . (Deut. 30:19).
_ How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him (I Kings 18:21).
_ No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).
_ Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22).
_ Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me (Revelation 3:20).

What about you? What will you do with Jesus? As Americans, we can certainly celebrate the political freedom that, in part, makes this opportunity to choose possible. But it is only as we contemplate the deeper theological implications that we begin to have a more realistic assessment of what such a choice really means.

_ Choice is inevitable. You must choose. There is no way out. It is impossible not to choose. Not to decide is to decide. Whether you like it or not, today you will choose to follow Christ as Lord or you will choose not to.

_ Choice is limited. While there may be scores of options in the cereal aisle, when it comes to Jesus Christ there are only two: the right way and the wrong way. He is either Lord of all or not Lord at all! There are no other options. Whoever is not with me is against me (Matthew 12:30).

_ Choice is consequential. Unlike your choice of cereal, this decision has eternal consequences. It affects everything! Yes, you are free to choose. But you are not free to choose the consequences of your choice. Those are predetermined.

_ Choice is now. The tempter will whisper that you have plenty of time. “Think it over. Don’t rush into this. You can make your decision tomorrow.” But tomorrow never comes! Now is the time, today is the day of salvation (II Corinthians 6:2).

God created things which had free will. Thatmeans creatures . . .
can go wrong or right. . . . Why, then, did God give them free will?
Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.     —C. S. Lewis

point to ponder • You are free to choose. But once you have made your choice, you are not free to choose the consequences.

prayer focus • Someone who mistakenly believes they have not made a choice because they are remaining “open.”

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