We all make daily decisions that have an impact on our lives — sometimes dramatically. It’s only natural to consider the impact our choices will have on us personally, but we may not even consider the impact of those decisions on others.
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) can certainly attest to this. It’s terrible how many young lives are lost from reckless driving associated with the use of alcohol and drugs. Designated drivers have certainly saved lives, yet many unfortunately continue in their addictions.
In the last chapter of the Book of Joshua, we’re presented with the final words spoken by the leader of the Israelites challenging God’s people to choose the ways of God rather than the gods of the surrounding nations.
Basically, Joshua lets them know that he and his family will serve the Lord, but it’s their personal decision whom they will serve. In essence, he tells them to “Choose for yourselves this day” and then live with the consequences of that choice.
If we continue reading the following 21 chapters in the Book of Judges, we’ll see the people’s promise to follow God was no more than meaningless rhetoric.
Over the next 400 years, the Lord sends judge after judge to deliver His people from their sin. And the people repeatedly return to their sinful ways and we read too often that “… the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” Are we any better?
We, too, are faced with Joshua’s confrontation: “Choose for yourselves this day …” whom you will serve. Will we serve our Lord or our own selfish desires?
Years ago, I chose to serve the Lord, and He has taken me from simply existing to an abundant life. That’s not to say there haven’t been trials along the way, but those valley experiences are nothing in comparison to knowing that He has accepted this sinner and He continually keeps me in His mighty grasp.
Perhaps you, like me, have been confronted with the Truth about yourself and the fact that you needed a Savior to carry you across the great chasm between your selfish existence and your Lord. God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you on a cross nearly 2,000 years ago.
Listen to these words found in John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
John continues in verses 18 and 19 “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but those who do not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men love darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, all future generations have carried a sin nature that can only be removed by Jesus coming to this earth to take on the past, present and future sins of the world for our sake.
It all comes down to this: “Choose for yourselves this day …” It’s the most important decision you’ll ever make!
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at email@example.com for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.