Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Choices

by Jilly Lyon-Taylor

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:14-15, NIV

One of the many amazing gifts God gives to mankind is free will – the ability to make our own decisions. It was risky, because most of us have made wrong choices in our lives, but He wanted us to follow Him and to worship Him out of love for Him and not because we were being forced to.

We all make choices every day of our lives – when to get up, what to eat, what to wear and so on. Many of these choices are mundane, and we make them without even thinking, but some of them can have important consequences in our lives - for instance, decisions about jobs, marriage or where we will live and settle.

The most important decision that any of us can make is to give our lives to Jesus and to choose to follow Him. Every Christian will have made this choice when they first believed and were born again. But it is not only when we first come to faith that we need to do this. There will be daily choices in our lives - whether to follow the worldly desires that come from our carnal nature, or to follow the Lord’s way. Jesus knew this would be so when He said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

In today’s scripture, Joshua was issuing a challenge to the people of Israel as to whom they would serve. They had been led out of Egypt by the Lord and they had finally arrived in the Promised Land. They had seen God perform mighty acts of deliverance and provision, and yet they still needed to affirm whether they would serve the so-called gods of the other nations, or the Lord. They needed to choose.

We also need to choose on a daily basis to obey the Lord and to serve Him. This means putting Him first and not giving in to our carnal desires - not holding on to resentments and unforgiveness, not looking for comfort in the wrong places, not giving in to any other temptations that come our way. In Deuteronomy 30:19-20, God challenges His people, saying: “This day … I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.” He has the same challenge for us. Let’s choose life and blessings today!

Jilly Lyon-Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.

 

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