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Choice Made The Difference
 
 
"Either I place it in the Lord's hands...or I don't." - R.R. Bell
 
Every day we are faced with countless choices in life. We choose whether we will take one job over another...marry or remain single...get in debt or stay out of it...buy a new car or settle for a used one...get an education or stay in the present job...buy a home or rent one...live wholeheartedly for God or live for the  devil...please men or please God...simply be a churchgoer or be a disciple of Christ...live for God or live for money and the pleasures of this world...be ON-FIRE for God or be twice-dead and plucked up by the roots...be a Real Christian or a Phoney and a Hypocrite, etc.
 
One thing that we must realize is that our choices carry serious consequences with them.
 
Pastor John Anderson, the editor of the Pastor's Alert,  said - "To say that a choice does not have a consequence is nonsense, like saying water is not wet, fire does not burn, a dog is not an animal. A choice is the selection of a consequence. A choice equals a consequence..."
 
Take, for example, the quote above by R.R. Bell - "Either I place it in the Lord's hands...or I don't."
 
Think of the dire consequences that you encountered in the past when you took matters into your own hands. You never did acknowledge God in the matter for fear that He might tell you to go another way than your own. Resultantly, you suffered severely because you chose your way before His.  
 
In the Illustrations Of Bible Truths we find a quote by Thomas Guthrie which says - "If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any house better than the house of God, any table better than the Lord's table, any person better than Christ, any indulgence better than the hope of heaven - take alarm."
 
Think about what Guthrie is saying here. He is warning us as Christians because we are capable of making some very bad choices in our walk with the Lord. Our choices will, in turn, lead to very serious consequences. 
 
We can choose to play or pray...read and study the Bible or read the TV Guide, romance novels, or magazines which include a  horoscope and the latest news on what the movie stars are doing in Hollywood... spend most of our time at the church house in prayer meetings, Bible Studies,  and worship or spend it at the stadiums, ball parks, shopping malls, concert halls, movie theatres, and restaurants...choose friends, food, fellowship, and fun or times alone seeking the face of Jesus...accumulate things, things, and more things or lay up treasures in heaven.
 
Which will it be? It is our choice. No one else can decide for us.
 
The choices we make today will definitely affect our tomorrows.
 
A perfect example of how our everyday choices make a difference in our lives and in our future is found in the Illustrations Of Bible Truths -
 
"Dr. Pierce Harris, a former pastor of the First Methodist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, preached to some prisoners. One of the prisoners got up and introduced him to the others with these words: 'Several years ago, two boys lived in a town in north Georgia. They went to the same school, played together and attended the same Sunday school. One dropped out of Sunday school and said that it was 'sissy stuff.' The other boy kept on going. One rejected Christ; the other accepted Him. The boy who rejected Christ is making this introduction today. The boy who accepted Christ is the honored preacher who will speak to us today!' Choice Made The Difference."
 
Choice made the difference! Can you say, "Amen"?
 
Oh, how we need to awaken to the sobering fact that our choices for today will make a difference in our tomorrows.
 
Pastors, alarm your people to the fact that their choices are making a difference.
Parents, alarm your children to the fact that their choices are making a difference.
Teachers, alarm your students to the fact that their choices are making a difference.
Employers, alarm your employees and co-laborers to the fact that their choices are making a difference. 
 
Doctors, Nurses, Salesmen, Managers, Lawyers, Educators, Bankers, Realtors, Politicians, Engineers, Painters, Carpenters, Electricians, Technicians, Therapists, Secretaries, Receptionists, Truck Drivers, Operators, Writers, Housewives, Preachers, and all Saints -
Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake Up!
Stop everything and take inventory of where your daily choices are taking you and your family.
 
What do the Holy Scriptures tell us about Choices? Let's look at some verses to see what Daily Choices we should be making in our walk with the Lord.
 
1. Choose the Fear of the Lord
 
Proverbs 1:29 says - "For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD."
 
We live in the midst of a people who, generally speaking, hate the knowledge of God's Word or the light of Divine Truth because their deeds are evil. They are morally and intellectually depraved. They will not submit to the law of God. On the contrary, they cast it behind their backs and totally reject any concept of the Fear of the Lord or eternal judgment for their actions.  
 
As Christians, we choose to love God's Truth and adhere to its godly principles. It is our guide in every decision. We choose to live in the Fear of the Lord all the day long - recognizing that we shall give an account some day before a Holy God and Just Judge Who sees all and knows all and has no respect of persons.   
 
2. Choose the Will of God
 
Proverbs 3:31 says - "Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways."
 
The "oppressor" is the evildoer who lives among us. He is the man who worships success and power. He seeks to be rich and great and live in ease. As Christians, we "choose" none of his ways. In other words, we don't imitate him, follow his pattern, or do as he does. Our main goal in life is not to be rich and great, but to fulfill the will of God for our lives. We do not live for ease and pleasure, but for the Glory of God.
 
3. Choose Wisdom Rather than Gold
 
Proverbs 8:10 says - "Receive My instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold."
Proverbs 16:16 says - "How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!"
 
The right knowledge, instruction, and wisdom found in God's Holy Word is to be preferred before all the worldly wealth. As Christians, we understand the vanity and vexation of spirit that goes along with pursuing riches without the knowledge of God. Therefore, we choose to pursue a life of serious godliness. We choose a heavenly pursuit rather than an earthly. We choose the riches of God's grace and power found in His Word rather than the cheap thrills of this life - "silver" and "gold."  We make God's Wisdom our greatest treasure - for without it, we recognize that we would not be able to handle the wealth of this world properly.
 
4. Choose Obedience Rather than Rebellion
   
John 3:36 says - "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
 
As Christians, we choose to walk in obedience to the Son of the Living God - the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe on Him, confide in Him, and consent to His Will. Resultantly, we enjoy life and life more abundantly. Our choice causes us to escape "the wrath of God" which comes upon all those who choose a life of disobedience and rebellion.
 
5. Choose to Hate Evil and Love Good
 
Amos 5:15 says - "Hate the evil, and love the good..."
 
As followers and imitators of Christ, we choose to "love the good." Therefore, we delight in good principles, good people, good conversation, good duties, good entertainment, etc. We hunger and thirst after righteousness. We strive to do good to all men.
 
And as much as we "love the good," we "hate the evil." We hate sin - "pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth.."(Proverbs 8:13). We "hate every false way"(Psalm 119:104). We hate everything that goes against the Truth of God's Word.
We hate everything that He hates and love everything that He loves.
 
This is our choice.
 
6. Choose Life and Blessing
 
Deuteronomy 30:19 says - "...I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed shall live."
 
Our choice to walk in obedience or disobedience to God has serious consequences. If we obey, we receive His blessings. On the other hand, if we choose to go our own way and walk contrary to Him, then He has no other choice than to walk contrary to us. That is when we come under the curse of the law. We reap the horrible curses of great sorrow, pain, destruction, death, and damnation.
 
7. Choose Jesus as Lord of All
 
Psalm 16:2 says - "O my soul, Thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord..."
Psalm 140:6 says - "I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God..."
 
We are no longer our own. We have been bought with the price of the Precious Blood of the Lamb of God. Therefore, we choose to acknowledge the Lord Jesus as the Rightful Ruler of our lives. We choose Him as - our Sovereign God...only refuge from danger and peril... only hope in a hopeless world... defense, shield, and protector from all harm and evil...and the strength of our salvation. Without Him, we fully understand that we can do nothing but fail. Acts 17:28 confirms this fact - "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being..."
 
8. Choose the Way of Truth
 
Psalm 119:30 says - "I have chosen the way of truth..."
 
In a world of great deception, falsities, and unreal game playing, we choose to - live lives that are honest and sincere...always tell the truth, no matter what the cost...be honest in all of our dealings and relationships with men...keep our word...and hide nothing and have nothing to hide.
 
9. Choose to Serve God as a Family
 
Joshua 24:15 says - "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
 
First of all, we have come to the conclusion that there is no other God before the Lord Jesus. Therefore, we - renounce every idol that is in the land and wholeheartedly serve Him...constantly watch over our hearts, lest any rival should dare to steal our affections from Him...have a made-up mind that we will serve the Lord. No matter what others do or no matter who likes it...what names we are termed...or what losses we suffer as a result of our stand for Christ - we will serve the Lord. It is our serious and deliberate choice!
 
But we are not satisfied to serve Him alone. We resolve to have our entire family serve this One Who has been so good to us. He brought us out of great bondage to Sin and Satan. Consequently, we desire to honor Him with household salvation as His reward.
 
10. Choose Suffering Rather than Sin
 
Hebrews 11: 24-26 says "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt..."
 
Moses had brilliant prospects ahead of him. He had the opportunity to enjoy a life of wealth, fame, ease, pleasure, gaiety, and sin. Nonetheless,  he rejected this opulent lifestyle, and chose to sacrifice all of these worldly pleasures to identify with his own people who were oppressed and downtrodden. He knew the serious consequences of his choice. He would face possible danger, want, and great trials if he gave up Pharaoh's court. Rather than sin with the heathen, he turned his back on the wealth of Egypt to fulfill the Call of God on his life to be Israel's Deliverer from slavery.
 
How about you, O Christian?
Have you -
...made the choice to suffer affliction and persecution on the job rather than compromise your holy standards?  
...chosen to go without that relationship or friendship rather than lose out with God?
...chosen to live beneath your means rather than cheat, steal, and lie to get ahead?
 
Whether we realize it or not - we are faced with serious choices every moment of the day.
 
And as Pastor John Anderson pointed out to us - Our choices have serious consequences. To say otherwise is sheer nonsense!
 
Which choices will you make today?
May the greatest one be to serve the Lord Jesus in every detail of your life no matter the cost or the loss.
 
Remember - the choices you make today will determine your destiny for tomorrow. They will ultimately determine where you will spend eternity.
And that's serious business!
 
May God Bless His Word.
Connie