“Only 2 Choices” March 5

 

Only 2 Choices - Life seems to be full of choices. Little choices. Big choices. In reality, there are only two choices ..." and our decisions often determine whether life goes well or whether life gets hard. Check out today's reading in Proverbs to find out more about those two choices.Life seems to be full of choices. Little choices. Big choices. In reality, there are only two choices …” and our decisions often determine whether life goes well or whether life gets hard. Check out today’s reading in Proverbs to find out more about those two choices.

 

Today’s Readings:
Numbers 7 & 8
Psalm 31.1-5
Proverbs 11.4-6
Mark 9.1-29

 

Only 2 Choices

 

Proverbs 11.4-6:

What guides your choices?

 

Verse 5 says, “The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright …”

Dollarphotoclub what would Jesus do

What guides you and your choices? Is it righteousness? And what exactly does that mean? A few years ago it was popular to wear jewelry that posed the question, “What would Jesus do?” The jewelry was a reminder to consider that question as we went through the events of life. But sadly, like so many things that become popular, we heard it so often it lost its impact. We shouldn’t let that happen.

 

What did Jesus do?

 

First, Jesus faced all the same temptations we face, but He never sinned in the process.

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin (Heb. 5.15 NIV).

Second, Jesus came to not only be our sinless Savior, but, also, our perfect example.

1 Peter 2.21b (NIV), “… because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

In fact, God is using the “all things” talked about in Romans 8.28 to help us grow and become more like Him (Rom. 8.29).

So, what would Jesus do in that decision you’re trying to make? How would He handle that rude sales person or someone who sinned against you? How would He respond to that test or trial? To what (or Whom) would He run when stressed or angry or tired or hungry?

Jesus is the Word of God lived out in the flesh, so if we want to know what Jesus would do, we only need to go to His written Word.

Do we let doing right—righteousness—guide us in all things? Doing right is not what is good or right for us, but what’s right by God’s standard.

Proverbs 14.12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Let’s seek God’s help daily to let His righteousness—His Word—guide us.

In counseling we have a simple little saying, “Only two choices on the shelf … pleasing God or pleasing self.” Often doing what pleases Him is the harder decision. It may require going against the current of popular opinion. It almost always requires going against our own selfish desires. But Jesus said:

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me … and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11.29-30).

What starts out to be the harder decision gets easier with God’s help.

On the other hand, doing what seems right to us, is easy. It comes naturally. But  Continue reading

“Recognizing the Process of Sin”

LIVING BETWEEN THE ALREADY & THE NOT YET – Part 3

 

process of sin

 

Several weeks ago I started this series, “Living Between the Already and the Not Yet.” “The already” is who we are in Christ and have been since the day that He saved us. The “not yet” is who we will be when we stand before Him faultless, in other words, when we are like Him.

The first post was “5 Ways God Finishes His Work in Us” based on Philippians 1.6. In it I said that God is progressively changing and growing us as we learn to:

  1. Count it all joy when we encounter tests & trials.
  2. Accept His discipline.
  3. Keep the two great commandments.
  4. Overcome evil with good.
  5. Trust in His sovereignty.

In the second post, I talked about “Responding to Difficult People.” We all have one or more of them in our lives, whether it’s a child, a family member, a spouse, a co-worker or someone else.

I used a simple counseling diagram we call the “Y-chart,” to demonstrate how responding God’s way results in peace and blessings and how our load in life gets easier. But when we respond our own way, it results in tribulation and distress (anxiety, fear, worry, stress, depression) and life gets harder.

 

RECOGNIZING THE PROCESS OF SIN

In this post I’m going to talk about the process of sin: how it works, why we fall into its snares, and how we can avoid it.  Continue reading

The Jesus Code: Making Wise Decisions + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 10 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer, by O.S. Hawkins. For those of you just tuning in, The Jesus Code has 52 questions, one to contemplate each week. The author believes every Christian should be able to answer these important questions.

This week’s question: “How long will you falter between two opinions?” (1 Kings 18.21).

The occasion for this question was a showdown between Elijah and the One True God and 850 prophets of Baal and their Queen, Jezebel. God’s people had faltered between serving God and worshiping false gods for generations.

I wonder how tired and frustrated Elijah must have been as he asked the people, “How long … how long are you going to live like this? How long are you going to be tossed to and fro? How long will you falter between two opinions?”

Hawkins says:

The pages of Scripture are replete with challenge after challenge to make right choices in life. Moses said, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30: 19, emphasis added). Among Joshua’s last words to his people were these: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the L ORD” (Joshua 24: 15). Luke recorded this statement Jesus made about an important choice: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other” (Luke 16: 13).

 

We are all faced with the choice between making wise decisions and foolish ones every day, in big and little ways. The courses of our lives are not so much determined by what happens to us, but by the choices we make.

Hawkins goes on in this chapter to make four important points about wise decision making:

  • Wise decision making comes from our consciences.
  • Wise decision making is not apart for reason.
  • Wise decision making involves God’s Word.
  • Wise decision making involves the heart.

Some questions we might ask ourselves are:

  • What are we doing to inform our consciences biblically?
  • Are we letting some strongly held desire override our God-given common sense?
  • Have we sought God through His Word and wise godly counselors?
  • Is our heart focused on pleasing Him?

Tf we are regularly spending time in God’s Word, informing our consciences with what He says is right and what He says is wrong … If we are submitting our desires to what pleases God and His will as revealed in His Word … If we have sought godly counsel … And if our hearts are fixed on Him, we can step out in faith and make wise decisions.

Hawkins ends this chapter with these words:

Are you reading these words, realizing you are on the fence and you just can’t bring yourself to make a decision? Choose God! He will not fail you or forsake you— He loves you and has a plan for your life. Decide to follow Him. And remember, not to decide . . . really is to decide!

 

Next week’s question is: “What are you doing here?” (1 Kings 19.9).

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

Previous questions:

The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?”
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Week three: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Week four: “Who am I?”
Week five: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21.5).
Week six: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6.13).
Week seven: “Is there still anyone … That I may show him kindness?” (2 Samuel 9.1).
Week eight: “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?” (2 Samuel 12.9).
Week nine: “Ask! What shall I give you?” (1 Kings 3.5).

Blessings,
Donna

 

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup

 

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The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?”
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Week three: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Week four: “Who am I?”
Week five: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21.5).
Week six: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6.13).
Week seven: “Is there still anyone … That I may show him kindness?” (2 Samuel 9.1).
Week eight: “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?” (2 Samuel 12.9).
Week nine: “Ask! What shall I give you?” (1 Kings 3.5).

 

Divine Counterpart

Be sure to check out the first in my series on Genesis, “Divine Counterpart,” on Ren’s website “A Look at the Book.”

 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
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