He Reigns!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's Your Choice

No matter what today's counselors might tell you, once you are of legal age, everything you do in your life is your choice. You have to choose the direction of your life and how to live it, or spend your life letting circumstance bounce you around like a rubber ball on a school playground. No matter how rough life was for you, or that you didn't have the greatest parents, or that you were raised in the poor area of town, you can either let your circumstances build you up or break you down. No matter where you are now, there are choices to be made that determine your present circumstances, as well as all of your tomorrows.

Everyone has had problems, and certainly, no one has had a perfect life. Even so, some are better than others but that is still no guarantee of a successful life. We read about the rich and famous and their problems every day. From drug abuse, to failed marriages, to committing crimes, no one is immune from bad choices. My life wasn't so great. I was molested by two uncles from age three to about age eleven. And yes, those events did mess up my mind and caused me to make bad choices as a teen, and even as a young adult. But no matter what happened to me or to you, everyone is responsible for the choices they make and the paths they follow. So how do we put the past to rest and move beyond our circumstances?

I would like to tell you how simple it is, but it's not simple. Like anything else in our lives, it takes work and diligence, and it takes practice every single day. You have to want to live right, you have to practice living right, and you need a good example of living right. The best example is the Bible, and then those who live by the Word of God daily. If you aren't a Christian, that's okay, it's not difficult to become one.  Ask God to forgive you, thank Him for that forgiveness, and praise Him for what He has done and will continue doing in your life.

Jesus died on the cross for your sins because God loved you so much, He sacrificed His only begotten Son as the final blood offering because "God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved." Once you know the salvation of God, you will feel the love of God fill your heart to overflowing, and you will feel a peace that passes all understanding. You are now a child of God, an adopted child who has the same inheritance as Jesus. Heaven now belongs to you and when you stand before God after your earthly death, He won't remember the sins you committed before your salvation, but only the love you've shown others, and the ones you've told about Jesus, since your salvation. What a wonderful blessing!

This is not to say your life on earth suddenly comes without any problems. You still have the problems you had before salvation, but now you have an answer for them. Now you can call on the Lord for answers to solve your problems. Serving the Lord will bring about blessings overflowing, to show you how to live, how to cope with problems when they do crop up, and how to resist those old habits that used to haunt you. I used to smoke cigarettes and I prayed and prayed to lose the craving and for God to take the habit from me. The Lord did, and I was smoke free that same day. I put my brand new lighter in the half a pack of cigarettes I had left, stuck them in a drawer, and didn't smoke any more. Then, a few months later, something happened and I felt so stressed over it, that I lit a cigarette. I looked at the burning evil in my hand, and said, "Lord, I asked you to take this from me." The Lord replied, "I did. You're the one who picked it up again."

He was right. I didn't have the habit, nor did I have a craving. I just picked up a cigarette because that's what I used to do when I became stressed out. We have a lot of old habits we have to get rid of. Everything from cigarettes to alcohol, from drugs to sex, and everything in between are habits we have to rid ourselves of, and with God's help through the Holy Spirit, we can be victorious over our habits. As long as we depend on the Lord for our strength (Psalm 28:7), in Him we live and breathe (Acts 17:28), He will guide us into all righteousness (John 16:13).

Jesus is our answer to everything. And no matter what we have done, or how many times we have sinned, He will forgive us. His shed blood covers our sins and  washes us white as snow. Through Him we are truly made brand new as if we had never sinned, just like when we were babies, completely blameless. No matter what you have gone through in your life, or how you were raised, and no matter what is going on in your life right now, Jesus is standing by, waiting for you to make the decision to follow Him. No man knows the number of his days, but if yours ends without the decision for Christ, you will go to hell. The devil is real and so is hell. Don't let the devil trick you like he did Eve in the garden. The devil is a liar (John 8:44), so don't believe him when you start thinking you don't deserve salvation. On the other hand, don't blame the devil when you start doing stuff you know you shouldn't. You know right from wrong, you have a brain in your head, so don't blame the devil when you know it's a choice you made all on your own.

"So repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus, for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38