The choices we make affect and shape our life’s journey and ultimately our destiny. We make significant choices regarding jobs and careers, where to live, who to marry and so on. We also make choices regarding who we listen to, who we take advice from. Society even tells us to trust ourselves, to go with our instincts, to listen to what our hearts and our emotions are telling us. We choose the path in life we want. In the words of the general confession for morning prayer in the Book of Common Prayer, “we have followed too much the devices and desires of our hearts”.
Many people live happy and sober lives reliant on their own wisdom, without the help or guidance and wisdom of God. They are in happy marriages with wonderful children. People can live good lives without Christ. We can have everything we want in this world but without Christ our lives are meaningless. A life without Christ is a life in which the person is dead to God, meaning the person is spiritually dead.
During their time in the wilderness, the Israelites were angry with God and turned away from Him. But God spoke these words, through Moses, to the Israelites: “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. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
And so, the choice before us is: choose Christ and gain life, or ignore Christ and face spiritual and eternal death. Christ came so deliver us from death and give us abundant life: a life of meaning and an everlasting life. We should turn to Christ and live our lives with him and in him and for him. Simon Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, – John 6:68.
What are the benefits of a life with Christ? Paul reminds us in Romans 9 that as children of God we are children of the promise. What exactly is that promise? It is the promise of life and joy in the presence and love of God, that God is ‘for us’ and that nothing can separate us from his love. God continues to bless us and has promised to be with us all the days of our lives.
May we take up our cross, deny ourselves of our own desires and follow Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.
Prayer Point: Almighty God, to you alone do I turn. Guide me in this life and make your ways known to me, through your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.