YOUR CHOICE

READ: JAMES 4: 1-10

So, humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (V. 7)

There was a man standing adjacent to me at the self-service gas pumps of a local service station.  Just before we completed our respective transactions the man remarked, “Don’t know why people are filling up at the station next store and paying 50 cents more per gallon—just makes no sense to me.”  “Guess they are in a hurry and want the convenience of not sitting in line,” I remarked.  He responded, “true enough and I believe people think that the cheaper gas is not the quality of the brand name,” as we ended our brief dialogue.  Driving home I realized that I am an impatient person who does not really like to be in lines, especially those associated with gas stations and grocery stores.  I would run out of fingers and toes if I tried to count the number of times I paid more just to avoid the lines– cost was not a major factor in my decision.  I am certain, if I totaled up the increased amounts for each of these economic transactional choices my purchasing decisions might have been altered.

James calls our attention to making a choice of even greater magnitude than buying more expensive gas or groceries.  “Sock it to you James” indicates we have to make the spiritual choice between following the morals, customs and distorted thinking of this world or the truth of God.  The consequences of this choice are far more dire than paying extra for commercial products.  It makes the difference between being a faithful, trusting and obedient child of God, or in James’ words, “an enemy of God.”  The choice is rooted in our hearts and minds giving rise to temptations and encouraging us to prioritize our own desires over God’s will (James 1: 14).   Of course, Satan, the father of all lies (John 8:44), is only too happy to help us complete our sinful transactions that draw us away from God.  But God, out of his mercy, grace and love, gave Jesus as a sacrifice for all of our sins so we might be his children and not his enemies (John 3:16-17).  Additionally, he provided us with the Holy Spirit to guide us in truth and lead us to make faithful choices in the face of never-ending worldly temptations (John 14: 15-17).   In short, we have the power of the living Jesus within us.  We just need to get our mind and heart sequence in tune with his will, which nullifies the influence of temptation and the devil.

 

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION AND PRAYER

Would you rather have a direct relationship with Jesus by humbling yourself before God, or a transactional business arrangement with the devil?  The choice is yours—but the results produce either forgiveness, salvation and eternal life or death.  Choose wisely!

Dear Father God, help me draw ever closer to you each day by embracing Jesus as my Lord and Savior and listening to the Holy Spirit.

You’re Brother in Christ,

Fred Ailes

Happy Father’s Day and remember as men we are called to–Reject passivity–Accept Responsibility–Act with Courage–MAKE AN ETERNAL DIFFERENCE!!