Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Choose Life

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Author Biography

    Mark Dijkens is the regional director for CBN Europe. He and his wife Ellen love hiking through the British countryside. Besides seeing Europe impacted by the Gospel, Mark has a passion for wildlife, kayaking, sailing and cooking.

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Mark Dijkens - Regional Director CBN Europe

Much depends on the choices we make. Every day is a new day where we can make decisions that influence our lives, either positively or negatively.

Every day we make many choices. For example, what to wear in the morning, our priorities for the day, and choosing how we respond to things around us.

We choose how to respond to one another, and much depends on it. We can all remember choices we made, poor choices or great choices. The principle is that we have a choice in most things and the freedom to make decisions that impact our lives and those around us.

One of the big red lines through the Bible is about choices. In many places, God puts the question in front of us; what do we choose? Do we choose life or the opposite?  

When we choose life, God also promises us His blessings.

I have recently read about Abraham's journey and how he started on this amazing God adventure. In Genesis 12, God calls Abraham to

"Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:1-3).

What do you do when God calls you to make the biggest decision in your life? What do you do when your mind throws up obstacles about how, where, and why? Abraham had a choice to make. He chose to trust God and follow His direction.

I read through the chapters about Lot and the difference between Abraham and Lot in decision making. When there was a fight between the herdsman of Lot and Abraham, they decided to separate as the land where they lived was not large enough to accommodate both families. In his generosity and being a gentleman, Abraham offered Lot the first choice. 

Lot looked at the land long and hard and chose what he thought was the best land he could identify, which looked like the 'Garden of the Lord' as the Bible says (Genesis 13:10). It must have been an oasis, with enough grazing for his herds and plenty of water and other resources. So he decided to settle in Sodom. He might not have known at the time that the people there were very wicked.

Sometimes our decision-making capacity becomes clouded by outside influences when we do not hear God's voice clearly anymore. This was the case for Lot.

Later in the story, we see how Abraham rescues Lot from a vile and wicked place. I thought about this. How, in his right mind, could Lot have settled in the center of this wicked city? I think it started with the first decision to settle in a land that seemed beautiful on the surface but was a wicked place. Then he did not adjust his thinking but went along with his first choice. More choices must have followed, and his judgment became clouded, causing him to end up in a real pickle.

God is merciful, and He sent a rescue team. Then, God Himself and two angels visited the city, and the angels got Lot and his family out. But unfortunately, Lot's wife made a poor choice to disobey God's instruction and turned into a salt pillar. So much we can learn from this story if only we spent more time. 

I would like to briefly share about choices impacting not only our lives but also those around us and generations after us. Abraham chose to obey God and trust Him, and He received the blessings. Because of Abraham's obedience, the Saviour of all mankind came from his lineage, as we read in Matthew 1. God promised Abraham to make him a father of nations, and it is because of his faithfulness and obedience to God that you and I are now part of God's eternal family.

Lot made poor decisions that reflected how his daughters acted, like getting him drunk to lie with him to preserve their family line. The older daughter gave birth to a son and named him Moab. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Moabites. The younger daughter gave birth to a son named Benammi, who became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Ammonites. The Moabites and the Ammonites were enemies of Israel, causing much trouble down the line. All results of disobedience to God and His ways: making poor decisions that impact generations to come.

When Jesus was tempted in the desert, He chose to obey His Father alone. He declared God's Word and His commandments and did not cave into temptation.

“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, 'Rivers of living water will flow from his heart'” (John 7:38).

Father, help us to make our decisions rooted in who we are in Jesus. Help us to choose the path of life each day and follow hard after You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scripture is quoted from the New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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