How You Can Choose a Better Life
- Monday, November 03, 2008
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Dr. James MacDonald's new book, 10 Choices: A Proven Plan to Change Your Life Forever, (Thomas Nelson, 2008).
Do you feel trapped – longing for a better life, yet not finding it? Are you waiting for certain doors to open so your life will improve?
All that you hope for is right in front of you. The key to enjoying a better life is to make choices that will lead you there.
Here are some choices that have the power to transform your life when you make them:
Choose God’s love: Choose to believe that there is a God who knows you perfectly and yet loves you unconditionally. God has promised that all those who truly look for Him will find Him. Decide to seek God with all your heart. Believe in the reality of God’s love for you, no matter what you’ve done in the past. Embrace God’s love for you, thank Him for it, and base your identity on it. Let God’s great love for you imbue you with confidence.
Choose God’s forgiveness: Only the choice to receive God’s forgiveness can set you free once and for all from the dark clouds of guilt and regret that linger over bad choices from your past. Let go of your pride and approach God in honest humility. Confess your sins and repent of them to usher God’s forgiveness into your life and restore your relationship with Him.
Choose Jesus Christ as Lord: Everyone serves someone, and many people choose to serve themselves. But Jesus Christ is the only one who loves you unconditionally and forgives you completely, so choose to serve Him. One day every human being who has ever lived will stand before Jesus as Lord, since He stands supreme in the universe. Following Him now will lead to the best life for you. Don’t settle for following a caricature of Jesus (Jesus as your buddy, safety net or good luck charm, religious artifact, meal ticket, or social conscience). Instead, discover who Jesus truly is by studying what the Bible reveals about Him, and give your allegiance to Him. Bow to Jesus’ authority by obeying His commands. Be willing to submit your will to His when He and you might disagree on what to choose. Invite Jesus to take charge of all areas of your life – your relationships with family and friends, your work, your play, your dreams, etc. Realize that all you are and have ultimately belongs to Him. Do your best to follow where Jesus leads you, and ask another Christian whom you trust to hold you accountable to follow Jesus faithfully.
Choose the Bible as God’s Word: When the Bible is your authority, it can change the direction of your life. The Bible is God’s blueprint for human happiness; it can satisfy the deepest longings of your soul. God’s Word empowers you to dismiss evil and resist temptation. Without the Bible, you’re lost and wandering in darkness, but with it, you can find everything for which you’ve been longing. Don’t minimize the Bible’s importance by using it as an hors d’oeuvres try (where you pick and choose what to take), rental car insurance (that you’re glad to have, but only in an emergency), a seat belt (a nuisance that cramps your style), high school algebra (technically accurate, but of no practical use), or a hobby (like a fun phase you go through). Recognize that the Bible is the authoritative book from the Creator of the universe about how life really works. Make reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the Bible a high priority in your life. Apply its messages, using it as your guidebook for life. Let the Bible challenge your thinking and change your direction. Pray Scripture, and share it with other people. If you’re not reading the Bible regularly, discipline yourself to do so for 30 days. After that, continue reading for another 30 days to develop a desire to read the Bible (rather than doing so out of a sense of obligation). Then, for the next 30 days, focus on delighting in the Bible so much that reading it becomes your favorite part of each day and Scripture runs in the background of your thoughts constantly.
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