“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Choose to love the LORD your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life. Then you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” - Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Life is full of choices. Some are made for you, the rest you make. You cannot choose to be born, but you can choose how to live. You are not free to select your DNA, but you can choose to pursue an MBA. The choices you make shape the life you will live.
Before the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, Moses required them to choose how they would respond to God and to face what would happen as a result—choices and consequences. He also explained that if they strayed from God’s path and were disciplined by him, they should return to him and be reconciled to him. But whether sooner or later, the choice between life and death was clear: loving God meant life, while turning away from him meant death.
We today still need to confront courageously the choice between life and death, blessing and cursing. Blessing is not automatic. It does not flow unbidden into a man’s life. Blessing comes when we respond affirmatively to the Lord’s call to live obediently. Echoing Moses, Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matt. 22:37), and he commanded potential disciples, “Follow me.” In words similar to Moses’, Jesus warned people, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). God still lays before us the options of trusting obedience and willful disobedience, and he outlines the results of the options: Life eternal on the one hand, perishing on the other.
God bestows upon man the ultimate privilege of choosing freely which way he will go. Of course, there would be no choice to make if God had not first chosen to reach out to us. So man’s freedom to choose is a gift of grace. God chose to offer us life, then he chose to let us choose. Now the choice is ours! God offers the gift of eternal life to anyone who will repent and believe. God calls us to respond. If we obey his call, if we choose to go his way, we receive the gift. And it’s the biggest gift ever offered to those who face the biggest choice ever made.
For Further Study: Deuteronomy 30:1-20
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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