TITLE: Decisions, Decisions
DATE: December 26, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: 1 Samuel 12:24 - ESV - Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
Most of us have to make decisions. Most of us don't want to make them.
The best example of that I have found comes from a Mississippi State Senator. In 1958, speaking to the Legislature he said: "You have asked me how I feel about whisky. All right, here is just how I stand on this question: "If when you say whisky, you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge; the bloody monster that defiles innocence, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacles of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation and despair, shame and helplessness and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it with all of my power.
"But, if when you say whisky, you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the stuff that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes, if you mean Christmas cheer; ... if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirmed, to build highways, hospitals and schools, then certainly I am in favor of it." "This is my stand. I will not retreat I will not compromise."
The Senator points out the truth, most of us have to make decisions. Most of us don't want to make them.
I say most of us, because Scripture says that there are exceptions to that rule. During the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the Baptist and he preached about repentance and the forgiveness of sins.
Most of us don't want to make decisions, but John the Baptist was different. He did what was right as he called people to faith in Jesus Christ. For this he was beheaded by an adulterous and drunken ruler.
In the Old Testament we have the prophet Malachi. His message was to assure the Children of Israel that God still loved them. His job was to remind them that God demanded honor, respect, and faithfulness from them. To that end, Malachi pointed out the people's sins and warned that judgment would come. Most of us have to make decisions. Most of us don't want to make decisiohns, but the prophet Malachi was different.
In the New Testament we see Paul, a persecutor of Christianity, made a decision on the Damascus road. After his encounter with the Christ, no matter what the cost, Paul would do what was right. He would tell those who had rejected the Savior they were wrong. He would tell the followers of other gods, they were misdirected.
Paul was different. He did what was right as he called people to faith in Jesus Christ. For this he was stoned, shipwrecked, beaten and left for dead.
Most of us don’t like to make decisions. But everyday they must be made. Having seen the decision of the Lord to send His Son to earth for us, our choice to serve and praise Him ought to be easier.
THE PRAYER: Lord, what a choice You made to send Your Son to be our Sacrifice. May our lives reflect our appreciation for all He has done. In Jesus’ holy Name I pray it. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html
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