The choice

Cross at sunset

By Tom Wiles | For The Times-Post

Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship Gods you have not known before. — Deuteronomy 11

There he stood, all two-and-a-half-feet of his two-and-a-half-year-old self fully engaged with the decision at hand.

“Sorry buddy,” his mother, my daughter, explained to him, “We don’t always get we want.”

She continued, “If you choose to continue to whine and throw a fit, you’ll have to sit in timeout. If you choose to nicely and calmly find something else to do, you’re welcome to stay here with all of us. It’s your choice.”

Moses was having just such a conversation with the people of Israel in preparation for their entrance into the promised land.

He reminded them of all that God had done for them in the past.

He painted two crystal clear pictures of what their future could be.

He even identified two mountains to bear witness to these two pictures of either blessing or cursing.

Obedience leads to blessing. Disobedience leads to cursing.

It’s your choice.

I find it absolutely unfathomable how I so often think I know better than God.

What about you?

He made this world. He designed us to live in this world. He lays out in great detail how to best function in this world.

He knows everything.

We know virtually nothing.

He loves perfectly.

We’re dismal amateurs and hit and miss at best.

And yet, we think we know better?

Graciously, God has given us his word, his son and his Holy Spirit.

Now, whether or not we listen to them is left for us to decide.

It’s our choice.

For or against

Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. — Luke 11:14-28

I encountered a new food recently. It’s called mofongo.

I should have known by the name to tread lightly.

Mofongo turned out to be well, let’s just say, not my favorite.

Well, that’s a little disingenuous. I thought it was awful.

Others in my family felt quite differently. They thought the mofongo was pretty good.

No one seemed to be in the middle when it came to the mofongo. It was a “yum” or a “yuk”.

In the Bible verse above, Jesus revealed an incredibly significant truth.

He told the crowd that day as well as us today that when it comes to him, there’s no neutral position.

I liken it to a V-shaped snowplow. The snow flies one way or another. None of it can stay in the middle. Neutral ground does not exist.

It’s the same reality with the person of Jesus. No one can “kind of” like Jesus. Neutral means opposed.

The implications here are staggering.

As I write this and you read this, we are either right with Jesus or we are wrong with Jesus.

We are either living at peace with God or we are living under his judgement.

The determining factor is, you guessed it, Jesus.

If we believe in him and have received the gift of forgiveness that only he can give us, we are made right with God.

Only Jesus’ death on the cross can deal with our sin problem.

I guess the core question left for each of us to answer is, “Which side of the street do you find yourself today?”

Tom Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.


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