Free Will

From the time humans were created, God has given us free will. Every day we use our free will to make choices on what we do, what we say, how we act, and how we react. Each and every one of those choices have consequences, whether positive or negative. This is a basic concept that people often teach their children as they are growing and learning (For example, if you don’t eat dinner, you can’t have dessert), yet we as adults sometimes have trouble grasping this concept.

We can’t blame God for the consequences of our own actions. If a relationship ends because you do not treat your partner well, that is a result of your own choices. There are things that happen outside of our control, but that is a post for another time. If we are ever going to grow and mature, we have to be willing to accept responsibility for our actions. Not only that, but we have to remember that others are prone to sin, and we have to extend grace to them.

Thinking about it this way makes free will seem like a drag, huh? It’s not. Free will is beautiful: if we didn’t have free will, we would never be able to love genuinely or really live. Yes, there are consequences for choices we make, but not all of them are bad: I choose to pour into my marriage, and as a result it is flourishing. That’s a beautiful consequence!

Free will is a gift, and we should use it wisely because our actions and words have tremendous power.

With love,

B

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Photo credit: Ryan Clements

The Most Important Choice

Our lives are built around the choices we make.  We choose what to wear, who to associate with, where to go to school, what car to drive, who to be in a relationship with, where to live, what to do in our free time.  These choices shape our lives, some for the better, some for the worse.  But in the end there is only one choice that matters, and it’s not anything I listed above.

The beginning of Isaiah chapter 5 sets the scene: God’s Vineyard that should have flourished yet has yielded only bitter fruit – this is in reference to God’s people, not God’s grapes.  Between Isaiah and God we get a picture of what this looks like: the people are hoarding wealth and are overcome with love for material things, they are living life to what they think is the fullest yet ignoring God, they are confusing good with evil, they are drunks, they are corrupt.  I’m sure the list could have went on and on (in chapter 3 they’re compared to Sodom – ouch).

In verse 24, Isaiah says that “their roots will rot, their flowers will wither and fly away like dust, for they refused to accept the law of the Eternal, the Commander of Heavenly armies.”

These people chose to have great estates and to entertain themselves with all the pleasures of life, but in the end none of it mattered because they failed to make the most important choice of all: following God.

Through the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ we are no longer bound to the law like the Israelites were, but we still have the same choice to make: whether or not to follow God.

When Jesus hung on the cross, He didn’t hang alone, with Him hung every sin you and I would ever commit; He payed our ransom.  And when He rose again, He gave you and I the chance to be created in a new life through Him, to be brought from death to life.

Accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life is the most important choice you will ever make: it’s the difference between life and death.  Life following God won’t always be easy, there will be trials and there will be storms and you will have to make the decision to go against the culture on many issues, but on your side you will have the One who loved you enough to die for you and everything you’ve done to offend Him, the One who conquered the very chains of death itself so that we – mere humans – could spend Eternity with the One who created us and loves us. You will go through life knowing you are never alone, that you are loved, that you were worth the God of the universe sending His Son to die in your place.

He chose you. Will you choose Him?

Photo Credit: Aaron Burden