Joshua 24:15: "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Life is full of choices and this famous portion of scripture has been quoted and put on walls and plates and cups. Joshua is coming to the end of his life and he is speaking to Israel to decide which way they would go.
I believe that Joshua loved God’s people and he didn’t want them to make bad choices. Our Lord wants the same thing for you and I. He wants us to realize that a bad decision can have a lifetime effect. Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."
When you love someone and really care about them and you see them making a bad choice, or you see a person moving toward a life style that is contrary to what you believe or contrary to the word of God, what do you do? Of course you warn them!
If you truly care for someone then it bothers you when you see them going in the wrong direction, but as I have gotten older this is what I have discovered. The number one thing that Jesus expects in our relationship to anyone is that we love them. Love even those who we don’t agree with, the greatest hindrance to the message of Christ is those who deliver it, but deliver it without love, and the message becomes repulsive to the listeners. May I say that there were many that disagreed with the message of our Lord but He was never repulsive to anyone! So the number one criteria the Lord wants from us is to be loving. You can disagree with them but in a loving way.
I am hearing that many are turning to the Lord from Islam, but those who are coming to Christ are coming for two reasons. They have had a dream in which the Lord has spoken to them and they come to believe in Christ. I heard of one man who for seven years had the same dream about Jesus until finally he gave his heart to the Lord. After that, the dream went away never to be dreamed again. The other reason that people are coming to faith in Jesus from other belief systems, is because they met someone who loved them.
One of the things that has helped me dealing with people who are not believers is that God gives you and I the most sacred gift. The gift of prerogative of choice, but God does not give you the privilege of determining a different outcome from that the choice will entail. The consequences are bound to the choice and you go right back to the book of Genesis and Cain. “If you do right will you not be accepted” but if you do not, Satan is at your door desiring to have you!.
- Pastor Lee Cruse, the Pastor whom Jesus loves.
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