Pastor Ron E. Thompson: Life’s Greatest Choices
Life is filled with choices and all of us make them. We choose when to wake up in the morning and when to sleep in. We choose the food we enjoy, the clothes we wear, and the friends we like. The Bible is replete with those who made choices. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and the whole human race has suffered since. Noah decided to obey God and only he and his family survived a flood that destroyed humanity. Joshua, Moses’ understudy, was God’s choice to lead Israel into the Promised Land. In the closing chapter of the book of Joshua, he reviews the history of Israel, and warns the Israelites to put away their false gods with these words: “If you think it is wrong to serve the Lord, choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods your fathers worshiped on the other side of the river or choose the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15 NLT). Of all the choices you make in a lifetime, there are three that will determine your place here and in eternity.
- Your Commander.
This choice is the most important of all because the right decision here will make the next two easier. Jesus said: “No servant can serve two masters, because either he will hate one and love the other; or be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and wealth” (Luke 16:19 ISV). He also declared that those who were not with Him were against Him (Matthew 12:30).
The first thing you must do is determine who is going to be your Commander in control of your life. If you want to do what God has planned for your time on earth and in eternity you must make Jesus Christ your personal Lord and Savior. He is the only Commander in Chief who can lead you in the right direction which is His perfect will. Turn everything over to Christ and let Him, not self, control the throne of your heart. Do not procrastinate or delay because no decision is a decision!
- Your Commission.
I Corinthians 10:31 NLT: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” We were created to love the Lord and trust Him. The Westminster Confession reads, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” We interact with God through thanksgiving, praise, and worship (Matthew 22:32-40). We witness to non-believers through the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). We minister to other believers through edification (I Corinthians 14:3 GW). All three of these elements together can be seen in the early church (Acts 2:42-47 NIV): “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” It is all about choosing God’s will for your life, so make it a priority in your prayer time and He will not disappoint you.
- Your Companion.
While God will direct us, He also allows us to make choices. If you are single, rest assured that there will be innumerable eligible “choices” running around who hope to meet the perfect partner. If you do not believe this, check out the social media and the superfluous online dating sights available. Do not take matters into your own hands hoping that somehow everything will work out. Remember, God has your best interests in mind. He knows what sort of companion you need so let Him do the choosing. Be a Matthew 6:33 person. In other words, Seek the Kingdom of God primarily, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. I assume you understand that the kind of person you marry is (1) Likely to be the kind of person you date. (2) Someone who knows Christ as personal Lord and Savior. (3) Someone who shares with you the same beliefs, values, convictions, and goals. (4) Someone who wants to be your best friend, ministry teammate, and life-long lover.
If you will forgive a personal testimony in closing, I want to thank and praise the Lord for my wife, Thelma, who was promoted to Heaven after sixty-three years together in ministry. We first met in the young people’s department of our church. Our on and off courtship lasted through high school and into college years before we could get married. God gave us two wonderful daughters, Angie and Melody, who love and serve the Lord. Next year my grandson will be serving in a short-term missions’ ministry in Japan. I have two incredibly young great-grandchildren who love music and, who knows, God may use them to reach others with their gifts in years to come.
If you prayerfully follow God’s will for your life and make choices that honor Him, it will not only give you a positive and faithful testimony but make for a better world in which we live.