“It’s Your Call”

Posted: August 15, 2013 in Christian Life, Joshua, Pride, Salvation

“Whether Christian or non-Christian, we’re called upon to make choices which will have significant results.” – Francis Schaeffer. “We make decisions, and then our decisions make us.” We make them daily, hourly, and moment by moment. They all have a part in our development as a person.

Bucket List.  Recently while watching “The Bucket List” with our son, Bill, who came to visit us from Japan, I was thinking about the inevitability of death (Hebrews 9:27). There is an exception to it. Do you know what it is (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)? Have you ever thought about what people might say about you at your funeral? What would you want to have put on your tombstone?

Morbid?  I know – you don’t want to think about dying any more than I do. But stay with me. Tucked away in one of the Minor Prophetic books there is a brief statement that expresses what God expects of His people. I have shared it with our children on a number of occasions. “…What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Let’s think about this for a few minutes. We have the following choices to make:

Right/Wrong.  Many people do what is right in their own eyes and can’t figure why things are going so terribly wrong for them (Proverbs 14:12). For some 1,600 years people on earth lived according to their conscience until things got so bad that God had to bring on a universal flood to destroy all of them with the exception of Noah and his family (Genesis 6-8; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5). Yes, Jesus Himself believed in the universal flood that occurred in Noah’s day (Matthew 24:37-39). Later in Israel’s history, the people did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). If the events of those days were to be made into a movie, it would have to be rated with at least an “R” rating. If you doubt that statement, read Judges chapters 19-21. In and of ourselves, we can do nothing good enough to be acceptable to God (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-23; John 15:5). None of our good works can earn for us an entrance into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Merciful/Cruel.  Mercy, as I understand it, involves showing compassion for those who are suffering whether it be due to their own fault or the fault of others. To some Christians God gives the spiritual gift of showing mercy, and to others He gives the gift of exhortation (Romans 12:8). These people can come along side a person and help the hurting person get out of the pit of despair (Galatians 6:2). The Scriptures remind Christians to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Have you been forgiven? Do you forgive others or do you try to get even with those who have wronged you (Romans 12:19)?

Humility/Pride.  We live in a day when we’re encouraged to love ourselves (2 Timothy 3:2) and be proud of our accomplishments in life. But “who makes you to differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it (1 Corinthians 4:7)? There are seven things that are an abomination to God (Proverbs 6:16-19). Among them is a proud look. Pride of race, place, and face. How much did you have to do with these things? “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).

Tombstone.  I’d be happy if these words were put on my tombstone: “Having been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, and with God’s help, he tried to do what was right in God’s sight, to be compassionate toward those who were suffering, and to walk humbly before God.”

Heaven.  Doing these things won’t gain a place for us in heaven (Titus 3:5). We must acknowledge that we are sinners who can’t save ourselves (Romans 3:10). We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8) if we want to be saved from hell (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) and spend eternity with God in heaven (John 14:1-3). Have you done this yet? If not, why not make the most important decision in life right now? It’s your call!

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