He Chose

The man who held true

He chose to be trustworthy on the job, even though it was not a job of his choosing. He chose to maintain his high moral standards when the boss’ wife kept seducing him. He chose to keep his faith in God in spite of being treated so unfairly by others.

Thirteen years after being forced out of his homeland, Joseph was elevated to second in command in Egypt. Even in this exalted position he kept on choosing.

He chose to remain humble and not let power go to his head. He chose to forgive his brothers when he had ample opportunity to take revenge.

The God who works behind the scenes

Had he reacted as many would have in his situation, would we have the benefit of his story in Genesis?

God did not cause Joseph’s brothers to hate and mistreat him. God did not cause Potiphar’s wife to seduce Joseph and lie about him.

And yet God could use these trying circumstances to accomplish His good purpose (Romans 8:28). As Joseph told his brothers, “. . . you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to . . . preserve many people alive” (Genesis 50:20).

But even before Joseph could see what God was doing, he kept trusting. He remained faithful.

The greatest tragedy is not suffering. The greatest tragedy is to suffer and never find our place in God’s great plan. When we do discover our place, then God can really use us as He used Joseph.

It is then that our suffering bears its sweetest fruit.

out of place-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please share this post!



The Choice

BIBLE THOUGHT: “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21).

Have you thought of Jesus as a financial advisor? Along with the other roles He fills in a Christian’s life, Jesus indeed offers far better guidance than the most astute investment counselor.

The long view

Jesus presents the Big Picture—a panoramic view of both this life and the next. He shows us how foolish it is to invest without taking the long view. While savings and investments have their place, earthly securities are not secure. They are highly vulnerable to loss. Deposit your money, Jesus says, where your investment is absolutely safe, guaranteed against all loss, and the returns are out of this world!

How it works

Jesus urges us to lay up treasure in heaven. How do we do that?

If we belong to Christ, what we share with those in need is credited to our celestial account, and it will be there waiting for us when we arrive (Matthew 19:21-22; Luke 12:32-34; 1 Timothy 6:17-19).

It’s a sure thing: Believe it!

We have a choice, Jesus says. We can  serve God or we can serve wealth—it’s either/or, not both. While wealth is inherently neutral, it can so easily become our master. Devotion to material things and devotion to God are mutually exclusive (Matthew 6:24).

So we must choose.

safe and secure-tagged















Adapted from an article by JDG in the daily devotional guide Power for Today

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please share this post!


Priorities and Lifestyle Choices

What we choose to love

Confined to a Roman prison because of his faith, Paul predicted that “difficult times will come,” citing the kinds of people who will make the difficult times so difficult.

Among them are “lovers of self, lovers of money . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-2, 4).

As William Barclay so well stated, “The moment a man makes his own will and his own desires the center of life, divine and human relationships are destroyed . . . . All sin begins in selfishness” (The Letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, 211).

How we choose to live

The new life Christ offers us is the very opposite of me-centeredness.

Paul had discovered in his own experience that Christ’s way is the only way that gives true meaning and purpose to our brief time on earth (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Selfishness is a dead end. Serving Christ leads to eternal glory!

Three times in his letter to Timothy, Paul uses a short Greek phrase (σὺ δὲ), variously translated by the New American Standard Bible as “Now you,” “You, however,” and “But you” (3:10, 14: 4:5).

In all three of these cases Paul has just described those who “oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith” (3:8), “evil men and imposters [who] will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (3:13), and those “who will turn their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (4:4).

Paul then urges Timothy to follow his example (3:10-12), hold to the truth of God’s inspired Word (3:14-17), and to “endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (4:5).

Our choice

Some have noted the contrast between those “who have loved His [Christ’s] appearing” (4:8) and Paul’s errant co-worker Demas, who “having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica . . .” (4:8, 10). When Christ someday appears, will Demas be pleased with what he chose to love?

So we must choose between mutually-exclusive priorities leading to diametrically-opposed lifestyles, ending in polar-opposite outcomes.

Me first or Christ first. Which?


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please share this post!


Interference and Choices

car radio-tagged

This week I was listening—or trying to listen—to one of my favorites, the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Evidently, however, the power lines nearby created enough interference that another station began to override what I wanted to hear. It was so annoying that I turned it off.

Life can be like that. The mundane so often pre-empts the sublime. The mediocre, if we let it, prevails over the excellent.

While there wasn’t much I could do about the radio interference, what can we do to keep our focus on what matters most?

Life: a series of choices

Once we make up our minds to obey Christ, then we must subject even our thinking to His Lordship. “Finally then, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

This implies that whatever is not true, honorable, right, pure, etc. is off-limits for us.

God made our wonderful minds. The greatest commandment, Jesus said, is to love the Lord with all our heart/soul/mind” (Matthew 22:37).

So what will we choose?

Since so much of what we think about is affected for good or bad by what we see and hear, then how will this affect our choices regarding entertainment, computer use, reading, friendships, etc.?

It is both naïve and foolish to think we can watch and listen to garbage and not be affected by it (1 Corinthians 10:12; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17).

“Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).

How Satan works to persuade us that good and evil are the opposite of what God says (Genesis 3:1-6; Isaiah 5:20).

Satan is the ultimate source of interference. With God, the signal is clear.



Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please share this post!


Salvation Options?

I heard once about a man who was quite intelligent and highly educated, and yet when he tried to add oil to his car engine, he poured it down the narrow dipstick tube. Well, that’s one way of getting the job done!

Multiple approaches

With some tasks, however, there may be several satisfactory methods. If we need to send a communication to someone, we can use email, fax, telephone, texting, or an old-fashioned letter. The message is the same, regardless of how it’s conveyed.

And then there are wedding options. Whether a big church wedding, a private ceremony at home, or being wed by a justice of the peace, you’re just as married in any case. There are advantages and disadvantages to each arrangement, but still, one can choose.

We are conditioned to multiple options in almost every department of life—from menus to makes of cars to brands of detergent.

Wouldn’t our ancestors be astonished if they could see the almost unlimited choices available to us?

Many avenues?

In regard to salvation, are there many roads to heaven? Does the Bible teach that?

Christ “became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9). But what if we disobey? See 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

The Bible says there is only one gospel, only one faith, only one Savior, only one way to be saved, and only one road that leads to life (Galatians 1:6-9; Ephesians 4:4-6; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Matthew 7:13-14).

So what’s our choice? Take it or leave it.

If God offers us one and only one way to be saved, and He does, should any of us have a problem with that?

After all, isn’t that far more than we deserve?

Jesus bridge-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please share this post!


Need Help?

I was in my thirties before I learned that men are reluctant to ask directions when driving. That was news to me! When I was growing up, my dad would often stop and ask. So when I got out on my own, I thought nothing of doing the same.

When GPS and roadmaps aren’t quite enough, it strikes me as silly to be in a strange place and forge ahead, hoping to figure out the right road when a simple question could save a lot of time and gasoline.

Pride? A sense of self-sufficiency? Is that it? Is that why macho men don’t want to admit they’re lost?

Choosing our destination

Life is a journey with a destination. We’re all headed somewhere. Some don’t have a clue where they’re headed or what the alternatives are. That’s why we have the Bible.

The Bible tells us: 1) There are two roads. 2) One road leads to life, the other to destruction. 3) We must choose (Matthew 7:13-14).

The road to destruction requires no particular effort to reach that destination. We can go to hell by default, by doing absolutely nothing.

By choosing life

If we choose the road to life, we need to understand: a) how to get on the only road that actually leads there, and b) how to stay on that road.

In other words, we need lots of help to make it. We need the grace of God to forgive and sustain us, we need the Holy Spirit to strengthen us, the Scriptures to teach us, the fellowship of believers to encourage us, and the daily intercession of our Mediator at the Father’s right hand.

Proud people don’t like to admit they need help. But is there anyone who doesn’t? There’s no such thing as a truly self-made man, especially when it comes to our salvation.

No wonder the Scriptures repeatedly urge us to humble ourselves, to seek God, and to admit our inadequacies (Luke 18:9-14).

Reluctance to seek the help we so desperately need and which is so readily available for the asking is far worse than silly—it is eternally fatal to our souls.

So go ahead, ask!

man driving-tagged

Please share this post!


“Then What Shall I Do with Jesus?”

His question/Their answer

The governor was in a dilemma, and he knew it. As Caesar’s official representative in Judea it was Pilate’s responsibility to deal with those brought to him for judgment.

Never in his career had Pilate dealt with anyone like Him. He knew this Galilean was innocent of the charges so vehemently made against Him. He also knew what lay behind the vicious accusations: It was envy.

When Pilate asked, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” The people shouted, “Crucify Him!” (Matthew 27:22).

Countless sermons been preached on the subject “What Shall I Do with Jesus?” It’s a good question, a disturbing question, one that deserves and demands an answer.

When we meet Jesus

Jesus is not simply a great Teacher who lived nearly 2,000 years ago. He lives today, reigning at the right hand of His Father.

Someday He will return. His second coming will be quite unlike His first. He came the first time to make our salvation possible. He’ll come again to bring it all to a conclusion. He will judge the world (Acts 17:30-31).

Each of us will face Him personally in Judgment. Awesome thought!

The choice we make

We can face Him prepared or unprepared. We can hear Him say, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father . . . .” Or we can hear Him say to us, “Depart from Me . . .” (Matthew 25:34; 7:23).

Do we want Him to bless us? “. . . God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways” (Acts 3:26).

Do we want Him for our Friend? Jesus said to His disciples, “You are My friends if you do what I command you”: (John 15:14).

Do we want Him to save us? “. . . He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation . . .” (Hebrews 5:9).

What will you do with Jesus?

making decision-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

Please share this post!