Your Choice

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    Parents constantly work with their children to lead them in the proper direction. This is often a most difficult task that presents us with a variety of struggles and issues. As Godly parents, we want nothing more than for our children to do what is right. We want them to be good people. We want them to treat others properly. We want them to know right from wrong. Ultimately, we want them to get to heaven. When our children are young, it is much easier to steer them in the proper direction. When our children are young, we can teach them, train them, and punish them to lead them to know right from wrong. Yet as all who are parents have found, you cannot force your children to do what is right...and for some reason, it sometimes seems the most difficult times that they choose to do wrong...even though they know what is right and they know the consequences. It can be heart breaking to watch your child do wrong and to punish your child for doing wrong when all you want is to reward them for doing what is right. Yet even with all of the guidance, training, and is still their choice to make.

    From the very beginning, God created man with free will. When Adam and Eve were created and placed in the garden, they were told by God what was expected of them. God told Adam and Eve that they could eat of any tree of the garden except the tree of “knowledge of good and evil”. God then told them the consequences of eating of the tree, that the day they ate of that tree they would die (Genesis 2:16-17). Yet God, in all of His power and will did not force them to do what was right. Adam and Eve had a choice in the matter, and as we all know, they chose to do wrong even though God did not want them to do wrong. Adam and Eve chose to do wrong even though the outcome was certain death.

    The hard part is that God did not want to throw them out of the garden. God did not want to see them face the death that was a consequence and punishment for eating of the tree. Yet when Adam and Eve chose to do wrong, the consequences were not negotiable, even though it undoubtedly broke God’s heart.

    All through time man has had free will. Man has had the option to either serve God or choose to turn from Him. Sometimes people don’t realize that this choice exists. Others don’t realize that these are the only two options, yet it doesn’t change the fact that man has free will to make this very important choice. Joshua very pointedly told Israel that they had this decision to make. Joshua 24:15 says, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

    God will command us to do what is right. God will tell us about the punishment for disobedience. God will tell us about the reward for obedience. God will rebuke and chasten (Heb 12:6). However, in spite of the pain that it causes Him, God does not force us to do that which is right. Like our children, we have a choice. God, as the perfect father has done everything to teach us, lead us in the right way, make the way of forgiveness possible, yet in the end, it is our choice. In the end, we each make that choice whether we realize it or not. Each and every time we fail to do right, it falls on our shoulders. Each and every time we do wrong, we have chosen to do wrong even though God has laid out the correct path and told us the consequences of not following that path.

    Choose today who you will serve. The God of heaven, or the gods of this world!