Jim's Jots and Tittles. . .
The Choice Before Us
The book of Joshua is called a book of victory. God provided the victory enabling Israel to enter the promised land.
In his farewell address Joshua said to Israel--"For the Lord has driven our from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you this day." (Joshua 23:9)
Then in verse eleven he says--"Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God."
There was placed before them a choice. Love God for what He had done or deny Him and do evil.
The book of Judges is called a book of failure. It describes their choice. The phrase "the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord" occurs at least thirteen times.
After God had used Gideon and three hundred men to defeat the Midianites, Judges 8:34 says--"Thus the children did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side."
God has always presented mankind a choice of serving Him or Satan. Adam and Eve in Genesis made a choice to believe Satan. In the book of Revelation the lasts book in the Bible, God is still presenting mankind a choice. Revelation 22:14 says--"Blessed are those who do His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city."
The thirty-nine books of the Old Testament reveal God and the choices His people made, and the consequences if the chose not to serve Him. 1 Corinthians chapter ten tells us that they were all taught God's will, but made the choice to serve idols and God was not well pleased with most of them. Verse eleven says--"Now these things happened as an example and they were written for our instruction upon whom the ends of the ages have come."
God has given us the New Testament which has also laid choices before us. The epistles were written to Christians for the purpose of laying choices before us.
In Acts 2:38 Peter, on the day the church was established, gave the people a choice--"Repent and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Christ for the forgiveness of sins." Acts 2:41 tell us that three thousand people made the right choice.
The Hebrew writer in Hebrews 3:14 lays before us the choice of remaining faithful--"For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm untill the end."
Jesus lays before us the same choice in Revelation 2:10--"Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life."
In 2 Corinthians 5:15 Paul lays before the Corinthians the choice of whom they will serve--"and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf."
And in Romans 12:2 Paul explains that we make this choice by the renewing of our minds and proving what is the will of God.
The word renewing means to renovate or a complete change fro the better. You see, one cannot prove the will of God until a choice is made concerning ourselves or God.
Paul lays this choice before us in Ephesians 5:17--"Don't be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is."
That is the way a Christian can fulfill the choice laid before one in 2 Corinthians 5:17--Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away, behold, new things have come."
Why be concerned about our choices? In 2 Corinthians 5:10 Paul writes that we must appear in the judgment to give an account for our choices. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."