Decisions we make have consequences

Published 5:09 pm Saturday, October 22, 2016

By Larry Stover
Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

When Aaron Burr, traitor to the United States, was in his teen years he was faced with one of the most important decisions of his young life. He spent a week in the country thinking it over. That life changing decision was to make a choice between serving God as a Christian or running from God and buying into the choices of the godless. At the age of 19 he decided to ignore God, forget about the spiritual, and spiraled hopelessly into sin. He died in infamy mastered by a decision.

We are all mastered by our decisions. I like to tell young people, “You are free to make any choice that you desire, but you cannot choose the consequences of those choices.” There are many people who build their lives around the teachings of Jesus Christ and the character of Christianity. Others will make the decision to build their lives around self-made gods and the tenets of humanism.   Both have their consequences.

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Jesus addressed this decision in Matthew chapter 6. Verses 22-24 read,  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

It is imperative to ask the question, “Where is your loyalty?” Contrary to popular opinion, you cannot serve both Jesus Christ and chase the things of the world. We need to have one great purpose in life and that purpose needs to be centered on Jesus Christ. When our relationship with Jesus is where it ought to be, everything else in life will fall into place.

There are a lot of complex issues in life but it can all be boiled down to one issue, one great decision, “Whom or what will I allow to master my soul?” Far too many people are dabbling in Christianity today. Jesus never settles for second place in our lives. He wants to be Lord of all or not Lord at all. Trying to serve God on one hand and trying to keep loyalties to wealth, possessions, power, and position can place our spirituality in great danger.
Whatever demands our loyalty, mind, and energy can become an idol causing us to take our focus off of our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Life is all about choices every day. Are we going to live daily as a Christian or allow some other god to be mastered by a wrong decision? We are free to choose, but we cannot chose the consequences of those choices.

Two Old Testament declarations stand out to me. The First made by Joshua, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” The second is a statement made by Ruth to Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

We truly are mastered by our decisions. Choosing to live for Jesus Christ every day will make your life “Simply Beautiful.”