Joshua 24:15b … Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua from the Bible in the above verses was challenging people to make a choice. Either serve God or not, but his choice was to serve God, to live life God’s way. Choices are important, they matter. Choices can change life direction, foster good relationships, and create opportunity for building good character. Hopefully through life we learn to make good, godly choices. Because choices matter!
I am presiding over a few memorial services this week. It is an honor to stand with a family to celebrate and grieve a loved one who has passed. It is a moment to remember and appreciate the choices of a life. The loved ones who have passed made choices that shaped them and had an impact on others. The choices we make matter!
I remember being challenged by one of my mentors who quoted Jesus, saying people are known by their produce – their fruit (see Matthew 7:15-20), a good tree producing good fruit, and a not-so-good tree producing not-so-good fruit. Of course, I wanted, and want, to be that good tree with a life that reflects the grace, mercy, kindness, and strength that Jesus, the Christ, did. The choices we make matter! That is why Joshua challenged the people of Israel in Joshua 24:14-18. Joshua was doing this because what we choose matters.
The truth is, we will either enjoy the benefits of good choices or suffer the consequences of bad choices. As well, not to choose is a choice in itself. It is also a choice to learn from past choices to make even better choices. Now, some may say that others ‘make them’ say hurtful things, do foolish things, or be deceitful, yet each of us has been given the free will to choose most of our actions and most certainly our attitudes and our reactions. The Bible gives us some great and good choices that bring out our best and shape us in a good, godly way:
The choice of kindness where we intentionally bring out the best in others and think the best of them as well.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
The choice to be helpful and persevere in doing good.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
The choice for wisdom and to seek being both inquisitive and curious.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
The choice to participate and not just spectate.
Matthew 7:12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 22:39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The choice to know God more…
Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Church, especially around Easter, is a great place to immerse ourselves in Jesus. If you do not already have a church you attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a fun, welcoming church that loves God and seeks to live life His way. Each Sunday we study the Bible and have a great time together. We would love for you to join us. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.
Seeking to make better choices along with you,
Mike McKay, Lead Pastor, Neighborhood Church