“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, 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.”
Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military generals who ever lived, conquered almost the entire known world with his vast army. One night during a campaign, he couldn’t sleep and left his tent to walk around the campgrounds. As he was walking he came across a soldier asleep on guard duty – a serious offense. The penalty for falling asleep on guard duty was, in some cases, instant death; the commanding officer sometimes poured kerosene on the sleeping soldier and lit it. The soldier began to wake up as Alexander approached him.
Recognizing who was standing in front of him, the young man feared for his life. Alexander barked at the young man, “Do you know what the penalty is for falling asleep on guard duty?”
“Yes, sir,” the soldier responded in a quivering voice.
“Soldier, what’s your name?” demanded Alexander the Great.
The great ruler repeated the question: “What is your name?”
“My name is Alexander, sir,” the soldier repeated.
A third time and more loudly Alexander the Great asked, “What is your name?”
A third time the soldier meekly said, “My name is Alexander, sir.”
Alexander the Great then looked the young soldier straight in the eye. “Soldier,” he said with intensity, “either change your name or change your conduct.”
We choose what we eat, where we go, how we speak, and who we follow. Most times life choices are difficult. And choices have consequences. Some choices we can’t take back.
Walking with Christ is a free will proposition. We choose to believe, we choose to trust, we choose to obey, and we choose our level of discipleship – our conduct (Holiness). It is not forced upon us. The impact we have on the world around us is greatly influenced by the choices we make – how we live and love like Jesus.
Are we going to be perfect in our choices? Certainly not. We are broken people living in a broken world. I cannot do all the good the world needs… but the world needs all the good I can do.
In a span of 11 years, 115 people died in a weightlifting accident at the gym. In the same 11 years, only one person died eating a doughnut.
Make good choices!
Use the HEAR method as you spend time with today’s passage:
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?Explain – what does the passage mean?Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jim Sellers, Minister of Music and YAH Director