Choose You This Day (Oct 2012)

By Matt Dabbs

By Keith Brenton

It’s clear from the first pages of scripture to the last; from Adam and Eve’s choice of a tree to eat from in a garden … to Jesus’ choice in a garden of a tree to be crucified upon … to our choice of Him and His choice of us to dwell together in an eternal garden where the tree of life grows in groves on the bank of the river flowing from God’s own throne.

Choice is at the heart of our relationship with God. He has loved and chosen us — all of us (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16</a>).

And He wants us, in return, to choose Him (Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15).

While His sovereign choice is indeed powerful — as a careful reading of the epistle to the Romans will prove — every instance it is spoken of there quotes a prophet whom God commissioned to preach repentance, repentance, repentance … to preach to the people God chose that they must choose Him.

Our choices matter.

His relationship with His people is spoken of as a marriage; one in which both parties choose each other for life (Jeremiah 3:14; Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:1-3).

His Son’s relationship with His church, His assembly is described as one of wedded intimacy (John 3:29; Ephesians 5:25-33; Revelation 19:7).

To say that God’s choice somehow presciently overrides our own is to sell God short; to box him into a logical cube of cause-and-effect and linear-only time that reduces His foreknowledge and goodness to an inscrutable, troubling theodicy in which everything that happens is somehow predestinationally perfect and therefore our choices can’t really matter because they come from ultimately flawed and irredeemably sinful wretches.

As if we understood how it all works.>God is God, and choice is from Him. It is His gift for us to use to his glory or our own destruction. He respects our choice, because He respects us.

Our choices matter. 

They matter now; they matter eternally.

They matter to Him because they affect the choices and circumstances of others … because they affect our relationship with Him … and because the unwise and selfish ones cost Him the life of His very own Son on a cross.<br><br>If they didn’t matter, then Jesus didn’t have to die.

That would paint a picture of rather small, mean, selfish and weak god, a god who only has one plan scripted and makes all the choices and does so — nails his own son to a cross — for the sole purpose of his own glory (getting across how good he is and wicked we are) and is now just riding out the unfolding script which tolerates no deviation.

No.

God is so sovereign, so> incomprehensibly powerful that He does not have to have His own way. In the cosmic sense, His will be done no matter what else be done.

God (who can know all) can choose not to. He can risk the unknown. He can live it with us, among us, to whatever end it takes us. He can empower an overriding plan of reconciliation that no human word nor action can daunt. He is that powerful. He is that sovereign.

He is love (1 John 4); and He loves us.

Oh, how He loves us.

And love does not insist on its own way (1 Corinthians 13).

Love goes to the cross.

<blockquote>”But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~ <a href=”http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+5:8&version=NIV” target=”_blank”>Romans 5:8</a></blockquote>

So, having heard of this inimitable love, we are called anyway to imitate it each day by taking up our> crosses and following Him (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23).

We crucify self and live Him instead, and He lives in us. We no longer believe that choice is God; that self is God … but that He is God.

We follow Him to the places where we live and learn and work among the people He loves. We follow Him into risk and hardship and danger. We follow Him into poverty and hunger and illness and brokenness, because that is where He is needed most and where He can shine the light of God’s glory: where darkness is entrenched. We follow Him fearlessly, because He is God.

We even follow Him into the voting booth.

It’s not the place where He will likely work His most powerful work, but His work can be found there. Remember, however, what He said about things that ought to have been done, without leaving lesser things undone (Matthew 23:23) — and surely in the voting booth as well as in our daily walk, there is justice, mercy and faithfulness to be done.

You can be a part of it, or you can choose not to be a part of it. But if you choose the latter, don’t choose to believe the lie that your choices don’t matter; that what you do or say has no effect; that your vote doesn’t count.

Choosing that is the silliest non-sequitur of all eternity, and right after “Choice is God,” it is one of the most dangerous lies that the enemy Satan sells. Our choice not to do God’s will cannot possibly be God’s will.

Yet because of His great and immeasurable love for us, He will let us choose not to follow or obey and will respect our choice forever though it forever breaks His heart. That is not His will. That is our will at its worst. But it is within His will. In the end, He will actually bend His will to ours.

Our choices matter.

Because we matter to Him.

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1577 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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