The Choices We Make
“So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” (Acts 16:31)
In a society where the popular mantra is, “do you,” often times the effects of that are forgotten. Sin is easy; it always was. It’s easier to give in to the flesh, and just do whatever it is you want to, regardless of any consequences. A majority of human problems are contained in self-absorption. That’s why it isn’t at all surprising that the concept of “doing you” is so popular. But is it really right?
I love serving the Lord. It is and has been a joy and a continually exciting experience. Possibly one of the things I enjoy most is the transformation I have found by renewing my mind to the truth. Romans 12:2 tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” In the process of living with a renewed mind, the Lord has enabled me to see things I never could before.
See, I was a person who lived so enveloped in my thoughts that I was hopelessly trapped there. At a young age, I fell down the slippery slope of depression. Depression is, at its core, simply a habit of thinking about oneself. There are things that make you sad, that hurt you, that trap you, and you simply cannot stop thinking about them. In my case, these thoughts always led me to constantly thinking of suicide. At several points, when the pain in my mind was so great, I put the barrel of a shotgun in my mouth, because I just couldn’t take it anymore. Thinking. I just couldn’t handle the pain of thinking. Thank God for Divine intervention!
It wasn’t until I found a church where the pastor cared enough to preach the Word of God without compromise that I started to get better. Sitting there week in and week out, my mind began to be renewed and the pain in my head started to disappear. So how does all this connect with first scripture I started with? To believe on the Lord Jesus means to trust in Him, rely on Him, and let it all ride on Him. It means you give Him your life and you follow His path, forsaking yours. The salvation this scripture speaks of is an everlasting and daily accessed salvation from everything life can throw at you.
What’s more is this: this trust creates in you the knowledge that how you live is far greater than you. See, depression and “doing you” first never considers the consequence. There are people whose lives here and eternally are connected to what you choose to do. There are so many lives that are connected to your salvation and you living it out fully. I never realized that as much until I became a pastor.
Without trust in God you will not follow Him. Not following Him means that others will not see Him in you. There are many “believers” that don’t trust God and these people are not reaching their loved ones or anyone. My wife, my children, and my mother all serve God today because of my choice to trust in and follow Him. What keeps me doing my best to live right? It’s the knowledge that those I love seeing Heaven someday is riding on it. It’s the knowledge that each life I come across, and preach the Gospel to, and share my testimony with won’t have to spend eternity in hell. 1 Timothy 4:16 says, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
Yes my friends, there is a lot riding on our faithfulness. Consider the lives of those around you. Are you a believer but no one can tell? Are you a believer but instead of growing in God you’d rather be sowing to your desires? You can focus on you but in the end that truly doesn’t even help you. Maybe you will have relief in the moment but there is always a time of reckoning. The devil was the first one to do himself. He did it so well in fact that it led him straight to hell, along with all those who followed him.
We’d love to meet you at Family Church Mayville or Family Church Corry. Join us for one of our services sometime!