There are times in life when we are confronted with the realization that life has an expiration day. However, unlike the products we buy in the supermarket or the cars we drive, we know that eventually our trips around the sun will come to an end.
The great challenge of life on this world is discovering early that while life on this earth may come to to an end, there is still another chapter to be opened. As a Christian, I believe that life does not end. I believe that on the other side of death there is another life. A life that will either be lived with God or without him. And the time I have been given to make how I will live is now.
As I was thinking about this reality, the words “choose life” came to mind. So I did a quick search and found that these words are found in the book Deuteronomy. Let’s look at them now.
11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-20 ESV)
God is calling his people to obedience. He is reminding them that he has made promises and that to reap the benefit of those promises we had to recognize what was at stake. What is interesting is that God puts the choice in terms of “life” and “death”. It is not comfort and suffering. Not peace or war. Not riches or poverty.
From God’s perspective (and his is the only one that really matters!) the choice we all will make will be between obedience and disobedience. Between life and death. This just mind-boggling. And yet, this is the reality we have to confront today.
Do you want to live? Then obedience is the only wise and prudent choice.
Do you want to enter into the land of promise? Then obedience is the only wise and prudent choice.
Do you want to experience the experience the fullness of God’s blessing? Then obedience is the only wise and prudent choice.
To live is Christ. That’s what the Apostle Paul said.
To live eternally is to die to self and surrender to the purposes of God.
As we draw ever closer to the glorious commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection, I am challenged by the fact that in the end, there is only one choice we must make. Will we choice life? Will we choose to live?