What are you going to do with your freedom of choice today? Even recognizing that you can choose is a choice! Some of us will stumble into this day grumbling about going to work, about having to finish some project, about facing a deadline. Others will take on the challenges of this new week with joy, thankful that we are alive and participating at some level in this thing called, ‘life!’ Some of us will growl, others will smile – and many of us will assume that it is our situation in life that shapes our mood. Not true! Joy comes from inside, from what fills up our heart. Where will you focus – on the limitations or the possibilities?
God impressed on me as I awakened this morning that He has provided me with the freedom to choose how I will live today. One of the most self-defeating phrases is: “I just can’t help it!” If, by that you mean you can’t control your world, you’re right. But if you mean, you have no ability to exercise self-control, you are wrong! We can’t make our spouse be kind to us. We can’t make our boss be appreciative of our efforts. We can’t even be certain that our physical body won’t betray us with heart attack or a bad knee! But we can choose our response to the world and to the circumstances of life.
The Bible says that God broke the hold that sin had over us. Once we could not help but be selfish, lustful, in the grip of ego-driven appetites. But something happened that proclaimed our emancipation from spiritual slavery —
Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life. We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God.
So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires. (Romans 6:6-12, NLT)
Just for today- choose! Don’t say, “I can’t help arguing with my wife.” You can, if you will, today. Don’t say, “I can’t discipline my kids.” You can, if you will, today. Don’t say, “I can’t stop eating too much.” You can, if you will, today.
Here’s something that I’ve read again and again, in my life, called Just for Today. I hope you will recognize the wisdom in these words and determine, with the help of God’s Spirit in you, to make a choice – Just for today:
- I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
- Just for today: I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
- Just for today: I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
- Just for today: I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything, and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.
- Just for today: I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision. — Ruth Carter-Bourdon
So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment.
Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped on the far side of The River (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God.
If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve—and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living.
As for me and my family, we’ll worship God. (Joshua 24:14-15, The Message)
Father, I come to you today, with profound thankfulness that
You have stepped into my life and set me free to choose –
to love, not hate; to experience joy even in sad circumstances;
to silence my clamoring selfishness that I might serve selflessly.
I pray that Your Spirit in me will lead me to opportunities
where I can share the love of Christ, extend a word of encouragement,
lift up a person who is crushed by despair… and help me
to have the courage to choose to become involved.
Forgive me, Lord, for lazy passivity that causes me to sometimes to drift along,
rather than taking up the oars and paddling my canoe towards your
high and holy callings!
May Jesus be honored by my choices today, I pray in His Holy Name.