Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Have you ever pleaded with your children or loved ones against making choices that you know were not good for them and were, in fact, deadly, and then had to watch as they denied your pleas and walked down that path of self-destruction? Well, you’re not the only one.
Let’s top up our coffees and dig in…
Readings for Sunday, September 8: 13th Sunday after Pentecost
Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 1; Philemon 1-21; Luke 14:25-35
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. . . . Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life. . . Deuteronomy 30:15, 19b-20a
As parents we so desperately desire our children to make choices that will keep them safe and healthy. We can lay before them the pros of healthy choices and the natural consequences of unhealthy choices. We can plead with them to listen to us and to choose the path that keeps them healthy and prosperous. However, when they choose the more tempting, dangerous path which leads to self-destruction, our hands are tied, and we feel like our words fell on deaf ears. Oh how we tried to warn them and guide them. Oh how it breaks our heart!
Is this not exactly the plea that God is laying before us, his children, today? Is he not sharing with us the path to life and the consequences of a life without him? “Choose life! Please choose life! Choose me!” he cries.
Yet, we have the free choice to deny him, to turn a deaf ear to him, and walk down a path that he has warned us against. (Oh and don’t be fooled; because of our sinful nature, the pull to follow our own desires is stronger than the pull to follow him. You can thank Adam and Eve for that.) And because of free choice, he lets us walk that path. He has not created us to be his puppets. He created us to make choices. He desires us to willingly heed his words, just like any parent.
No he does not desire us to go down that road of self-destruction or pain. He desperately desires “all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) He desperately desires us to choose him, to walk with him, to cling to him. He himself says, “How often I have longed to gather [you] together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)
So today, be willing. Today, may you lay before him those acts that have lead you away from him, and be cleansed in the forgiveness you have in Christ. He is waiting for you and will rescue you in a blink of an eye. For today, and always, he desires you to live in his grace and to be wrapped in his eternal embrace. Dear child, choose life!
Prayer: Dear Lord, you have told me which way is the path of life. Please forgive me when I follow my own destructive path and temptations. Please help me to always focus on Jesus, my life and salvation, for he is “the way and the truth and the life”. (John 14:6a) In his name I pray. AMEN!