My Thoughts. . .
Monday, February 25, 2019
Everyone has it. It is given to us early in life. Right or wrong, we use it. Sometimes another thinks it clashes. Yours may anger another or brighten their day. Their gift may have the same effect on you. What is it? Both Adam and Eve were blessed with it. It also became their curse. Eve exercised hers and Adam silently hitched a ride. Both attempted to justify their use of it, but Adam seems to be the winner, but not to his credit. It is called choice.
Choice brings a lot of things into our life that may or may not be expected. The prophet’s question carries some weighty words, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Someone opined, “It’s good when a disagreement ends well.” Even there, choices were at work.
People disagree. My barber told me that there are two topics that are not brought up with the customer. The are religion and politics. The choice to do so has the potential of becoming “heated.” Those choices may end with agreement, or agreement to disagree. Beyond that, choices may get “testy.” Individuals have choices about what the Bible does or does not teach. Those choices are made due to a person’s understanding or misunderstanding. Each of those may be based on a number of factors that are good, bad, or a mixture of both. If one’s view is based upon a misunderstanding, they still believe that view is better than yours. A lady once told me, “Why should I exchange my faith and accept yours?” Good question.
Back in 1957 I was talking with a second cousin about some New Testament commands. My almost related cousin informed me, “I don’t care what the Bible says, I’ve got Jesus in my heart and I’ll stick with him.” Jesus is an excellent choice, but one’s heart may not lead him correctly in following the Lord. Solomon stated, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25). Of course, both she and I could have been wrong. Two wrongs do not make a right.
I have met folks who accepted as their authority only the red lettered words of Jesus. They considered the rest of the New Testament as inferior to Jesus’ teachings. One individual rejected Paul’s statements in Romans and 1 Corinthians concerning his lifestyle because they did not come from Jesus himself. Of course, Jesus didn’t speak for his lifestyle either. That individual accepted Matthew through John as God’s truth but rejected Acts through Revelation. He is commended for his acceptance of Jesus’ teaching. But he apparently overlooks some of that teaching by Jesus which is also found in the other twenty-three books.
Jesus told his apostles,
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13).
In Acts 8:29 the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip. In Acts 10:19 He spoke to Peter. In Acts 18:5 he spoke to Paul. There are numerous passage where the apostles and prophets tell us they are speaking God’s truth through the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us that God is Spirit (John 4:24). Our Holy God spoke truth to the apostles and prophets. Jesus spoke God’s truth. That truth is found from Matthew through Revelation. What the apostles and prophets spoke were what Jesus wanted spoken which was “all truth” (John 16:13).
Regardless of our opinions, we have a choice. God gave us the freedom to make our choices. That freedom also carries responsibilities. We are responsible for our choices whether they are good or bad, right or wrong. The father of the boy Jesus healed made his choice by saying, “Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). We might repeat, “Lord help me to make the right choices.” He helps by instructing us in His truth through all twenty-seven books of the New Testament.