Choices

Reading John 14, John 21

You would think the dogs would jump at the chance for any kind of food, but Navy has peculiar tastes.

Champ will take anything we give him.  Will we take anything God gives us?

Dear family,

My little Jack Russell dog, Navy, did something yesterday to make me consider writing something more about the message yesterday.

My wife has bought an assortment of treats for the dogs to have when they come in from their walks, and other assorted times.  Giving too many choices to kids to eat sometimes creates fussy kids.  But not with dogs.  Well, while Champ inhaled the little treat in less than a second, Navy allowed me to place the treat on her lips, never totally disappearing in her mouth, and quickly spit it out.  Then she just stood there looking at me wondering “what else do you have for me to choose from”.  I didn’t give in, which I have done before, and I don’t offer her another choice.  She slowly walked away.

I wonder how often I have slowly walked away from opportunities that God has placed before me.  I have treated them like the choices of treats for my dog, choosing which ones I feel good about doing.

Being obedient to God shouldn’t be treated like a dog treat.  We know that God will not give us something harmful for us to do, not in eternal perspectives.  God loves us dearly, having proven that by demonstrating to us the greatest love He could show.  God has promised to provide for us, having given us everything we need for life and godliness.  And God has given us the greatest resource for accomplishing what He gives us to do, HIMSELF!  Jesus lives in me and through me, as I yield to Him, as I am available to Him to live in His body, which is now both our bodies.

What choices are before you today, or the next?  What do you believe God has placed before you?  Even if you are choosing “good” things to do today, are they what God has desired for you to do?  If we fail to obey, even though doing “good”, is that not sin.  We are missing the mark.  So thankful for the blood of Christ!

Let’s make it our offering to worship Him this week by not “spitting out the treat that our master gives us”, and opt for a “better” treat.  What God prompts us to do, the person to love, the friend to cheer, the unbeliever that needs the Gospel, the job to quit, the mission to do, let’s respond in obedience!

We have the confidence if we are living in faithful dependence on God, that anything He asks us to do, He will do it through us.

And the greatest reward is the promise of His presence as we obey Him.

John 14:21 (NIV)
21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

John 14:23 (NIV)
23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

In John 21 we see the disciples obey Christ’s command to throw the net on the other side of the boat.  In response to that we see them not only catch a huge load of fish without breaking the net.  We see Christ reveal Himself to them, and they enjoyed a meal together on the beach, and in the midst of that meal we see Peter restored.  What an act of love.

In I John we see further evidence of what obedience leads to.

1 John 4:12 (NIV)
12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 2:3-6 (NIV)
3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:
6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Today we can walk as Jesus walked, in total dependence on God.  And we can enjoy the fellowship of the Father and the Son, and with one another.  Most of us would not give up an opportunity to enjoy the company of a spouse, or girl/boy friend, family member, friend if we had the chance.

Let’s choose to follow God’s voice today and do the thing that may not seem most enjoyable, but is what God is offering.  Take a few moments and listen to the Master’s voice.  What privilege is He giving you to be involved in today, or in the next year?

Love,

Steve

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