Alpha Ministries, Inc
All of us are confronted with a multitude of choices to make daily. Many of them seem small and almost inconsequential while others seem overwhelming and life threatening. What makes life so complicated and hard is not just the choices we make but often it seems we really have no choice at all. Much of our confusion and frustration in life comes from the fact that we are not sure what choices we have, if we even have a choice, and exactly what choice we should make in any given situation. Welcome to the world of a control freak!
Seeking to control the people and circumstances in our life comes from a deep need to make ourselves secure in an insecure world. There is no guarantee that we will be unconditionally loved, accepted, and forgiven in this dog-eat-dog and often hostile world. In fact, chances are that we will be neglected, abandoned, or even abused. Likewise, unless we can control the people and circumstances in the chaos of this world it is impossible to find a real sense of importance, purpose, and competence. Wrong or bad choices seem naturally to lead to a meaningless and unsatisfying life.
Underlying all other choices we must make is the most important and basic choice. It is the choice the Bible urges us to make daily and describes it in a variety of terms. Jesus invites us to take his “yoke” upon us (Matthew 11: 28-30). Paul urges us to “present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God” (Romans 12: 1-2). James tells us to ask for wisdom from above (James 1: 5). Peter calls on us to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God” (1 Peter 5: 6). All these directives (and many more) have one thing in common…surrender. We give up trying to make it happen and let God do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
In the AA program of recovery the 3rd step describes this kind of surrender as deciding to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. Making the choice to surrender all our decisions as well as our very lives to the control and care of God is the foundation and start of a new and satisfying lifestyle of grace in which God, through his indwelling Spirit, leads us, guides us into all truth, comforts us in our choices, reminds us who we are, and produces the very character of Christ in us. As Paul instructed the Philippians 2: 12-13, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have obeyed, not in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and do of his good pleasure. “
The fundamental choice we all must make each day is whether we want to let God control our lives. It is really a no-brainer since he is the sovereign creator and sustainer of the universe and loves us so much he gave his life for us. For me it boils down to one simple prayer each morning, “Lord please remind me of who you made me to be in your son and guide me in how you want me to love others around me today”. I really do not have any other choice that makes sense.
|Posted on 1 April, 2021 at 11:45|
The Easter story detailing the crucifixion, burial, and miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ has been told all around the world countless number of times over the last two thousand years. Those who hear the story naturally fall into two categories i.e. those who believe it’s true and celebrate and those who reject it as a legend or some kind of fairy-tale. Those who deny the story as being a true reality do so primarily because of the resurrection part. History reveals the fact that Jesus was indeed crucified and buried, but from the very beginning his resurrection from the dead was deliberately questioned and denied by the religious rulers of the day.
In Matthews account of the resurrection of Jesus he describes the religious rulers planning for their worst-case scenario by going to Pilate the Roman governor saying, “Sir, we remember that the deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal his body away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so that the last error shall be greater than the first.” Although Pilate refused to play their religious game he told them to post their own guard at the tomb which they did.
On Sunday morning God dealt with the guards at the tomb as Matthew goes on to say, “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightening, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake and became as dead men.” When the guards recovered from their fear and paralysis they reported what had happened to their superiors who immediately bribed the guards who were there with a huge amount of money to say, “His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.” Matthew elaborates on this first religious coverup saying, “So they took the money, and did as they were taught, and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day”.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of the resurrection of Jesus there are those who yet doubt the truth. It has been said that there is actually more evidence of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead than that George Washington was our first president. Yet the natural, religious mind of humanity continues to coverup the truth by choosing to trust in and depend on their own understanding and power rather than the wisdom and power of God for their lives. The only way to know beyond all doubt that Jesus rose again from the dead is to experience his life personally by his grace through our faith.
When you admit to God that you need Him to do for you what you can’t do for yourself and believe that he has done it all through Jesus, the Spirit of the resurrected Christ will make the living Jesus alive to you and in you. As you personally experience the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of Jesus you will know that he has indeed risen from the dead!
Have a blessed Easter.