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Choose LIFE!

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. 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, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:15-17).

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:37-39).

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better (Philippians 1:20-23).

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:35-54).

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Scripture repeatedly exhorts us to choose life – but in the church today so much focus is being placed on this mortal life. I was talking with a dear brother about this just yesterday. He shook his head exclaiming;

“Christians are not reading their Bibles!”

He’s right.

We were discussing the current political mayhem and the millions of Christians who are convinced that getting the “right” man in office is the answer.

Looking for security and prosperity in this world is really a delusion. Do we realize that? And there’s a virtual sea of delusion these days. We know about social engineering, technology and pharmaceuticals to manipulate the minds of men. But all of it boils down to being deluded into believing that our life is found in the natural – that is in the flesh.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

We all know we’re not getting out of this alive, right?

We’re so focused on, so bombarded with information in this world that we only, ever briefly even consider the fact that our days here are numbered. But putting our hope in our life in this world, in this moral body is a trap and a lie that hides the true nature of our existence.

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

It is ironic, that to choose life, we need to embrace the cross that Jesus bore and accept the death sentence imposed by the Law. We need to put to death our efforts to find life and meaning in the flesh; we lay it down to find our life in the Spirit and in the things that are eternal.

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:3)

So, why are so many looking to flesh (a man) to save us in this dark hour?

Every counterfeit religion teaches that we can achieve righteousness and eternal life through observing laws. Kabbalist Jews believe that the Law is a tree of life. But all these efforts are fleshly and futile. It is simply not within us to produce life. The source of life is God, and is realized through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

It’s become popular for Christians to add Law to the gospel; to turn man’s focus inward once again to focus on his own fleshly efforts to attain life. It was the very thing the Jews tried to get the first Christians to do. But these believers have been deceived, and are working under a faulty understanding of the purpose of the Law and the New Covenant. God’s purpose in giving the Law was to show us that they we are guilty of sin, that we are incapable of overcoming it, and that we desperately need a Savior to reconcile us to God. The Aaronic priesthood served to illustrate the need of a mediator and sacrifice for sin. This was completely fulfilled in Jesus who is the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

We do not choose life by trying to perfectly obey the Law. We choose life through the obedience that comes through faith in Jesus, who alone is our High Priest and King, through whom we died to the Law – by the sentence of the Law – SO THAT we might be raised to a new (spiritual) life by the power of the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead!

Just like the caterpillar dies to its former life to emerge from its cocoon as a new creature – a butterfly – through the death of our former life in the flesh, we are a New Creation; raised through faith into New Life by the Holy Spirit.

This is the good news of the kingdom of God! And hearing it, we embrace the death of our former life in the flesh and choose the life which is True and Eternal through the Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Brothers and sisters this world is not our home! I know that world events look frightening. But what is coming upon the earth is something that we cannot fight in the flesh. Please don’t sell out your precious faith for a false hope of security in this world! However they play it out, it is just that; a play, designed to instill fear, raise false hopes only to let them down again, divide us and divide us again until brother betrays brother to the evil system. It is designed to give us a false hope of being able to gain some manner of control in the flesh. All of this is the delusion of the enemy. None of it offers true freedom, hope and life. Jesus words come to mind,

When the Son of Man comes will He find faith upon the earth? (Luke 18.8)

He has made us alive in the Spirit and given us the full assurance of the resurrection and transformation of our bodies to immortality! He alone is our victory; He alone can make all things new!

Choose life!

 

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