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Sharing Scripture for November 20, 2021

Choose Life

 

For use: November 14 – 20
Texts: Genesis 2:8, 9; Romans 6:23; 1 John 5:12; Deuteronomy 30:1–20; Romans 10:6–10; Deuteronomy 4:19; Revelation 14:6–12

 

Oroville, California, as of November 2, 2021 has declared itself a constitutional republic. While it is unlikely that this new republic will be recognized by the United States’ federal government, the movement by Oroville’s city council reflects discontent among many Americans under the current administration and COVID-19 mandates. 

 
The effort to forge a separate government is also cause for concern among those who fear disregarding COVID-19 safety precautions will lead to a surge in those contracting the virus.

 
The controversial move boils down to a battle between free will and life.

 
This war has been raging on since Adam and Eve used their free will to eat from the tree of knowledge and, in turn, lose everlasting mortality. Christ returned so that we could also have the choice to choose everlasting life or to continue in worldly ways.

 
While the choice seems easy, remember that Adam and Eve spoke with God face-to-face and yet still chose to seek their own greatness. Today we are faced with much more difficult choices that are not always as black and white. So how can we be sure we are choosing Life?

 
Deuteronomy warns us repeatedly that focusing too much on our own ambitions, the things of the world, and the false beliefs around us can lead us away from following God. Putting God first and letting the Spirit transform our hearts will help us keep our eyes on Jesus. Choosing Life is a transformative, lifelong choice, one that requires diligent awareness and communication with the Lord.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: What are things you surround yourself with that could be leading you into false worship?
 
Sharing: Some non-believers propose that God forces us to choose Life, and therefore free will does not exist. How do you react to this belief?

  1. Concur, we have free will to make minor decisions, like what we will eat or when we will wake up, but ultimately – to be saved – we don’t really have a choice.
  2. Free will and predestination work together like a choose-your-own-adventure story. God’s grace flows as we make choices and in the end we are where we are meant to be.
  3. We are actually just characters living in a computer simulation.
  4. Jesus is a bonus option that our earlier ancestors didn’t have, so choosing to believe in the Messiah is clearly an option of free will.
  5. I don’t know, but those Oroville citizens are in for a world of trouble.
  6. Other: 

Applying: If you are not yet doing so, make an effort this week to have daily communication with the Lord.

Valuing: Prayerfully read Deuteronomy 30:1-10. The text seems to suggest that choosing the Creator leads to prosperity, whereas choosing the world leads to death and misery. Now prayerfully review the book of Ecclesiastes. Reflect on the seeming contrast and what choice means to you.

 

~Stefani Leeper
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