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Sharing Scripture for November 27, 2021

Turn Their Hearts

 

For use: November 21 – 27
Texts: Deuteronomy 5:22-29; Deuteronomy 4:25-31; Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Matthew 3:1-8; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:37, 38

 

Artificial intelligence (AI), which used to be the stuff of science fiction novels and movies, is now commonplace in our everyday lives. In fact, studies show that the top 10% of companies that fully incorporate AI in their business models grow at five times the rate of the companies in the bottom 25%. Although the stats look promising, going all in on AI does bring its own challenges and it is not a decision to take lightly.

Corporate America now must decide if it is ready to go all in on adopting the technology.

Companies which heavily rely on such technology, like Mastercard, tend to make the leap more quickly. Rohit Chauhan, MasterCard’s vice president of AI, reports, “The board said, ‘For us to survive, we need to put AI into the fabric of Mastercard.’”

Other companies, such as Kellogg and Stanley Black & Decker are opting for a more gradual approach, feeling that it’s too risky to overhaul their entire businesses instantly. They proceed with caution at their own peril, though, according to Unity Technologies senior vice president Danny Lange. He warns that companies which are too slow in adopting AI face a tremendous risk: a younger, faster-growing, and tech-first competitor. In his words, “Speed matters.”

We can face the same dilemma in our spiritual lives—do we dive into Christianity headfirst? Do we wade in gradually? God asks us to go all in with our whole hearts, but it can be frightening to some. What does going all in for God entail? What will God ask me to give up? What does God expect me to do?

Though God’s desire is that we will devote our whole being to this divine relationship, God also allows us time to weigh the decision. In Isaiah 1:18 God says, “Come now let us reason together.” God is a reasonable Deity, knowing that we often need to weigh the challenges and benefits when we make major life decisions. God also reminds us, however, that today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Don’t delay too long to make that decision, hints inspired Scripture writers, because we aren’t guaranteed that we’ll be around tomorrow.

A quick look back at the history of the Israelites further exposes this point.

When God makes the offer of life or death, blessings or curses, to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 30, they have had 40 years to weigh the challenges and benefits of a life fully devoted to God. By this time, they have seen God at work, and they remember the dire consequences when they didn’t trust God. They are once again at the borders of the Promised Land. Will they go in whole-heartedly this time? Or will they let caution and indecision once again crush their hopes for a national home?

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: What was the hardest thing for you to give up when you started your walk with God? Was it worth it? Did you get something of equal or greater value in return?
Sharing: God promises in Deuteronomy 30:11-20 to pour out blessings on those who go all in with their whole hearts. Have you experienced the fulfillment of that promise yet?

  1. Yes, I can’t live without God’s blessings
  2. Still waiting, and I don’t know why nothing has happened yet
  3. I have experienced some of God’s blessings, but I know I’m holding back from giving God my whole heart so it’s my own fault if I don’t receive more 
  4. I will jump in whole-heartedly someday, but right now it’s just too scary
  5. It seems like the wrong motive to commit fully to God just to get some reward
  6. Other:

Applying: How do you help those close to you to make major life decisions? Are you more direct in your counsel to them, or do you drop several hints and hope that they get it?

Valuing: Are you coming up on a significant life event that requires you to make a hard choice? How will you respond if God asks you to move forward in faith, not knowing how this will play out? Take time in the next few days to review God’s leading in the past, and see if that will help you to truly take the leap with God.

 

~Chuck Burkeen
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