Tag Archives: decision

The Most Important Question

There are some questions that are life-changing, they take our lives from one course and head them into another.  When Mr Pamspermbulation asked me to me to marry him was one of those occasions.  I had to make a fundamental decision about what I thought of him.  Did I love him, trust him, could I spend the rest of my life with him, working together with one purpose, growing and nurturing the life ahead we were committing to?  Important questions.

Our relationship with God is a similarly life-changing question.  The answer a life-long commitment.

What I think of Jesus, who and what I believe him to be is The Most Important Question, because my answer to that should effect my whole life.  If I believe he is God, and come to show God and his ways to us, then that should inform every part of my life – how I act, how I treat others, what I say and do, where I see God, how I listen and respond to him.  All are founded in and on what I believe about Jesus – and through him God.

Jesus asks, not what others are saying, what they think, what we’ve heard, but what I think, what I believe, and perhaps more importantly – what I am going to do about it.

Jesus is inviting the disciples to a journey of commitment and all that involves.  He makes the same invitation to you and I.  There will be some astoundingly awesome mountain top experiences, but there will be some dark and difficult times too.  That is what walking with someone else involves.  Jesus knew more than most about suffering.  Following him was not, and is not, the easy choice, the soft option; it has elements of pain, despair and rejection.  There will be some very dark times, Jesus wants all who may join him to be clear about what they are getting in to.

Choosing God is not about having your own way, it is about having his way and looking out for the good of others, putting them before ourselves, that the world may flourish.  But what we will get back if we live that way will be immense.  In God’s ways, we will always get back waaaaaay more than we give.

But it’s a choice.

What do you think about God?  What do I?

And how is the answer to that question going to affect my life, the way I look at others and the way I live.

you ask me what I think of you
and you wait
for my answer,
as I work out
what you mean in my life,
if I can trust,
and work with you.

But you are not looking for empty words,
a vague commitment,
an empty promise,
you want to see how my decision
works out in my life,
in my dealings with others,
and my love of you.

You invite me on a journey,
a journey of life,
of ups and downs,
of cost and commitment,
of promise and hope.

So today,
I come before you
and give you my answer
to The Most Important Question,
follow you
and invite you
to work through my life

You are the Christ

Mark 8:27-38 (CEV)

Who Is Jesus?

27 Jesus and his disciples went to the villages near the town of Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “What do people say about me?”

28 The disciples answered, “Some say you are John the Baptist or maybe Elijah. Others say you are one of the prophets.”

29 Then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

“You are the Messiah!” Peter replied.

30 Jesus warned the disciples not to tell anyone about him.

Jesus Speaks about His Suffering and Death

31 Jesus began telling his disciples what would happen to him. He said, “The nation’s leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make the Son of Man suffer terribly. He will be rejected and killed, but three days later he will rise to life.” 32 Then Jesus explained clearly what he meant.

Peter took Jesus aside and told him to stop talking like that. 33 But when Jesus turned and saw the disciples, he corrected Peter. He said to him, “Satan, get away from me! You are thinking like everyone else and not like God.”

34 Jesus then told the crowd and the disciples to come closer, and he said:

If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me. 35 If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me and for the good news, you will save it. 36 What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? 37 What could you give to get back your soul?

38 Don’t be ashamed of me and my message among these unfaithful and sinful people! If you are, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Mary ii #adventbookclub

Luke 1:26-38 (CEV)

An Angel Tells about the Birth of Jesus

26 One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee 27 with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. 28 The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. 30 Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, 31 and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. 33 He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37 Nothing is impossible for God!”

38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.

Oh Lord,
how often do I say that can’t happen?
Not here,
not now,
not in me.

Yet you do.

You take my questions,
my fears,
my uncertainties
– and they become your possibilities.

May I not put barriers
and stumbling blocks
in the way of your work.

But say
here I am,
let’s do it.”

give me courage,
faith and hope
in and through you. 

Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page

Making Your Mind Up

By Obsidian Soul (Own work)

Some choices in life are really easy decisions, others less so.  Some choices have vital consequences, others not.  There are however, decisions of all kinds to be made every day, from whether to have a cup of tea to whether to move house.  Indecision is rarely an option.

Moses bring to the people the choice of their lives:

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (CEV)

15 Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. 16-18 I am commanding you to be loyal to the Lord, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful.

On the other hand, you might choose to disobey the Lord and reject him. So I’m warning you that if you bow down and worship other gods, you won’t have long to live.

19 Right now I call the sky and the earth to be witnesses that I am offering you this choice. Will you choose for the Lord to make you prosperous and give you a long life? Or will he put you under a curse and kill you? Choose life! 20 Be completely faithful to the Lord your God, love him, and do whatever he tells you. The Lord is the only one who can give life, and he will let you live a long time in the land that he promised to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Basically, a choice between God and his ways, or their own way.  Success or failure…

Moses implores them to choose God’s ways, the way of life.  They are about to cross The Jordan and take up the land that God has promised to them.  The time has come to make a decision, it can no longer be dodged – so what will they do?  How will they live there?  To obey God and be loyal to all he has shown and told them?  Or reject his ways and do what they like?

Whichever it is, Moses warns them, there will be consequences.  Worshipping the foreign idols will take them away from God, being faithful to him will bring life.  The time has come.  A decision needs to be made one way or the other – which will it be?

It’s a choice that people continue to need to make for themselves, every day.  Today it is a choice for us to make.  Will I choose God and his ways, or not?

Purify My Heat

and each day
I have to make a choice,
whether to choose you,
follow you
and your ways,
or not.

I choose you,
to live the way you ask of me,
to do all I do for you.
But you know
I cannot do that alone.
I need your strength,
your forgiveness,
your grace;
renew me Lord,
equip me
I pray,
for I long to live your way,
not mine