Today’s Turning Point – Trashing the Transcendent – A daily devotional by: Dr. David Jeremiah
“Guidelines from Genesis on Making Right Choices” – Joshua Hamilton
Every day we are faced with hundreds of choices – some as simple as will I press snooze or get up and others that can be much more complicated with far more significant consequences. As I am reading through the book Genesis, I am seeing a constant theme: outside the realm of faith people make wrong choices. The first example of this kind of choice is seen in the Garden of Eden and of course is what cursed man and this earth with sin. Eve was deceived (I Timothy 2:14), and Adam willingly chose to follow her into sin. Other choices – both positive and negative – include God’s choice to provide forgiveness and salvation (Genesis 3:15), Cain’s choice to bring his own offering to God and then his refusal to bring what was right (Genesis 4:1-7), Noah’s choice to obey God and build an ark (Genesis 6:22), and Abram’s obedience to God’s calling (Genesis 12:1-4). Of course this is not an exhaustive list, but it does show a consistent pattern: those that chose to obey God received the blessing of His approval and presence, and those that chose their own way created havoc in this world and the consequences of their choices hurt others (e.g. Cain murdering Abel), drastically altered history (e.g. the tower of Babel) and left man in desperate need of someone to make things right. Time after time, man left to himself proved he could not make the right choices. In the Garden of Eden, he chose the forbidden. Outside of the garden, Cain chose his own sacrifice over Abel’s sacrifice of obedience. In the antediluvian period, man chose the ways of Cain over the way of the LORD (except for Noah and his family). After the flood, man again chose to attempt to make his own path to God, and God punished them by dividing the nations into separate languages and cultures. Man left to himself was wreaking havoc in the world.
As we begin this study of choices in Genesis I want to point out a few things about right choices. First, the right choice does not guarantee a comfortable life. Consider Abel – his right choice cost him his life. Look at Noah – his right choice caused him and his family to face ridicule. What about Abram – his right choice caused him to step out into the unknown with no guarantee of when he would stop or how he would provide for his family. In hindsight, these men obviously made right choices and received the benefit of those choices. However, in the moment, I’m sure it wasn’t always easy to follow what God said to do. Second, right choices are only made when they line up with God’s revealed Word. While the Bible is not completely exhaustive over every single issue we may face in this life, it does contain all the principles necessary to guide us to make decisions that will be pleasing to God. When we step outside of these guidelines we are inviting problems to wreak havoc in our life and sadly it may even hurt others around us. Our choices should carefully be examined in the light of biblical principles and made based on those principles and not on our feelings or even our own logic. Third, we must realize that our choices – both right ones and wrong ones – carry consequences. The negative consequences from wrong decisions made in the heat of the moment and outside of God’s revealed Word will create consequences that have long lasting effects. Take time to evaluate your choices and don’t react. Acting in a reactionary way almost always has devastating results.
Tomorrow we’ll look closer at the life of Abram and see the difference between his right choices and wrong choices. Until then, be sure to heed the admonition of Philippians 4:6 and take your choices prayerfully to God and evaluate them according to the principles of His Word.
“Failure, Not Success, Makes a Leader Great” J. D. Greear
You can’t help others if you are consumed with your own strength. You might inspire them with how perfect you make yourself out to be, but that really won’t help them. It will just make them try to be perfect like they think you are—and that will end up crushing them.
“The Gospel and the Discipline of Solitude” Dr. Donald S. Whitney
A mark of those who have experienced the true grace that comes through faith in Jesus Christ is taking pleasure in being alone with God. Solitude provides the opportunity to meditate on Scripture, to pray, and to enjoy worshiping God in private. The Holy Spirit enlivens these experiences for those who have believed the gospel.
“Storm Surge” Ron Hutchcraft
The sheer power and uncontested authority of a major storm are really just intense reminders of a bedrock fact we tend to forget – God’s in charge and we’re not.