I’m in grade 4, again I am one of the last to be standing along the wall waiting to be picked. I don’t really blame anyone for not wanting to choose me, because I really don’t like playing hockey any ways. But, being the last to be elected (or not being elected at all) always leaves me feeling horrible. I see that time is running out and I know that I’ll soon be assigned a team by our gym teacher – which, technically, means that I’m not one of the elected, but I’m still forced to play. At least I can look forward to using the sticks as lightsabers after the game. Being elected by one of my friends to join their team would have been great. However, being elected by God to join Him in eternity would be totally awesome. Thankfully, election works differently with God.
I used to love Toys R Us when my kids were smaller. Believe it or not, they had no idea that we could buy the toys and take them home. For a short time (too short), they treated it just like another playground. I wish that lasted a little longer because these days I find myself saying, “No,” often when asked to purchase a toy, or an app, or a device. Children carry a significant cost to them, and I need to be grown up enough to know how to manage that cost. Similarly, choosing Jesus carries a significant cost, and I need to be grown up enough to be able manage the cost of my own choice to follow Jesus.
I have recently discovered that the average person makes about 35,000 choices (consciously) each day. I don’t know how to confirm that number, or how to challenge it, I’ve just found it to be the general conclusion. Regardless of the actual number, what’s most important is the first choice we make. In today’s video/audio our passage is going to encourage us to make personal engagement with God our first choice.
There was about 60 of us sitting on couches, or the floor, or on top of each other, eating chips and cheeses, while we discussed questions like, “How far is too far?” Or, “Ok, but, is it really a sin if I just did this?” Or, “But, I can do this, though, can’t I?” The teens in my Ottawa youth group were candid about wanting to both connect with Jesus and also stay disconnected. Dancing the line of Jesus’ grace and our choices created some fun talks. Now that I’m a lead pastor I’m finding that discussions of grace and choice still lead to some interesting discussions…