Sunday 26 February 2017

Choose Life (Part Five): The Responsibility of Free Agency.

Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:5-6, NKJV)
We continue this week with the story of the sick man healed at the Pool of Bethesda. [John 5:1-15].

There are at least four (4) keywords embedded in Jesus's question to the sick man. These are the words “WILL, DESIRE, EARNEST, and HOPE?” Bringing these to life, Jesus question can be paraphrased as follows,
“Do you by an act of the WILL want to get well?” 
“Are you really in EARNEST about getting well?
“Do you HOPE to get well?” 
“Do you DESIRE to get well?”
You know God took the big risk in giving His creation the gift of “Free Will.” He could have prevented the fall, but He chose otherwise. He took the risk of allowing us to choose our destiny. Why then do we think in the small details of our everyday life He will do otherwise? Why do we think He will force on us a destiny we do not desire or choose to take? Why do we think He will force us to break out, enlarge the coast we do not will or desire for?

[If only we will study our bibles to know; if only we would open our minds to the lessons He has left for us in His creation. [Romans 1:19-20] If only we will give place to His Spirit. (And, all these agree.) Then we would be able to free ourselves from the lies and half-truths that are so readily availed to keep us from being all that God wants us to be.]

God’s ever-present platform is,
“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days….” [Deuteronomy 30:19-20]
The choice is ours, not God’s. Obviously, He has His preference. He would want us to choose life and life more abundantly. [John 10:10] He would want us to be healed. He would want us to be the best we can be. He would want us to have the fullness worked for us in Christ's sacrifice. However, whether or not we walk in, it is ours to choose, not His. He has done His part. Now the ball is in our court.
"Every day is a blank canvas to use our free will to create something beautiful for our Creator." (Alisa Hope Wagner) 
"You are free to choose what you want to make of your life. It's called free agency or free will, and it's your birthright." (Sean Covey) 
"Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having." (Clive Staples (C. S.) Lewis) 
"God isn't about making good things happen to you, or bad things happen to you. He's all about you making choices--exercising the gift of free will. God wants you to have good things and a good life, but He won't gift wrap them for you. You have to choose the actions that lead you to that life." (Jim Butcher)
What will you choose to do with Christ? What will you do with the abundance He has provided? God has made his move. The next move is ours. "What will you do with Christ?"

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