choice

Choice

The Why Book?

If we want to know the meaning of words we can go to a dictionary, If we want to know something about things or people we can go to an encyclopaedia. Having a purpose means there is a designer, to prove this we can look at ourselves and see we have been designed, created. Often we never ask the basic why questions for we think we know the answers but maybe one should be written for we need to ask the question Why and then try to answer it.

  • We have eyes, so why should we be able to see?
  • We have ears, so why should we be able to hear?
  • We have a nose, so why should we be able to smell?
  • We have fingers, so why should we be able to feel?
  • We have taste buds in our tongue, so why should we be able to taste?
  • We are able to speak, so why should we communicate?
  • We are able to sleep, so why should we rest?
  • We are able to eat, so why should we eat?
  • We are alive, so why are we living?
  • We will die, so why do we need to die?

Bible reading . Genesis 3:1-13 & 20-23

The Fall:- The serpent, more crafty than the other animals The Lord God had made said to the woman, “Did God really say, you can’t eat from these trees in the garden? The woman replied  God told us we can eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but not the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, we must not touch it, or we will die. The serpent continued, You will certainly not die. God knows that when you eat the fruit your eyes will be opened and you will be as God, knowing good and evil. The woman saw the fruit from the tree was pleasing to the eye and good for eating as well as for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She then gave the fruit to her husband and he ate it. It was then the eyes of both of them were opened, and realizing they were naked they sewed fig leaves together making coverings for themselves.

As the Lord God was walking in the garden in the cool of the day the man and his wife heard him and they concealed themselves among the trees of the garden. When the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” the man answered, “I heard you in the garden and because I was naked I was afraid; so I hid.”  The Lord God said, “Who told you, you were naked or have you eaten from the tree that I told you not to eat from?” The man exclaimed, “The woman you joined me with gave me the fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” The Lord God spoke to the woman saying, “What have you done?” The woman cried, “The serpent tricked me, so I ate the fruit.”

The Lord God pronounced, “The man has now become like one of us, understanding good and evil. I must not allowed him to also take the fruit from the tree of life and eat it else he will live forever.” The Lord God fashioned garments of skin and clothed Adam and his wife then he banished them from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which Adam had been taken. Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

Bible Reading.  Matthew 4:1-11  Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness:- Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter spoke to him saying, “Tell these stones to turn into bread if you are the Son of God” Jesus answered, “Scripture states: ‘Man shall not live on just bread, but rather on each word that flows from the mouth of God.’” Then the tempter took him to the holy city to stand on the temple highest point. “throw yourself down if you are the Son of God, for it is written: his angels will lift you up in their hands, so you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered, “It’s also written: ‘Do not test The Lord your God.’ Again, the tempter took him to a very high mountain and showed him the splendour of all the kingdoms of the world, saying,  All this I will give you, if you bow down and worship me.” Jesus declared, “Satan, leave me,! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Satan then left him and angels came to attended to him.

These two stories show we’ve been given freewill and are expected to decide what we do, we know Satan will try to under-mind God’s Word and there’s consequences for us in the choices we make. We are judged on the choices we make, however in loving God and his Son we are forgiven. Jesus shows us, by using and keeping to God’s Word we can overcome temptation. When we need to decide what to do, we should remember God’s ways are best, we need never be afraid of doing the things that would make God proud of us no matter how difficult it is, but when we do fail we know Jesus lived so we may be forgiven.

 God loves us and in experiencing love ourselves, we have a sense of what his love is like, not only caring for another and wanting the best for someone else, but also judging ourselves and others with the option of accepting the consequences along with the willingness to forgive. These are traits we have as we’ve been made in God’s likeness for Jesus teaches we can become as one with him, by knowing The Word of God and by spreading the good news of forgiveness and eternal life we are witnessing God’s Love.

The Adam and Eve parable deals with the acceptance or rejection of God’s ways. God gave us his standards, that is what we ought to do and what we should not do. In other words what are the acceptable and expected boundaries of behaviour, Eve and then Adam both decided to go beyond those bounds, for they were blinded by they own desires and lost sight of God’s standards.

Loving adults give children good advice, so they in turn become caring adults. God sent messengers, angels, prophets and His Son to teach us right from wrong. He also built within us a conscience, where we know in ourselves right from wrong. We have freewill, the power to decide for ourselves to choose good or evil, Success in the long term is pleasing God, and we’ve been told how we can do that.  In the short term mankind has tended to want to do things for their own benefit, making their own worldly standards of success by chasing fame, wealth and power.

Jesus tells us God gave him the responsibility to ultimately decide who is successful or has failed, and as our Saviour who lived among us, teaching us God’s Word he been given the task to make that judgement. When we stand before God we will have to answer why we lived the way we did. Of course each individual is able to decide their own standards, societies can make their own laws but it is only God’s ways that remain consistent and true, and are to be lived by.

Eve and then Adam were able to choose, just as we are and they, like all people, are so easily tempted to make the wrong decision. Every day, every moment of our lives we have choices to make, the question is, how do we know what is the right choice? In Psalm 111 it’s written, God’s works are faithful and just; all his ways are trustworthy, so we can trust in God’s ways

Our laws change at the whim of our politicians, currently the Western societies are becoming secular because they feel they don’t need God. Those not knowing Jesus’ teaching, will not understand nor act upon God’s message. Some people will say, “As God is all loving, he will forgive everyone” but those people just do not understand his Love, his ways nor the purpose of their creation, In love there has to be true justice, it tries to correct wrongs, do we choose or reject God’s love.

God is our creator, we have been made for a purpose, that purpose is God’s not ours. A potter making a poor pot, has the right to use it, correct it and destroy it and as we get things wrong God’s prophets and his son came to correct us so we can decide to choose God’s way or not.

Satan, will try to distort and destroy God’s ways in us, he is clever, and can put all sorts of arguments in our mind that encourages us want to put our own desires before God’s wishes. Satan will twist God’s ways to make them sound stupid, restrictive, unnecessary, and he will never allow God’s ways to be understood and be absorbed by people. Eve and then Adam are shown to be influenced by Satan into making the wrong choice and so this story shows that there are consequences if we don’t live as God wants us to.

What Satan did was first to pick out Eve and start putting doubt into her mind, saying she will not die, then planting the seed of desire of gaining something she didn’t even know she would want. By encouraging Eve to want what she doesn’t need, she ignores God’s instructions, a story applicable across all the people of every nation and across all time. This has been led by politicians, business leaders and now-a-days by icons in entertainment and the sports’ industry, plus of course all through the media and the Web.

Looking at this passage we can delve deeper than we need to, in doing so, men have used this story as an excuse to dominate woman thinking that as the serpent went to Eve first it was because she was easier to tempt and then she was even more at fault because she persuading Adam to disobey. Certainly when told about an improvement to her life, Eve didn’t involve Adam she just went ahead but unlike Adam she argued about the rights of the action, but being beguiled she took bad advice.

The text then reads, she gave some to her husband and he ate it,  just note Adam didn’t put up any objection he just went along with what Eve told him. It’s a pity but some things just don’t change, consider all Eve wanted was to share her good fortune with Adam but neither of them took the arguments to God to find out what he would advise. We can know better and refer our thoughts to God before we do anything. When tempted we may think that we can handle it ourselves and not include God, but this is dangerous in that in doing so we can be like Eve and become Satan’s pawns.

Think how Satan tried to persuade Jesus, put yourself first, test God, trust Satan. Jesus shows that we can overcome temptation by keeping God in the forefront of our mind. It is Satan who will do anything he can to spoil our relationship with God. Across all societies his most successful ruses are in persuading people they don’t need God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, nor God’s ways; that there is no heaven no hell,  no right, no wrong and most important no Satan.

Should we want to believe in a God then if anything bad that happens, then it’s God’s fault! For people who must have ethics and morals then Satan is delighted to persuade people to let society decide what is acceptable for then the wicked can become good and self can become its own God. History has proved over and over again that a society without God, becomes evil, cruel, sadistic, greedy, a hell on earth.

Satan tries to stop people wanting to have a God driven purpose in life, when we exclude God from whatever is being done then Satan is very happy. Satan will encourage people to pack their time with doing worldly things, anything so long as it means people are not involving God in their lives and in doing this, it makes it easier for people to break God’s commands

In leaving God out of people’s lives then they will not see the need to open their minds to the love of God, they won’t be able to appreciate that creation has a designer and so they will live in ignorance of what the purpose of life is all about. The consequence of knowing God makes people have a particular direction in their lives and that direction often means making changes, doing the uncomfortable things even making sacrifices.

Jesus told us that some people will not understand the truth of God and when things get difficult or something else seems more enjoyable then we see people will turn away from God his teaching and his ways. Temptation is natural, and God must do it for we are taught in the prayer Jesus gave us to say, ‘lead us not into temptation’. Jesus never taught that life would be without problems in Gethsemane he asked not to be tested but he accepted and then faced the test, when things become difficult, we should not expect God to make it easy for us.

The issue for God is not what we achieve, but why we are trying to achieve it. We will be judged according to our desire to try to emulate Jesus in doing God’s work. How the world sees failure is not how God does, for he judges differently, indeed the world might say that Jesus failed in not bringing the Jews back to God’s way yet the evidence shows all the first Christians in their thousands were Jews, they did follow him, proof Jesus did succeed.

Like Eve and Adam it is not always easy to recognise Satan’s temptations but to help us we have Jesus’ teachings, The Holy Spirit and one another to help us through them. When we have to stand out in a crowd, even from family, friends and colleagues it’s so easy to turn away from God rather than face up to our commitment to him. Be assured if we don’t turn away from God then our lives become even more fruitful for we are encouraged to grow in the love, witnessing the ways of God and we ought to take pleasure in doing anything for God

The purpose of us having freewill is to find out if we are able to make the right choices, which when extended brings us to the biggest questions of all, why create us? In Genesis we are given our purpose, it is caring for his world, his creation. In 2 Corinthians 5:9 we learn that our goal in life is to please God, to live to his ways. Why would God want us to know him, serve him of our own freewill? It’s so that we can prove ourselves worthy to continue living with him after this earthy testing.

To mature as a follower of Jesus is to learn more of his ways, to involve God in our daily lives, living to his ways, so we don’t fail when tempted. To accept his gifts of Faith, The Holy Spirit and his forgiveness when we do fail, seek guidance and try to do those things that will please Our Heavenly Father, witnessing his existence and love in our lives and so have a constant relationship with him.