In case you haven't seen this yet, here's a short film that I did with Stephanie Yarbrough using some music I remixed from Bebo Norman - "I Will Lift My Eyes."
If you like it, share it with everyone you know! Thanks so much!
Hello, just wanted to let everyone know that Robert Eklund, a friend of mine, was baptized into Christ last night (friday apr 3.) The angels are rejoicing, and I am most certainly rejoicing as well!!!!!!
With everything that we do in life, we are faced with choices. An economist would call it a trade off, which seems appropriate to me. “Chicken or beef?” “Shoes or sandals?” “Car or truck?” “Water or soda?” They are all trade offs, or in other words you must give up one thing in order to get the other. Now, what you give up would be called “opportunity cost” (also an economic term.) Let’s say you choose chicken, your opportunity cost would be beef. Or if you choose water, your opportunity cost is soda. Obviously these are all very desultory things, but the principle can apply to anything. To focus on the broader context, simply put, our biggest trade off in life is a choice between God and Satan. Respectively, righteousness (life) and sin (death.) (Matt 12:30, 6:24; 1 Cor 10:21)
So we have established that there is a trade off between God and Satan. This means that you must give up one in order to get the other, or what we defined as the opportunity cost. EVERY CHOICE comes with an opportunity cost. Let me make myself clearer: Every single thing we do comes down to a choice between who we will serve. It comes down to what we choose as our opportunity cost.
Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
With any trade off you face in life, ask yourself one question: “Will this decision bring glory to my God, my Father?” Remember how simple it is, you have a choice between God and Satan and every choice you make leans on these two paths! Remember this passage in Colossians; we will come back to it later.
Let me take it one step further. With every choice, you are taking a step toward one of the choices, and a step away from the other. Let’s say you choose the car over the truck (great choice seeing the gas prices today!) You cannot take a step toward both at the same time, so you must take a step away from one, and a step toward the other (this applies both literally and figuratively.)
If you apply this concept of stepping to our “trade off of life” (God and Satan) you will find that you are either taking a step toward God, or a step away from God and toward Satan. With every decision you make, you are taking a step. The stepping stones are all laid out, in both directions. Now is the choice, which direction will you step?
Application Matthew 5:27 – “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
This is Jesus speaking here, but what is He trying to tell us? What is his point in saying this? Just before he said this, he said something very similar about murder:
Vs 21 - “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”
Jesus is taking both of these commandments from the old law, and taking them a step further. He says that not only will the murderer be in danger of the judgment, but even those who are angry with his brother without a cause! Also not only is adultery a sin, but even looking with eyes of lust! Still, what is his point? Why would Jesus enact these more strict laws? The answer is simple. Jesus knows where sin begins, the heart. He knows when a person takes a single step away from God, that (even if it may not be sin itself) it is still a step towards sin!
Friends, Jesus is telling us that taking a step towards sin is JUST AS DEADLY as committing the sin itself!
Let’s apply what we see here: Every morning when we wake up, we make a choice. We choose what clothing we are going to wear, and how we are going to present ourselves. However, the question could be posed, “Well, why does it even matter what I wear? As long as I’m not lusting after someone (which is NEVER a guarantee) then I’m ok right?” Aside from the fact that we are commanded to dress modestly (1 Tim 2:9,) you must remember what Jesus taught! Sin begins in the heart, and a step away from Him is a step towards Satan. On top of this, how you choose to dress will also have an effect on others! You could very well cause someone else to stumble, and this is also condemned by God. (Rom 14:13)
Another application: Let me paint a picture for you, your friends and you are all hanging out and everyone wants to take a trip down to the local sports bar to watch the football game. No problem right? As long as I don’t take a drink, everything will be no problem. You arrive, and one of your friend hands you a beer. No problem right? As long as I don’t get drunk, everything is fine! WRONG.
The choice to go with your friends to the sports bar is just that. A Choice. Remember how everything works together with our trade off, and the steps. Go back and read our verse in Colossians again! “Well, the Bible doesn’t say that drinking is a sin, so as long as I don’t get drunk, I am not sinning!” Again, this is the most dangerous attitude any person can possess. Even if you believe that the Bible doesn’t condemn drinking, it does however condemn being drunk! Remember that every drink is a step towards being drunk, and every step towards being drunk (sin) is a step away from God! “So what about just going to the bar with my friends, I mean after all… I don’t have to take a drink.” The same rule still applies! You are taking a step towards sin, and a step away from God! Remember, “in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord.”
Also, as followers of Christ, the kind of example that we set before others is one of the most important things that we must wrap our heads around! We can lead others to Christ by our example that we give. What does Christian mean? We are followers of Christ and we strive to live our lives in the same manner that He lived His. This means that we should never find ourselves in a place or doing something that the ultimate example for us would not participate in, or give approval of. Romans 1:32 – “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
When faced with the trade off of life, remember who you are, remember where you’re going, and most importantly step on the stepping stones of faith that lead you in one direction – to God.