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I Have Decided

I Have Decided . . .

      Often times we have sung the song: “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus”. There are no doubt many who sing this song who have not yet “decided” to do so.  This is perhaps because they sing the song, not truly knowing what it means to follow Him in accordance to His Word.   This same sentiment exists in such songs as “I Am Resolved” and perhaps many others. Maybe we need to examine “decision” and the process of deciding.

    Deciding involves much more than thinking about, or desiring something.   If this were all “deciding” entailed, we would all likely make “snap” decisions and never consider the ramifications of the decision.  To decide something, one must evaluate the “options” available and how these are going to affect them as they move forward in life.   But before we can decide, we must be made aware of the choices available and where each choice leads us.

     This is probably the reasons the “New Year Resolutions” are not kept. As one year closes and another begins, we “decide” or “resolve” to turn over a new leaf. This is perhaps an effort to undo the excess of the previous year, or to avoid some of the pitfalls of the coming year.   Countless folks make the resolution to lose weight or exercise more in the coming year, and fail to consider the “cost” in commitment and the effort this entails and so in short order the resolution is not carried out.   But even then, a decision has been made.   They have decided to quit the resolution.

     In 1Kings 18:21 when Israel was faced with the “decision” of serving God or Baal, the Spirit had Elijah state it this way. How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. Then as we read the final portion of the verse, we see that Israel was “torn” in their minds and had not yet fully committed either way.   And the people answered him not a word.    Indecision is a decision in itself.   To NOT serve God in any way, is actually a decision to serve another.  

    Jesus, in Matthew 6:24, while addressing the Israelites in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount addressed this issue in a very direct manner. He said: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  Therefore, a decision must be made.   Each will make choice and each will be responsible for that choice.   All should also know that every choice has consequences.  

     Those that have not yet “decided” to obey God, or have put it off fall into the category of those addressed in 2Thessalonians 1:7-9 when the time for decision making has expired. Those that “know not God” are they that have never obeyed the gospel and never became children of God. Those that “obey not the gospel” also includes those who once were obedient, yet have failed to live up to the commitment they made to God and have become disobedient. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;    As was previously pointed out – every decision, even whether or not we “choose” to serve God has consequences.  

     Some consequences are much more significant than others.   If we fail to follow through on New Year Resolutions, perhaps the impact will be only minimal. But if we fail in our commitment to God and fail to obey or remain faithful, the outcome is disastrous. As we decide in this area of life we must consider where we desire to spend eternity. In 1John 2:15-17 we see the teachings of Jesus from Matthew 6:24 (above) mirrored in this, the New Testament age – after the church was established.   Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 

     What to do?   The Bible provides the answer. It was written to the church at Corinth in 2Corinthians 6:17. They had to decide.   Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  Those who will not heed this fall into the category of the unfaithful in 2Peter 2:20-21. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

     Have you decided? In one way or the other you have!   Consider where your decision will lead your soul for eternity and make changes now before it is everlastingly too late.  

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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