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8:58 AM Mon, Nov. 19th

Decisions require us to be like Joshua

Decisions! Decisions! Every day life is filled with choices we must make.

Most choices will be of little significance or have any lasting effect. Other choices are of major significance and will have a lasting effect because they are the choices between right and wrong.

How often do we find ourselves standing at the crossroads of life only to be pulled in both directions? Either road we can choose seems appealing. We see advantages and disadvantages to each, so we weigh them carefully. Often the decision we make is not based upon what we know to be right or wrong, rather the decision is based upon what we see to be best at the moment.

Nothing would be more comforting than to have someone else make the toughest decisions for us. In that way, we would be relieved of all responsibility and the eventual accountability of our actions. Unfortunately, life doesn't work like that.

Instead, God has given to each of us the intellectual ability and spiritual sensitivity to choose for ourselves what is best for us, as well as that which will glorify Him.

God, our Creator, made each of us free agents. We are not robots or pawns that God moves about on the chessboard of life suiting His own whim. We are free people, free to love and serve God or free to deny Him and serve the gods of our flesh. The choice is clearly ours to make.

Jesus, sitting before a vast multitude of people, spoke of man as a servant. The only question is, "Who will man serve?" Jesus 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. You cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24).

The man who tries to serve God and the world simultaneously is like the child who walks the fence rail between the rose garden and the fish pond. No matter how long he tries, he cannot balance himself forever. Unless he makes the decision to jump to one side over the other, he will fall. The fish pond might be wet, but it can be refreshing depending upon the time of year. The fish pond is a far cry better than the rose bushes covered with thorns. In the same manner, choosing to walk with God over walking with the world is far better because of the end result.

As we walk through this world, may we be like Joshua. When faced with the decision regarding loyalty to God, he told the people of Israel: "Choose you this day whom you will serve ... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).

Jerry L. Dunn, pastor of Oak Street Baptist Church, Sixth and Oak streets, can be reached by email at: jldunn_8@hotmail.com.