What are You Choosing?
In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet...
Thoughts for Today:
We know from these opening words: "In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet..." that a healing is going to happen. Why? Because there are numerous scenes in the Bible similar to this one when a cripple is healed or a lame person walks. Have you ever wondered why the Lord uses this particular illustration so frequently? I believe it is because the Lord is telling us in the form of a story that life without Jesus is like going through life, "crippled in [your] feet."
I was speaking with a young man recently who was having difficulty in his marriage. The more I listened the more I realized the problem wasn't his wife, the pressure of finances, or his children -- those were convenient excuses. The real problem was his 'crippled' thought process. As we talked further about what was wrong he asked me, "How can I fix myself? Should I get counseling?" I told him Christian counseling would help a lot, but the only real solution is Jesus. He thought about that for a moment, and said "I already am a Christian, I have already prayed about this, I have already given my marriage to Jesus, and still I'm in trouble. Maybe I need something else."
Now be honest with yourself, have you ever felt that way before: "Jesus just isn't working, maybe I need something else?" Too often we look to someone or something else to fix us, when we should be looking inside -- to Christ in us -- as Paul will say -- "our hope of glory." We know we are all born with sin and if sin is left unchecked in our lives it will cripple us. Sin not only affects the emotional areas of our lives but also infects every relationship we have (marriage included), and activity we become involved in (work, sports, ministry, etc). It's important to recognize that just because you are a Christian doesn't mean you don't sin anymore; rather it means you are forgiven. The real difference is you don't have to be controlled by sin any longer -- we have a choice. So what are you choosing? If you are a Christian you are fortunate because Christ's death rendered sin powerless over you -- however this is where most Christian's fail in their battle against sin, they don't replace the sin with it's opposite.
Questions to Ponder:
Here's a partial list of sin. Take a moment and replace the negative emotion with a positive one (I've done the first for you as an example):
* Envy -- replaced with: doing the best I can with the abilities God gave me.
* Greed -- replaced with: __________________________________.
* Malice -- replaced with: _________________________________.
* Lust -- replaced with: ___________________________________.
* Anger -- replaced with: __________________________________.
* Pride -- replaced with: __________________________________.
Modern psychology focuses on why we feel the way we do. The Bible answers this question simply and exhaustively -- sin. Jesus is the answer, but the choice remains yours. The Lord has given us a road map through His Word (the Bible) and His example to peace, contentment, and a full life. What will your choice be?