Joshua said, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” He was only asking the people to make a choice! Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount put it this way, “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.” Matthew 6:24. Moses made a choice even though knowing the consequences. “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Hebrews 11:25.
The child of God must make many choices in his or her life. The Word of God points out to the Christian that he or she has been purchased with the Blood of Christ. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. We belong to Christ and not to the world! The choices that we are to make are for the betterment of the kingdom of God. We are to bring glory and honor to Christ. Peter said, “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” 1 Peter 4:16. Paul wrote, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21.
These choices that we make reflect what we place first in our lives. Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. Jesus is telling us that the kingdom of God is to be first in importance, first in point of time and first in emphasis in our everyday life as a Christian. Parents have a great responsibility in rearing their children. The Word of God teaches that we are to “bring them [our children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4. Parents many times make choices for their children. In some cases, the child wants to seek spiritual things over worldly things, but the parents choose the worldly. Down the road of time, this part is going to say, “Where did I go wrong?” I hope and pray that reunions, concerts, movies, shopping, spending the night with friends, company came, and vacation, over spiritual things. If this is not said to the parent on this earth, it will be brought to our attention on judgment day. “For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10.
Our spiritual welfare and our children’s spiritual welfare should always be placed above the worldly things of life. Spiritual things aid the Christian every day in his or her life! The spiritual things one learns will aid them to get up when he or she is down; be glad when he or her sorrowful; and to have one (Jesus) he or she can turn to in the time of trouble, trials or even persecution.
As Christian parents we need to ask ourselves, What choices are we making? Are they choices that show the spiritual above the worldly? Or, are they choices that show the worldly above the spiritual? Children need to remember that God’s Word says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3. And, as fathers, we are to learn, “provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4.
Bobby D. Gayton