January 6 I Thursday
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve....”
We live in a society that places an important value on choice. The incredible range of choice is available everywhere. Almost 50 years ago, the typical supermarket in Canada carried about 9,000 products on its shelves. Today, the average supermarket carries almost 40,000 items. In the past, there were about six television channels; but now, depending on one’s subscription, there are hundreds of channels to choose from. Just a couple of generations ago, a couple married and had babies. Presently, couples could choose when to have babies and how many to have.
Choice is available everywhere and we pride ourselves on that. However, we have only one fundamental choice to make in life. Everything else we do, every ambition we hold and everything we spend our money on are going to be expressions, in some way, of that fundamental choice we have made. What is that choice? We have to decide: what is going to be our master? The Apostle Paul limits the options, not from dozens and dozens, but to two. The choices are sin or God.
Between the two choices, if we choose sin, Paul rhetorically says, “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Romans 6:21). With sin as our master, the only “benefit” we reap is shame and death. However, if we choose God, Paul reveals, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22). When we choose God as our Master, we receive holiness and life. Some of us may think that “holiness” is being goody-goody, but it is not only that. To have holiness and life is to have our life set apart to God, so that the way we live, the way we go about our business, the way we run our family and the way we spend our money are reflections of the One who rules our life. Since God is someone who is clean, holy and pure, His character will be expressed in us and through us.
In the first century, bankruptcy was one of the main reasons why someone would present themselves as a slave in Rome. If we choose God to be our Master, it commences with submission as we realize our own bankruptcy. Sometimes, it is the bankruptcy of our own lives, morally and spiritually, that we come and say, “Lord, I submit myself to You.” In light of this bankruptcy, the choice becomes clear.
Prayer: Lord God, I submit myself to You. I ask for You to be the Master of my life, and not sin. May my life ever be a reflection of Your presence in me and through me. Thank You, Lord.