Pick One Josh 24:15

Webster defines the word “Choose” this way;
1. To pick out; to select;to take by way of preference from two or more things offered.
3. To choose for imitation; to follow
Joshua is explaining to these children of Isreal that they had to make a choice, they had to decide, and decide they must TODAY. No more research, no more looking things over no more thinking about it, choose.
You can chose the gods your father’s served on the other side of the flood, those false gods that brought about the flood and wrath of God or you can choose God the one true God, the living God, and have all of his blessings and benifets that he gives.
That sounds like a simple question, but you know the balance of history hung on that moment. Not only history, their very life, and we could go as far as to say their very destinies, or lives after death.
So it is today I look around and see many many in the valley of decision, still halting between two opinions, lets look at our options, and chose. It really can be put simply, chose life and live or chose death and die.
The choice however isn’t as simple. Choices are very serious, and yet we are faced with them every day.
Choices Accept one and reject the other
There is no middle ground. When I said , “I do” to my wife, on May 29, 2004 I said, “I don’t” to all other women. Not even looking. It is NO!
We either accept Christ or reject him,
Jesus said, in Matt. 12:30 “He that is not with me is against me, and he that gatheret not with me scattereth abroad.”
If we accept Him we must forsake all others. If we chose not to forsake all others we reject Christ.
If we go by any other way than Christ we are the same as a theif and a robber.
Have consequences that can effect the rest of our life
Bro. Noel Scott said in a message once, “We must all someday sit down to a banquet of consequences.” That should make us all stop and think, What will I have set before me to eat?
The choices I am making right now can effect the way the rest of my life turns out.
I don’t always eat the healthiest of foods as you can see, it shows it is a consequence of the choices I make at the dinner table. That is just an example.
Lets apply that to other things,
I have a relative who chose to follow the drug culture and has literaly burned up their mind with drugs. They can’t work, they at times don’t even know who people really are. It is so sad. Choices have consequences.
It’s easy to think, “That won’t happen to me, I’m strong, I can handle it,” but don’t ever forget CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES
Choices Are unavoidable-
We face them every day, sometimes not quite as serious as those above but you can’t get away from them. The scary part is they determine which direction you are going.
Today you have a choice, a serious choice, the most serious you will ever have, and may not ever have the opportunity to make again. Will I choose God or not, Will I accept his ways or reject him? Will I forsake my sins or forsake Christ? The choice is yours. NO one else can make it for you. No, neutral is not an option, by staying put you are making a choice, you are saying I am fine the way I am, I chose to follow my own way and reject the Savior.
Chose you this day whom you will serve.

Life… What Is It? James 4:14

Life is very precious and fragile thing. It can be here one second and gone the next. We can fit the bill of health one moment and the next moment on our way to the morgue. James compares it to a vapor to steam. You see it for a few minutes as the water is boiling on the stove, but then it dissipates. Vanishes away. Gone so fast.
God commanded that we were not to kill, I don’t read any qualifications in the commandment. It is not even a suggestion, or a good idea, it’s The Word. Now James is telling this good church that they should never commit to anything without acknowledging that God could change their plans at any moment.
Life is from God and should be treated so. I find Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Life isn’t some chance happening of certain Chemical reactions that occure accidentally. It is Created by God. Therefore should be protected, from conception to old age according to the commandment, THOU SHALT NOT KILL. It doesn’t say anything at all about the, “Quality of life,” or if it has a mother and father to take it home, or hold him/her in their arms. It doesn’t start the moment the child has been seperated from the mother, it has begun at conception.
“We have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child.” — President Ronald Reagan
The bylaws of the Bible Holiness Church states – “We believe that the voluntary aborting of the unborn child, infanticide and euthanasia are all violations of God’s sixth commandment
Since it comes from God life should be regarded as Sacred. Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. It is God’s image or his likeness, bearing a resemblance. If God is holy, the life He creates carries some resemblance (poor excuse that it is) to being holy or sacred. When we tamper with it we desecrate it we contaminate it we commit sacrilige so to speak. We must beware of all of these new types of “experimenting” I heard just the other day of a new stem cell research program trying to help spinal injuries. However the longer I listened and the more I heard they began to hint at and finally said; they were using “Embryonic Stem Cells” Do you know what that is – Stem cells harvested from labratory babies. I do not use the term “Fetus” it is a baby. I quote from one source – The embryos from which human embryonic stem cells are derived are typically four or five days old and are a hollow microscopic ball of cells called the blastocyst.
That is just;
13-14 days from it’s first heartbeat
Brain waves have been recorded about a month later
That sounds like life to me. Let us take our God given responsiblities and protect the sanctity of life. All life.

The Day Peter Ran

Oh! Those painful memories. How they haunted him as he sleeplessly paced the floor, wringing his hands, and sweating profusely, not noticing the chilly breeze floating through the open window. He had seen so many things, heard so much, experienced even more. What was he going to do. He had done the unthinkable, he had denied him just like Jesus said he would do. Oh that look that tender look, how that haunted, how that was burned into his mind. He couldn’t loose it. Those eye’s, they told so much, showed so much hurt, and pain. I had rejected him. If only I could know he had forgiven me.
Every little noise startled Peter as he nervously paced the floor that night, as he relived the things that had happened that day. It had all started with Jesus praying in the Garden the tears and agony can’t even be imagined. Jesus was under great stress, greater than any man had ever felt. As he began to pray, he began to sweat as it were great drops of blood. No this wasn’t just an over exaggeration or a colorful descriptive addition to a good story. It has been documented that humans can and will under extreme psychological, and physical stress have blood seep through their pores. It is a known rare condition called hematidrosis. Dr. Alexander Metherell, explains that hematidrosis is caused by severe anxiety which in turn causes the release of chemicals that break down capillaries in the sweat glands. There is then a small amount of bleeding into these glands, which causes the sweat to come out tinged with blood.
Then those soldiers came clanging, banging and rattling in the night to arrest him. Judas, that betrayer, was leading them straight to us. How I looked with disdain on him as he gave that deceitful kiss to Him. I wanted to use my sword on him but he never did get close enough to me. I was feeling so good about myself. I would never do any thing like that. I had used my sword to try to protect Him, even though Jesus reprimanded me about that.
Oh do I have to think about the courtyard. I was just going to follow to see what was going to happen. I didn’t want to cause any trouble. I just needed to see how it would all turn out. After all He had performed so many miracles surely he could get out of this, couldn’t he? Then came those nosey people. Why can’t people mind their own business? I had to be careful or I would wind up in the same place Jesus was, I couldn’t take that. Oh if only I could erase these memories. They just won’t go away. How can I live like this the rest of my life? I tried to get out of it as easily as I could, but NO! They had to press the point. Before I knew it I had lost my cool, I didn’t want to be known as one of “His” at all. I just wanted to crawl in a hole somewhere, to disappear, but I couldn’t, so I took the easy way out, I denied ever knowing Him. Then I heard it, the rooster, how I wish I could go back and change it all. If only I knew he still loved me.
Then came the beatings, which were done with large leather whips with stones or bones or bits of metal tied to the ends. It tore his skin so quickly and easily, possibly even exposing the spine and possibly even the ribs. When they had finished I couldn’t even recognize him. It was truly like the scriptures said “His visage was marred more than any mans.”
I don’t want to think about it anymore but it just won’t go away. Those cries they still echo in my ears, “Crucify, Crucify Him, Let Him Die, Crucify Him!” Oh That word, “Crucifixion,” That’s awful, that is the worst form of punishment there is. Why can’t they just stone him, or something quick and easy? Crucifixion was invented by a woman, Semiramis, queen of Nineveh. We Israelites don’t practice such a horrible punishment. People have been known to hang on crosses for over a week. Why couldn’t they just get it over with if they were going to kill him? He was then hung on a cross by nails driven through his wrists, since the skin on the palms would have ripped and not been strong enough to hold him on the cross. Then a long spike driven through his feet. The cross was then lifted high which stretched out his arms pulling them out of socket. This added pressure to his diaphragm and lungs causing him to exert more strength to breath pushing up on his feet tearing the flesh and sending agonizing pain throughout his entire body, leading to a death by suffocation, as the muscles in his arms and legs would tire out from constant use. It was really a “Death by inches,” Jesus however “Gave up the ghost.” He had told us he had power to “Lay down his life.”
Then Joseph, bless his heart, took down His body and put it in a tomb. Now what do we do, He was supposed to set up his kingdom, He was supposed to take over the world. Now what am I supposed to do. I can’t leave this house for fear they will take me next. I feel so guilty for denying him I’ve betrayed him as much as Judas. Oh if only I could go to sleep. How can I forget it all. The tears I have shed I’ve prayed and cried, and cried and prayed. I don’t know if God will hear me pray now, after what I’ve done.”
Peter’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of loud banging and knocking at the door. Peter huffed as he staggered under the guilt and shame he was carrying, to the door. Peering out into the bright early morning sunlight Peter sees some of the women out there. They had excited looks on their faces, some of them had been crying. “Do I have to open the door?” sighed Peter, “I don’t want to talk to anyone.”
Finally gaining enough courage Peter opens the door and is greeted with all of them talking at once. All he catches is “Went to the tomb. HE IS NOT THERE! I saw an angel!!! I saw Jesus and Jesus wants to see YOU PETER! He told me so” Not waiting to hear any more He and John, who had been resting in the other room, ran excitedly to the tomb. John quickly outran the tired Peter who’s mind was filled with all kinds of thoughts. What would Jesus say, What would he do? Should I even go? Was this even real? It’s probably just those emotional women, You know how they are. His mind was tortured the entire way to the sepulcher. Finally reaching the opening Peter stoops down inside and sees the clothes laying there.
“I wonder what will happen now. Could he have really risen from the dead? Is that possible? He did tell us something about that, but I seen Him, how could anyone come back from the dead like he looked?”
Oh what that must have been like when Jesus and Peter finally met in that room. Peter I’m sure filled with regret and remorse then Jesus comforts and tests him, “Lovest thou me more than these?” Peter can only respond, “Thou knowest”
I look with Peter in sorrow on how Christ was treated. How he was spat upon, slapped, mocked and scorned, beaten, nailed to a cross, a crown of thorns slammed on his head, and a spear thrust through his side. What a sorrowful sight. What a horrific scene. Yet how it is transfigured into glory and beauty as we peer into the tomb with Mary and see the shinning angels with a questioning look on their faces, and then to hear them ask, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
What that must have been like that early morning as suddenly the bright light then the stone began to creak and groan and then suddenly roll away by itself then in a moment the Lord was up off where he was laying folding the grave clothes. I would run too. The Poet Phillips Brooks put it this way;
Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer; Death is strong, but Life is stronger; Stronger than the dark, the light; Stronger than the wrong, the right; Faith and Hope triumphant say, Christ will rise on Easter Day.