Friday, 19 February 2016

For Better Or Worse

Proverbs 27:5 Better an open reprimand than concealed love.
      
      For better, of course. Why would we choose worse? Well, it seems this question is not as simple to answer as it sounds. People are choosing worse on a regular basis. They choose the worst parts of the human condition; theft, abuse, genocide and a basket full of other griefs every day. As for me and my house, I choose better. A better covenant, a better way, a better life, and a better relationship with my Lord. 
      Better is better all around. As known by many in the faith, Jesus did not come to die on the cross to make bad people good. Jesus was crucified to make dead people live through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and that is a better covenant. The Lord's covenant is better than trying to balance bad acts, thoughts, and behaviors with good ones. 
      The Lord's covenant is a righteous blessing that gives eternal life to all who accept it by faith in Jesus Christ. Heb. 7:22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Therefore, having such a better covenant working on our behalf we would be fools not to enter into it with a full heart of expectation toward God and the joy of the Lord in our souls. Heb. 8:6 But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.  
      When God leads us into righteousness, He often does it with a correction to our character so that we take on the character of Christ. Prov.27:5a Better an open reprimand. Someone might say how is being reprimanded a better thing? If I am corrected before I fall on my face, then I welcome the correction and move on to better things. The underlying value of this correction also proves the love God has for me because He corrects those He loves. Prov. 3:11 My son, do not reject the LORD's discipline, and do not despise his correction.
      Choosing a vibrant relationship with God and man is not always easy but it is always wise. Would there be less war in the world if better choices had been made before the war erupted? Of course, there would be more peace in the world if choices were made from a position of being a blessing rather than a position of taking all you can get at any cost. 
      Would there be less divorce in society if love and respect was chosen during the hard times? Yes, you know it would have gone better for both people if they had just chosen a better way to express love to each other rather than make it all about me! I realize there are impossible situations in the world and in life which will result in war, divorce, and conflict but why should you be the reason for that mess? Fix the war and conflict within your own soul and reach out and bring the balm of healing to the rest of the world.
      Paul, who wrote so much of the New Testament, was before his conversion to Christ a religious zealot. Saul of Tarsus, as he was known then, was putting Christians to death. Acts 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest. After meeting God on his way to Damascus, Paul received the correction, reprimand, and direction of the Lord. At that point, Paul chose a better way to live. He was once the persecutor and became the persecuted because of his better choice, but oh, what a blessing he became to the Christian faith. He helped us all understand the new birth in Christ in a better and righteous way.
      So many of our choices in life are for better or worse. We might be living with the result of the worse choice we made in the past. We might feel like there is no way out of the terrible choice we selfishly went with and we are in the worse situation possible. Take heart saints, Jesus is still Lord over all the earth and He can and will help us if we let Him. He says you are better than the mess you are in and worth more. Matt. 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are ye not much better than they? 
       Christ knows the value your heavenly Father has for you. Jesus gave himself for us all at the cross so that we would have the faith and ability to make better choices in this fallen world. We can be assured of the Lord's victory because He says He has overcome this world. John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. For better or worse is put before us daily. Choose better because it is life and it is a better life. Amen.

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