One of my favorite tapes as a kid was Ants’hillvania.
I know, I’m from the dark ages, back before digitized music and even CDs. Back then you could only buy cassette tapes and vinyl records. Maybe 8-tracks.
A phrase from the tape has always stuck with me.
“You win or lose by the way you choose.”
This phrase has come to my mind many, many times throughout the years because of the profound truth it holds for us as Christians.
It’s my choice whether or not I live in joy.
It’s my choice whether or not I will live in obedience to God’s Word.
It’s my choice whether or not I make discipleship a daily priority in my life.
It’s my choice whether or not I will forgive.
This lesson sudden took on greater clarity as I looked into my son’s eyes and spoke a lesson into his life today.
My children both struggle with language delay. For my oldest son, this is partly due to him being bilingual and partly due to his temporary hearing loss, which we resolved earlier this year.
Their language delay means they have to work twice as hard to keep up in school.
Now that they are both in school (Kindergarten and 1st grade), there isn’t a lot of time to play. They go to school, they come home and we go over in detail what they studied in school.
On top of that, my oldest is in speech therapy, which also includes detailed homework.
There just isn’t a lot of free time during the week, something they are both struggling to get used to. But as I looked into my son’s eyes today, I said…
“You will go on to do amazing things. God made you so smart! You have an incredible brain. But it’s up to you whether or not you choose to concentrate and learn. You have to choose to use your brain. Mama can’t make that choice you for. This is a choice you have to make yourself.”
And suddenly those words came back to me again.
You win or lose by the way you choose.
Peter said it this way,
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
God has already given us everything we need to win. To succeed at this Christian life.
He has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
I don’t know about you, but in all my theological studies, I’ve learned that every word in the Bible is there with intention and purpose.
So when it says all, it means all!
He has already given us all things – all things that pertain to life. That pertain to godliness.
We have them. Already. Right now.
We have them through the knowledge of Christ.
How do we know Christ?
Through His Word!
He has given us His Word in which we will find wisdom for every area of our life so that we live godly and holy lives that testify of His goodness and grace!
And now the choice is up to us.
Will we choose to receive what He has given us?
Will we choose to surrender to the last word to God’s Word?
Will we choose to be partakers of His divine nature?
Will we choose to escape the corruption of the world through lust?
Will we choose to reject the corruption of the world, even when it’s not culturally acceptable?
Even when it means that we have to walk away from entertainment?
Even when it means that our friends don’t understand our choices?
Even when we’re mocked and called narrow-minded, legalistic, and judgmental?
Just as my son has an amazing brain (that sometimes completely blows me away), which is all he needs to learn what he needs for school, God has given us His Word, which is all we need to live a holy and godly life that is pleasing to Him.
We win or choose by the way we choose.
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