As my husband and I were traveling on the highway one day, over in the open field near the road, three crosses were prominently displayed. It was a reminder of the three crosses displayed on Golgotha’s hill many years ago. As we passed by, and I thought of Jesus and Calvary, I felt the Lord speak quietly to my heart, saying, “The cross to the left and the right of mine is a reminder that everyone has a choice.”
Luke 23:39-43 states, “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, if thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward for our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
Each of these men had a choice. One chose life, and one didn’t.
Every day we face challenges and situations that put us in positions where we must make a choice.
If we hear a co-worker tell another co-worker, we are responsible for an error on the job. We know we are innocent, but we do our work quietly instead of lashing out and declaring our innocence. We’ve chosen life.
If we turn off media that fills our minds with negativity and fear and turn on good, positive, uplifting music or preaching and teaching by godly men and women, we’ve chosen life.
When God calls us to take time to pray, but we walk away from that prayer call and continue to do other tasks instead, we’ve chosen a path that will soon take us toward spiritual sickness, defeat, and eventually spiritual death.
We are human. We aren’t perfect. We make mistakes and wrong choices at times. We could say, as the thief on the cross said: we deserve to be here because of what we’ve done. But with his words, “Lord, remember me,” God’s mercy and grace reached across the space between them and enfolded him. Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
Today the Lord’s grace and mercy are available to us if we ask, enabling us to begin anew.
In his last message to the children of Israel, Moses said words still applicable to us today:
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Leviticus 30:19).
I choose life! How about you?