Wise Choices

Wise choices will watch over you.
    Understanding will keep you safe.

—Proverbs 2:11

 

 

While photographing my rose bush this afternoon, I suddenly saw the tiniest little green frog.

Huddled up between the pink petals of a bloom, he had taken shelter.

Surrounded by beauty, he was protected in many ways.

 

Our choices have a definite effect on our lives.

If we make wise choices, we reap the benefits.

If we search for understanding that comes from God, we will avoid many troubles.

The understanding that comes from God will keep us safe from the consequences of poor choices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

wise choices

Admirable

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

–Philippians 4:8

 

What happens if you focus your thinking on good things?

Honorable things?

Things that are good?

When that is the case, how do you feel?

If you are really thinking about good things, positive things, things that God is pleased with—–do you usually find yourself to be angry? Bitter? Jealous? Depressed?

Most likely not.

What happens if you focus on negative things?

Dishonorable things?

Things that are bad?

When that is the case, how do you feel?

If you are really thinking about bad things, negative things, things that God isn’t pleased with—-do you usually find yourself to be cheerful? Loving? Giving? Joyful?

Most likely not.

I get to select what I willfully put into my mind.

Books.

Television.

Computer.

Movies.

Even the people I purpose to spend time with.

You get to select those things, too.

What I put into my mind, I often focus on.

What is my mind focusing on today?

What about yours?

 

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Snake Charmer

If a serpent strikes despite being charmed, there’s no point in being a snake charmer.

–Ecclesiastes 10:11

I am not a “snake” person.

Whenever considering creatures to bring into my home as a pet, I never put snake on the list.

At some point in my life, I have seen video clips of snake charmers, as well as photos of them.

As for me, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a snake, attempting such an activity.

The verse above seems to suggest that there is danger in choosing to be a snake charmer.

There is a very real risk that a person could be bitten, yet there are other implications.

When I try to apply this to my life apart from snakes, there seems to be a significant idea.

If it’s likely that I will be harmed by a certain choice that I am about to make, what’s the point in making that choice?

If there are alligators in the water, what’s the point in going swimming?

If smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer, what’s the point in smoking?

There probably aren’t many people who would choose to swim with alligators, but there are countless people in the world who smoke, despite warnings to their health.

I make my own choices.

So do you.

Will we make wise ones?

If not, what’s the point?

 

 

snakecharmer

Make the Tree Good

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.

—Matthew 12:33

 

When your name is mentioned, what things come to mind for those that know you?

What things come to mind for those that know me?

It is not our responsibility to please others primarily.

It is more important to please God in our actions and words.

In doing so, we will become known for our choices.

Does God consider us to be bearers of good fruit or bad fruit?

 

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A Way That Appears

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It was very dark and somewhat difficult to see.

As I was driving on a multi-lane highway, I turned left at the signal to enter a two lane highway that intersected it.

Although the pavement over the four lanes I had to cross was marked with paint to guide vehicles to the correct point on the other side, I somehow failed to follow it correctly.

When I entered the two lane road, I did so on the wrong side of the double yellow lines into a turn lane for oncoming traffic.

I had made a serious error.

Immediately aware of the double yellow lines and my placement to the left of them, I called out loud, “God! I’m in the the wrong place!” as I looked in my rear view mirror to see some headlights behind me.

Instantly increasing my speed and moving to the correct lane without a collision from the rear or the front, my heart was beating quickly.

I was thankful for God’s protection in the midst of the danger.

In essence, we all must come to a point where we call out to God for help, realizing that we are in the wrong place—a place of sin and separation from Him.

Proverbs 14:12 reads, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

When I turned my car into the wrong lane, it appeared to be right at first–but it wasn’t.

When we call to God, He hears us.

When we ask for forgiveness, He grants it.

When we give our lives to Him, He saves us.

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Wisdom

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Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom.

Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.

—Proverbs 9:10

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Some people don’t fear God.

They may not even believe in Him.

At the end of their lives, no matter what they were known for, will they be considered wise?

And what of those that do have fear and reverence for God, believing in His Son?

They will find at the end of their lives that doing so was the wisest decision they ever made.

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Keep Your Mind

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Does it matter what you allow into your life?

Does it matter who you choose as your closest friends?

Does it matter what you choose to watch on television or at the movie theater?

Does it matter what you choose to read?

Does it matter what organizations you choose to be affiliated with?

Does it matter who you choose to date?

Does it matter who you choose to marry?

Does it matter if you choose to go to church?

Does it matter if you pray?

Does it matter if you choose to be obedient to God?

Does it matter if you choose to seek God’s will each day?

Will any of these choices really have an affect on you?

Where I live, white ibis birds frequently come to my yard to search for food.

Today, I saw a scarlet ibis.

It looked exactly like the white ones, except it was a bright orange-red color.

In doing some research, I found that the diet of the bird causes the color to be orange.

It eats a lot of red crustaceans.

A long time ago, there used to be a popular saying: “You are what you eat.”

Well, in this case, this bird looked like what it had been habitually eating.

What we choose to do in our lives may not actually change our outward appearance, although it could.

What we choose to do or not to do in our lives will certainly change our attitudes, our outlook, our behavior and —-in the end—-our final destination.

If we choose to allow what God wants for us in our lives, we are going to be changed accordingly.

If we choose to allow things in our lives that He would not choose, we are still going to be changed—but to our detriment.

Colossians 3:2 reads, “Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things.”

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Not From Christ

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I like streetcars and trolleys.

Though it has been years since I have ridden one, I still find them interesting and nostalgic.

When I saw the streetcar painted mostly a bright red crossing in front of me, it was time for a quick photograph.

I didn’t know where the passengers were going.

I did know that they were going wherever the streetcar was going.

It’s safe to say that the people on the streetcar believed that they were headed to their desired destination.

Honestly—who would get on not being sure of where they would have to get off?

Most people would make sure before they ever took the first step through the streetcar door.

Spiritually, there are a great many men and women who haven’t done this.

Following the crowd, they have recklessly stumbled on a streetcar of deception, traveling away from God and an abundant life.

Colossians 2:8 tells us,

“Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ.”

Three words stand out to me in that passage of scripture:

…not from Christ.

I don’t want to get on a spiritual streetcar that is not from Christ.

It’s not going to go where I need to go.

With a flashy red paint job and fancy lettering on the sides, it may look good at first, but those who are wise will check the destination.

Since streetcars run every day, bustling this direction and that, we have to make choices every day about which ones to board and which ones we allow to pass us by.

An every day question for every day direction would be:

Is this offering the way of Christ?

Is this way offering what is not of Christ?

Every day.

It’s our choice……

What do you think?

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