ALTERNATIVES…are choices, options, one or two possibilities. Some are provoked while others are not. We have all heard the expression;
I simply had no alternative or you left me with no alternative but to… When making the decision on colleges, a student may have many alternatives from which to choose. Maybe it is two job offers, the right church for the family, or where to live. The alternative to buying a house is to rent. What about choosing between candidates for public office. Today, as never before, men and women are making decisions about their lifestyles, even their gender identity.
When we’re planning a trip, we make several decisions about the alternative means of travel. If you are driving and relying on your IPhone for directions, it may give you several alternatives. In Dallas today you need to be aware of the alternative routes since so much construction is taking place all over the city. I wish I had invested heavily in orange safety cones.
Churches, religions, beliefs–so many alternatives!
The most critical set of options impacts our temporal and eternal existence. There really are only two alternatives when it comes to eternity–belief or unbelief; believer or non-believer. Interestingly, right out of the chute, Jesus does not give any of us an alternative. He states: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6) Case closed! You either accept this as truth by faith, or you don’t…and as Blaise Pascal said,
Jesus did go on to say on a few occasions; we will either love God or mammon (wealth), but you can’t do both. Which alternative will it be for you? A lot is riding on the decision you make. He also gave the example of the good shepherd (sheep owner) and the hireling, the one who does not own the sheep. One cares for his sheep, and they know his voice; the other runs away at the first hint of trouble, and leaves the sheep to be ravaged by the wolves. Jesus said he is the Good Shepherd and that he came so his sheep might have life, and have it more abundantly.
Anyone into abundant? Simultaneously, the enemy comes to steal, and to kill and to destroy. (Read John 10). These are clear and distinct alternatives!
“So, where is this going Bill? What are you saying to me?”
Glad you asked! Just this; we live in perilous times, in a world where there are many shades of gray. Multiple voices are shouting or whispering to us. Sometimes it is difficult to discern truth by which we are to live. Can people tell which side you are on; more importantly, can God? Is he just Savior; or more, like Lord, King, Master? He wants to be all of these to us. What is in your life that keeps this from happening? Maybe it is time for an honest, in-depth inventory on where you stand.
All of us have choices/alternatives/options in virtually very area of our lives. On one hand that is awesome. But things can get very clouded because of it. So, how can you know whether the Lord is truly your only alternative in every area of our lives?
1. What gives you more pleasure than Him?
2. What are your first thoughts and actions each morning?
3. What are you trusting for your well-being?
4. Do you really hunger and thirst for his word?
5. Is there true peace in your life, the kind that simply surpasses all
understanding in light of what is going on in and around us?
An honest assessment right about now could be very enlightening. There are many more critical questions you could ask yourself. But these five are sufficient to discern if you need to dig deeper. Take these to the Spirit in prayer and ask him to bring light to your heart and mind. The world is crying out from the rooftops today saying–you have options/alternatives/choices:
- Choose your own gender identity,
- Is Jesus really the only way,
- Is there absolute truth or is it relative,
- The bible is outdated,
- Hell is not really a place,
- Marriage can be anything you want it to be,
- Sex between two consenting adults (male or female) is appropriate,
- You can be the captain of your own ship,
- Gather as many toys as you can, life is short so go for it!
What you decide today will impact your life and those around you, now and for eternity. Choose Jesus to reign in every area of your life; there just simply is no reasonable alternative. Remembering, that he had an alternative other than the cross, but he stayed true to his obedience to his Father. That choice to obey was the greatest act of love in the history of mankind. Make a wise choice today.
Bill C. Dotson
Scripture taken from the NKJV