Choices

January 15, 2016
by Rosemary Hagedorn

Quite a few years ago, a bulletin from our church had a picture of a graphite illustration by Gerald Folkerts, entitled "Self Portrait".

The picture so intrigued me that I kept the bulletin all these years; it was dated Good Friday, March 29, 1991. The background is dark, and at the top of the picture are thousands of snakes. In the foreground, there is a man dressed in blue jeans, wearing a jacket, holding a hammer in his right hand, and positioning a huge nail onto an open palm that is lying on a cross. There is a giant snake coming towards him, and the man is looking directly at you.

Every time I gaze at this picture, it drives an arrow of truth into my heart. I think of how I, by selfish actions, am continuously driving nails into the hands of Jesus again and again.

Different circumstances that occur in our daily lives influence our actions by the choices that we make.

While I was waiting in a check-out line at the grocery store the other day, there was a woman in front of me who didn't have enough money to pay for her groceries. She started to give back a couple of items to the cashier. When I noticed this, I had a choice. Will I let this stranger continue, or should I offer to pay the amount that she was short? I decided to tell the cashier to let the woman take those items and that I would pay what she still owed. The woman was very thankful, and she left. The cashier, too, was surprised and told me, "What a nice thing to do!"

Matthew 5:16 – Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (NLT)

It was after the fact that I realized that I had missed the opportunity to share that I had done this out of love for Jesus. It was too late to let them know that it is His Spirit that enables Christians to do good deeds towards other human beings.

God continuously gives us opportunities to witness, and we are faced with choices every day. Sometimes, choices are easily made, whereas at other times, they are not so easy.

James 1:5-8 – If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. (NLT)

Did you have an opportunity to witness about God's love and didn't? What choice will you make the next time?

Prayer: Lord God, You allow choices in our lives every moment, every day. Help us to make the right decisions that would bring honour and glory to Your holy name, always. Thank You for always being here for us. Amen.

About the author:

Rosemary Hagedorn <rosyhagedorn@gmail.com>
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Guilty.


    The thought for the day is a good one and so true.


    Thank you for your devotional and the challenge that you give!
    (SD)


    Thanks for the reminder that we can always make the right choice when we rely on the Holy Spirit. Blessings.


    Indeed it is true Rosemary. I was just reading last night “each day tell someone about the saving power of the Lord.”
    Blessings.


    Thank you Rosemary, for your encouragement.
    May God urge us on from first base to home base. His Spirit is with us to witness. We need not (and certainly cannot) be perfect in doing what he urges us to do. I know that I am too fearful of offending. But we must plunge in and God’s Holy Spirit will use even our fumbling attempts.


    Hi Rosy,
    Happy to see that you are still sharing what you’ve learned with us.
    Thanks, You brought to mind a Bible verse that I need to remember. A friend gave me this Bible verse some time ago. It went missing without my knowing.
    This morning, as I read your message, I recognized it. A prompt call to my friend fixed it so that I will have a fresh copy in hand very shortly.
    Blessings.


    Rosemary
    It’s enough to have done what you did. You did not need to tell the woman why.
    St Francis is reputed to have said: “Proclaim the Gospel but only use words if you must.”
    Doing good isn’t intended to “win converts.” We “do good” because faithfulness in our relationship with Jesus requires that of us. Then we allow God to make whatever use of the good we have done in God’s way and in God’s time.
    (Alberta)


    Morning Rosemary,
    Your sharing of the lady who needed help paying the grocery bill reminded me of what happened to me one day in Thrifties when my credit card was not accepted in the machine and a lady behind me paid for it. I have been trying to contact her to repay it. It was very embarrassing but the Lord always provides as we trust in Him.
    I thanked her and told her who I was. It was a very moving moment.
    (B.C.)


    Hi Rosemary:
    God places these “God Moments” in our lives, I think, to show us how we can love Jesus by loving others.
    I had a similar incident at a 7-11 store where I heard a lady talk, on her cell phone, about having to take a taxi to see someone in the emergency room at the general hospital. She didn’t think she had enough money to get there. The Holy Spirit convicted me then and there to hand her a $20 bill and say “God prompted me to give this to you” What a blessing for both of us that day.
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    (ON)


    Dear Rosemary,
    I really enjoy your devotional “Choices”.
    Thank you.

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