Your Choice

January 10, 2017
by JJ Ollerenshaw

Luke 14:27-28a – No one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me. But don't begin until you count the cost. (TLB)

This past summer, my washing machine broke down. The part to fix it costs almost as much as a new machine. While debating what to do, I began to wash clothes by hand. Hanging dripping items outside on a hot, sunny morning is a pleasant task.

Our current washer and dryer are stackable. We returned to the store where we purchased them, only to discover that that type is no longer made. We went to other stores and looked at different models. None of them fit under the dryer or our low ceiling. I could settle for a smaller, apartment-sized duo, but the alternative is to move the dryer. Separating the appliances would allow us to buy any washing machine within our budget. Moving the dryer is hardly any distance, but it involves electrical rewiring, realigning the vent, drywalling, and painting — a big project.

Which would you choose? The easy route? There's the future cost of taking large items to the laundromat, but mornings are growing chilly, and it's not fun anymore. Or the sacrificial route? There's a cost involved now — time, money, work — but I'll enjoy the comfort and pleasure in the long term.

Jesus advises us to count the cost before making a decision to follow Him. If we attend church on Sunday, even serve on a committee, is there any sacrifice in that? We feel good, but there's no cost involved. What does Jesus mean?

John 3:3b – Unless you are born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God. (TLB)

Matthew 10:39 – If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will save it. (TLB)

To take up our cross is to put our self to death. God wants a sacrifice. He wants every part of us: body and mind, heart and soul. He wants us to give up our self. Born again, we find ourselves wanting to do the good works that God wants us to do, not pleasing ourselves.

In return, God promises blessings. He takes away all our sins and brokenness, and gives us a new future. We receive a life of fulfilment, doing what He created us to do. That's an abundant life, no matter what the journey may be like, and an eternal life, too, for, as Christians, our last breath here is our first one in heaven.

Deuteronomy 30:19b – I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Oh, that you would choose life; that you and your children might live! (TLB)

God also promises generational blessings. What we do today affects our children and grandchildren, and the future. This is the most important decision we'll ever make. I pray that you will join me in saying "Yes" to Jesus today. Choose life. Pray with me:

Prayer: Lord, it's so hard to give up control of our lives. We think we know best. But it's not about us; it's all about You. Forgive my self-centredness and help me to focus on You instead. Thank You for Jesus and the cross. I choose life. I acknowledge Jesus as my personal Saviour. Amen.

About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <sandjollie@yahoo.com>
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen to that!


    Thanks JJ for the encouraging words.


    Thank you for sharing your beliefs in God.


    Dear JJ,
    Thank you for a great devotional: evangelical, practical, well-written.
    Keep writing.


    Thank you for this devotional. I am praying many will want to follow its advice.
    Yesterday I was listening to a wonderful Christian man, a First Nations missionary from Northern Saskatchewan. He was telling about how he had to become totally committed to the Lord so he was working in God’s strength not his own. He even had a chance to go to minister in South Africa and he said he was amazed to think of a little Indian boy from Northern Saskatchewan having this opportunity. If you ever are concerned with problems of our First Nations, Aboriginal people, try watching Tribal Trails, a production of Northern Canada Evangelical Mission and you will meet many wonderful First Nation Canadian Christians and it will warm your heart. (Vision weekdays at 1:30 pm).
    I will be looking for more of your devotionals.

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