|Reflections for this date are based on the following scripture passages:|
|Acts 4||Acts 5||Acts 6||Genesis 23||Genesis 24||Psalms 10||Proverbs 4|
"This is from the LORD; we have no choice in the matter." (Genesis 24:50) These are the words of men who were not without a choice, but rather men who chose to be compelled by things that were from the Lord. Men who had signed away their lives to do what God instructed them to do. These words were spoken by Laban and Bethuel, relatives of Abraham whom he had left behind in the land of Ur. As Abraham became old and neared the time of his death, he sent his servant to his relatives to get a wife for Isaac so he would not marry a Canaanite pagan. God directed the servant to Rebekah, granddaughter of Abraham's brother Nahor. When the servant related to Rebekah's father Bethuel and her brother Laban how God had directed him to Rebekah, and asked their permission to take Rebekah to be a wife for Isaac, they responded with the words above, "This is from the LORD; we have no choice in the matter."
God is not into forcing Himself on anyone. Nor are we without a choice when He makes a request of us. Those who have committed themselves to follow Christ, however, have already made their choice, which is to follow where He leads and to do what He asks of them. The term "follower of Christ" is intentionally used here in place of "Christian" since the term Christian has come to mean many things. Many may have accepted that salvation is through Christ and even accepted His salvation for themselves, but have not really given themselves to actually follow Him.
Jesus made it clear what it means to follow Him, which is equivalent to being His disciple. He said, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, and even his own life--he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple . . . In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26-27, 33) It means to place Christ above all other relationships and priorities. It means to do as my wife did many years ago. That is, to sign a blank sheet of paper giving Christ permission to fill it in with whatever He wanted for her life.
If this is what we have done, our words become the same as those spoken by Bethuel and his son, Laban, "This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter." Our choice has already been made.