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Life is all about choices! From getting up in the morning to resting our heads on the pillow at night, we go through our day constantly making choices. 

Choices can be categorised in order of importance. To choose which way you ‘like your eggs in the morning’ is not as important as making a choice of where you choose to live, the career you choose to pursue, the university a student chooses to study at, the partner you choose and so on…

This week, through the post, I received a set of ballot papers so that I could cast my vote in the Local and County Elections and for a new Police and Crime Commissioner. I’ve been ‘canvassed’ via postal election literature in order that I can make a choice for the person who I think best represents our local interests – whatever the outcome of the election, remember we are still called to ‘pray for those in authority over us’.

I’m reminded of the words of Joshua (24:15) after he had summoned the people of Israel together at Shechem. Joshua had overseen the nation of Israel finally enter the land that God had promised them and now in his final speech to the nation he reminds them of how God had been faithful to them from the time of Abraham to now. Under Joshua’s leadership, the people of Israel had enjoyed a significant period of peace but Joshua was only too well aware that the people had a tendency to ignore God and do their own thing!

So, Joshua offers the people a choice. In spite of what God had done for His people, they still looked at other nations and were envious, so Joshua’s challenge to the people is this:

“Choose today whom you will serve”… Joshua confirmed who his household would be serving and the people responded “we would never abandon the Lord”! Sadly, we know that Israel failed to keep to their commitment, but God always kept His word to His people!

There are some choices in life that I regret making, but ‘choosing’ to follow Jesus is not one of them! For many of us, the day we decided to follow Jesus was one of the most significant days of our lives. Have we always got it right? No. Have always faithfully followed the Lord? Are there things we might have done differently? Yes. But be encouraged, because as we read the pages of Scripture we find many others who were no different – yet God, in His grace and mercy, didn’t abandon them nor will he abandon us. 

And now as followers of Jesus, the Apostle Peter reminds us that we ‘a chosen people…….. we are God’s very own possession’ (1 Peter 2:9). Peter goes on to remind his readers that we are no longer ‘in darkness but in his wonderful light’; we are no longer people without identity but we are now God’s people. 

May you today choose to follow and serve the Lord. You won’t regret it!

Be encouraged. 

Author Paul Emmerson

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