Thursday, September 1, 2011

Truth or Consequences

Matthew 7:1-2  Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and the measure which ye give, shall be measured to you again. 

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things. 

Decades ago, when Bob Barker and I were both young, he was hosting multiple game shows, along with "The Price is Right".  One of them was "Truth or Consequences".  The premise for the show was that the contestants answered questions.  If they answered correctly, they got a prize.  If they answered incorrectly, they perform a challenging and often embarrassing task to entertain the audience.  Sometimes the consequence was a ruse for some reunion of people who might not otherwise have that opportunity for a long time.  And remembering that show got me thinking about how we live and think in relation to God.

One of God's great powers in my life is not that He can make me do whatever He wants, although He can.  Rather that He allows me to be drawn to the right  conclusions, thoughts and actions by my own free will.  As a friend of mine puts it, "God is a gentleman."  He doesn't force us to decide in a particular way.  If we decide wrong, there are consequences.  Unlike game shows, those decisions don't need to have permanent results.  There will be consequences to individual actions.  But I can change my thinking and decisions and make myself eligible for the big prize -- eternal life with God.  Like game shows, we can have a way of going for the  big house and the fancy car, both of which will deteriorate in time.  However, God will still give us a chance to win a mansion in heaven that doesn't ever perish, blessings beyond our wildest dreams and the opportunity to be with Him forever.

There's another game show called "Let's Make a Deal".  In that one, you get to choose prizes by picking a box or a huge door or a huge curtain.  Sometimes, a 1x2 box has something worth far more than what's behind a door or curtain.  Sometimes not.  But, as the "host" of this game, this analogy gives me a chance to let you think some more about those decisions mentioned above.  Are you going to decide for the big prize behind door number 1?  The opportunity to experience the joy of having God in your life, both here and in eternity in heaven?  Or are you going to choose to make it curtains? Where the best you can hope for is temporary happiness and wealth that will fade with time, the rest is an eternity in pain, without joy and without God?  The only suggestion I can make is that you choose wisely.  You might get another chance to decide again.  But you might not.  Which way will you choose?

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