Do you want to live?

Did you choose to be born? No, you had nothing to do with it. Your mom chose to give birth to you. She may have been married or not, young or old, rich or poor, healthy or sick. Regardless of any details, your life here on Earth started as the result of choices that your mom and others made.

But the older you get, you make more and more of your own choices to affect your life. At first, you choose milk or more milk. Later, you choose to pet the cat or yank its tail. You start school and choose to study or to watch more tv. Before long, you choose to step on the gas or on the brake. You choose who to ask for a date. You choose to marry, stay single, have kids, or not. You choose tea or coffee, salad or a cupcake. Someday, you may choose chemotherapy or some other treatment for cancer.

Do we choose because we want to get something, or avoid something? Both. You choose to step on the gas because you want to get ahead of that truck––or you choose not to step on the gas because you want to avoid a speeding ticket. Stairs or elevator? If small crowded spaces make you nervous, you may choose to avoid elevators. Want more cardio exercise? Choose the stairs. Want to get to the 11th floor fast? Elevator. Want to avoid working up a sweat? Still the elevator. Every moment is filled with choices based on our wants and needs.

With every choice something happens. Some choices affect us only a short time. You choose to sip a hot cup of coffee and burn your mouth. Or you choose a movie and get a few laughs. Some choices affect us much longer. You choose to sign a 30-year mortgage. Or you choose to have sex and pregnancy follows.

There’s another kind of choice that we make, all the time. Choosing to believe. Wait. Can you really choose to believe? Of course. Your friend tells you something, but did you see it happen? Where you there? No. At that point, you choose to believe your friend’s story––or you choose not to believe it. Our courts are full of people telling other people things, hoping a jury will choose to believe them. What about evidence? You still have to choose to believe the presented evidence or choose not to believe it. Either way, you first have to choose to believe the people who present the evidence.

We all live by choosing to believe moment-to-moment, all day, every day. Choosing to believe, is also called trust. Before you get in your car, you choose to believe (trust) that you will arrive at your destination safely. If you chose to believe (trust) that you’ll be in a wreck, you wouldn’t leave the driveway. Each time you get into your car and start driving, you put your chosen belief (trust) into action. Your belief, plus your action on that belief, is faith.

How about that elevator again? You choose to believe (trust) it’s working correctly before you get on. If you choose to believe (trust) it would crash into the basement, you’d never get on. When you do get on and push the button to the 11th floor, you put your chosen belief (trust) into action. Your belief, plus your action on that belief, is faith.

The choice to believe is yours alone. No one else has the power to make any choice to believe for you. And of all the choices to believe that we make in this life, there is one choice to believe that affects us more than all the other choices we make combined. Here it is: do you choose to believe God––or do you choose not to believe God. Either way, your choice to believe affects your life today and for eternity.

Choosing to believe God, Jesus put his belief into action. With faith, Jesus came to Earth teaching about God’s love and demonstrating God’s power. He even allowed himself to be killed to show that God had the power to bring him back to life––and bring any of us back to life provided we choose to believe (trust) God’s promises. The teachings of Jesus and events of his death and resurrection were witnessed firsthand by many and are recorded in the Bible. Do I choose to believe those accounts? Absolutely. But it’s not up to me to choose your belief for you, or to prove anything to you regarding God’s love and promises. Jesus did it once and for all, for me and for you.

I’m simply choosing to ask you this question––do you want to live? Only you can answer. It’s a choice that only you can make. If you do want to live, then choose to believe (trust) that God loves you so much that he sent Jesus (as evidence) to help you choose to believe God. When you choose to believe God, your belief will affect your actions and become faith. Choose to read the Bible and you’ll learn more about God and the eternal life he offers you. He’ll strengthen your understanding, hope, love and your faith.

You and I live on Earth because we were born through the choice of others. We grow to experience the power of choice for ourselves. We choose to apply for a job, or not. We choose to get married, or not. We choose to be generous, or not.  We choose to say ‘hello’ to someone, or not. We choose to order coffee or coke at this drive-thru or that one and choose to believe (trust) it’s safe to drink.

Why do you think we make so many choices about so many things, big or small? Because God made us in his image, with a free will––the ability to choose––including, your ability to choose to believe God, or not.

Do you want to live? I hope so. Choose to believe God, our Father, our creator, the one who knew you in your mother’s womb. You can be spiritually reborn into a life of fullness here and for all eternity, enjoying the love and peace that only God our Father can give.

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