by Julia Bettencourt
“…Choose you this day whom ye will serve…” Joshua 24:15
When I was growing up we always played board games and I still enjoy playing them with my kids. My favorites are games like Boggle and Scrabble because I love words. Guess you can tell how much I like words by how much I write. I think the game all my family likes to play the most is Monopoly. We don’t do that one as much except when my kids are off from school because the game usually lasts so long we end up taking breaks and then coming back to it. Sometimes we go back to it the next day.
Our board games are all stacked up in the corner of our family room (not so neatly) and I was looking at that stack recently and thinking of all the strange names they all have. Those words they use for game names have stuck around in my head for several days now and after thinking about them for awhile, I decided we could learn a little about choices we make in our lives from some of them.
What’s monopolizing your time? What is monopolizing your thoughts? What is monopolizing your life?Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Are you seeking the answers? Finding out all the mysteries of the Bible? Do you have a clue about what you believe and why?Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Psalm 119:18
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Psalm 119:10
Are you twisted up with sin? Sin has a way of entangling you. You can’t serve two masters.No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24
Do you take chances with your witness? Are you showing up in places or doing things that you know could tempt you? That can cause some risky consequences.Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1:13-15
Do you confess your sins so you keep your fellowship with the Lord? Do you follow the biblical guidance on forgiving others?If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Colossians 3:13
Are you a troublemaker? Do your actions cause others to fall?Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge
this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to
fall in his brother’s way. Romans 14:13
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the
believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith,
in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
- Chutes and Ladders
Are you climbing higher in your Christian life or are you sliding down? Are you growing and moving forward?Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13,14
I noticed this game wasn’t in our topsy-turvy stack of games in our family room, but as I was thinking about these game names, that one came to mind. My kids have outgrown it now but when they were pretty little, they loved it. So like our Christian lives, here we are moving ahead and climbing higher, and we don’t stay in the Word or start skipping church, and swish, we slide down that chute and have to pick ourselves back up and push forward again.
We play games as entertainment, to spend time with our kids, or just for the plain enjoyment of the game. We think of games as light hearted things, but everyday living isn’t quite so light hearted. We move space to space and hit high-points and low-points on the way. The thing is that we don’t move around that great game-board of life by taking some dice in our hands, rolling, and seeing what numbers come up before we move. Our spaces and directions we move in are all by our own choices. Only we have the power to decide which way we are going to go, how many steps we are taking, and how long we will stay at a point.
We don’t go along and have to stop and pick up a card that says, “Today you will spend time with the Lord in prayer” or “Today you will sin”. It doesn’t work that way. We choose what we end up doing. We have control of the board. Sure, circumstances and things come up in our lives but only we choose how we deal with them. Only we choose how we are going to live from day to day.
In Joshua chapter 24, it is talking about where Joshua brought all the tribes of Israel together and reminded them Who God was. The people had gone off to serve other gods and Joshua gave them a powerful demand that day, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve”. It’s what we’ve got to think about ourselves every day. Are we going to serve the Lord today as we take life step by step?
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15