Last-Will-and-Testament-870x400For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16


Do you believe God only wants good things for us? I do. Why, then, do terrible things still happen in this life? The theological answer lies in part in our own free will. Not that we, ourselves, wish for unfortunate occurrences. But God allows us to have free will because He wants us to choose. Look at it this way: what kind of marriage results from one person demanding, or even forcing the partner to do certain things or act in a certain way? We call that domestic abuse. Why would God want to control us in that way, when He loves us with a perfect love?


But God didn’t leave us alone in this world to battle the forces of evil on our own with our dollar store super power cape. Life’s perils fall into three categories: messes we get ourselves into, messes that just happen to us, and messes that other people inflict on us. God cares about all of them. God is all-knowing, so He knows how everything will turn out, even the choices we make with our free will. A math genius can give a dummy like me an equation and ask me to solve it. The whiz already knowing the answer doesn’t change the choices I make trying to solve the equation. The answer doesn’t depend on me and it doesn’t change because the numbers are constant. God neither compel evil to occur nor forces us to be good. But He does have the final say in what happens to each of us at the end our lives.


In his book, He Chose the Nails, Max Lucado says, “Any injustice in this life is offset by the honor of choosing our destiny in the next.” In today’s scripture, John says that “whoever believes” in Christ “shall not perish but have eternal life.” It looks so simple, but we have a choice here: to believe or not to believe. Free will allows us to make that choice; it’s not automatic. So “free will” is actually very expensive, when you think about it. Choosing not to believe can cost us peace and joy in this life and the assurance of everlasting life in heaven.


Lord, I choose You! Amen

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