I used to love the multiple choice parts of exam papers – I usually found them fairly easy going…. if I remember rightly. The choice of A or B or C or D wasn’t that difficult: it sure beat having to write half a page about something that you didn’t have a clue about.
Life is very similar to this – it is full of multiple choices. But the choices you end up making usually have everlasting implications – and that’s a very long time indeed.
In Mark 4, Jesus very clearly tells us how life is full of multiple choices, and the decisions we make, or allow others to make for us, have massive implications. And what is it that causes us to make a choice? It is God’s word – our response to it.
We can listen to it – even seem to be paying great attention to it, as we read it at home, discuss it in our Home Groups or listen to it being preached on a Sunday – even respond to God’s word with great joy – but not really take it to heart – not apply it to our lives. And instead, we allow everything else in our life to take precedent. In the end, what this means is that we might appear to have chosen D in our multiple choice, but as time progresses, we fall for A or B or C.
Using A, B, C, or D, as choices in how we respond to God’s word, what do they represent? Well A represents not really understanding what God has said and therefore allowing the evil one to take God’s word away from us (verse 15). Whereas B represents receiving God’s word with great joy, but only for a little while, as living out God’s word is too difficult and so you give up on obeying him (verse 16-17). Then there’s C: I believe it represents the choice that a lot of Christians, in the west, end up making in response to God’s word. And it’s a trifecta of things that we allow into our lives. And what are they? They are the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things (verse 18-19).
So friends, irrespective of what you have done in the past, choose D from this day forward, and persevere with D. It will be worth it. And what is D? It is hearing God’s word, understanding it, and truly taking it to heart (verse 20). And therefore, living out a fruitful life for our Lord, rejecting the ways of the world, resisting the desires of our flesh and rebuking the devil when he comes near. Select and stick with D.
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