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Friday, April 29, 2016

My Choices Are The Wild Card That Affects My Hand

In review of Romans 8:29 it says, “God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him” (Romans 8:29 MSG).

Bottom Line:
God knew in advance his chosen ones, he chose them to become like his Son. The Son is the first of many.

What this means to me:
God knew in advance his choice for me, and he chose me to become like his Son. The Son is the first of many in which I see the original and intended shape of my life in him. The choices I make become the wild card that affect the hand I’m played.

Today's verse comes from the latter half of Romans chapter 8. In this Paul speaks to us of the "The Future Glory."   Paul says, what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. All creation is awaiting that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.

Creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. We all wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, when we don't know what to pray, the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to be like his Son. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him and gave them the right standing with himself.

So as I have been learning, I am wonderfully complex (Psalm 139:14). In order to fulfill God’s purpose, I have to look at every dimension of my life and understand the five factors that influence my identity. In the last few days, I’ve explored the ways that my chemistry, my connections, my circumstances, and my consciousness affect the way I’m shaped.

If these factors are like the five cards you’re dealt in a game of poker, then the fifth factor would be my wild card. Why? Because it’s my choices, and it affects all my other cards. While I may not be able to control the hand I was dealt, I can use my wildcard (choices) to change the way I live my life by the choices I make.

The Bible says we are created in the image of God. No other animal was created in the image of God! Dogs have instinct but don’t know the difference between right and wrong. Elephants have no moral compass. But you get to choose to do right or wrong. The freedom to choose is man’s greatest blessing and also his greatest curse, because we make stupid choices all the time that harm us and everyone around us.

The wild card can change the suit and number of the other cards I’m dealt. While I didn’t choose my chemistry, I can choose what you do with my body. I didn’t choose my connections, but I  can make new relationships and mend or nurture the ones I already have. I can choose how I respond to my circumstances, and I can choose to stop believing the harmful things people say to me.

My identity is shaped by my choices. So what choices will I make today that will positively affect the rest of my life?