Good morning, Lord Jesus. Take me by the hand and lead me by the heart on my journey with You today.
As part of my devotion time in Lent I am reading through the passion narratives in the four Gospels. Today I read in the Gospel of John.
"After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, 'Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray Me.' ... Jesus answered, 'It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.' So when He had dipped the piece of bread, He gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, 'Do quickly what you are going to do.' ... So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night" (John 13:21-30).
Judas made a choice. And in his choice to betray You, he opened the door of his soul for Satan to come in. No doubt there were many choices along the path that led him to this ultimate, fateful choice that "prepared the way of the lord" of darkness to have a place of authority and power in his soul (John 12:6). Did you ever think that all your choices “prepare the way of the Lord” to have power in your soul? Either the lord of Darkness or the Lord of Light, the prince of the air or the prince of peace, Satan or Jesus. Bob Dillon’s lyrcs come into my mind, “Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, But you're gonna have to serve somebody.”
In the spiritual principle of freedom that a true relationship of love requires, God’s Word sets before each of us the choice of "life or death, blessings or curses," boldly declaring, "Now, choose life! Then you and your children may live. To choose life is to love the Lord your God, obey Him, and stay close to Him. He is your life... (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). "For freedom Christ has set us free.... Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.... those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.... If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:1-25).
So in the choice of Judas, we see the great tension of two great truths that are equally true at the same time: the freedom of our will and the sovereignty of God's wisdom and authority. Both are true. Judas had the freedom to make his choice; and it's his choice that allowed Satan to accomplish the desires of his evil plan, even if it was a foolish plan that played out into the eternal plans of God. "We speak God's wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).
Jesus, you made Your choice; Satan made his choice; and Judas made his. As You said on Your journey to the cross, "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have the power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father" (John 10:17-18). You expressed the freedom of Your choice in the Garden, determining, "Not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42).
Father God, You see every choice we will ever make. You're the God who sees the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end (Isaiah 46:10). "In Your book were written all the days that were formed for (us), when none of them as yet existed" (Psalm 139:16). And at the same time, You've given us the freedom to make our choices, knowing so many of those choices will have such drastic, dramatic effect for us and even for all humanity -- just like when You allowed Adam and Even to make their choices in the freedom of their will in response to the leading of Satan, even knowing how much Your heart would break and Your creation would suffer (Genesis 3:1-7). But even their choices have always been part of Your plan, just like the choices of Satan and Judas and Jesus have always been a part of Your plan -- a plan for our salvation and redemption that allows both our freedom and Your sovereignty, "destined before the foundation of the world, but revealed at the end of the ages for (our) sake" (1 Peter 1:20).
Come, Holy Spirit. In this season of Lent where I reflect on the choice that Jesus made to lay down His life for me, despite the choice Judas made to betray the Lord of glory, let me choose each day to entrust my life to God my Father through Jesus Christ my Lord. In the sovereignty of God, You've given me the freedom to choose. "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).
"In (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according the riches of His grace that He lavished on us.... In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of Him who accomplishes all things according to His counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:7-14). By the grace of God and in the sovereignty of God, I choose to live my life this day for the praise of Your glory. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My family, Jesus made his choice, Satan made his, and Judas his as well. As you begin a new week, I pray you will choice well how you live your life each day this week, and all the days of every week, in honor of the choice Jesus made for you, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!
Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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