See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
In our culture, we avoid pain, anything that might be a struggle, and situations that cause discomfort. We are constantly making internal assessments about whether the risk associated with a particular decision will cause too much hardship. And often we do this even when it comes to people: will engaging with this person lead to any discomfort or inconvenience? The problem is that this isn’t the way of Jesus. He calls us to showcase to the world what God is actually like. But, as Moses told the Israelites, we get to choose. We can choose safety, comfort, and seclusion—things that lead to spiritual death. Or we can choose to take a risk and step into life, hope, and faith.
Review today’s passage again, and this time pay attention to what words or phrases stand out to you. What did you notice? How do those words or phrases seem to apply to your life right now?
Reflect on a time you took a risk by reaching out to someone knowing it might cause you discomfort or inconvenience. What happened? How did you experience God in the midst of that risk?
Who in your life is crying out for help? How is God inviting you to engage with that person? What’s holding you back?
God, thank you for the gift of free will. I choose life. Help me to choose life. Give me courage to take risks so I can show the world your goodness, love, and grace. Release me from the fear and selfishness that holds me in safety and comfort. Use me to bring light and life into darkness and despair. Amen.