CHOICE (Advent – Day 24)

SCRIPTURES

Colossians 1:15-20

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see – such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

 2 Corinthians 1:20

For all of God’s promise have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.                           

THOUGHTS

Our culture champions choices and options. We associate these things with freedom. More choices, more freedom. But, this isn’t necessarily true. A recent book, The Paradox of Choice, investigated the correlation between options and satisfaction. After wading through a sea of data, one thing stuck with me. While a life without options is nearly unbearable, a life with endless options isn’t much better. 

Think about it. How often do we spend hours stressing over a decision, wading through a sea of options that confuse more than clarify? How often do we take a doctor’s diagnosis and run it through Google’s gauntlet of possible outcomes, leading to more stress and anxiety? We might spend hours searching for the best deal, but at what price (the pun is intended)? Are we making a good trade if we save a few dollars but lose a few hours with our spouse or children? 

The more options in front of us the less likely we are to make a choice and the more likely we are to be dissatisfied. 

Advent has a strong word for any Christian equating options with satisfaction. When Jesus leaves the throne of heaven, he becomes THE option, THE fulfillment of every promise (2 Cor. 1:20). In other words, joy and peace aren’t possible outside of Jesus. True life and satisfaction are impossible outside of Immanuel. That’s not a very American message. But, Jesus isn’t concerned with politically correct statements. He’s also not concerned with saying things that attract large crowds. He’s concerned with being the Answer. 

Jesus is the marketing strategy. A church might draw large crowds with amazing visuals, emotional worship, and ministries for all ages, but Jesus alone transforms hearts. 

Jesus is the answer to life’s problems. If your marriage is on the rocks, Jesus restores your foundation. If you’re struggling with addiction, Jesus is the remedy. Joy and peace, the kind that surpasses understanding, are not possible outside of the Prince of Peace. 

You might say I don’t understand the complexity of your issues. You would be right. But responses like this one are exactly the problem. We struggle to believe Jesus is enough. Our hearts are content with a mediocre pursuit of Jesus. Where are the Christians who will relentlessly pursue Jesus? Where are the Christians willing to abandon everything, even their lives, for Jesus? I fear many of us have never tasted Jesus’s goodness because we’ve settled for great marketing strategies and superb therapy techniques.

Until we eliminate every other option, Jesus can’t be our answer. 

QUESTION

Do you believe Jesus is the answer to every question, from relationships to career? If not, what steps can you take today to eliminate options competing with Jesus?

PRAYER

Father, thank you for Jesus. Help me to wade through the options and see the Answer. Take me back to the manger in all its simplicity and humility. Immanuel is the fulfillment of all your promises. Thank you for your promises. I love you. Amen.

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