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I Choose Jesus!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

1 Kings 18:20-21

"So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him.’ But the people said nothing."

Choice! We each have opportunities to choose to do what is right or to do what is wrong. But there is a third choice—to do nothing! Back in the 1700’s, Edmund Burke coined a phrase that has been used many times since: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Wow! What a profound statement! But what does it look like in action? I think it means that we are willing to be out of step with the majority in order to do what we know is right.

Back in 1966, I served as Personnel Officer at St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada. It was a remote radar site and had a reputation for hard drinking and loose living. As one of ten commissioned officers, we often had our meals in a separate dining room.

As was my custom I would bow my head and quietly return thanks for the food. Some of the others smirked and made comments, but I simply smiled and kept on with the practice.

One evening the Commanding Officer, Ward McComb, called for our attention as we were seated. He made the following comment. “We all have noticed that Captain Thompson bows his head and returns thanks before his meals. Some of you have made unkind comments to him. I want it stopped! He is to be honored for his stand and from now on I want him to return thanks before all of our meals.”

I was stunned that, by choosing to go God’s way, I had a ministry. From that time on, many of the men came to me for spiritual counsel, since our Chaplains only visited once a month.

In today’s Scripture we read about a challenge that the prophet Elijah gave to King Ahab. Ahab had followed the gods of his wife, Jezebel. Not only did Elijah challenge Ahab, he also challenged the people of Israel. To the people he said; “If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

It is heartbreaking to read of the response from the people; “But the people said nothing." That is the basis of Edmund Burke’s quote. The very fact of saying nothing, is in fact, making a choice.

God never calls us to remain neutral. In the storms of life we are commanded to launch out into the deep in order to rescue the perishing and care for the dying. Elijah challenged the people of his day. We need to hear that challenge today!

About 500 years earlier, Joshua had challenged the people of his day as we read in Joshua 24:14-15; "Now fear the LORD and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

I implore you right now—choose the Lord and serve Him with your whole heart! As for me and my house, we choose to vote for Jesus!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

--- Pastor Cecil


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