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Choose Life

“If a man die, shall he live again?” Job 14:14

Death had long raised the clenched fist of victory. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, man goes to his long home and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Death claimed the lives of God’s first human creations. Every miracle of life ended in death’s icy grip. Infants aborted, slaughtered, thrown into the fires of Moloch. Heroes slowed death down, but eventually succumbed to its relentless hunger. Not money, intellect, talent, knowledge, political influence, physical strength, technological genius, will power, diplomacy— nothing kept it at bay. The Babylonian armies, the Persian hordes, the Greek phalanxes, the Roman legions could not stop death.  It respected no name, regarded no person, avoided no man or overlooked no race, tribe or ethnicity. It fears no miracle drugs, surgical suites, science labs, funeral parlors or burial vaults.  

Then, the most magnificent personage of all history walked on the Stage. He stunned death by His statement, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Leprosy met its match, demons met their master, blindness met the light, and death met its fate.  Never a man spoke like this man.  The elements obeyed His voice. The name Jesus was on everyone’s lips. But, a plan hatched in hell turned the tide.  Nails hammered the Perfect Man’s palms and feet, nailed His flesh to a blood-soaked cross.  His head tilted forward on his lacerated chest, and He cried “It is finished!” His limp form sagged on the shoulders of Joseph of Arimathea and spread out lifelessly on a marble slab. They sealed the stone, and the laugh of death reverberated throughout earth and hell, chilling the bones of the living and the spirits of the dead. Laugh, Satan!  It was to be the last gloat of earth’s greatest nemesis. Something was about to happen. Death seemed omnipotent for thousands of years—until the Almighty God decided that death had had its way long enough. “Up from the grave he arose with a mighty triumph o’er his foes!”  

Death reigns in morgues, funeral parlors and cemeteries, but wherever Satan spreads sin, he spreads death. “When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:15. Substance abuse injects death into human frames. Sexual sins embrace death. Lying, cheating, stealing and dishonesty dance with death. But death doesn’t just stalk the open sinner.  Every cancerous tumor diagnosed, every wince from arthritic pain, every artery clogged, every time COPD suffocates a set of lungs, death lets you know he lurks within arm’s reach. This failing body is subject to sickness and disease, and will finally lose its viability. But, the same God who created you heals your pain and suffering! “And with his stripes we are healed!” 

But even if none of us get our healing, this resurrection message makes victorious us as well!  Then, there is something called carnality.  “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6. If you choose to be a half-way Christian; if you choose to be a sub-standard, Christian-in-name-only; if you choose to ride the fence, you are choosing death! The holy winds of revival need to sweep through your life and set you on fire!  

Are you disillusioned by life, bitter at circumstances, angry at people and depressed over your future? Choose life! God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Thank your Creator for every breath; it’s “the breath of life!” Life embodies the essence of God; life represents the power of God.  The ravages of death may send its pain, tears, grief and suffering, but it can’t stop life!

Life is unstoppable, irrepressible, inexorable, inevitable, unavoidable, and unconquerable.  Life is relentless, persistent, insistent, determined, adamant, resolute, and stubborn. Choose life! This is not impersonal force, energy, universal element or raw power. This is the Lord Jesus Christ!  He is the Resurrection and the Life! 

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