Daily Devotional

No Choice

Thursday, May 13, 2021
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And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:13, NIV.

A college friend of mine, seriously searching for a "one and only," went out with a number of young women. "I'm really trying to love her, Burke," he'd confide about first one and then another. "I'm really trying!"

He reminds me of Christians who, understanding that love constitutes the highest motivation for healthful living, concern themselves with questions such as "Am I loving yet? (I'm really trying!)"

How much better to consider Jesus' love! (After all, it's His love that saves, not ours.) His Spirit will then fill us with grateful love and encourage us in wise choices. Observe with me the way He worked in the life of a young sea captain on board the Empress, bound for Brazil—a story told by D. E. Robinson in The Story of Our Health Message.

One day the young man copied from a book a covenant with God that he felt exactly expressed his purpose in life: "This day do I with the utmost solemnity surrender myself to Thee. I renounce all former lords that have had dominion over me, and I consecrate to Thee all that I am, and all that I have."

Not hurriedly, but carefully considering each choice, he began to make changes in his lifestyle. First he dispensed with wine and tobacco as he became convinced of their harmfulness. Later, noticing that they had the power to keep him awake at night, he left off coffee and tea. A number of years later, in "heart-searching preparation for the expected return of Christ," he resolved to eat no more meat. Still later he decided he would be healthier without rich foods.

Let's imagine an acquaintance chiding the retired sea captain as he passes up some rich delicacies on the table.

"What? You don't want any of these treats?"

Captain Joseph Bates smiles benignly. "I've eaten my share of them," he replies, and leaves it at that.

Thoughtfully, gradually, and without urging his lifestyle on others, the old sea captain had pursued fitness. The love of Christ left him no choice.

We do well to follow his example.

Is God loving you into a better lifestyle? It's your choice.


Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.


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