Breaking Bread: November 15th, 2015
I believe that God gave us all three things that no one else can give us. First life, second free will and third and most importantly the Holy Spirit. Now all three are amazing gifts from God, but today I want to focus on the second one free will.
We all have free will, God gave us the ability to make our own decisions, some good and others unfortunately bad, and therefore we have the choice to be obedient and disobedient to his word. To me this is a testament of his love for us. I like to think of it as a parent with a child. As a parent you want your kids to be obedient, you tell them to do something, and when they do it, you are happy. But isn’t it a better feeling when you child does something right without you telling them to do it, because they know it would please you. I think this is what God’s intention was when he gave us free will. He did not want us to simply follow his commandments as if we are robots with no thought, he wants to be willing to follow his commandments, and give him all the glory and praise he deserves.
Now we have free will and that’s great but how does that affect us? Well free will affects everything we do, from what we decide to wear this morning to choosing the person we love to marry. And each of our decisions have consequences, which can lead to blessings or sin. See the Bible has many examples where God worked through people and he does this because he knows the decisions that were and will be made and how they all fit into his plan. God knows what decisions we are going to make and his plan is so perfect that the sins of a person will lead to punishment for them but can be are turned in to blessings for others. So free will is a truly powerful but harmful gift.
One example in the bible that comes my attention is Jesus’ parable about the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10:30-35.
Now we all are familiar with this parable. In this parable there are four parties who make decisions. First the robbers who choose to sin, then the priest and Levite who disobeyed the Word by not loving thy neighbor and the last who is the Samaritan who decides to help the traveler thus loving thy neighbor, he doesn’t have to but he chose to. Therefore his free will led to a blessing for a man he did not know.
Although this is parable by Jesus it displays the beauty of free will. We can either be selfish with our free will, which will lead to sin or selfless, which can lead to a blessing. Now we have heard of the Good Samaritan but have you ever heard of the Subway Samaritan Wesley Autrey. Maybe you will have after I tell you his story. On January 2, 2007, Wesley was waiting for a train at the 137th Street – City College subway station in Manhattan with his two young daughters. At around 12:45 p.m., he noticed a young man named Cameron, who he did not know, having a seizure. Cameron stumbled from the platform, falling onto the tracks.
As Cameron lay on the tracks, Wesley saw the lights of an oncoming train. Without hesitation Wesley jumped onto the tracks. He thought he would be able to take Cameron off the tracks, but he realized there was not enough time to drag Cameron away. Instead, he protected Cameron by throwing himself over Cameron’s body in a drainage trench between the tracks, where he held him down. Though the operator of the train applied the brakes, all but two cars still passed over them.
Now Wesley did not know Cameron, but he was willing to jump down and protect him, even with the possibility of leaving his two daughters behind if he died. Now this is a hero story and in many stories when the hero is asked why would did help, they often say because I would hope a people would choose to do it for me. Well that wasn’t the case for Wesley, he knew he was making the right decision he had faith, he knew that was his purpose that day. And that is because about 10 years before that event, before he had his two little girls, a gun was pointed at Wesley’s head, and when the trigger was pulled it misfired, sparing his life. And when he saw Cameron fall on the tracks that day, he knew that was why God saved him that day 10 years ago.
See I do not believe in coincidences, I believe that God allows us to make decisions and the consequences of our decisions lead to sins or blessings, that all fall into his plan. And in old testament people counted on God, angels and prophets, to tell them right and wrong, in the new testament the people had the old testament, and Jesus instructing them, a now we have bible, and the holy spirit that resides inside of us telling us right and wrong. Unlike those before Jesus’ sacrifice, we are forgiven for when we make bad decisions, and the Holy Spirit is with us to help us make our decisions in obedience to God. And all of this is the reason why we remember Gods sacrifice every Sunday. So we must ask ourselves how we will use our free will, for selfish sin or for selfless blessings.