Psalms 118:18 “The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.”

Just before putting up this post, I put one up about a brief history of the State of Origin. You can read that post here. It goes into a light background of how I came to know about the State of Origin series, as well as the origins of the series.

Leading up to Game 1 of the series in 2014, there was quite a bit of ruckus going on in Facebook. My friends and family, including myself, were at each other’s necks rooting for our favorite team. The Blues fans were bringing up facts and the Maroons fans were disputing those facts. People who did not know what was going on would either just ignore the comments, or go onto Google and search about the State of Origin series.

While some in the Church might frown upon such rivalry, the close circle in which this friendly rivalry was going on appreciate each other. We appreciate each other firstly as associates, then as fans of our teams. Due to this appreciation springs a respect that only people close enough will understand that it exists.

The rivalry, in my view, is healthy in that it promotes taking sides. As a Christian, life is all about making choices – and the right choices at that. One cannot be “lukewarm” and jump from one state of being to the next, then back. One has to either be hot or cold.

In Revelations chapter 3, Jesus is speaking about the seven Churches. The seventh Church is the Church of Laodicea (Rev 3:14). In verses 15 and 16, Jesus says “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

What is human condition today? Where is this world headed? How has human choices shaped the future of this planet? These are big questions, but it all comes down to making choices. In the eyes of Jesus, a faithful servant is one who makes good choices under the influence of the Holy Spirit. One who chooses to stand on His side.

We are not unlike King David, who realizing his sin, fell before God and pleaded to God for forgiveness.  Through the leading of God’s Spirit, the psalmist realized the greatness of his sin and repented. After receiving reassurance of God’s forgiveness, he rejoiced and declared, “The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.

It is when we are on the side of Jesus that it becomes easy to make good choices. It is not of our own strength that we can overcome, because we have no power to do so. Taking our own side, is taking the devil’s side.

Where do we stand? Where are we headed?