“Into this people you shall say, thus says the Lord. Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.”
– Jeremiah 21:8
Jeremiah 21:8 Reminds Us Of the Simplicity of Salvation
Jeremiah 21:8 is maybe one of the most simple pictures that we see really in all the Bible. And we see it at different points. But it’s the reality that’s before us. Ultimately, there is a way of life, and there is a way of death. The way of death is sin, trusting in ourselves, turning from God. The way of life is the exact opposite. Repentance, turning away from our sin and ourselves, trusting not in ourselves but in God and his provision through Christ for our salvation. And the way, the truth, and the life Jesus taught us.
Jeremiah 21:8 Shows Us There Are Two Paths
So there’s a way of life, and there’s a way of death, and ultimately we have a choice to make. Will we trust God and receive life? Will we trust in Jesus as the life, or will we turn from God and experience death? Will we turn away from Jesus as the life, and trust in ourselves in a way that leads to death? This is the ultimate question in life, and it certainly is crystallized, in a sense, at the moment we decide to trust in Jesus, when we decide to become a follower of Jesus, when we become a Christian, a follower of Christ. We place our faith in him. We call out for him to forgive us of our sins, and we lay our lives down before him as Lord. So that’s choosing life.
The way of death is sin, but in Christ we know the way of life. Through faith in Jesus, our lives are hidden with Christ in God.
And then the reality is that point in time then begins a process daily over time where we wake up in the morning and we say, “Today, I’m going to live in the life I’ve been given,” because we’re still prone to go back toward death, to go back toward sin, to go back toward selfishness, and the way we think is best. And so the Christian life is really, in a very real sense, just every day saying “I choose life. I choose life and obedience to Christ. I choose life and surrender to Christ today. That which happened at that point in time in the past is now a reality in my life right now. I’m choosing life. I want to follow Jesus.”
This Verse Leads Us to Praise God For Salvation
So we pray right now. God, we praise you for making the way of life available to us. We deserve death. We deserve separation from you. We deserve judgment before you. We deserve hell, and we praise you for life. We praise you for the hope of heaven. We praise you for the opportunity amidst this sin sick world to experience life. Eternal life. Not just in the future, but starting right now.
So, God, we choose that today. Help us to choose that today. Help us to experience life today, and obedience to you and your commands. Lord, help us to walk in the life you have made available to us. Oh God, we praise you for your life in us, and we pray for grace today, all day long. To choose life, to turn from sin and death continually, that we might experience all that you have designed for our lives. In Jesus’s name we pray, amen.