My daughter, Danielle, and I just returned from five wonderful days with my parents in Seattle. We picked a date to travel that was between their July and August birthdays: Dad is 92, Mom soon to be 87. They have been married almost 70 years and have walked faithfully with the Lord through every season of life imaginable. Even now, as my mother prepares for a second series of chemo treatments for lymphoma, she could not help but tell us, over and over, how good God has been to them. She delighted Danielle with 70 years worth of stories of the Lord’s presence and provision.

Their “many years” of life remind me of a portion of scripture in Deuteronomy 30. The verses speak of loving God and walking in obedience to him such that “your children may live” (their faith has been passed down through three generations) and “you [will have] many years in the land.”

Were those 70 years easy? No. They were comprised of repeated “choosing life” in the face of many other options. But have those 70 years been full and blessed? Oh, absolutely! I am reminded of something they said ten or so years ago: “We could die right now with no regrets.” Would you love to experience that kind of completeness? Then, “choose life.”

Deuteronomy 30:11-20 —

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?”  Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.  For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Blessings on your week!

Pastor Jim

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