As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness. (Psalms 17:15 NRSV)
Two pastors were good friends but had radically different theologies. Bob was a strong believer in predestination. He believed that everything that happens to us has already been determined by the hand of God. Jim was equally as strong in his belief in free will. Once they attended a religious conference together. As they were going down a long set of stairs, Bob, the predestination, stumbled and fell and rolled violently down the stairs, hitting with a thud at the bottom.

Jim rushed down, helped him up, and asked, "Are you hurt?"
"No," Bob said, checking himself over, "I think I'm all right."
Jim, chiding his friend about his theological beliefs said, "Well, I guess you're glad to get that one behind you, aren't you?"

God has given us a free will. We are not human computers programmed by God. We have the ability to do right or to do wrong. And I believe the closer we are to God, the more clearly we will hear God's voice giving us direction to do what is right and holy and honorable.

Dear God, may this new year be full of me walking closer to you and closer to righteousness. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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