The sovereignty of God and the free will of man

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Knowing God”
Our Bible verse for today: “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil …” Genesis 2:16-17 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The sovereignty of God and the free will of man”
There should be no question in any of our minds regarding the sovereignty of God. God reigns supreme over all creation. He is present everywhere at the same time all the time (omnipresent); He knows all there is to know about everything (omniscient); and He has total power and control over everyone and over everything (omnipotent). That being the case, God could choose to force the outcome of any situation to His own liking – and that includes our thoughts, decisions, and actions. If He wanted to, God could easily force us to comply.
But He doesn’t force us. Instead, as we see with Adam in the Garden of Eden, God created human beings with a freewill. He gave us the ability to reason, and to discern, and to think things through so we can make choices. He has also given us boundaries within which He wants us to live, but then He also gives us the freedom to choose to obey Him or not. But why? Why freewill? I mean seriously, mankind has taken this freewill thing and screwed things up pretty badly. So why did God ever allow it in the first place?
It’s because He wants our love, and true love has to be voluntary. It cannot be force or coerced. If we didn’t have freewill, if we didn’t have the option of choosing God and His ways (or not), we would essentially be robots, automatons who obey simply because we are programed to obey and therefore have no other choice. But that kind of “obedience”, that kind of “choosing” God, would not be real love. In order for love to be real and meaningful we have to be able to consider our choices, and then choose God over everything else and over everyone else.
That’s what God wants from us and that’s why He had to create us with freewill. Granted, doing so was risky and problematic. Obviously, like Adam in the Garden, we all mess this up from time-to-time and we use our freewill in ways that do not show love for God. But interestingly, that then creates the opportunity for yet more demonstrations of love in both directions. It creates the opportunity for us to show our love for Him by being sorry and remorseful that we have hurt Him by disobeying Him, and it creates a new opportunity for Him to show His love for us by forgiving us.
Freewill is a messy thing. But it is an essential thing. It’s true that God is sovereign and He is fully able to force things to His desired outcome. But He also desires our love relationship with Him and He is willing to risk being hurt by us if that’s what it takes in order for there to be true love.
I encourage you to use your freewill today to choose God and to love Him above all else.
God bless,
Pastor Jim 
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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