Warnings are a bitter kind of pill to swallow. I don’t hand out warnings to employees like sweets, I only give them when I really have to. I was obliged to give an employee two warnings in the space of a week and she didn’t take it well. I think she viewed it as victimisation instead of corrective action. It should be seen as an opportunity to improve one’s performance. My view is that if I work for someone I should try to deliver the best service I possibly can, both to maintain my integrity and not to disappoint the person who is providing my means of living.

As human beings we are often given warnings. Sometimes our life goes off the rails and something devastating happens and we see that we need to change our lives. I think God gives us warnings if we stray off the way. How often don’t we hear about someone who has an incurable disease and then gets miraculously healed, but they still carry on doing the same old things that they always did. I just wonder…

During 1995 we were involved in a motor accident as a result of which my son spent a month in traction. At the end of that same year I contracted a serious illness and had to spend a month in bed. Both those incidents made me take stock of my priorities. They acted as a warning to me. A reminder that life is extremely fleeting and that in the blink of an eye I could lose my family and my own life. A reminder that if my life didn’t belong to Jesus, I would be going to hell when if I died. It wasn’t a sudden, lightbulb moment, it was more of a gradual realisation. Out of those experiences I could clearly see how God takes bad things and uses them to the good of those that love Him, because I grew closer to the Lord because of these incidents.

Hebrews 6:7-8, For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

I see this verse as a very clear warning. God is there, calling us, knocking on the door, and if we respond to His call and accept Jesus and bear fruit, we will be blessed. But if we reject the offer the outcome won’t be good at all. It says here, it’s end is to be burned. In other words, if we don’t accept the salvation that is so freely available we will end up burning in hell just like those thorns and briers.

Galatians 6:7-8, Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

That is a clear warning. We should be very much aware of our actions and our motives. Why do we do the things we do? Do we do them out of malice and spite? Do we try to get even with people who hurt us? Are we able to forgive and forget?

In Deuteronomy chapter 11 and also chapter 30:19-20 God sets a choice before Israel, I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

We stand before choices every single day. We are free to make choices, Galatians 5:13, For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

We have such a great privilege. God trusts us to make the right decisions and to take heed of the warnings He gives us. He will never force us to do anything, we have free will but we have the responsibility to be responsible and if we want to call ourselves children of God we have to make good choices and heed the warnings carefully.