Key Verse

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
— Philippians 4:13

The Right Choice

Matthew 26:30-35, 69-75; Acts 2:14-24, 41



Dylan found the strength to stand for Jesus.

“Hey, Dylan . . . how do you like it?”

Deep in thought, Dylan hardly had been aware of Aiden and Toby’s arrival. Now he answered Aiden with a grin. “Man, it’s great! You guys outdid yourselves. If I don’t win the election, it won’t be your fault.”

Toby laughed, “Well, we only made the banner. You came up with the slogan, ‘Choose you this day . . .’ And, by the way, you don’t have much time left to campaign. Just between us, I understand Tyson Barnett thinks the party he’s throwing will draw away some of your main support. You know they say, ‘Fight fire with fire.’ Why don’t you loosen up and let your friends know that you like a good time as well as the next guy. It might take more than a slogan, some posters, and a banner to win.”

“He’s right,” Aiden picked up the suggestion. “Some of us have an idea but wondered if you would go along with it. The Noise Boys—the group that will make Edison High famous—are willing to play for a block party if we will take care of the details, mainly the refreshments.”

“Yeah,” Toby interrupted, “we’ve even made our own slogan, ‘Rock the Block!’ And those guys can do it if anyone can.”

Dylan turned away from their eager expressions, not wanting to answer them.

Aiden persisted, “Come on, Dylan. Mix a little fun with your religion! What do you say? It’s really up to you because it would be a campaign party. We could have it at Lane Bradley’s while his parents are on vacation. Your parents would never know, if that’s what’s bothering you.”

Dylan looked at his watch. “Hey, I’m going to miss my ride home if I don’t get going. I’ve got to run. About the party, I’ll think it over. Don’t get the idea that I can’t have fun.”

That evening Dylan found it impossible to concentrate on his algebra homework. Right after dinner Colin Jensen had called to remind him that Thursday night was the get-together for high school students at church. It was also basketball practice at school and he didn’t intend to miss that. After all, he was hoping for some votes from those kids. Now he felt a little uneasy about his answer to Colin, he hadn’t really wanted Colin to know he wasn’t coming and why, so he had just said, “Oh, thanks for reminding me, Colin.”

There had been a time when he wouldn’t have missed any of the youth activities at church. But this was one of those changes in his life since he began to make new friends. Maybe my life is too restricted, he thought. To broaden out a bit wouldn’t hurt anything. “You have to fit in, if you’re going to win,” he told himself, and grinned. Here I am, even thinking in slogans. What would Toby and Aiden say if they knew that the election slogan came to his mind after hearing a sermon on Joshua and his challenge to the Children of Israel, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve . . .” Dylan shifted uneasily in his chair and finally got up. I might as well go to bed for all the studying I’m doing.

Election day dawned and Dylan awoke to the same troubled thoughts that had kept him awake long after the loud party had come to an end last night—this morning, actually. Even Tyson Barnett, his chief opponent had come, “to check out the opposition,” he had said. He had known Tyson a little from primary school days, and had even brought him to Sunday school once. So Dylan had felt a little embarrassed last night when Tyson had said, “You surprise me. I thought you were a Christian. When I heard what kind of a party was planned, I had to see it for myself.”

Dylan felt a little sick inside when he remembered his laughing answer, “Hey man, do you think I’m dead just because I go to church once in a while?”

He dressed with a little extra care, remembering the assembly, and hoped he could get out the door without having to discuss coming in late with his parents.

At the assembly, it was announced that he won the election. The excitement and the taste of victory were good. So why did he feel miserable? He tried to push the feeling into the background, and might have succeeded had it not been for a man named Peter.

In their study of the Apostle Peter the following Sunday, it was brought out in the class discussion that there are many ways to deny Christ besides saying, as Peter did: “I do not know the man.” The class concluded that our actions, our words, our pastimes, and our associations all tell the world our stand regarding Jesus Christ.

Dylan hardly knew what went on in church that morning, or what the sermon was about. The one thing he did know for sure was that over and over in his mind he was saying, “O Lord, forgive me; I’m so sorry.” And at the prayer service God did forgive him and made him a brand new person.

“And you know, Dad and Mom, there’s something else,” Dylan said at the dinner table later that day. “All those friends that I wanted so much to impress and be like are going to hear something new from me. I’m going to tell them that their new class president has another slogan, ‘I’ve become new, and so may you.’ When they ask what I mean, I’ll tell them. I’ll really tell them!”