Tuesday, 1 January 2019

2019 AND THE TOUGH DECISIONS AHEAD!

2019 AND THE TOUGH DECISIONS AHEAD!


INTRODUCTION: 
Life is the TOTAL of all my decisions YOU AS WELL AS OTHERS MAKE ALONG WITH their corresponding actions.

1 Kings 18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."

Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Have you ever been challenged with making decisions? “What should I fix for dinner?” “What should I wear today?” “Where should I invest my money?” “Who should I date?” “Where should I go on vacation?” “What career should I pursue?” “Should we move?” “What doctor do I select?” “Should we take the job offer?” “Is this the person I am to marry?” “Do I buy these shoes are those?”

Some decisions are HUBE – but others are NOT SO BIG. So the question is –What is the process we use for making our decisions?

Martha beck in her fine article on Decisions, Decisions, states, “Countless wise men have advised us to make decisions based on our rational objectivity rather than from an emotional demeanor.

 There are people that are intuitive and they make decisions because they trust their gut more than their brains. These individuals often take flying leaps without little information.

 There are those that have little trust in their cognitive reasoning skills nor do they rely on their instincts –therefore these folks normally follow the path of least resistance. (Not an optimal strategy)

 There are those that place all their trust in their mind alone. They place no faith in their hearts desires. These people normally stall and wait and contrast and brew forever insisting that with just a little more knowledge, the choice will be made clear.

We are all wired differently and some of us or bent more right brain and others left brain.

However the question demands an answer –what is your ultimate strategy in making a decision?

The bible tells us to love God with all of our soul, spirit, mind an strength. So there are several components that are involved in our response to choices.

I heard the story of the woman driving through the mountains west of Denver when she ran into a snowstorm. She was completely lost and then peered ahead and saw a four-wheel drive pickup with a blade on the front of it.

Since she was lost she decided to follow the truck and kept as close to the machine as she could while it removed snow from the road. At times the blowing snow almost cut off her view, but she kept following the truck. The truck would go up the hill get to the top and make a “U-turn” and go back down the hill. She faithfully kept following the truck.

After about the third time that the truck went up and down the hill, the truck stopped, and its driver got out and walked over to her car. “Lady, where are you going?” he asked. “I’m on my way to Denver.” she replied.

The truck driver replied, “Well, you’ll never get there following me! I’m just plowing my drive-way!”

How do you make decision? What is your road map for making sound, satisfying well thought out decisions?

 There are some that make their decisions by searching through their horoscopes

 Some people will even ask complete strangers for their advice or will follow the accepted patterns of their culture

God has placed man on this earth with some choices. We are given the freedom to decide what route we are going to follow.

Deut 30:19 I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.(Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

1. A decision is to make up your mind, to determine what direction you are going or not going.

2. Decisions are important. Today’s mighty oak is yesterdays little nut that held his ground.

 Distinguishes strong from weak.

 Determines success or failure.

 Indecision causes us to lose opportunities.

 Causes one to be lost or saved.

I Consider some devastating decisions and demoralizing

results

 Eve-to eat fruit. Gen. 3 - brought death.

 Lot chose Sodom. Gen. 13 – lost all he had.

 Ahab chose Jezebel. 1 Kings 16-22 – much sin and wrong involved.

 Samson chose Delilah. Judges 16 – Lost power and finally death.

 Rehoboam- took advice of young men. 1 Kings 12 – Divided kingdom.

 Rich young ruler. Matt 19 – Went away lost.

 Prodigal son- left home. Luke 15 – Went into the mires of sin.

If the Bible were written today, would God place you in the category of those that made righteous decisions or those that lost their way by poor choices?

• Entangled in affairs of the world. Romans 12 – Do not be conformed to this world.

• Sexual immorality

• To quit attending Church, whole families lost.

• Luke warm

• To refuse to accept Christ – John 3:19 Condemnation.

II. Consider some Revealing Remarkable People of God who

made some right Decision

 Moses make the right choice Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

 Joshua made the right choice. Joshua 24:15 but if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

 Solomon made the right choice – Chose wisdom, built temple, wrote Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

 Daniel made the right choice Daniel 1:8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

 Prodigal son made a poor choice then corrected it – to go home – happiness father.

 Saul followed the letter of the law instead of Christ –he turned around - to follow Christ – great apostle.

III. Consider Gods formula for making the right decisions.

1. Ask for Gods direction:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

2. Seek His will in his word. I know to do and not to do many things because He word tells me so.

“Thy word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

3. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. 
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

• Not a half hearted devotion but with all your heart! To trust in the Lord is to make a commitment to the Lord. It is to rely on God and believe that He is big enough to take care of the situation

4. Lean not on your own understanding:

1. Seek the advice of Godly men and women. Prov. 11:14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure

Let’s admit it – most of us think we can figure things out on our own. We can do just fine by ourselves – thank you. But, if we’re serious about making wise decisions, we must fight against that internal inclination to trust in our own understanding

Proverbs 28:16 If you think you know it all, you're a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.

2 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6

The verse does not say “some” of your ways. The verse does not say “most” of your ways. The verse says “all” of your ways. It means in everything you do. In every detail of your life – acknowledge God.

Have you ever made a decision you later regretted?

Have you ever put off a decision you later wished you would have made?

Do you recall a decision you made that looking back you are so thrilled you made that choice?

Have you ever made a decision that now you are so glad you said no to that decision?

Why are decisions so important? Because your Life is the TOTAL of all your decisions and their corresponding actions

(1) THOUGHTS create ACTIONS,

(2) Actions create HABITS,

(3) Habits create CHARACTER,

(4) and Character creates DESTINY.

Your decision today determines your destiny tomorrow!

When the Interstate highway system began construction in the 1950’s, across the United States, the planners looked for the least hilly areas to construct the roads. When they decided on the route, they then went to work to knock down the smaller hills and fill in the valleys to make the roads as flat as possible.

But you know what? Some roads still go over mountains. Some roads still go through valleys. Some roads still follow raging rivers. Some roads follow quiet streams. Some roads go through arid deserts. Some roads go through lush green pastures.

We may have to travel through the valley of the shadow of death – but the promise is – that God will be with us and that he will make our paths straight.

Gods word is telling us that life is a journey that goes up into the mountains one day and swerves into the swamp the next.

Sometimes the road is washed out or filled with perilous potholes. When we decide to give God first place and trust Him totally, He will straighten out our paths and even remove obstacles.

Closing: My ultimate question is Have you made your decision about Christ. Tomorrow, Someday, NOW!

A pastor was called to a new church. The first Sunday the pastor was there, his message was taken from John 3:16. The message was entitled, "How to Be Born Again." The message was well received, but no decisions were made.

The second Sunday, the pastor’s message was taken from John 3:16 and was entitled "How to Be Born Again." Again, no decisions were made. The third Sunday, the pastor’s sermon was taken from John 3:16 and

was entitled "How to Be Born Again." Again, no decisions were made.

By this time, the deacons were worried about what was happening—he just kept preaching the same sermon over and over and over again. So, they called a special meeting with the pastor to discuss his choice of sermons.

One deacon said, "Don’t you have any more sermons?" The new pastor responded, "Yes, I have plenty of sermons. However, I am going to keep preaching this sermon until you get it right. Then, I will move on to something else."

 Have you made the decision to put him off or to come to him?

 Your decision today –will determine your destiny tomorrow.

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