Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Decisions Determine Destiny.
Todays message is about Choice.
Matthew 7 tells us about some choices… narrow gate or wide gate, narrow way or wide path, truth or error, good foundations or poor foundations.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it.
14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves.
16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit.
18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.
19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but [only]the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’
23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’
The Two Foundations
24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock.
25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”
We like choice. Did you know that, if you want to get a soft drink, you can get Pepsi; you can get Coke; you can get 7-Up; you can get something else? You can get caffeine-free or with caffeine. You can get sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened. You can get small, large, medium. We just like choices.
Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny. Charles Reade
Reade was correct. Choosing to think certain thoughts leads to choice of action from which habits form. In the furnace of your habits your character if forged and your character, the kind of person you are, determines to a large degree your destiny.
Let me help by giving you some principles of choice. Your choices — your decisions — will determine your destiny.
1. You Are Free to Choose
Every day God gives us the freedom to make choices about what we think is going to be good, or even best for us.
2. You Are Not Free to Not to Choose
To decide not to choose is a choice. Am I making any sense? Let me make it very clear — to decide not to choose good is always a choice tochoose evil.
Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30). If you do not crown Jesus, you crucify Him. There is no middle ground.
David Clarke Then, I asked him again. I said, “Would you like to pray and receive Christ?” he said, “No sir, I’m not ready to do that.” I said, “Well, don’t you realize that if you do not say yes to Christ, you’re saying no to Christ, that you’re rejecting Him, that you are saying, ‘I don’t want You, Lord Jesus?’” “I just want to go to this party next weekend, then I’ll do it!” David died on the way to that party in a horrendous car crash.
3. You Are Not Free to Choose the Consequences of Your Choice
Stand beside an open window on the tenth floor of a building. You’re free to jump. Now, that’s a foolish thing to do, but if nobody is there to restrain you, you can choose to do so. Stay in the room or jump out. Now, if you decide to jump, then you must be ready to face the consequences of that choice.
4. One Big Choice Will Take Care of a Lot of Little Ones
How does this work? We see it played out every day.
Let’s say you are a man who has made up his mind that you’re going to be loyal to your wife. Then, you see, you don’t have to worry when you check into a hotel whether to watch pornography or not. You don’t have to be concerned whether you’re going to flirt with another woman.
You don’t have to keep making that decision to be loyal to your wife. You already made that decision, and that one big decision takes care of a lot of the other little decisions.
5. The Day of Choice Is Passing Away
Don’t think that you have forever to make up your mind whether you’re going to be a follower of Jesus Christ or not. Make your eternal salvation secure today.
Choose Jesus because…
1. You can know immediate joy. Why wait to have joy when you can have it right now? I’d be a Christian if there were no heaven or hell for the joy that I have today in Christ.
2. You may die tonight. These may be the last words you ever read about salvation in Jesus Christ. After you die, there are no second chances to get saved. Choose life.
3. Jesus Christ is coming back. Matthew 24:24 says, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” If you don’t think He’s coming, then that is a fulfillment of this verse because He’s coming when you least expect Him.
4. Each time you decide against Him, you harden your heart. Hebrews 3:7-8 says, “Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts.” A person becomes proficient at anything he does for a long time. You can become a professional Christ-denier.
Dear Friend, the day of choice is today. Your decisions will determine your destiny.
What is a Christian?
The term Christian turns up just 3 times in the Bible; Acts 11, Acts 26 and 1Peter 4. Acts 11 says the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
A Christian is Someone Saved By Christ.
They were proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.
They would have proclaimed the really important stuff about the Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15: 1 Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. 2 You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you—unless you believed to no purpose. 3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day...A Christian is Someone who has HEARD BELIEVED, and TURNED to the Lord.
A Christian is Someone Standing For Christ.
Acts 11:22 Then the report about them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to travel as far as Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with a firm resolve of the heart.... and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
A Christian is a Disciple..... it takes
Have you decided to follow Jesus?
Direction Are you following Him in a daily discipleship relationship, fellowshipping with Him daily by reading His Word and praying?
Devotion When we know how much He has loved us by giving Himself for us, we say as all Christians have said in all ages, “All this You did for me, what can I do for Thee?”
Denial It takes discipline to be a disciple. When the Lord Jesus called Levi, this si what happened. Luke 5: 27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” 28 So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow Him.
Death For some this can mean physical death. Jesus called us to take up the cross and follow Him. At the least it means putting to death our selfish desires to do whatever He wants with our lives. Have you surrendered all to Jesus?