Summary: When it comes to choosing God, it is really a "all or nothing" decision.
ALL OR NOTHING!
A woman walked into her bathroom at home. As she did, she saw her husband weighing himself on the bathroom scales, sucking in his stomach. The woman thought to herself, "He thinks that he will weigh less by sucking in his stomach." So, the woman rather sarcastically said to her husband, "That's not going to help." Her husband said, "Sure it will. It's the only way I can see the numbers."
Losing weight is one of tho
se things that is easy to talk about, but it is so difficult to do. There are literally thousands of books on the market telling us how to lose weight. There are programs to join, foods to cut from your diet, doctors who recommend a particular program, exercise videos, all of those things are available to help people lose weight. However, until you decide to do it, until you decide that you need to lose weight or that you must lose weight, you will never lose it. Losing weight begins with a decision, it begins by making a choice.
In reality, all of life is filled with choices. Think about the decisions that we make every day. We decide whether or not to go to work. We decide what to wear. We decide what phone calls to return. We decide between low fat ice cream and Blue Bell Ice Cream. We decide whether we should talk with the doctor about a pain we are having or to just live with the pain. Thousands of decisions are made every day. Some decisions are important, many decisions are routine.
However, the most important decision that we will make today or any day is this one: What will I do with Jesus? What will I do about His offer of salvation and His offer of eternal life? Will I accept Him or will I turn away from Him?
As with losing weight and as with the other decisions that we have to make in life, it is so easy to talk about what we need to do with Jesus. It is so easy to plan to do something about Jesus. It is easy to plan to do what God wants us to do.
Here's the difficult part: doing something about it! As we read the New Testament, one thing becomes clear: Jesus' call to each of us is the same. Jesus has called each of us to open our heart to Him, to seek His forgiveness for our sins, and to trust Him with God's offer of salvation. God's offer of heaven is available to all of us. God's desire is for all of us to join Him for eternity in heaven.
However, even though eternity and salvation are offered freely to all of us, we must decide what we will do with that offer. If our choice is God and His plan of salvation, then He expects us to be completely dedicated to Him. But notice. That's the order. First we must accept His offer of salvation, then we commit our life to Him.
Today, I want us to focus on our commitment to God and what God expects from us in our commitment. I know that in church, we often talk a great deal about commitment to God and about His offer of salvation. However, our decision, our choice, is so important, that we must talk about it again and again and again.
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."
That's what I hear Jesus saying in this passage. Three times in this chapter Jesus reminded the people following Him that they needed to do more than just follow, they needed to have a personal relationship with Him. Three times Jesus told them that they were invited to the banquet being hosted by God Himself. Three times, Jesus told them that if they wanted to go to God's Kingdom they had to accept His invitation. Three times, Jesus told them that all they had to do was to come to Him. Jesus continued to drive that point home again and again throughout the New Testament.