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Summary: First in a series on living a life characterized by intentionality. This message dealso with being a person who makes determined effort to strengthen his or her relationship with God.

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Be Intentional

#1 – Living By Decision Instead of Default

Various Scriptures

December 29, 2002

Introduction

Today we begin a series that will take us well into the New Year, as we look at becoming people of purpose, people of intentionality.

I’ve mentioned before that this is probably the biggest area of my life that God is dealing with me right now.

I have lived far too long as a person who just let’s things happen to me, and not focusing my life on pleasing God and living for Him in whatever situation I find myself.

God has convicted me of my need to be a person who does not live by default, but lives by decision. To be a person who determines that I will do what it takes to know God better and love Him more, so that He can work in me to become more Christlike.

And in becoming more Christlike, to become the type of husband my wife of almost 15 years deserves. To become the type of father by kids deserve. To become the employee my other bosses deserve. To become the pastor you deserve.

To become the type of person God can use in the lives of other people.

So that’s where we will be spending our next few weeks. Looking at the whole area of intentionality, and breaking it down into specific areas of our relationship with God.

My intention today is to lay the groundwork for the series, and to challenge you to become a person who is intentional in all areas of your life, with the expectation that God will do wonderful and marvelous things in you because of it.

I’ve told you this before, but it bears repeating: there are three types of people –

 Those who make things happen.

 Those who watch things happen.

 Those who wonder what happened.

It’s no different in the Christian life. Spiritual growth requires an intentional effort. Spiritual stagnation and decline require no effort at all.

C. S. Lewis – Screwtape Letters

Live redemptively. God has redeemed you not just from sin and its penalty, but he has also redeemed from an empty life.

1 Peter 1:18-19

18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Steps to Living by Decision Instead of Default

Determine to live decisively.

It always starts with a decision. The problem is that too many people end there.

EPH 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Determined people strive to make wise decisions. Decisions based on the Bible are wise decisions, no matter what the world says.

If you’re in business and you want guidance on making wise, ethical decisions, then let me suggest reading the book of Proverbs regularly. The practical wisdom contained in that one book alone has transformed many businesses. The book of James is another great book for that.

But my point here is that you need to put this kind of determination not on the back burner, but on the front burner, and turned on high.

Determine to live decisively.

Elevate correct priorities.

Colossians 1:18 says…

18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Priorities should:

1. Honor God.

2. Honor your family.

3. Honor others.

Covenant with God to submit to His authority.

ISA 29:16 You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"?

Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?

Quiz time: who created you? God. Who has the right to tell you what to do? God.

I have been ministering to a fella over at the Brown Co. Jail lately, and I had to ask him when he was going to let God run the show. Because the decisions he was making on his own didn’t seem to be getting him anywhere but in trouble.

He needed to put his agenda aside and look for God’s agenda.

And so do you. And so do I.

We need to recognize that only by the grace of God are we even here today. Can we not be so grateful that we allow the ruler of earth and heaven have his way in our own lives? Sure He deserves that much!

He is Lord, whether we want to admit it or not. Allow Him to not only the Savior, but the Lord, the boss, the CEO, or whatever you want to call Him. But He is the One we need to submit to above all others, especially ourselves.

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Talk about it...

Anthony Brown

commented on Jun 22, 2011

Great sermon and very much needed in this day and time. Grace and Peace

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