Summary: We all have choices to make. Especially in this new year. Our main resolution should be to follow Jesus Instruction to make disciples.
Choices, Choices, Choices
1 Kings, 19-39
Intro. A boy told his father, "Dad, if three frogs were sitting on a limb that hung over a pool, and one frog decided to jump off into the pool, how many frogs would be left on the limb?"
The dad replied, "Two."
"No," the son replied. "There’s three frogs and one decides to jump, how many are left?"
The dad said, "Oh, I get it, if one decides to jump, the others would too. So there are none left."
The boy said, "No dad, the answer is three. The frog only DECIDED to jump."
Does that sound like last year’s resolution? Great inspiration and great resolutions, but often times we only decide, and months later we are still on the same limb of do-nothing.
. I went back and looked at last years sermon from the first Sunday of the new year. What I realized was that this time last year we were starting our vision casting.
. During the year we went through this process and found our core values and defined them.
. We looked to the future and developed a vision statement. We have worked toward some things with this vision statement as our guide. We are on our way toward this vision.
. We also developed our mission statement.
. Do you remember what it is?
. Our mission is to encourage and develop those we meet into committed followers of Christ
.I thought then as I do now that this mission statement encompassed everything that Jesus commands us to do as a church.
. My question this morning is, have you as individual church members claimed this mission statement.
. Do you encourage those that you meet to become committed followers of Jesus.
. The very least we should be doing is inviting everyone we meet to come and worship with us.
. Are you doing that?
. How many people have you shared your faith with this past year.
. We are not unique in our complacency in growing God’s kingdom. This land is filled with small churches that say they want to grow God’s kingdom but for a multitude of reasons, can’t seem to follow through.
. It all comes down to choices folks.
. What choices do we make in our lives.
. What’s important.
. If you ask most Christians to prioritize what’s important in their lives, they will say God, Family, and job, etc.
. We say that but do the choices we make show these priorities.
. The bible is full of examples of God telling people to make a choice.
. I want us to look at one of those examples this morning.
. It comes to us in the form of a story found in 1 Kings Chapter 18. It’s the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.
. Elijah was a prophet of God who just appeared out of nowhere and told King Ahab that there would be a drought and it wouldn’t end until he said otherwise. Of course God had sent him with this message.
. You probably don’t recognize King Ahab’s name but I’m sure you have heard of his wife. Her name was Jezebel.
. Her name is still used to describe an evil plotting woman even today.
. When she married Ahab, she brought with her a culture of idol worship and she and the king were leading the people of Israel down a path away from God.
. Our story picks up when there has been 3,1/2 years drought.
. Elijah is ready to ask the people to make a choice in who they will serve.
. 1 Kings 18: 19-39:
. 19Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.”
20So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel.
21Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.
22Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the LORD who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets.
23Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it
24Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.