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Summary: Making a consciencious effort to control self inflicted storms in our lives.

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Introduction : As we approach the beginning of a new year, we have the opportunity to look back on the last year and take a survey of our lives. We have the opportunity of a new beginning. Many people put down new year resolutions, but I think if we were honest with ourselves, we would admit that we make resolutions every single day. We say, "I’m gonna try to eat less tomorrow" or "I’m gonna get to work on time tomorrow." If we stop making commitments to do better, we will never do better. Even if we fail in our commitments, at least we are trying to do better.

Most of the pitfalls, heartaches, and storms that we weather, are self inflicted wounds. We fail to do preventative damage control in our lives. Today, we will look at how to make a conscientious effort to control the self inflicted pitfalls in our lives.

I. CHOICES :

We must recognize the options that are before us each day.

(a) Every Day We Make Physical Choices

1. What do I eat?

2. Should I smoke?

3. Should I wear a coat?

4. Will I go to work?

5. Who will I hang out with?

(b) Every Day We Make Mental Choices

1. Will I think positive or negative?

2. How do I think about myself and others?

3. Will I worry about everything?

(c) Every Day We Make Spiritual Choices

1. Should I take the time to read my Bible and pray?

2. Will I build up and love others the way I should?

3. Will I ultimately trust God?

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II. DECISIONS :

We must realize the importance of the decisions we make.

(a) Making Decisions Can Be Difficult

1. Have you ever went out for an evening with your spouse and asked, "Where do you want to go? Sometimes it takes longer to decide where to go than it does to

go and eat where you decided to go.

2. Like many of you, we have been dealing with sick children at home. Do we need need to take them to the doctor? After all, we don’t want to look like panic parents.

3. Without being specific, many of us have had to deal with tough decisions. It’s not easy to make a tough decision.

(b) Failing To Make Decisions Can Lead To Turmoil

1. With decisions being tough, many times we just don’t do anything.

2. To admit we have a need is one thing. Then, we must make a decision what to do.

3. When we do nothing - nothing happens.

(c) Decisions Are Vital To Our Quality Of Life

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III. CONSEQUENCES : Galatians 6:7-8

There are direct consequences to the decisions that we make.

(a) Some Consequences Are Minimal

1. Not all consequences are catastrophic. Sometimes we just have to deal with details.

(b) Some Consequences Are Positive

1. When we weigh out our choices and make good decisions there are positive results.

(c) Some Consequences Are Reversible

1. Fortunately, there are times we can reverse by dealing with the situation.

2. At times a, "I was wrong" or "I’m sorry can reverse the consequences.

(d) Some Consequences Are Permanent

1. Unfortunately, there are some decisions that we make that will haunt us all our life.

CONCLUSION :

We should weigh out every option as if it were life or death. We should make the right decisions. For every decision that we make there is a consequence. The same God who was speaking to Israel in Deuteronomy, is the same God today. The same choices are set before us today. Life or death? Blessing or cursing? The choice is ours.


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