Summary: A look at how we make decisions and the lives we live. Do we really trust God?
April 23, 2017
If you recall last week, I started my message with some really strange and tricky questions and you had to come up with the strange answers to those questions. So, today I want to start with a really easy straight-forward question.
I felt bad, so I want to start out really simple and really easy. I have a simple math problem to ask you and it’s not a trick question, it’s straight forward . . .
5 frogs were sitting on a log, 4 of them decided to jump into the water . . . how many frogs are left on the log?
See it’s pretty easy! 5 - 4 = ???
Actually, the correct answer is 5! They are all still on the log. WHY? Because they were deciding what to do . . . and deciding is different than doing!
I want to talk to you this morning about decisions!
In fact, decisions and taking action . . . or deciding and doing! They are not one and the same. They are in fact very different.
Have you ever told yourself or confided in a friend that you need to go on a diet, or you need to pray more, or learn patience, or get a new job - - - or whatever it is that you can think of?
Have you ever been there?!?! You know you need to do it! You’ve made the decision. In many respects, it’s a no-brainer - - - BUT, you don’t do it.
My best friend is a pastor in Dubuque, Iowa. He and I talk on a very regular basis. We’ve talked about our personal lives, our families, our churches, pretty much everything. And we’ve both talked at various times about our spiritual lives. We need to pray more, read more, spend more time in spiritual disciplines. Yet, a year later, we seem to be saying the same things . . . again and again!
I hope you’ve been there, because that makes me feel like I’m not the only one who’s struggled.
Now - - here’s a really crazy thing - - - Paul tells us in Colossians 3 ~ we are God's chSLIDEosen people, holy and dearly loved.
Think about that, consider that in your heart and spirit. God chose you! He said, “I want you for mine. You are my child! I chose you from all of the people I could have chosen, and I wanted you, you to be my child!
And you are more than my child, you are holy, you have been set apart, you are different than the world, because you are mine . . . you are loved so much that I was willing to send my only Son into this crazy sin-filled world to cleanse you, to forgive you, to give you abundant life, to help you to realize just how much I love you!”
That’s what God does for us. He sent His Son for you and I. Jesus left the joy, the perfect love and power of heaven and came here and lived. He suffered and died . . . then He rose again.
As Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:21, the Father sent Jesus into the world to be sin for us, even though He never sinned. He became our righteousness. It’s called forensic justification.
And it’s a big, big deal, because this is how God showed us He loves us. Jesus became sin for us. Literally, it’s our legal standing before God. God who is the righteous judge, now looks at us, not as guilty, not to condemn us . . . BUT, instead of condemnation and death . . .
God sent Jesus into our world and Jesus’ death means God now views us as righteous even though we are not righteous. It’s all because of what Jesus did for us in His sacrificial death.
Remember those frogs who were deciding what to do? Now, here comes the decision time . . . you would think we would be the most happy people in the world, but it seems too many of us are angry, stressed, bitter, envious, jealous and just not happy Christ followers - - - - you get the drift. Do you know a few folks who are that way!?
But why? Aren’t we supposed to choose the great life Christ offers us? After all, you and I are God’s kids. And we believe God loves us - - - don’t we?
One of my favorite scriptures is John 10:10 ~ 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
We know the thief is satan. He’s out to steal, kill and destroy us. He wants to steal our hearts, our spirit and our soul. He is out to destroy you. He wants to take away your hope, your faith and your trust. That’s his job!