Summary: God will honor the decisions you make with your guardrails.
Text: Daniel 1.1-19
CT: God will honor the decisions you make with your guardrails.
Typical of many other serious young men of his day, the young Jonathan Edwards drew up a list of resolutions, committing himself to a God-centered life lived in harmony with others. The list, excerpted here, was probably first written down in 1722 and added to at several times in his lifetime. There are seventy resolutions in all. The excerpts here give a picture of the seriousness and resolve with which Edwards approached life:
Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without God's help, I do humbly intreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake.
Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration.
Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.
Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
Resolved, To be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
Resolved, To maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.
Resolved, Never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.
Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
Resolved, To strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher excercise of grace, than I was the week before.
Resolved, To ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better.
Resolved, Frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism, which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-3.
Resolved, Never hence-forward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's.
Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.
Resolved, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
"Jonathan Edwards," Christian History, no. 8.
Do you have a list of resolutions? Are you ready to resolve your self to God? Jonathon Edwards is basically putting down his guardrails to keep him in line with God’s way for his life.
We are finishing up our series on guardrails today. A guardrail is a system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous or off limit areas. Guardrails are always place a few feet from the area of danger.
We have come up with guardrails for other parts of our lives. We define these guardrails as a standard of personal behavior that becomes a matter of conscience. In this we set a place when we get to it our conscience goes off and warns us of the danger. These may not be relevant to others. It is for you personally because you know where the danger starts for you.
Our culture baits us to the edge. It pulls us in by offering us something we think we must have. Then it chastises us when we go over the line.
We spend money we know we can’t afford. No money down. No interest for 2 years. We chase after a woman or man. We flirt with them at work. We ignore or don’t put guardrails in place.
Maybe you have heard the sermons and think they make sense but not so sure they are for you.
You may think boy I am glad my husband heard this. My wife needs to hear this. My kids really needed that. But me, I don’t know.
You may say I’m just not going to do it. It is good common sense. But am I missing out on something if I stay behind the guardrails. I don’t want to be a good example I want to live life to the fullest. Guardrails get in my way. Shoot I can’t have any fun if I fill my life with guardrails.
The problem is temptations don’t leave even if we have no guardrails. Keep going even deeper. It gets more complicated the further in we go. We need a guardrail to stop us. The further you go in the harder it is to say no. Your appetite is never eased. The more you feed it the harder it is to back up from.