Sermons

Summary: THIS IS THE THIRD IN A SERIES OF CHOICES. AS WE AGE WE REALIZE WE DON'T HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DO THINGS THAT WE ONCE HAD AND MUST PRIORITIZE WHAT WE DO. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN OUR WALK WITH THE LORD.

I CHOOSE TO TRUST

MATTHEW 8:23-28

I THOUGHT I WOULD BRING A FRIEND TO HELP ME WITH THE MESSAGE TODAY, OR AT LEAST THE PICTURE OF A FRIEND. THIS IS MY GIRL SOPHIE (SOPHIE IS MY CAT), AND SHE’S BEEN A BLESSING TO LESLIE AND ME SINCE 2012.

ONE THING ABOUT SPOHIE THAT MAKES ME SAD THOUGH, IS THAT EVEN THOUGH SHE LIKES US AND HAS FUN WITH US, I DON’T BELIEVE SHE TRUSTS US. THE FACT IS SHE DOESN’T TRUST MUCH OF ANYTHING, AND I DOUBT IF SHE EVER WILL. THAT’S JUST HER NATURE.

IT’S HARD TO LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT TRUST. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO RELAX. YOU FEEL SO ALONE THAT ANY NOISE, ANYTHING UNUSUAL, WILL CAUSE GREAT FEAR AND ANXIETY. A LACK OF TRUST CAN LEAVE YOU IMPRISONED IN YOUR OWN FEAR.

TODAY’S MESSAGE BUILDS ON THE EARLIER MESSAGES ON THE CHOICES WE CAN MAKE THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE. THE FIRST TWO CHOICES ARE IDENTITY CHOICES: WE ASKED WHO AM I AND DISCOVERED THAT I CHOSE TO BELIEVE THAT I AM LOVED AND FORGIVEN BY GOD.

THE NEXT CHOICES WE LOOKED AT WERE AUTHORITY CHOICES. WE ASKED THE QUESTION WHO IS GOING TO BE IN CHARGE, AND OUR CHOICES WERE TO CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST AS LORD AND TO BELIEVE THE BIBLE AS GOD’S AUTHORITATIVE WORD.

TODAY WE WILL GO A STEP FURTHER AS WE CONSIDER WHAT WE WILL CALL CAPACITY CHOICES. WHEN WE ARE YOUNG WE FEEL THAT WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DO ANYTHING. THEN SOMETHING REMARKABLE HAPPENS, AND IT SEEMS TO HAPPEN VERY SUDDENLY. WE AGE, AND WE REALIZE THAT WE HAVE VERY LIMITED CAPACITY TO DO THINGS, AND IT LESSENS EACH YEAR.

REALIZING OUR LIMITED CAPACITY FORCES US TO MAKE CHOICES AS TO HOW WE INVEST OUR TIME AND RESOURCES. THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO FOCUS ON TODAYS ISSUES, NOT ON THE DISAPPOINTMENTS OF THE PAST, OR THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE FUTURE.

MATTHEW 6:34: THEREFORE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW, FOR TOMORROW WILL WORRY ABOUT ITSELF. EACH DAY HAS ENOUGH TROUBLE OF ITS OWN

CAPACITY CHOICES INVOLV TWO ISSUES:

1. FORGIVENESS – TO OTHERS FOR THE THINGS DONE IN THE PAST.

2. TRUST – WHICH HELPS US DEAL WITH FUTURE ISSUES

WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE CHOICE TO FORGIVE, SO TODAY WE WILL FOCUS OUR THOUGHTS ON TRUST. WE CAN MAKE THE CHOICE TO TRUST GOD WITH OUR FUTURE, SO ALTHOUGH WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN, WE WILL KNOW AND TRUST WHO IS ULTIMATELY IN CONTROL OF ALL THINGS.

JAMES MacDONALD WRITES:

“I CHOOSE TO TRUST GOD WITH MY FUTURE – BECAUSE I CAN AND BECAUSE HE INVITES ME TO AND BECAUSE THERE IS REALLY NO OTHER OPTION THAT WORKS.”

POINT ONE: WE ARE NOT PROGRAMMED TO THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE!

WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE, WE OFTEN DO SO WITH PESSIMISM AND NEGATIVITY.

1. I HAVE A CAR INSPECTION NEXT WEEK: I JUST KNOW IT WILL COST ME A BUNDLE.

2. I HAVE A DENTAL APPOINTMENT IN TWO WEEKS. I KNOW I’LL NEED A ROOT CANAL OR SOMETHING BIG.

3. I HAVE TO SEE MY DOCTOR FOR TEST RESULTS. HE’S GOING TO TELL ME BAD NEWS. I JUST KNOW IT.

4. THEY’RE DOWNSIZING AT WORK AND MY BOSS WANTS TO SEE ME TOMORROW. I GUESS I’M THROUGH.

ALL OF THESE SCENARIOS ARE INCOMPLETE, YET WE ARE NATURALLY DRAWN TO NEGATIVE CONCLUSIONS. THIS LEADS TO THREE VERY DANGEROUS EMOTIONS.

1. WORRY: THIS COMES FROM THE GERMAN WORD THAT MEANS “TO CHOKE.”

2. FEAR: SOMETHING IS COMING, AND IT’S NOT GOOD. FEAR IS A MAGNIFYING GLASS, ENLARGING AND BLOWING OUT OF PROPORTION, EVERYTHING YOU LOOK AT. WE WERE NOT PROGRAMMED TO FEAR.

TIMOTHY 1:7: FOR THE SPIRIT GOD GAVE US DOES NOT MAKE US TIMID, BUT GIVES US POWER, LOVE AND SELF-DISCIPLINE.

3. ANXIETY: IT MEANS “TO DIVIDE THE MIND”. IT DEVELOPS AS YOU SWITCH THINKING BETWEEN THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE. YOU CANNOT FUNCTION IN EITHER FOR ONE INTERFERES WITH THE OTHER.

YOU WERE NOT MADE FOR ANY OF THESE EMOTIONS, AND THEY ALL RESIDE IN THE FUTURE.

POINT TWO: I CANNOT CONTROL THE FUTURE

IF YOU ARE GOING TO GET FREE FROM WORRY, YOU MUST BELIEVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART, THAT YOU CANNOT CONTROL THE FUTURE. WE CAN’T CONTROL THE FUTURE. WE CAN TAKE STEPS TODAY THAT CAN INFLUENCE OUR FUTURE, BUT WE CANNOT CONTROL IT. WORRY AND ANXIETY KEEP US FROM DOING TODAY, THINGS THAT MIGHT INFLUENCE OUR TOMORROW.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF TRYING TO CONTROL THE FUTURE ARE DEVESTATING. CONSIDER THESE SIDE EFFECTS OF WORRY: 1 IRRITABILITY, 2. DEPRESSION, 3. INSOMNIA, 4. FATIGUE, 5. HEADACHES, 6. ULCERS, 7. HEART ATTACKS, 8. CANCER. THE MAIN WAY THESE ARE TREATED ARE THROUGH DRUGS. YOU AND I WERE NOT MADE TO DEAL WITH ANY OF THESE SIDE EFFECTS OF WORRY AND FEAR.

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