Summary: A New Year’s message that would work well anytime a challenge is needed to respect the power and importance of choice.
Living And Dying With The Choices We Make
-I’m not a big Country music fan…but I do think that country music has the best song titles of any musical genre hands down… Here are a few:
"May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose"
"You Can’t Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd"
"Thank God And Greyhound She’s Gone "
"I’ve Got The Hungries For Your Love & I’m Waiting In Your Welfare Line"
"I Got Tears In My Ears While Lying On My Back Thinking About You"
"How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?"
" Fell In A Pile Of You And Got Love All Over Me"
" Keep Forgettin’ I Forgot About You "
"If Love Were Oil, I’d Be A Quart Low "
"If The Phone Don’t Ring, Baby, You’ll Know It’s Me "
"She Done Tore My Heart And Stomped That Sucker Flat"
You just know that there’s a story behind everyone of those song titles…
-There’s another great country song title with a story behind it by George Jones. George Jones is a country music icon from the old school. A lot of his songs are the stereotypical country "cheat’n & drink’n" songs. And the fact that George Jones had a drinking problem was no secret. But on March 6, 1999 country music fans were horrified to hear that Jones was critically injured when he crashed his Lexus into a bridge in Nashville. The investigation showed that George had been drunk at the wheel. Thankfully he recovered, and two months later his new album called "Cold Hard Truth" came out and on it was a hit song titled "Choices", and ironically the hook line says, "I’m Living And Dying With The Choices I Made".
-This morning we’re starting a New Year’s series of messages about how we can make wise choices, because you see, we are all living and dying with the choices we make. We’re simply calling this four message series "Navigating Life".
-We can all use some help as we navigate life. Life is tricky. Its waters are filled with all kinds of unexpected and dangerous currents. Its deserts are often inhospitable and seemingly without reference points. Its mountains filled with unanticipated crevices and fissures. Its’ valleys can be both beautiful and thorny. And all along life’s journey we must make choices-that we live and die with. First, remember…
I. God Gave Us The Gift Of Choice.
A. It’s a wonderful gift.
1. God gave it to Adam and Eve in the garden. It is intelligent,
thoughtful choice--decision-making--that separates us from the rest of God’s creation.
2. A very precious gift from our Creator. God told them, But the LORD God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden Genesis 2:16
3. And before THE BIG HORRIBLE CHOICE Adam and Eve made to disobey God that we all remember, Adam was putting this gift to work in a productive way: &So the Lord God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird. He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and Adam chose a name for each one. Genesis 2:19
4. And of course God has given the gift of choice to you and me also.
B. Life is full of choices:
1. You and I make hundreds of them everyday. Some of our decisions are fairly insignificant (is it McDonalds or Jack-In-The-Box?…is it paper or plastic?)
2. And then there are the choices that impact our lives greatly-choices we live and die with. Before the children of Israel went into the land of Promise, Moses delivered an important message about the important choices we make from Almighty God Himself: 19"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! 20Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life. Then you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Deuteronomy 30:19-20
3. There are choices we make that are literally choosing life… choosing wholeness… choosing closeness to the God who made us and sent His Son to redeem us. And there are choices we make that are literally choosing damage and destruction. Let’s talk about
some of those…
II. Some "Big-Ticket" Choices Of Life.
*The quality and meaning of our lives in this live and the next will be powerfully impacted by the following choices we make. Of course…
A. There are the general major choices of all our lives...
1. "What kind of work will I do?"