Summary: This messages asks the people to make the choice to fully serve God. The foundation Scriptures comes from Joshua chapter 24.
Make The Choice!
Last week for the final message of 2018, Bro. Jarell shared with us a message about transitional faith. He talked about how we go through transitions throughout our lives and how our faith equips and enables us to transition through each phase of the transition. Also during his message he played a song titled “Cycles.” In the lyrics of that song a statement was made that really caught my attention. The statement was, “The devil learns from our mistakes, even if we don’t.” I want you to think about the truth of that statement. If we do not learn from our mistakes, we will continue to make the same choices and repeat the same mistakes over and over again while never transitioning to the next phase of what God has prepared for us. The title of this New Year’s message is “Make the Choice!”
One of the things that we love about America is our ability to freely make choices, even bad ones. If we disagree with something we have the choice to not support it. Our Constitution says that we are all equal and have the right to pursue our happiness. The right to pursue happiness is a choice. If you wake up in the morning and decide not to eat breakfast – it’s a choice. When you chose what clothes you will wear on any given day, it’s a choice. If you choose not to go to work because you want to take off and play a round of golf, it’s a choice, maybe not the smartest choice, but a choice none the less. My point is that every day we are free to make choices; we have the right and the freedom to choose what we want to do. Even though we have laws in place to govern our actions, if we choose to break them, it is our choice. Imagine for a moment what our lives would be like without the freedom to make choices - it would not be a great life having everything dictated to you. Now with all of this freedom, the expressions of self that permeates everything that we do can sometimes place us in bondage to the world around us. We start to live and express ourselves based on the “image” that we want to present to others versus what is truly on the inside of us. When this happens we lose a little of ourselves and we make a choice to be something we are not. In 2019 I hope that we all choose to be who we are in Christ!
As all of you know we are in a transition as a Church. Some of you are also personally making transitions within your life. As we make those transitions, I want you to focus on the choices that have been made that led up to the transition you’re experiencing personally and together with the Church. I also want you to think about the choices that must be made to get through the transitions. As a Church, regardless of the choices leading up to our current transition, there is only one choice that I want us to make as we go through it. That choice is to actively listen to what God is telling us and act on it. Not do it half-heartedly, but to do it completely. I want each of us to take our individual gifts and talents and begin to fully utilize them within the ministry as God leads. During the last three months we have witnessed this as we watched people step up to fulfill needs. We have witnessed growth in how our youth have expressed worship. This is just the beginning. Now is the time that we must choose to be all in – no more standing on the sideline waiting to see what happens. Each of us have something to bring (our spiritual gifts and talents) before the Lord as part of our service to Him and I am asking you to make the choice to bring it – not on special occasions, on every occasion!
Let me give you a personal example of what I mean. Last year during the Christmas season one of the popular items sold for men was the Turkey fryers. Many stores were running specials on them because they understood that “real men” need turkey fryers! Well I do not fry turkeys, but I do love to fry fish (being from the south and all) and I had to have one of these bigger fryers which would cut down on how much time it took to fry fish versus in my small Fry Daddy. So I went out and purchased the large fryer. I was excited and couldn’t wait to test it out at the next gathering at my home. Well, a week later, Bro. Willis told me that they had the extra-large fryers on sale for a price similar to what I paid for my large fryer. Now in my mind, if I could cook more in less time with the large fryer, imagine how much more and faster I could cook with the extra-large fryer. After making a trade with Jarell, I got the extra-large fryer which is big enough to cook a whole lot of fish at one time. Now I want you to listen to me closely on this next part. I have two perfectly good fryers that I have used for years. But the thought of having an extra-large fryer to save me time was too good a deal to pass up. In the twelve months that I have had that extra-large fryer I have not used it once – not once! It’s still in the box unopened. Why? Because in reality I have not had a need for it yet since we have not had any large gatherings for a fish fry at my house. I am still waiting for that special occasion.