Summary: Many people have echoed that same cry, “If only I had known, I would have done things differently than I did.” Our choices have consequences that can affect not only our life but also the lives of those around us. (PowerPoints Available - #309)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(PowerPoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #309.)
As most of us are well aware there has been a lot of talk during this election season about media bias. And now that the election is over it is obvious that some in the media are upset about the election results.
Well, it is not my intention to talk about any of that this morning. But I do want to remind you that efforts to ask "gotcha" questions are not new at all.
ILL. For example, back in 1988 Dan Quayle was selected as the vice-presidential running mate of George H.W. Bush. Within hours of that announcement he faced the most intense media questioning of his life.
One of the "gotcha" questions, & his answer, not only dominated the news reports of that press conference, but was used to dog his steps the entire time he was the Vice-President of the United States.
The question was that while the Viet Nam war was going on why did he enlist in the National Guard & thus avoided the draft. He could have answered that legally he had the right to make that choice & was within his rights in doing so.
But instead of defending himself that way, he candidly replied, "I didn't know back then that I'd be standing before you today." In other words, "If I had known back then what I know now, I would have made a different choice."
Many people have echoed that same cry, “If only I had known, I would have done things differently than I did.”
ILL. Lyle Alzado, a star player on the Super Bowl 18 Champion Oakland Raiders team, died at age 43. He was convinced that his use of steroids during his football career had caused the brain cancer that was destroying him, & he warned fellow athletes to stay away from steroids.
ILL. Mickey Mantle, one of the most famous baseball players who ever lived, during a press conference in Dallas while waiting for a new kidney, expressed regret over years of alcohol abuse.
He said that he wished he had known the damage alcohol was doing to his body all those years, & warned young people everywhere, "Don't be like me."
And it's not just in sports where this happens. It can happen in every walk of life. Our choices have consequences consequences that can affect not only our life but also the lives of those around us.
In Deuteronomy 30:19, God told the Israelites that He was setting before them "life & death, blessings & curses" & He encouraged them to choose life.
Joshua challenged his countrymen, "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... but as for me & my house we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
I. MAKE SURE YOUR CHOICES HONOR GOD
Now let me summarize the whole point of this sermon: Every day, make sure your choices honor God. You'll never regret it!
A. We are living in an age when many are consumed with the idea of success & winning. Some will do almost anything to succeed or to win.
ILL. When Bill Veeck owned the Cleveland Indians baseball franchise, it is said that he would have the outfield fences moved either in or out, depending on the team that they would be playing next. He would position the fences in a way that he felt would give the Cleveland Indians an advantage over their opponents.
When league officials found out, they passed a rule to make that illegal. So Veeck, evidently a very creative cheater, would sneak out to the ball park & dig up home plate & move it either a few inches closer or a few inches further from the pitcher's mound in an attempt to accomplish the same purpose.
That sounds more ridiculous than shocking today. Nowadays we aren't easily shocked. We aren't all that surprised when a politician casts innuendoes or tries to paint an unsavory picture of his opponent in an effort to gain an advantage in the campaign.
Whatever it takes to win, some people are willing to do. Whether in politics or athletics or business, they focus on instant gratification. Their only motivation is to satisfy their desires.
B. Paul wrote about such people. He said, "Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their God is their stomach, & their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things." (Philippians 3:18-19)
Then he goes on to say, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body." (Philippians 3:20-21)