Summary: Teaches how we make choices and how to make better ones.

“Making the Wise Choice”

October 3, 2010

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:15-17

Choices! We make them every day. From choosing when we will get up, what we will eat, what we will do with our time, to when we go to bed – our day is full of choices. And every choice has a consequence. If we choose to sleep in – it might cost us our job. If we choose to eat as much as we want - it may cost us our health. If we choose to go to bed too late - it may mean we will be tired the next day. Choices have consequences.

Most of our choices are pretty insignificant – but even what seems minor can affect our entire life. For example, when I got out of the army as a young Military Police Sergeant, I received a letter from the governor of Minnesota inviting me to become a Highway Patrolman. I was tired of uniforms and being bossed around – so I decided to ignore the invitation. But my life would have been vastly different had I accepted. I don’t know if it would have been better or worse – just different. Or maybe when God called me to preach I would have had to leave that job instead of the job I had working in the iron mines. Or maybe law enforcement would have been my ministry – I don’t know.

Most of our choices are pretty minor with minor consequences, but some are life changing. Dating, Choosing when and with whom to have sex, marriage, career, schooling - these are tremendously important.

Spiritual choices have eternal consequences. Choosing to accept or reject Christ as your Savior affects life here and now and also for eternity. Choosing to totally surrender to the Savior’s Lordship affects life here and now and eternity, as well. The Holy Spirit can not come in His fullness to a disobedient heart, Acts 5:32 says, and without the Holy Spirit living in our hearts in His fullness, we do not have the power we need to live the victorious life. Without the Holy Spirit producing the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience and so on, life is much more difficult than it needs to be.

The Bible tells us that God made us in His image. Maybe the power of choice is the area we are most like God. We can choose heaven or hell. We can choose to alter our life and eternal destiny. We can choose to ‘make life’ or ‘take life’. And with each choice come consequences. Listen to the Word of God.

“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." Isaiah 1:19-20

“The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.”

1 Samuel 2:10

“He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.” Psalm 9:8 TNIV

“But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, … to you I have committed my cause.” Jeremiah 11:20 TNIV

"'I the LORD have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD.' " Ezekiel 24:14 TNIV

“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of people's hearts. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5 TNIV

“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”

(Jesus) Luke 12:2-3

Choices have consequences. Every choice is important. Therefore before making any decision you ought to do two things – Think and pray. Give a little thought to the coming consequences. Better yet, pray. Ask for God’s leading and direction. That seems like such simply advice – but so often we don’t do it. Why not? It is because of how we make our decisions. We make decisions one of four ways. Peer influence, (sometimes called peer pressure), emotion, intellect and Spirit.

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