Summary: Continuing the sermon what does it mean to finish well.
DANGEROUS INTERSECTIONS OF LIFE
Continuing the sermon on what does it mean to finish well. Today, I am looking at the crossroads in our life that affect the rest of our life. I call these pivotal points or epics.
What is a crossroad?
1. We are faced with a crisis, decision, or an experience that will affect the rest of our life.
2. A crucial time of God’s dealing with us.
3. Will curtail our future use or enhance/open up our future use.
4. Becomes an “indicator” of the direction for the rest of our life.
5. At the end of life, we can trace our life back to that one point in time.
B. EVERYONE HAS TWO TO SIX CROSSROADS
1. Disqualified: a person is rendered useless.
2. Limiting: a person can still be used but not as much.
3. A New Door: the person enters a higher level of effectiveness.
4. Step-following: a person continues to be used, but this crossroads lifts them to a higher level.
1. Saul’s advantages in serving God. Saul prophesied with the prophets and was humble. When they looked for him he was hiding in the baggage. Early in his reign he won several battles and wanted God’s blessing before battles and wanted to sacrifice to the Lord.
2. Saul’s self-will. He waited seven days for Samuel and then intruded into the priest office and sacrificed to God. Samuel told him, “Thou hast done foolishly. Thou hast not kept the commandments of the Lord” (I Samuel 13:13).
3. Saul’s incomplete obedience. God told him to completely destroy the Amalekites, but Saul saved Agag the king, and the best spoils as a reward for his soldiers and an offering to God. God told him, “Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord” (I Samuel 15:19).
God’s reason for judgment - “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (I Samuel 15:22).
4. Results of disqualification.
a. God appointed young sixteen year old David.
b. The Spirit of God left Saul.
c. He became a neurotic, persecute by an evil spirit, i.e. demons.
d. Misdirected: spent sixteen years chasing David, rather than fighting the Philistines.
e. Consulted with a witch for the future rather than praying to God. He tried to kill his son.
f. Defeated in battle and committed suicide.
D. LIMITING CROSSROADS
This decision limits what we can do in life. We never become great because of this decision.
“For Demas hath forsaken me, for having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessolonica” (II Timothy 4:10)
Demas was originally in good favor with Paul. Paul spoke well of him. “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you” (Colossians 4:14). “There salute thee Epaphras, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas” (Philemon 24)
What did he have going for him?
1. Demas had good friends, Mark, Luke, and the other disciples of Paul. Demas had a good environment, he was with Paul as a disciple and was counted as a disciple.
2. He had a good mentor, Paul.
3. Demas had a good message. He was sent to preach the gospel. Demas had a good goal, Paul expected much of him but in the time of crisis when Paul needed him, Demas left him because, “having loved this present world” (II Timothy 4:10)
4. Characteristics of his choice:
a. Untimely because Paul needed him.
b. Wrong purpose because it was for the world.
c. Wrong motivated because he had the wrong love.
E. NEW DOORS
Certain men come to crossroads in their life, and make a choice that determines their whole life. Let me tell you about these crossroads.
1. There are usually more than one; there are usually two to six forks in the road.
2. There are excruciating and extremely difficult decisions. Never easy.
3. Usually there are some dangers on both sides, and so there are warnings with the decision.
4. We do not always understanding the eternal implications of a decision.
5. We have to climb over a barrier to make that decision.
Last week I described these barriers:
6. Maintenance/no growth/ resting.
F. CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW DOORS.
1. Reversal in life. Sometimes the crossroad will result in brokeness, such as Isaiah who saw the Lord and cried out, “Woe is me” (????) Mary, when the angel challenged her with the birth of Christ said, “Be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). Yieldedness.
2. New Direction. “Sometimes this is choosing a new path, choosing a new direction. Young people today call it a paradigm shift. It is a new focus in life. The Apostle Paul’s new door was when he had to stop persecuting the church, become converted and enter the church. He had to stop preaching the Law, and begin preaching grace.