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Summary: Don’t cave under pressure, keep your convictions.

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Take It To The Limit

February 3, 2008

Daniel 1:1-21

On the top of your bulletin is a quote. A quote I found in an article in our Skagit Valley Herald back in December.

It was an article about learning to say no.

In order to live into your life.

In order to live your life.

In order to not let others run you.

Steer you.

Manipulate you.

Your family

Kids

Money

Time

Relationship

The article says we have to learn to say "no." Dr. Ury, from the Harvard Law School, said this (read together)

In order to say yes to what’s truly important, you first need to say no to

other things. It’s the defining challenge of our age.

The defining challenge.

The challenge that will set the course for where your life is headed according to this man is learning what to say yes to and what to say no to.

In order to live.

In order to become.

In order to grow up and into our God-given dreams.

In order to faithfully pursue the call that God gives to each of us. We will continually be confronted with moments of decision, moments in time where we can say yes or no to the option before us.

Some of these moments have the potential to harm you and hinder the God inspired road you were on. Others have the potential to help you and hoist you up in living more faithfully with God.

On a weekly basis

For some of you on a daily basis, you come face to face with decisions that will define what is truly important and valuable to you. And friends this morning I want to make the case that quite often the right answer in such times is no.

When culture comes inviting.

When your friends come pushing.

When the text message comes with an offer.

When the neighbor has this semi legal and semi illegal wacky idea.

When you are in that difficult comprising situation with friends or strangers staring at you.

Pressuring you.

I agree with Dr. Ury, it is a defining moment of your life.

I’m told try methamphetamines once and you’re hooked.

Say yes to the high of gambling, sex pornography a few times and it becomes a

life changing habit.

Say yes a few times to going out with the boys or the girls for some evenings

of lewd behaviors and activities.

Say yes again to getting a credit card after cutting your previous ones up after

you got yourself in trouble and it can derail a life.

Culture pushes us to push our limits.

To take our lives to the limits.

To live at the edge with

No margin

No safety net

No boundaries

No room for error.

And quite often the consequences can define/influence your entire life.

Two weeks ago, we talked about the relentless pressure we are under to live compromising lives financially.

We talked about the prodigal son - how he left home with his inheritance. The world called and he responded. Breaking moral, ethical, financial boundaries. The result - joy? No - pain, loneliness - a desire to go home.

This week I talked with a man whose 2 Pastors had to declare bankruptcy because they had spread themselves to thin.

This week I talked to a person whose good friend is gambling $1,000 of dollars a week - who isn’t coming home at night - he has no financial limits.


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