My mp3 recorder malfunctioned so no audio today, but here is the outline and highlights from the November 4, 2018 sermon, “WISE Choices”, that I shared at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Matthew 7:21-29
Here are the main points from the sermon:
Jesus taught that many will say to Him, “Lord, Lord”, yet get a response of “Depart from me, I never knew you.” His explanation for such an interaction reveals the importance of not just hearing the Word of God, but actually putting it into practice. Every time we encounter the truth of God’s Word, we must choose what we will do with it. It is my prayer that each of those times result in our making WISE choices.
A WISE choice is a . . .
Willing Choice: Psalm 119:108
God’s desire is that we are both willing and eager to do everything He has commanded. Acting like we are forced to put the things of God into practice will do us no more good than it does for our witness for Christ. When our choice to honor God in everything is a willing choice, then others will be able to see the joy we have through living an obedient life.
If you have to be forced, coerced, or tricked into it, it is probably not a wise choice.
Intelligent Choice: Acts 13:7
Faith in God is not blind faith. In fact, it is our faith that allows us to see the unseen as if it were seen. Just because someone says something is from God doesn’t mean that it really is. We must use the mind that God gave us in order to make intelligent choices that keep us in a life that honors God and helps those around us see a God that can be trusted. Very few people want to follow someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and when we choose to understand and know God to the best of our ability, we find that we have much more than a “just because” answer to the questions people ask.
If you have to ignore clear teaching of scripture, it is definitely not a wise choice.
Sacrificial Choice: Hebrews 13:15-16
By nature, sacrifice is difficult otherwise we wouldn’t call it sacrifice. When we seek to do God’s will, more often than not we find we are called upon to make a sacrificial choice. This should not come as a big surprise since the life of Jesus on earth can be best characterized as sacrificial. Honoring God with our choices will mean that we look out for the needs of others even above our own. Jesus said that unless we are willing to give up everything, we cannot be His disciple — it doesn’t get more sacrificial than that when it comes to the choices we ought to be making.
If it only looks out for your good and not the good of others, it is likely not a wise choice.
Eternal Choice: Galatians 6:8
One of the reasons that we can make choices that are willing, intelligent, and even sacrificial is because we make them with an eternal perspective in mind. The seeds we sow today will determine the harvest we experience later. A huge part of that eternal harvest is not just about us making it to heaven, but it is also about the seeds we plant in the lives of others so that God can bring about the harvest in their life at just the right time. When we apply an eternal perspective filter to the decisions we must make each day, it ought to change not only what we choose to do but also the how and why of what we choose.
If it only satisfies a temporary desire with no view toward how it will influence you and others for eternity, it most certainly is not a wise choice.