Choices, are you making the right ones?
[00:00:00] We ask you a question you know how many different ways you can arrange 10 different books on your bookshelf.
[00:00:12] Have any idea.
[00:00:16] Believe it or not. The possibilities are astronomical. According to algebra dot com. As long as they are 10 different books there are 10 ways to pick the first book.
[00:00:34] Nine Ways or times nine ways to pick the second book Times eight ways to pick the third book and so on. So for what you do is you take ten times nine times eight times seven times six and you go all the way down and you come to the realization that there are three million six hundred and twenty eight thousand eight hundred possibilities different possibilities of arranging ten different books on your bookshelf.
[00:01:06] Now that’s something you can take home and just forget. OK. But if.
[00:01:14] There aren’t then there are three million six hundred twenty eight thousand eight hundred ways that ten books can be arranged on your bookshelf. Just think of the choices the possibilities are lies present. All the choices that we make every day how do we sift through them all. How do we determine which paths we should pursue and which we should avoid. How how do we make. The many choices that we are confronted with every day of our lives. The Bible has the answer for that question in Psalm 119 1 0 4 and 1 0 5. It says I gain understanding I gain understanding from your precepts. Therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp into my feet and a light unto my path. So when we walk when we live according to God’s revealed plan his will. The options that are left to keep us safe within the boundaries of God’s loving and protecting will can be determined many times. Just by reading and obeying the Word of God. Now this morning that that’s what we are going to be talking about is choices matter of fact today and the next number of weeks were going to be talking about choices and the first thing we’re going to look at today is the choice. How are we to treat other people. Now you’ve probably heard it growing up. The Golden Rule. What does it say. Can someone tell me what does the Golden Rule teach us. Treat people. The way that you would like them to treat you. The Golden Rule. Jesus.
[00:03:41] In speaking of that is talking about how we are to rate relate how we are to be treating those people that we come in contact with. In verse 12 he tells us exactly how we are to treat them in Matthew. Chapter 7 verse 12 here in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says so whatever you wish that others would do to you do also to them. For this is or this sums up the law and the prophets. Now. How hard can that be. Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
[00:04:24] Well maybe harder than you might think. Just kind of look around you at the people you are associated with and Christians whom you know. As we see some Christians treat some people. In ways that the Bible says is not right and. They say you understand you don’t know this person.
[00:04:57] And I’m not saying you know. I’m not saying it’s easy. Sometimes it’s hard that what Jesus said here he does not tell us whether it’s easier whether it’s hard. This is the way that we’re to be treating people. For instance the way that we talk to one another. In Ephesians 4 Verse 29 It says Let no corrupting or corrupt communication corrupting talk come out of your mouths. But only such as is good for the building up as it fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who are here now. I love I’ve shared this message about our tongue and you’ve heard me share numerous messages about our tongue and the evil that can come from it. I love teaching kids this because literally see I teach the kids Greek. You guys are older and you know you might not understand kids. I teach Greek too because this is what I tell them. You know what the word corrupt means here. Means garbage. Garbage. Now I grew up in Kansas City my folks came from Arkansas down south of there and they would say well. That means road kill.
[00:06:26] And it does it does let no garbage let no road kill let no DK Thane proceed out of your mouth.
[00:06:38] But only that which is good for building up someone. Now this this is a message this is a letter that Paul wrote to the Christians here at the church in Apicius.
[00:06:51] Don’t let any garbage words come out of your mouth.
[00:06:55] This is how we are to talk but only fetch something that’s good for edifying. Then he tells the Christians in colossi. This is what he says in Claassen 4:6. Let your speech always be gracious seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer. Each person. Does that describe you. We see you see in one simple little verse in the midst of sea weaving going months now preaching through what Jesus said at the Sermon on the Mount. This one little verse is so important. That we are to treat other people in the same way. That we want them to treat us. Remember we talked about in the way we forget in the major device that we forgive others God will forgive forgive us. Remember when he said that. But that.
[00:07:54] And I’ve been there. We can be so rough. So uncompassionate.
[00:08:04] Snappy at times.
[00:08:06] As Christians this is that how you really want to be treated. Purrfect when people treat you that way how do you receive it.
[00:08:16] Not very well if you’re me at times. But this is how God says we were to treat other people and you know. In town sleen And now that I’m. Older
[00:08:32] and have an adult son and stuff how those who have adult children. How do you treat those adult children. How do you talk to them.
[00:08:47] You know I have found. Been there done that.
[00:08:50] Don’t talk to Tony. He’ll give you specific times. But. The way we can talk to our adult children.
[00:09:00] Why would we ever speak to another adult the way we speak to our adult children. Would if we went out to dinner would you treat me and talk to me like you talk to your adult children.
[00:09:16] I doubt it. I’ve been there I’ve done that and I think.
[00:09:25] What’s wrong with me for some reason just because he’s my son and he’s an adult do I think that I should treat him any different than any other adult that I come in contact with. Do I treat him in the same way as I would want him or anybody else to treat me. Or how about how about the waitress. How about a waitress. When you go to your favorite restaurant OK. So you go to your restaurant and say I’d like some eggs over easy.
[00:10:00] And so. OK. And they bring your eggs out.
[00:10:05] And they are anything but over easy. What do you say. Does this.
[00:10:12] Look good. Does this look like over easy to you.
[00:10:20] I’ve seen it. I’ve been there. I see the way I would not want to be a waitress or a waiter. The way people treat them is that if if we’re to treat people the way we want them to treat us is that how we would treat them. Number one she’s not even the person who cooks your eggs. I mean if you wanna be belligerent Take your age. Go back to the cook do the work overeasy to you.
[00:10:55] Unless you have to look up at them. They’re like OK I’ll just eat them here. My table.
[00:11:04] Or what. What’s another way we might respond. Well.
[00:11:09] Maybe we could be a little gentler.
[00:11:13] You say maybe we do need something taken back. But but how do you treat someone.
[00:11:22] In requesting that or not. Now here’s a novel idea.
[00:11:27] What if we just ate it the way it was and didn’t say anything. Not long ago. Debbie and I. Was out to dinner with another couple and.
[00:11:42] In greeting the waitress I asked her I said well how are you doing tonight. She said.
[00:11:50] I’m pretty stressed out. I don’t know there’s hardly any other table that was open.
[00:11:56] And I’d been a hard night for and she shared with us that she was kind of stressed out and I said you know that’s OK because we’re going to treat you OK. We’re going to treat you good.
[00:12:08] Don’t worry about things. And so.
[00:12:12] She went and took our order and she came back with the orders and she brought out a dish to one of the people that we were having dinner with and it wasn’t totally correct.
[00:12:24] It wasn’t right.
[00:12:26] Some things were wrong and the waitress was somewhat flustered and asked Well can I take it back and do this or can I can I do that. And and this gracious person just smile at her so you know no that’s OK that’s OK.
[00:12:41] I’ll just take it as it is. And then I have to see.
[00:12:48] That’s how we are to treat people. Would it have been wrong. She said Well if you could do that I’d appreciate it. But you know don’t worry.
[00:12:58] And it reminded me of a story and I had to look it up. And as I was shock and Googling it how quickly it came up. But but the story is called Burnt biscuits. And this is what a man said. He wrote when I was a kid my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then and I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long hard day at work.
[00:13:30] On that evening so long ago my mom placed a plate of A’s sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. And I remember waiting to see if anyone had noticed yet all my dad did was reached for his biscuits smile at my mom and asked me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite. And when I got up from the table that evening that I remembered hearing my mom apologized to my dad for burning the biscuits.
[00:14:10] And I’ll never forget what he said Honey I love burnt biscuits.
[00:14:16] Later that night I went to kiss Daddy Good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned and he wrapped his arm wrapped me in his arms and said Your mama put in a hard day at work today and she’s really tired and besides a little burnt biscuit. Never heard anyone. This man goes on to say his life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people and I’m not the best at hardly anything and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults.
[00:14:58] And choosing listen and choose mean to celebrate each other’s differences. It’s one of the most important keys to creating a healthy growing and lasting relationship and that’s my prayer for you.
[00:15:14] He goes on and says that you will learn to take the good the bad and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God because in the end he’s the only one who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal breaker. We could extend this to any relationship in fact. Understanding is the basis of any relationship be it a husband wife parent child or friendship. Don’t put the key to your happiness in somebody else’s pocket. Keep it in your own. God bless you now and always so please pass me a biscuit. And yes Bert one will do just fine and please pass along to someone who is in your life.
[00:16:01] Like I just did. What’s the moral of this story. You treat others.
[00:16:10] In the very same way you wish that they would treat you. Grace that’s what it’s about. Do we give. Grace.
[00:16:24] To other people. Do we give them permission to fail.
[00:16:29] And still love them. Oh gosh if God didn’t he would quit loving me. Years ago. But he gives grace.
[00:16:41] And he still loves me today. Now the next thing that Jesus talks about here in the Sermon on the Mount is he goes on he tells us that there are choices that we in life that we do have to make that that life is full of choices we may make a hundred choices a day I don’t know we choose to hit the snooze button. In
[00:17:07] the morning maybe for the fourth time. If you’re like me or do I get up right now. Make it. What do I wear today. What
[00:17:19] clothes I wear. Do I pick you I put on my seatbelt when I get in my car to go to work. Which
[00:17:25] way do I go to work. The quickest way. Or the Starbucks way. And what if I do go to Starbucks.
[00:17:40] Do I order a grand day soy green tea cream frappuccino with Java in-flight ice EXOR whipped cream in a venti top that’s for my daughter I called her last night.
[00:17:52] Or do I or it was just regular with cream. Life is full.
[00:18:02] Of choices. That’s the choice. Jesus is talking about here. Has eternal. Consequences.
[00:18:13] Just as there are choices that impact our life here on Earth. There are choices that impact your life.
[00:18:24] For eternity.
[00:18:26] We all have to face those choices because. Did you know there is a 100 percent mortality rate in America.
[00:18:35] You know that there is.
[00:18:38] That means one out of every one person dies.
[00:18:43] They do. If you didn’t know that we’ll get up. The next question is.
[00:18:51] When you die. Where are you going to spend eternity. See if people don’t like to think about things like that because. Many people don’t have an answer to that question. Many people don’t like to dwell on that.
[00:19:09] Subject. For many people matter of fact the vast majority of people.
[00:19:17] It’s not even a real concern. According to the researcher George Barna if you’ve ever heard of any of these surveys. But but he said that when Americans in the survey they send out when Americans were asked when you die.
[00:19:32] Will you go to heaven. And for those people who do believe that there is a heaven. Ninety eight percent of them said yes I will 98 percent of those who believe that there is a heaven believe that they will be going to heaven. Now some may believe. That all people go to heaven. Some believe that there are many many ways to go to heaven. Rob Bell wrote out a book wrote a book called Love Wins where he says in that book that there is no hell there is no judgment. And then he goes on to say that if there is a hell and you go to hell that God gives you another chance to believe on Jesus and that everybody then will believe in Jesus. Well DA when you’re in the hell you do them and look at the story of Lazarus and the rich man who called out Abraham send somebody to tell my brothers that there’s a home in here and hell.
[00:20:53] But that’s not what Scripture says. There is a hell. Matter of fact Jesus spoke.
[00:21:01] Of Hell more than anybody else in the Bible. Jesus created hell and hell is a place for those. Who because of their sin go in and that’s what Jesus is getting ready to talk about. Here is that. There’s two gates. There’s two ways. Two choices that we can make. And he says this in Matthew Chapter Seven starting in verse 13 and 14 says Enter by the narrow gate for the gate is wide and the way is easy or literally broad that leads to destruction. And those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life and those who find it are you. Now now this metaphor is pretty much straight forward. Here we are to picture two paths to roadways not not many ways to get to heaven and a first rate way. Jesus is talking about is Berard the gate is wide is it a comedy. Many people this way is for those people who believe in anything or maybe believe in nothing. They believe one way of life is just as good as another. They believe that one religion is just as equally valuable as another. They believe that that all roads lead to God. If there is a God. For those who don’t even believe that there is a God they say will come along and.
[00:22:45] Enjoy the journey. Eat drink be merry. For tomorrow we all are going to die. There is nothing there is nothing after this life there is no afterlife and Jesus says. Yeah. There’s two ways the wide gate the broad way and.
[00:23:08] And the narrow gauge here he’s talking about he says that this broad road he says leads to destruction and Jesus is talking about hell here. And the other path he says here is narrow the way into that is small it is can find relatively few travelers are to be found. But it leads to life. A synonym of the kingdom eternal life. And Jesus says sales of as entire. Enter by the narrow gate.
[00:23:53] And seat a gate is like a door. It is meant to be opened. And it is meant to be interred in and for that to happen you must decide to open it.
[00:24:07] And you must decide to enter it. It’s interesting I remember.
[00:24:15] Jesus talking about that he’s standing at the door knocking. And for those who will let him enter he will sup with them.
[00:24:26] Who is that written to you. You know what book that’s even found in.
[00:24:31] It’s found in the book of Revelation and it’s written to one of the churches one of the seven churches I’m not you could have been Laodicea.
[00:24:42] I’m not sure right now but it is written to Christians many times we hear that verse quoted talking about salvation and stop the gods knocking at your door of your heart.
[00:24:58] But if you look at the contacts. Isn’t this sad.
[00:25:03] Jesus is talking to Christians. See. See there are choices that we make in life. And and even Christians we can choose whether we follow and obey God or not.
[00:25:18] And here obviously the Christians in this church have kind of shut God shut Jesus out of their lives. And isn’t it sad to the point that he’s literally at the door of a Christian part Naki saying let me in.
[00:25:36] Do we have anybody here with winds the last time. When’s the last time you sat down with the Word of God.
[00:25:45] For the purpose of knowing God better and fellowshipping with them.
[00:25:53] And I’m not asking you to have a daily time. I’m just asking when is the last time. And if you’re sitting here and thinking I kenning remember.
[00:26:09] Jesus is knocking at the door. I can tell you they are. Because if you can’t even remember the last time you got into the Word of God for the. Purpose of learning.
[00:26:23] Him learning about him fellowshipping with him you can’t even remember the last time and you’re a believer.
[00:26:31] You have shut God out of your life. He wants back to you. As I said earlier.
[00:26:43] Life is filled with choices every day. Basically one decision after another. What to wear what to eat where to go what to do what to say what to buy.
[00:26:57] And many of those decisions aren’t important. But this one decision that Jesus is talking about. Is of extreme extreme importance. Because our our eternal destiny.
[00:27:16] Is involved. It’s a decision that you make about. Jesus what will you do with Jesus.
[00:27:28] Jesus said everyone everyone is happy don’t want one of two destinations destined to either eternal life or eternal death. And the important point to understand is this destiny is decided by a choice that you make if you decide to go the broad road. You will end up in destruction.
[00:27:53] If you decide to go the narrow road. You wind up in life. But either way. You’re going to spend eternity. Where you decide to spend eternity.
[00:28:08] Here’s the issue here’s the issue. When we are born we are born with a sin nature.
[00:28:17] And as a result we sin we can not do anything but sin.
[00:28:24] And because we all have sin we are all sinners. God says that the pay check the wages of our sin is death. Separation from God. Judgment of God where the very wrath of God is poured out upon us. In other words.
[00:28:51] We are already on the broad road. We are already going down that road because we were born that way we are born a sinner and we sin and we are already actually on this road. To Destruction and we know that because in John 3:18 says whoever believes in Him speaking of Jesus is not condemned but whoever does not believe is was condemned already. Because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. We are condemned already because of our sin and we have a choice to make. This is why Scripture tells us. For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. In John 3:16 Let me read these verses in context. You see many people holding up the sign at the ball game.
[00:30:02] You know John 3:16. What does it say for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish.
[00:30:17] But have everlasting life.
[00:30:19] For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned.
[00:30:38] But whoever does not believe is condemned already.
[00:30:43] Because he is not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
[00:30:49] Scripture tells us that God Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His love to us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us the very we’re talking about the wrath of God being poured on us in judgment. That’s what happened at the cross of Calvary where our substitute the Son of God the Messiah went to the cross.
[00:31:16] And for those people who would who believe in him the wrath of God was poured upon Jesus. He took the punishment that you and I deserved. And we have a choice to make. Do we accept.
[00:31:34] Jesus Christ the Son of God. And his sacrifice on the cross. However do we accept. That sacrifice.
[00:31:45] That was done in our place. Do we accept Jesus. Do we believe in what he did to Christ to save us and to be our savior.
[00:31:55] We shared that yesterday at the car wash we gave him tracks talked. People.
[00:32:01] And I don’t know where you are at with God. Maybe every single person in here. Is a child of God I pray. So. But if you are not if you are sitting here and you have that little tug in your heart just like wow.
[00:32:21] I don’t know where I am at.
[00:32:24] Talk to me talk to two brother Tim or somebody here and we can even take one of the tracks that we shared yesterday with the people the car wash in and step you through what it means what the judgment of God and sin and separate is from God. But like many of you which I know. Are believers in children of God. We.
[00:32:49] Have choices to make. We we’ve made that choice. We’ve entered the narrow gate. We are a child of God. We can we call him daddy AABA father. But you know every day. Every day we still have choices to make. And do you ever sit and think about the choices you are making.
[00:33:17] During the day. We have multitude of choices and kids kids that are here.
[00:33:26] This this message is not just for adults.
[00:33:31] This is for kids. You have many many choices every single day that you have to make.
[00:33:40] Sounds some of the choices might be. How am I going to treat my friends.
[00:33:46] You know they don’t treat me very well sometimes. But but how what how does Jesus want you to treat them. Are you a faithful friend.
[00:34:00] Are you a loving friend regardless of how they treat you. You know my wristband today.
[00:34:08] I remember the day when I used to have JD What would Jesus do. My wristband today has a little red noon. It’s to remind me to pray for the Christians over in the Middle East that are being persecuted and killed by ISIS and all the others over there killing Christians on the back as I am in to remind me to pray for those Christians over there. But
[00:34:35] what we used to have. I don’t see them a lot more. JD What would Jesus do. We need to be asking ourselves that mean don’t even come to our mind much anymore.
[00:34:48] He’ll say Well what would Jesus do. Read read the Gospels. What did Jesus do. How
[00:34:53] did he treat.
[00:34:54] How did he treat people who reviled them. You guys have any bosses or employees or anybody family you ever been reviled taking advantage of. Spat upon maybe not physically but the way people treat you.
[00:35:13] What would Jesus do. We saw what Jesus did.
[00:35:18] He did not revile in return. You see that’s the choices. That the choices we have. Every day. I was reminded I were talking about this on the way. To church this morning I was reminded how many of you you know I had read your habit. You ever seen the film courageous. With the police officers and staff in that. Film. There was a man who by accident came over and worked on his sad and all but that long story short he’s working. He finally got a good paying job. And he was so faithful in his job that the owners of the company. Called him in.
[00:36:14] And said you know we’ve been watching how you work and you are a good worker.
[00:36:19] We were looking for someone to promote to be like manager of the plant or something or a shipping or whatever. It’s quiet promotion.
[00:36:29] And he was like oh thank you.
[00:36:32] And he said but there’s one thing we know sometimes we have all these shipments that come in and you record them. But when they come in we want you to just not record two or three of them that come in. Just don’t say that we’ve got them because we have other things that we want to do kind of make money on the side. There were other things that was not legal it was not right. And we just want you to do this for us. And this is the owners of the company. So now we’re going to give you a night to think about this and come back and tell us what you want this job. And we went home burgeoned.
[00:37:14] Because he knew what the owners Well many people said well if the owners want me to do that there are companies you know they’re the ones wanting to do it.
[00:37:24] But he knew he knew it is hard. It would not be right. And he told his wife. He says I can’t do it.
[00:37:34] I can’t do it he said and not only do I have to tell them I can’t do it. I don’t know what they’re going to do they may fire me of the job I have now will be back to me not having a job. They had kids and all this. But here he purposed in. His heart. To do what was right. Reminds me of Joseph. And he went back and they asked him he said Are are you. Have you thought about this. And he goes yeah he said. I can’t do it. He says I respect you. So he says I can’t do it it’s not right. I will not do and I know you can fire me or whatever but I can’t do it. And the owners can look at each other and smiled and they said.
[00:38:24] You got the job. They said.
[00:38:28] You know this was a test. We’ve been looking for someone with integrity. With honesty. And you held up to your convictions and he got the job you know. We may not be confronted with.
[00:38:44] That type of choice. We may be. And the question is. What are you going to do. What choice.
[00:38:55] Are you going to make. You know we’re getting ready to come up we’re going to be talking about beware of false prophets. Next we talking about. You’ll know them by their fruits.
[00:39:05] Talk about that everyone who goes before Jesus is going to heaven they’re going to think they are big.
[00:39:11] They call him Lord Lord Jesus. I never knew you were going to end up the last sermon. Last message. Is on the man who built his house upon a rock. And the man who built his house upon the sand.
[00:39:24] Because they had choices. And this is what they chose in life. And Jesus says.
[00:39:32] The man who built his house upon the rock is like the man who hears my word and does it.
[00:39:37] He obeys it. But the man who builds his house upon the sand is like the way is heard. The same thing. With David Obey. He made a choice and we’re going to be talking about that. Now. The reason I say this now. Is that when the when the storms of life.
[00:39:58] Came and hit those homes the one who did not obey the house was destroyed. And we’re going to be talking about this. But you know what you have two weeks before we get to this. And I want you to take seriously I want you to think about this week two choices that you are making. What would Jesus do what choice.
[00:40:21] Does he want you making in whatever decisions you have to make. Craig. Lord we.
[00:40:32] Thank you for your Holy Spirit. We thank you for your word because your word is likened to my feet and lamp to my path and that. You give us direction. From your word on how to live that your word is profitable on how to live in for reproof and correction instruction in righteousness the Lord I I pray first.
[00:40:56] Make us aware of the decisions we are making and are have to make and then lead us into the way that we glorify you by those choices. And I pray this in Jesus name Amen.