Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Make the Right Choice

Think about all of the choices you make during the course of an average day. Some of them are very simple; while others are more involved and difficult. We wonder what we will wear, eat or drink. Sometimes, we have to make choices that have life and death consequences. Throughout history, there are countless stories of people who lived only because of a simple choice of not getting on board an airplane or ship.

Take for example the story of Reverend J. Stuart Holden, the vicar of St. Paul’s Church in Portman Square, London. He had booked passage on the Titanic for himself and his wife to speak at the Christian Conservation Congress, a six-day religious meeting at Carnegie Hall scheduled for April 20, 1912. Before they sailed, however, Reverend Holden’s wife fell ill. On April 9, one day before sailing, he returned his ticket to stay by his wife’s side. He kept the ticket envelope and later framed it with an inscription from the book of Psalms giving thanks for his good luck: “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction.”

By choosing to stay with his wife, Reverend Holden’s life was truly redeemed from destruction. There are many other stories of those who decided, for one reason or another, not to make the maiden voyage of the Titanic. I am sure that each person was thankful that they made the right choice by not sailing on the ill-fated ship when they heard of the news of its sinking.

No matter whether big or small, each choice carries with it the possibility of a good or bad outcome. Some of the outcomes can be very minor. For example, if you choose a particular outfit to wear, it may have a loose thread that unravels. It is a very minor consequence, but it is a consequence nevertheless. 

Like in our physical lives, we have spiritual choices to make. Sometimes, we make the wrong choice and go down a path that leads us away from our Heavenly Father. Other times we allow the world to influence our choices or they become more important and overshadow our spiritual choices. In fact, we sometimes take more time and worry over those choices rather than concern ourselves with our daily walk.

In his “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus, in chapter six of Matthew’s Gospel, says, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Just consider how much people agonize over brands of breakfast cereal. During a recent trip to a big-box retailer and grocery store, I observed an individual walking up and down the cereal aisle and reading box after box. She spent literally ten minutes before making her decision. Even after putting the box of cereal into her cart, she quickly pulled it out only to replace it with a different brand.

As for me, I prefer not to spend all day making choices on food. When I go to a store, I have a list that I use to pick up items. My path through the store is planned out and I quickly get my chore completed. I don’t worry about my choice of cereal or which type of beans I should buy over another type or brand. All I have to do is thank God Almighty for providing the food on the shelves and providing me with money to purchase that food. Even if I had no money, I know that God will provide. I have learned that lesson very well in my life. When things seem like they won’t work out, God comes to the rescue and redeems me from destruction.

The one choice that I made that was the biggest in my life was accepting Christ Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord. That choice made all of the difference in my life and has allowed me the opportunity to minister to those who need to make that choice in their lives. That one choice is truly a life or death decision. If you decide not to accept Jesus, the outcome leads to total and complete separation from God.

On that Day of Judgement, you will hear one of two possible phrases. The first would bring the greatest joy to hear. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!” 

The other will bring weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

This one choice can make all of the difference in your life. One choice leads to life everlasting with the Father, Son and the saints; the other leads to darkness and damnation. The choice is yours. No one can make that choice for you. You have to make it for yourself.

In chapter three of the Book of Revelation, John records the words of Jesus, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

Jesus stands at the door of your heart today and gently knocks on the door. It is up to you to choose to open that door and invite him into your life and accept God’s free gift of salvation. 

In his poem, “The Road Less Traveled,” Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

Will you take the road less traveled today? If you do, I can tell you without hesitation or reservation that that one choice will make all the difference in your life and it will give you the ability to stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. 

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