Friday, July 13, 2012

Three Choices We must Make about Our Choices

Ever wondered what a preachers sermon notes look like? We started a series last week on choices called, "High Definition Living". I am so stoked about how this series will impact my life and the lives of those who hear and apply it. I have been reviewing the thoughts in last weeks message for my own benefit and thought it would be neat to share them here. So here are my notes (slightly modified) from HD Living - Part 1. Join us this Sunday at Victory for Part 2.

High Definition Living: How The Choices We make Dictate the Lives That we Lead (Part 1)

HD living: Life can be high quality or low quality.

Fact # 1: God wants you to live “the good life” (Rom. 8:28; 3 John 2; John 10:10)
- Not boring , strict, sour or grumpy
- Not a problem free life but a problem overcoming life
- Not an easy life but an engaging life

What is a “the good life”?
1. Meaningful life – purpose, adventure
2. Joyful life – inner world healthy – fruits of the spirit
3. Growing life – challenge, learning, progress, wholeness,
4. Connected life – to love and be lived, to serve and be served, to know and be known
5. God-saturated life – God in ALL of life makes life make sense (home, work)

Fact #2: God invites you to make the choice
“We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind's greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
The choices we make dictate the lives that we lead.
We make our choices and then our choices make us.

Today's text: Duet 30:19, 20 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.”

Three Great Choices About Choices:

1. Choose to choose my choices – so many times we just meander through life and let what will be, be ... no, we must choose to be intentional – to choose our choices

“I have given you the choice.” ... the choice you make... You can make this choice ...This is the key to ur life.” (Duet 30:19,20)

  - it’s been given to u ... a take it! Use it! Steward it! Take advantage of it!

Determinism –philosophy of life that everything is pre-determined – takes all meaning fr. life – Y? No choice. God clearly refutes this idea with these verses (Duet 30)
- Focusing on that we can’t control leaves life meaningless and empty... only the things you do choose give your life meaning.... so focus on choosing what u can choose.

 “You didn't have a choice about the parents you inherited, but you do have a choice about the kind of parent you will be.” Marian Wright Edelman (see how that brings meaning into the equation?)

I end up guiding a lot of people along life’s journey... in a few sentences I can tell if they want to complain, look for an outside solution (fix circumstances) ... or if they will take responsibility and change.
1. First kind of person – no matter how good they are, not much hope of improvement
a.  “yea but”
2. 2nd kind – no matter how bad things are there is TONS of hope...They draw it out of you ... they get it.

So the first choice we must make about our choices is simply to choose to choose my choices ... second great decision we need to make about our choices is...

2. Choose to get better at my choices - One of the best decisions you can make in life is to get better at making decisions.

“the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses.” Duet 30:19,20
– where am I experiencing blessings...curses?
“this is the key to ur life” – then it would be good to get better at it.
I am where I am and what I am because of the choices I make.
Where in my life do I keep repeating the same negative cycles?
Instead of looking for blame (the reason why) I need to move to responsibility – WHAT I can do about it.

a. Areas of life that we are stuck – not what’s to blame – what choices am I making that are creating my reality in this area? What choices do I need to make to create a new reality?
b. Areas I can go to the next level? – every area of my life and can go to a new level if I am willing to make new choices... where is God challenging me to a new reality? Don’t live a boring life! Keep pressing on to another level even in areas where you are doing good already.

- When I first attempt to make changes in my choices it seems impossible – I feel as if there is NOTHING I can do about it.
- The choices seem useless, painful, too difficult... they seem ineffective...
-  Finding and using my choices is a skill to be developed
In every area of my life there is a good “Next Level” for me.
To reach it I must change the choices I have been making. To get what I have never got I have to do what I have never done... want new results? Make new choices.

Get better at making great choices ... commit 2 being a part of this series & taking it seriously.

So...b/c God wants me to live the good life and b/c God has given me the gift of choice to steward so that I can live the good life.... First choice I need to make is ....

1. Choose to choose my choices (live an intentional life)
2. Choose to get better at making my choices ... (live a growing, changing life)

3. Choose God’s way as my standard –
“You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.” (Duet 30:19,20)

Story from John Ortberg: My friend, Jim, and his son, Davey, were playing in the ocean down in Mexico, while his family—his wife, daughters, parents, and a cousin—were on the beach. Suddenly, a rogue riptide swept Davey out to the sea. Immediately Jimmy started to do whatever he could to help Davey get back to the shore, but he, too, was soon swept away in the tide. He knew that in a few minutes, both he and Davey would drown. He tried to scream, but his family couldn't hear him.
 Jim's a strong guy—an Olympic Decathlete—but he was powerless in this situation. As he was carried along by the water, he had a single, chilling thought: My wife and my daughters are going to have to have a double funeral.
 Meanwhile, his cousin, who understood something about the ocean, saw what was happening. He walked out into the water where he knew there was a sandbar. He had learned that if you try to fight a riptide, you will die. So, he walked to the sandbar, stood as close as he could get to Jimmy and Davey, and then he just lifted his hand up and said, "You come to me. You come to me."
 If you try to go the way your gut tells you to go—the shortest distance into shore—you will die. If you think for yourself, you will die. God says, "If you come to me, you will live." That's it—death or life.

One of the proofs of God ... how well His word works! Observe the people you know well... God cannot be mocked ... a person reaps what they sow!!!
Psalm 1
Do a review of your life ... is there anywhere u know u r not living according to God’s standard? - choose to change it! (repent) – ask God for grace... get help... but don’t be dumb enough to stay that way!!! It’ll destroy you!!!

God wants us to live a great life. He has put much of the power for that great life in our hands by giving us the gift of “choice”. Our job is to steward that gift in such a way that we maximize the lives God has given us for His glory. We can steward the gift of choice by making three choices about our choices:
1. Choose 2 choose (live intentionally)
2. Choose 2 get better at choosing (blessing or cursing)
3. Choose 2 choose God’s way (listen to and live according to God’s word)