This weekend, they will be talking about how to share Jesus with others, so bring your story that you wrote up or typed up with you, and we will practice the bridge diagram that I shared with you yesterday.
Don't worry if you still don't have those done. No one is going to put you on the spot. We just want to help you help others to know Jesus, so make sure you come so we can help you.
Today I want to shift gears a bit and talk to you about how to make wise decisions. Let's face it, between today and the end of your life; you will make millions of decisions. If you are anything like me, you want to be sure that what you decide to do honors and pleases God, but how do you know if you are making the right decision or not? How do you figure out what God wants you to do?
Today, let's look at three ways that God leads us to make the best decisions we can possibly make. The first way that God helps us make decisions is through the Bible. That study Bible you bought a few days ago is the very word of God. Are you ready for this mind-blowing thought? Over 90% of God's plan for your life is already spelled out for you in the pages of this book. That is why I have been bugging you to spend time with God every single day because each day, you are going to understand a little bit better the direction God wants your life to take.
Bottom line: The more the word of God gets in us, the more we become like Jesus, and the more we are able to discern between what is good and what is best. And that is where our struggle is. We don't want to settle for just a good life, but we want God's best for our life.
The Bible says in Proverbs chapter 2,
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you (if we will meditate and memorize and internalize the word of God in our life) turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, (if we are willing to take the time to listen to the voice of God) and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, (If we will cry out to God to help us and lead us) and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, (if we will desire His will far and above our own. If we will seek to please God with every fiber of our being…here is the result.) then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright; He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. Proverbs 2:1-9 (NIV)
What an amazing promise from God. If we will get into the word of God and let the word of God get into us, God will give us wisdom, knowledge, and insight into the path that He wants us to go.
The question is, "Are we searching the scriptures for what God desires like a treasure hunter searches for hidden treasure?" For a lot of people, the answer is not so much. We are so busy doing this and doing that and making this decision and that decision that we don't take the time to spend with God seeking His plan and purpose for our life. That is when life becomes messy.
Most of the mistakes we make in life are because we never sought the wisdom of God found in the pages of this book. And if you and I would simply take the time to open it and read what God says, it would save us so much heartache.
For example, if you are wondering if you should go to church weekly, the Bible says, "let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." Hebrews 10:25.
Does God care if I gossip or lie or tell a crass joke? Ephesians 4:29 says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
How about a few verses later in Ephesians 5:4? God makes this even clearer. "Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving." Ephesians 5:4.
Should I engage in premarital sex or live with someone outside of marriage? I Thessalonians 4:3-7 answers that one.
"It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit."
Should I date someone who doesn't love God? 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 tells us, "Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?"
Is it God's will for me to forgive those who have hurt me, or does He want me to hold a grudge and become a bitter person? "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13
Should I tithe and give 10% of the money that God has entrusted to my care to the things of God, or should I keep it all for myself? Malachi 3:10 says, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
Should I be baptized? Matthew 28:19 says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Should I give my life to Christ? 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord…is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
God has a direction that He wants us to go, and if we do what He tells us to do, our life will have fewer regrets. Every verse is written with God's love and protection for us.
If we ignore what God's word has to say, we will end up with massive regrets. Take it from one who knows. God wants to direct our life and help us into the best life possible.
Another way that God guides us into making great decisions is through His Holy Spirit. When we asked Jesus to forgive us of our sins and come into our life, God put His Holy Spirit inside of us.
John 16:13 says, "He (The Holy Spirit) will guide you into all truth." Jesus said in John 14:26, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
The Holy Spirit that lives in us reminds us of God's words and guides us down the path that God wants us to take. I have never heard an audible voice from God, but there have been times when God has spoken to me so loudly in my gut, that there was no way I could miss what He was telling me to do.
How many times have you had a feeling in your gut as to what to do, but you didn't listen to what the Spirit of God was telling you, and look back now with regret. Jesus said in John 10:27 that,
"My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me."
How do we hear the voice of God? We have to tune ourselves into His frequency. If you are like me, the reason we don't hear from God is because our minds are too cluttered. We are always processing information, aren't we?
We need to slow down and be still and wait on Him. You cannot hear God's voice if you're surrounded by noise. That's why we've got to find a quiet place.
God will never tell you to do something that contradicts what He has already said in the Bible. God will never tell you to lie or murder someone or be unfaithful to your spouse. God will never encourage you to exaggerate and act like a big shot.
God's word is our true north. If God's word is clear, and you think God is asking you to do something other than what is clearly written in Scripture, you are not listening to the Holy Spirit but probably are listening to the lasagna you ate last night.
The third way God leads us is through the advice of Godly friends and leaders.
Proverbs 12:15 says, "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice."
Proverbs 19:20 says, "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end, you will be wise."
The key is to make sure that you seek advice from people in the word of God and who are seeking God diligently in their own life. Be choosy on who you ask advice from because if they aren't seeking God, they might lead you down the wrong path.
Personally, I need the advice of others in my own life. I have found that I am not as sharp as I think I am. All of us have spiritual blind spots. We can't think through every scenario of every decision we are going to make. We need the help of trusted friends to come alongside us and pray for us, and that is why I am begging you to get into a small group. Get a group of people around you who love you and look out for you as you look out for them.
God wants to guide us, and if we let Him, we will have the time of our life. If we don't take Him seriously, if we ignore His guidance, chances are we will never live the life God has for us to live. God doesn't want that for you, and neither do I.
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