Summary: Wise choices lead to life, health, and blessings. Unwise ones can bring heartache, sickness, ruin, and death. You have the power to choose! This sermon will present you with some life-affecting choices and will offer Scriptural wisdom for making good choices.
•• Martha was busy in the kitchen, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to Him. Both Martha and Mary were doing good things, but Jesus said that, by choosing time with Him, Mary had “chosen what is better”. She had made a smart choice!
Joshua 24:14-15 Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
•• Choose to serve God over every other option.
•• Choose God over Mammon, that is, the world’s riches.
•• Choose Jesus over the fear of man’s disfavor.
•• Choose Christ’s Church over weekend self-indulgence.
Judges 5:7 Village life in Israel ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel. When they chose new gods, war came to the city gates...
•• When Israel “chose new gods”, that was an unwise choice and led war right up to their city gates.
•• Choose the God of the bible not the “new gods” of:
Psalm 119:30, 173 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws....  May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
•• The way of truth, God’s Word, God’s precepts, is the way to incurring His help in our lives.
• Choose the bible over man’s philosophies.
• Look into the bible for answers when you need help.
Proverbs 8:10-11Choose my [wisdom’s] instruction instead of silver, [choose] knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
•• Choose the things of God over the allurements of this world.
• Read His Word for knowledge of the mind of God.
• Apply His Word to life situations, and you will find that wisdom comes more easily to you as you mature.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
•• “Choose life!” ... choose blessings! Life and blessings in your life are dependent on you making wise choices.
• In diet and exercise decisions, choose life-giving habits. It is critically important in these areas of self-control to make good choices.
• In spiritual practices, choose life — for example, regular prayer, regular Bible reading, faithful church attendance, consistent worship of God.
Deuteronomy 1:12-13 But how can I [Moses] bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.
•• Make wise choices concerning those you place “over you” in life.
• Submit yourself to “wise, understanding, and respected men” to mentor you, to teach you, to pastor you.
• 36 years ago I chose to submit myself to the pastoral oversight of a man of God in Alaska named Dick Benjamin. That was a smart choice! 36 years later, although he is retired now, Pastor Benjamin continues to have a beneficial influence on my life.
• To the extent you can, try to find a job where you can work under decent, honorable leaders.
• Don't be passive and let yourself be "a victim". You have the power to choose the right options for your life.
Acts 6:2-3 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them.
•• In your selections of leaders, of employees, of people with whom to associate, to the extent that you can...
• Choose to ally yourself with people who rely on God’s wisdom.
Exodus 34:16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.
•• Choosing wrong associations leads only to trouble!
• Wrong companions
• An unequally yoked marriage — that is, a believer married to an unbeliever.
• The wrong church, perhaps one steeped in theological liberalism or “tolerant” of values and conduct condemned in the bible, such as the practice of homosexuality.
Hebrews 11:24-26By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
•• Like Moses, while in this world you should look ahead!
• Your eternal “reward” is preferable to the fleeting sinful pleasures of this world.
• Victory over sin requires a long-term perspective.
• As you choose the Lord over this world’s ways, be prepared for and expect mistreatment and persecution.
James 4:4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
•• Don’t ever choose to be comfortable with “the world”.
• You cannot be the “friend” of this world and its ways.
• Paraphrasing — You cannot serve God and the world.
Making smart choices is absolutely indispensable to victorious living. Some of those right choices we have looked at today are:
• Choosing “what is better” — that is, time spent with Jesus.
• Choosing to serve God over all other options this world offers.
• Not choosing “new gods”, but rather avoiding modern religious fads and notions that diminish God, Jesus Christ, or His Word.
• Choosing “the way of truth...[God’s] precepts” as laid out in His Word, the bible.
• Choosing God’s wisdom and a growing knowledge of Him over all the riches and allurements of this world.
• Choosing life — that is, making life-giving, life-affirming, wise choices in every area of your life.
• Choosing “respected men” to lead, teach, and mentor you.
• Choosing those you regularly associate with from among those who are biblically wise and spiritual.
• By contrast, choosing to avoid wrong associations.
• Making choices from a heavenly, long-term perspective, rather than indulging the sinful nature in the short term.
• Choosing never to be comfortable with “the world” and its corrupting ways.