“The Choices We Make” Introduction • Jimmy Carter • Ayatollah Khomeini • Lech Walesa • Ronald Reagan
“The Choices We Make” • More than anything else, our decisions, not the conditions of our lives that determine what happens to us in the present. • If we decide to, you and I can make our lives one of those inspiring examples.
“The Choices We Make” • Noah • Job • Abraham • Gideon
“The Choices We Make” • The examples of men and women as recorded in the Bible can provide valuable lessons. • Abraham - the value of faith in God. • Joseph - the workings of God’s providential care. • Job - the importance of patience and faith under trial.
“The Choices We Make” • From Lot we can also glean valuable lessons in... • The art of decision making. • The importance of making biblical choices.
“The Choices We Make” 1So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. 2Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. (Gen. 13:1-2, NIV)
“The Choices We Make” 3From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier 4and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD. (Gen. 13:3-4, NIV)
“The Choices We Make” 5Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. (Gen. 13:5-6, NIV)
“The Choices We Make” 7And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. (Gen. 13:7, NIV)
“The Choices We Make” 8So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. 9Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” (Gen. 13:8-9, NIV)
“The Choices We Make” 10Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: (Gen. 13:10-11, NIV)
“The Choices We Make” 12Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. (Gen. 13:12, NIV)
“The Choices We Make” • LOT’S CHOICE • In the Book of Genesis, Lot is introduced to us. • As a Result of his choice, Lot suffered... • War (Gen. 14:11). • Kidnapping (Gen. 14:12).
“The Choices We Make” • Oppression and torment by the citizens of Sodom (2 Pet. 2:7-8; cf. Gen. 19:1-11). • Loss of all his material wealth (Gen. 19:15-16, 24-25). • The death of his wife (Gen. 19:17, 26). • The shame of incest with his daughters (Gen. 19:30-36).
“The Choices We Make” • 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men • 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) (2 Peter 2:7-8, NIV)
“The Choices We Make” • OUR CHOICES • What choices do we make that greatly affect our lives? • The one that will affect your life more than any other: • THE CHOICE TO BELIEVE IN AND OBEY THE LORD OR NOT.
“The Choices We Make” • Choosing your CAREER. • Choosing your MATE • Choosing your FRIENDS • Choosing WHERE YOU WILL LIVE
“The Choices We Make” • HOW CAN WE MORE LIKELY MAKE THE BIBLICAL CHOICE? • Ask God for wisdom (Ja. 1:5-8). • Seek advice from others (Prov. 11:14; 12:15). • Whatever you do, do it for the Lord’s sake (cf. Psa. 37:5-6, 23-26; Ja. 4:15).
“The Choices We Make” • 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:15, NIV)
“The Choices We Make” • What should we do when we realize our choice was wrong? • Do what Lot did... • Do what Peter did after he denied Christ... • Do what Paul did after persecuting the church...
“The Choices We Make” Conclusion • The example of Lot should serve... • To teach us that making biblical decisions is very important. • To warn us not to make our choices lightly. • More than anything else, it is our decisions, not the conditions of our lives that determines what happens to us.