January 16, 2022 SUMC 9am Worship Service

Sunday Worship Services:

Sanctuary & online - 9AM and 10:45 AM

Jan. 16, 2022

Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets

Decisions, Decisions, and More Decisions

Proverbs 27:12 & Ephesians 5:15-17

1.  Introduction:

     a.  A six-week spiritual journey which will challenge us to live a more intentional life—making healthier decisions with fewer regrets!

“Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  So do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.”  (Ephesians 5:15-17)

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”  (Proverbs 27:12)

     b.  Good questions set us up for good decisions.

     c.  The five questions:

          i.  "Am I being honest with myself, really?"

          ii.  "What story do I want to tell?"

          iii.  "Is there a tension that needs my attention?"

          iv.  "What is the wise thing to do?"

          v.  "What does love require of me?"

     d.  Ask – Answer Honestly – Act

          i.  You are not the only person impacted by your decisions, nor impacted by your regrets.

          ii.  Your decisions determine the direction and quality of your life.

2.  What Is God’s Desire For Me? (My Entire Life)

“Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.”  (Romans 6:13)

“The only thing Christianity cannot be is moderately important.”  (C.S. Lewis)

     a.  I can’t have two priorities.

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul.”                       (Deuteronomy 10:12)

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”  (Matthew 6:24)

“He said to another person, “Come, follow me.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”  But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”  Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”  (Luke 9:59-61)

     b.  Where are we saying to God, “Me first”?

“Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations.  When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’  Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’  Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’”                   (Luke 14:16-20)

     c.  What excuse do I keep giving to God to put myself first?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”   (Matthew 6:33)

3.  What Is My Part In Making Better Decisions And Living With Fewer Regrets?

“Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.”  (Proverbs 10:17a)

     a.  Disciple = discipline

“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.  “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”  (1 Timothy 4:7)

     b.  Discipline = delayed gratification

     c.  Our habits define our character.

          i.  The discipline of saying no—two things that hinder any spiritual progress and waster our spiritual potential are sin and weight.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”  (Hebrews 12:1)

               > Making better decisions makes space for God. 

               > Not everything in life is of equal value.

          ii.  The discipline of saying yes—the average person lives 28,722 days—isn’t it good and wise investment to take about 50 of those days and figure out what to do with the rest of them?

               > We can’t do it all and that is okay.

“But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”  But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!  There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:40-42)

               > It’s not all worth doing.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13)

4.  Why Does All Of This Matter?

     a.  We live life to the fullest by living for Him who died for us.

“He (Christ) died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)

 “As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.”                    (2 Corinthians 6:1) 

     b.  We live life to the fullest when we remember we have but one life.

“Only one life, so soon it will pass; only what’s done for Christ will last.” (C.T. Studd)

5.  Conclusion:

          i.  Your decisions determine the story of your life.

          ii.  The best news is…if you don't like your current story, or if you don't like the current direction of your story, you have an opportunity to decide your life in a different direction. 

          iii.  You can decide your way toward a preferred future…a better story…with fewer regrets. 

          iv.  Let’s commit ourselves to God and be part of something special over these next six weeks!

“This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk:  I have heard all about you, Lord.

    I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by…I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!  The Sovereign Lord is my strength!”   (Habakkuk 3:1-2a, 18b-19a)