The Power of Choice

Posted on 08/25/2013 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


*** there are no public prayer requests this week ***



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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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JOYFUL JOYFUL

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
Op'ning to the sun above.

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.

Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow'ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!

Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o'er us,
Brother love binds man to man.

Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.


SALVATION BELONGS TO OUR GOD

Salvation belongs to our God
Who sits upon the throne
And unto the lamb
Be praise and glory
Wisdom and thanks
Honor and power and strength

Be to our God
Forever and ever
Be to our God
Forever and ever
Be to our God
Forever and ever, amen

And we the redeemed shall be strong
In purpose, and unity
Declaring aloud
Praise and glory
Wisdom and thanks
Honor and power and strength


HOLY HOLY HOLY

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.


I LOVE YOU LORD

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear


*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


Dear Father God, I thank You for this time we have had in Your presence worshiping You, pouring our hearts out in song to You. I ask that You would speak through me as I share what I believe You have put on my heart. May Your light shine for all to see who You are and that everything You do is worthy of praise. I pray this in the name that is above all names Jesus Christ, Amen.

Today's fireside chat is titled The Power of Choice. Some of you may have been here when I've talked about choosing God over the world or satan or what have you, but I truly believe this is what God wants me to talk about. On August 20th, I had posted a Facebook status about The Power of Choice, and ever since that time, I have been thinking about it, and the same things have been going on in my mind until it was so strong I KNEW I was supposed to talk about this.

In our lives there are things that we can NOT change. We can't change our DNA. We didn't choose our parents. God did! We can't change the weather, but we can choose how we react to it. Do we get angry or upset about it? If it is raining, do we complain? Or do we dance in it? If it is snowing, do we grumble about the white stuff? Or do we have a snowball fight?

God made us with a free will. We get to choose what we do. That's the power of choice. See, God didn't want puppets or robots that He controlled. In fact, what He wanted were people who were made in HIS image, but had their own minds.

GASP God wants us to have our own minds?!?!?! Mari you MUST be joking! But I'm not. I'm serious. God wants us to choose for ourselves.

God also wanted us to be real. If we were robots or puppets, we would not be real! No matter how “real” movies and TV shows make robots or puppets look, THEY AREN'T REAL! They just aren't. I don't know if there is a way for me to explain that.

But even more even more than the fact that God wanted us to be real is this: He wanted us to choose HIM. He wanted us to look at our lives, everything around us, and realize something: The world can't give us what we really want. Only God can do that.

So, I guess you are asking for Scripture verses right about now uh? Well, the whole Bible is God's love letter to us. It talks about our relationship with Him. Let's look at a few.

How about this one? Deuteronomy 30:19
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

This verse is God talking. He isn't forcing the choice, but rather saying “Here! You either choose life or death. Blessing or cursing. What are you going to choose?”

Maybe it is just me, but I can not only hear God saying this, but I can also see satan. Satan is trying to get our attention. He has this huge banner and the neon lights glow and flash all pretty since he can “dress as the angel of light” so to speak. Satan calls “Hey you! Over here! You don't want to go with God! He'll take your choices away. But I will let you chose whatever you want.” And of course that is a LIE!

Sure at the beginning it is all good. Everything is going great or so it seems. You can only see the good stuff. The bad is hidden by the “fake light.” And your choice? Haha. You are now a puppet on a string that satan likes to play with! He controls you now. All your choices are things he wants you to do, not things you want to do necessarily. Of course, that isn't always true. Some people LIKE to live in darkness.




Let's talk about this verse: Proverbs 12:26
The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Since God has given us the power of choice we can choose our friends! Yes, we can! Have you chosen your friends wisely? Are your friends those who bring you closer to Jesus or move you farther away? Can you speak to them about Jesus without them getting angry? Can you invite them to church? Can they help you grow in your walk with Christ?

But Mari, they are friends! I don't want to stop being friends with people who don't do those things. Is that wise? I know this is a touchy topic for people. I am not saying you can't have non Christian friends, but what I AM saying is to not let them influence you. Don't hang around them all the time. Especially if their sinful life styles are causing you to stumble. And if you have to, tell them this is who I am if you can't be around me without tearing me down for my beliefs, for my faith, then we can't be friends. I know that will be hard, but you have to CHOOSE! God gave you the power of choice! You either lay down the boundaries now or regret it later. That is all I am saying.

Okay onward we go. :) I guess this might be my last “point” so to speak. So many people don't realize that every day they can CHOOSE how the day will go. God wakes me up every day. I can either be grumpy about it or I can be cheery. He gives me food to eat. I can either like it or hate it. He gives me certain things to do. For some they go to work, school, or stay at home. You may not get to CHOOSE what you do, but you do get to CHOOSE how you will react to everything that goes on in your day. You either can get angry at God or you can praise Him.

Now, I understand that there are times when anger and tears are normal. A loved one dies. Of course there will be tears. You lose your job. Anger and maybe tears will come. The list is endless.

BUT for the most part, our day is a choice. And even in loss and grief, whether we let it destroy us or make us stronger is a choice. Do you make good choices? God has given you the power of choice. What do you do with it?

With the things you chose, can people around you see Jesus in you? Can they know Who bought you with His blood? Maybe they don't know all the details, but they can see something is different in you. Maybe they scratch their heads and wonder “What is with that person? They have a smile on their face every time I see them. What's so different about their life? I don't see anything to be so happy about!”

Who knows...it might lead to a conversation where you can share Jesus with them. So, yes, my brothers and sisters in Christ, it DOES matter what we choose. It matters that we are real with people and ourselves and God. It matters that we see each new day as a blessing and not a curse.

It shouldn't matter that it is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Psalm 118:24 says This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. So no matter the day, rejoice! for the Lord has made the day and HE wants us to enjoy it! :)

We have the power of choice. We can make a difference in the lives of people around us. We can change our attitude to where we realize that the power of choice is very strong. It is the power that can bring either life or death to a situation. Bring life into the situations in your life. Let God show you the better choice or choices that you can and should be making.

He loves you, you know. He wants what is best for you, for me. For all of us.

I want to close in prayer. Father God, thank You for You word and for the chance to share it. I ask that You would help us to see the power of choice in our lives. I ask that You would speak to us right now and help us to make good choices. Bring light into our lives oh God. Shower us with your love and mercy. I pray this in Jesus' name Amen.

Now, before you go anywhere, there are some things I want to ask. You don't have to answer publicly, but answer truthfully in your heart.

Have you made the choice of receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life? If not, you can do that today.

Have you made some wrong choices and you need God's forgiveness and His help to get on the right path? We can pray with and for you.

Do you have a choice that you need to make, but are unsure which way to go? We can pray with and for you.

If you know someone in any of these categories, but they aren't here today, we can pray for them.

If any of these are you, please move out of your seat and come to the altar. If you need prayer for anything else, please come as well. If you would like someone to pray with you, message one of us and we will be happy to do that.

And if you'd just like to spend some time in prayer and worship, you're invited to come to the front too.

Come. Let's meet together at the altar. Let's make good choices. Let's start by making a good one now by asking for God's help!

After this time at the altar, you are free to go. We will have a time of fellowship in the room to your left with the couches so please come join us there.

May God bless you this week with His amazing love, mercy, and grace. May He show you the power of choice in your life. Go in peace.