Decisional: Navigating Life’s Decisions

decisional

We kick off a new series today titled Decisional.

We all make decisions every day in many, many ways. We choose one option among many in life day in and day out.

There are certain moments in life, however, that we must make a decisional decision. A decisional decision is directional. It affects the decisions that come after it.

Jesus says in Matthew 16 “if anyone would come after me…” He then spells out what one must do. It requires denying yourself and taking up your cross. It requires us to lose our life so might find life.

The decisional decision is “if anyone would come after me.” That decision makes many other decisions for you. Following Jesus means doing certain things in life – worshipping, speaking the Gospel to others, giving sacrificially, etc. The decision to do those things is made the moment you decide to follow Jesus, whether you realize it in that moment or not.

This one decision also decides some things you will not do. Commit adultery. Murder. Hate your neighbor. Etc. Whether you realized in the moment you decided to follow Jesus or not everything you decided, in that moment, you decided to not do some things in and with your life.

This week we kick off a series about Decisional decisions. Following Jesus is THE Decisional Decision in life, but there are others, too. There are decisions you make that make other decisions.

What are some other decisional decisions people make?

The Big Picture Continues…

The Big Picture of the Bible focuses on Jesus.

What about now? What about today? Did the story of God end with the New Testament or does it continue today?

The Church is today’s Big Picture.
The Church is God’s current collection of parts and people for his purposes and plans. We are “on screen” in the story of God.

In Matthew 28:18-20 we read Jesus’ last words to his followers before he ascends into the Heavens. They are words of action and mission. They are words of power and authority.

It is by the power of Christ and in the authority of Christ that we know that the eternal victory is won but the everyday battle continues. We know this battle and we have caught glimpses of this victory in our everyday lives as we struggle to faithfully live out our part in God’s mission.

This active mission is spoken in four action words: Go. Make. Baptize. Teach.
Go means, well, go. It means consistent, constant, and concerted effort.
Make means cause people who are not followers of Christ to become followers of Christ.
Baptize means to put under the water and bring up out of the water those who are boldly confessing with their lives that Jesus is Lord.
Teach means to instruct in a way that causes more than head knowledge but life change.

There are three tensions in this mission.
Go to get or get to go?
Is church something you go to get what you want and/or need in life? Or is church what you get to go be in the world around you?
Make meetings or meet to make?
Is church something you need to make sure you make the next meeting at? Or is church a place where you gather with the purpose of being a part of making disciples alongside other followers of Jesus?
Taught to learn or do we teach to teach?
Is the responsibility of leaders and pastors in your church to teach you so you might learn or to teach you so you might teach others?

We are not the ending point of this story. We are never the focus of any chapter in it. Jesus is the focus and he is the ending.

We get to go as ambassadors of Christ and make his appeal to the world around us.
We meet to make disciples. We have the privilege of not forsaking the gathering of the saints as we are corporately and individually made more into the likeness of Christ.
We teach to teach. The purpose of everything the Church teaches you is so that God might use you to teach others. Everyone is not a “teacher” in the traditional sense but we are all teachers in the spiritual sense. Who is learning who Jesus is because of you?

God has not invited us to church activities, but to be the Church in action.

This is not a call to abandon faithfulness in the gathering and working of the Church but a call to understand why you are there. You are not there for you. Jesus is the focus of this Big Picture. So get focused and get active.

Square One Standards – Question 2

How do you approach people who think they are “good” – they are a Christian but don’t seem to have a real relationship that impacts how they live?

It takes a few key points of obedience.

1st – Love.  You must love this person enough to approach them about their sin.  You must love them enough to desire their restoration to Christ above all other things you desire for them or from them.  You must love them enough to examine yourself and your motives before bringing their sin before them.  Don’t deal with their “splinter” while ignoring your own “plank.”

Speak the truth in LOVE.

2nd – Patience.  You must have a long view toward relationships in Christ.  Presenting a sin issue to another follower of Christ is not a microwave ministry.  It is a slow cooker type of process.  You must allow the time for the Holy Spirit to do the work of convicting someone of sin and righteousness.  It is not your job.  You might even find out that you were not right.

Forgive 70 times 7.

3rd – Steadfastness.  As patience is to time, steadfastness is to intentionality.  Are you willing to put in the work to help another follower of Christ walk in obedience to Christ in an area they struggle in?

Bear one another’s burdens.

These are 3 key issues to dealing with sins of others.  Your heart must always be their restoration to Christ.