28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33 But whoso hearkens unto me (obeys me )shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
because the only other consequence is death. In proverbs. We read that we should choose the fear of god or be ready to eat the fruit of our choices to reject god. In Matthew We read about 2 gates one is straight and narrow and leads to life and the other is broad and wide and represents choosing the easy way that leads to death. And in Romans 6 we can choose to make sin our master and reap the consequence of death or we can make obedience our choice and live. The success or failure of our life is made up of the decisions and choices we make every day of our life.
Let me ask you something this morning: can you dream with your eyes open? Sometimes i call that - envisioning! I'd like to ask you to 'envision' with me for a moment right now. In other words, do a on your life 25 years into tomorrow. Here are the kinds of questions you might think about:
- If you continue living just as you are right now, what will be the outcome?
- If you keep on being the kind of father that you are being today, will your adult children love and respect you or will they call a couple of times a year out of politeness?
- If you keep on being the same kind of spouse, will your partner still be with you? Will you enjoy deep intimacy or just be two people sharing a house?
- If you keep on doing business with the same ethics, will you have burned through several more careers or will you reach your full potential and destiny in christ and be a leader in your chosen field?
- If you continue to think the same thoughts, will you have grown into a beautiful person or become a selfish and lonely person?
Now put a little different spin on your vision.
- As you envision yourself in the fall of 2025, what would you about your life?
- Are you making choices today that are planting the seeds that will produce the harvest you desire?
One of the great gifts that god has given to us is the gift of choice. We don't always get to choose the circumstances of life, but we always have the choice of our responses to those circumstances.
Ex: 1. You, alone, can't govern the economic cycles in which you live, but you can choose what things you place a high value on. ( a relationship with god, family, church, tithing, the pursuit of excellence and integrity)
2. You can't always make other people treat you fairly or with respect, but you can always choose the way that you react or respond to them.
MANY Americans are too lazy and irresponsible to even understand that they have a choice. In our current craze of 'victimhood', we search for someone to blame for our present state on and search for a rescuer to change that situation for us. God and government are called on constantly to intervene in our lives to change the outcome of our thoughtless, irresponsible decisions.
7 be not deceived; god is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 for he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting. 9 and let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 as we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
One of the clearest illustrations of the irresponsibility of our time are the lawsuits against the FOR All of my life, it has been made perfectly clear that smoking damages health. Any 10 year old can tell you that smoking will shorten your life and cause serious health complications. Yet, lawyers are growing rich by suing cigarette makers on behalf of men and women who have suffered because of smoking. Why do we reward those who make the choice to smoke cigarettes for 30 years with hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements? Sure the tobacco companies have created an addictive product, but everyone who chooses to smoke today, knows that. In my opinion, they take the responsibility for the results every time they light up. No one should feel compelled to rescue them from their own choice nor should a smoker expect to be 'rescued' from his or her decisions that they freely made. You see, there is a consequence to our choices, life or death, success or failure, the choice is yours.