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CHAPLAIN'S CORNER SUNDAY COWBOY SERVICE JULY 7, 2019 MAKING DECISIONS IN LIFE WITH WISDOM

-Chaplain Jerry

1.Music, 2. Prayer, 3. The Message, 4. PowerPoint Graphics, 5. Music

************ (2) PRAYER ***********

Heavenly Father, It is you Lord God that we rejoice in your Salvation and we acknowledge the goodness, the Greatness and mercy that you offered to us through Jesus Christ on the cross in which you died there for our sins.
We acknowledge that without you lord, life has no meaning. Just an existence with no hope for the future without you. Lord God, you alone are worthy of all praise and honor and glory and we come before your throne this morning lifting our hearts in praise to you, the creator God of all things, who holds the universe in your hands.

Lord God, give us wisdom in our daily walk and help us to stay on the right path and not stray off the dusty trail. Guide and direct us and speak to us daily through your word. Lord we know that there is no salvation apart from you and that there are many who do not know the hope and assurance we have in Jesus Christ.
Lord God, may today they find that assurance and may the light of the living God shine in their path and bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Now Lord God prepare our hearts to listen to your word and guide each of us this next week in our plans, our decisions and may you Lord God always be in our hearts and on our minds.
In Jesus name aman.

********** (3) THE MESSAGE **************

The Bible offers many principles to aid the process of making decisions that honor God. The following list is not exhaustive, but it does represent many teachings of Scripture.

First, begin with prayer. First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” If we should pray in all situations, we should certainly pray in times of decision-making. As we pray, we ask for wisdom (James 1:5).

Second, define the issue. Wise decisions are informed decisions. It is important to understand what options are available. Once the factors are known, options can be further considered and evaluated.

Third, seek biblical wisdom. Some decisions become easy, if there is one clear choice consonant with God’s Word. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” When we follow the teachings of God’s Word, He guides our path and provides knowledge to make wise choices.

Fourth, seek godly counsel. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Sometimes, consulting with a friend or family member is enough. At other times, consulting with a pastor or other trusted voice can make the difference between a harmful decision and a helpful one.

Fifth, trust the Lord with your decision. In other words, if you’ve made your decision with prayer, sound wisdom, and biblical counsel, trust God for the outcome. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Sixth, be willing to admit mistakes and adjust accordingly. In most cases, there is no wisdom in continuing down a wrong path after you have discovered it is wrong. Be willing to admit mistakes or failures and ask God for the grace to change.

Seventh, give praise to God for your success. When your decisions result in personal success, the temptation is to believe it is due to your own power, talent, or genius. However, it is God who blesses our efforts and gives strength. “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven” (John 3:27).

In Proverbs 8:5 some translations speak of the need to develop “common sense,” which other translations simply call “prudence” or “discretion.”

Biblically, common sense can be thought of as a combination of wisdom and discretion (Proverbs 3:21; 8:12–14). Wisdom is knowing what to do; discretion is knowing when and where to do it.

Part of being a fool is having no common sense or being “void of understanding,” as the KJV puts it (Proverbs 7:7; 24:30). The book of Proverbs proclaims the benefits of gaining wisdom and also shows the folly of being a fool (Proverbs 13:16; 16:22; 26:11). Proverbs 3:13–14 says,

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.”

Wisdom allows us to see life the way God does. When we seek God’s perspective, we can make decisions based upon their eternal significance rather than selfish interest.

When we choose to make decisions based on wisdom alone, we are exercising common sense. The desire for instant gratification is the enemy of common sense. Many people have become ensnared in trouble and heartache because they rejected a wise path and sought instead immediate satisfaction.

Common sense is often developed by learning from the consequences of such poor choices—the school of hard knocks educates many. Everyone makes bad decisions at some point.

The difference between the wise and the foolish is that one learns from his mistakes and the other keeps repeating them. Some people seem born with a more level head, while others learn from experience. Either way, wisdom and common sense should be continually pursued in order to experience the best God has for us (Proverbs 2:1–8)

Solid decision-making begins by discerning the will of God. God delights in revealing His will to those who are eager to follow His precepts (Psalm 33:18; Psalm 35:27; Psalm 147:11).

Our attitude towards decision-making should be that of Jesus Himself who affirmed, “Not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42; Matthew 6:10).

God reveals His will to us primarily in two ways. First, through His Spirit: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (John 16:13; see also 1 John 2:20, 27). And, second, God reveals His will through His Word:

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105; also Psalm 19:7-9; 2 Peter 1:19).

The process of decision-making includes making a judgment about an attitude or action. Decisions are an act of the will, and they are always influenced by the mind, the emotions, or both.

The decisions we make actually reflect the desires of our heart (Psalm 119:30). Therefore, a key question before making a decision is “do I choose to please myself, or do I choose to please the Lord?” Joshua set the standard: “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15; cf. Romans 12:2).

God sees the whole picture—the past, present, and future of our lives. He teaches and counsels us as He reveals Himself to us through His Word and Spirit. God has made this promise to us: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8; cf. Psalm 25:12).

There will be times when God’s will may seem undesirable or unpleasant, when our heart follows our own desires instead of trusting God. But we will eventually learn that God’s will is always for our benefit (Psalm 119:67; Hebrews 12:10-11).

Again, the chief key to solid decision-making is knowing God’s will and not following the desires of our own hearts:

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12; cf. Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 21:2).

As we put our trust in God, rather than ourselves, we soon discover what decisions are pleasing to Him.

First, God blesses those decisions that He initiates and that line up with His Word: “I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness” (Proverbs 4:11; see also Psalm 119:33).

Second, God blesses decisions that accomplish His purpose and depend on His strength: “It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13; see also Philippians 4:13).

Additionally, God blesses those decisions that result in His glory: “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

He blesses decisions that reflect His character, that promote justice, kindness and humility:

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8;

Other references include 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Timothy 4:12). And He blesses those decisions that come from faith:

“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

We must not forget God’s promise to give His children wisdom when they ask: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5; cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:17). And when we pray for wisdom, we must trust God to answer our prayer: “When he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-7). Patience is important, too, as we wait for God’s timing: “After waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised” (Hebrews 6:15).

Decision-making is more difficult when it involves a painful choice. Sometimes, the right course of action will also hurt us in some way. This is where we need grace the most.

Are we really willing to suffer for the glory of Christ?

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1-2).

Making a decision today? Look to God’s Word for direction. Take comfort in the peace which only He can provide (Philippians 4:7). Ask for wisdom, trust His promises, and He will guide your path:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6;
also Isaiah 58:11; John 8:12).

Lord God, may the wisdom of your word, may these truths be glued to our minds. Help our foolishness and forgive us of our sins. Direct our paths and lord God to always be in your will and depending daily on your word. In Jesus name aman

****** Thank you for coming everyone, God Bless and have a Great week. - Chaplain Jerry

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