Praise The Lord, and greeting in the precious Name of Jesus Christ. It is good to be back with everyone on the Beautiful Monday afternoon, this week our study is going to be on “Right Choices” do we always make the right choices or a good question can also be how do we make the right choices? Praying this weeks study will shed some light on the topic, so without further delay here is our study!
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.
Matthew 7:13–14, 24–29
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Jesus calls us to choose the right path
What passes through our minds when we see young people struggling in prayer at an altar? Without doubt they are desperately looking to God for help. The glistening tears on their faces and the fervency of their words are witnesses that they are at a crossroads in their lives.
The truth is that every believer can expect to come to certain crossroads, crucial places where important decisions must be made. A few right steps, taken at the right moment, can make a tremendous difference. A few kind words spoken, when it would have been easier to flare up in temper, can save a job, a friendship, or a marriage. There are times in the Christian journey when wrong can almost seem right and right can almost seem wrong. It is then that we need to hear a word behind us saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
A.Two Ways Narrow or Broad B. Two Destinies Life or Destruction C.Two Foundations—Rock or Sand D.Two Houses—Stand or Fall 2. RIGHT CHOICES A.Old Testament Wrapped Up with Choice B.Jesus’ Wrap-up to the Sermon on the Mount C.Our Choice to Make
Contemplating the Topic
Storms are a common phenomenon in life. They will come our way whether or not we expect them or are prepared for them. While there are often warning signs a knowledgeable observer can recognize, the inattentive may at first fail to notice the changes in weather conditions. No one seems able to predict fully the intensity of a storm or the damage it may cause. A squall may suddenly turn into a tempest. A hurricane may be downgraded and become no more than a heavy gale. One area may be drenched with rain while another, just a few miles away, may have little more than drizzle.
A storm is an apt metaphor for the severe circumstances that sometimes occur in our lives. Sometimes with warning, but at other times without notice, discouraging and even heartbreaking things can happen.
In every area of our lives, no matter how bright or dark our skies may seem to be, we must determine to make the right choices. This is more easily said than done. In the past many of us created our own storms. As sinners we lived selfishly.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught there was a better way to walk—a way that brings real satisfaction to our hearts and pleases God. To be sure, it is a narrow way and not many are willing to walk along this path. This was the rugged route Christ chose to follow, and it led Him to a cross.
Deciding to follow Jesus Christ and His divine principles will hardly remove all our painful circumstances. In fact, it may add some new and severe problems. Jesus told His disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). And yet there is so much to be gained by choosing to serve Christ. He promised peace to His followers, and He promised everlasting life. We will still face difficult situations as we walk with the Master. We will still have days of uncertainty and struggle. But through the Lord’s guidance, through the power of the Holy Ghost, we can rise above our storms.
Searching the Scriptures
- LIFE CHOICES
Jesus taught emphatically that we must choose one of two ways to live our lives—as faithful Christians or as indifferent sinners. To illustrate the extreme dichotomy of these lifestyles, our Lord in Matthew 7:13–27 described two gates, two ways, two trees, two destinies, two houses, and two types of individuals.
- Two Ways—Narrow or Broad
Jesus carefully explained there is the strait gate and the narrow way “which leadeth unto life” (Matthew 7:14). In his Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W. E. Vine stated that the word “strait” found in Matthew 7:13–14 suggests being “hemmed in like a narrow gorge between rocks.”
This is the unfrequented road because it is narrow and runs counter to the tendencies of most people. Not many find this pathway; not many pass through the narrow gate, for it is hidden from the view of those who are determined to follow their own sinful plans. We must search for the right way. With intensity we must long to please the Almighty.
Although our companions on the narrow road may be few, their fellowship can be a tremendous help and encouragement. With them we can share the awesome views of what God has done for us in the past; with them we look to that which He will do for us in the future. Jesus Christ Himself is our Great Shepherd. He is our constant guide, and He will give us greater understanding as we continue to walk with Him. “The way of the wicked is as darkness” (Proverbs 4:19). “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). So we walk on in hope; we travel on in victory to a holy city where there will be no night.
On the other hand, many enter in at what Jesus described as the wide gate. There is nothing at this entry to obstruct the careless and impenitent. Millions of people have gone through this gate with little thought of where the road beyond them may be leading. These are like derelict ships, broken and rudderless, aimlessly tossed and driven on an angry sea. Millions are deceived into thinking that certain religious rituals or certain charitable deeds will eventually save their souls.
Those who have traveled on the broad road for some time surely must have noticed there is much sorrow and sadness along this way. While there is much to entertain and distract, these things come at a terrific cost.
The traveling companions on this road often struggle with personal problems they can never solve on their own. Some may be terribly bound by habits and addictions. Some may be consumed with loneliness and regrets. Many have wept and promised themselves over and over again they will do better, that somehow they will break away from their evil behavior. There is an old saying that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
- Two Destinies—Life or Destruction
There is no third way, no other option. We are either on the road to Heaven or on the road to Hell. Could any issue in life be more important than this? We must have a made-up mind. Our eyes must be firmly fixed upon the prize that lies before us. We must be willing to pay any price or to face any difficulty in order to spend eternity with Christ. What good is a luxurious cottage on the lake or millions in stocks and bonds if in the end we fail to gain God’s approval? “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). As Paul wrote to Timothy, “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (I Timothy 6:7).
To lose one’s job in a shaky economy must certainly be distressing. To lose a home due to foreclosure has to be a painful experience. To lose one’s health can be more than unsettling. For some, in fact, losing any of these can be devastating. But to lose one’s soul is the greatest of all possible losses, for it is the loss of Heaven. It is the loss of eternal life, the loss of hope, the loss of peace, and the loss of joy.
- Two Foundations—Rock or Sand
How simply, yet how powerfully, Jesus dealt with mankind’s greatest need, the need to both hear His Word and obey His Word! He compared it to two men who each built a house—the one upon a rock and the other upon the sand. Everyone recognizes the need for shelter, especially in a time of storm. Everyone realizes the necessity of a place of rest and refuge. But not everyone will make adequate preparations in this life for the future.
Jesus compared the individual who hears His words and follows in His ways to a wise man who built his house upon a rock. This man was wise because he was looking carefully to the future. “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Proverbs 27:12).
During times of calm and tranquility there may seem to be no need to take extra precautions. But in the tempestuous periods of life, when the fierce winds blow and the rain falls in sweeping torrents, the Christian has an assurance others do not have. Speaking of Jehovah, David proclaimed, “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved” (Psalm 62:6).
Christ is our rock, and what a rock! Our footing is secure in Him, regardless of our circumstances. He remains the same in our good times and in our bad times. When our hearts are rejoicing or when they are broken, Jesus is there. Whether we have recovered from a terrible crisis or whether the pain persists, Jesus is still there.
The same storm buffeted both the wise man’s house built upon the rock and the foolish man’s house built upon the sand. (See Matthew 7:25, 27.) The difference was that one house was built on a solid foundation while the other was built on shifting sand. Like the beds of sand in some coastal areas, the positions of men with regard to the Bible are often changing; but God’s Word remains the same.
So that will conclude our study on Right Choices-part 1, when we get together again on Thursday we will pick up our study at Two Houses-Stand or Fall, so until Thursday praying you have a blessed week.