Weekly Evangelectionary for February 26, 2012 – First Sunday in Lent

Psalm 25:1-10; Genesis 9:8-17; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15

Theme: The Power of Choice

Message: Learning to Make the Right Choices

The Psalmist poses a thought provoking question in Psalms 25:12. “What man is he that feareth the Lord?” Ponder his question for a moment…Then allow that question to provoke a self examination. Walking in the blessings of God and receiving the benefits of the Gospel is not for pretenders. Though all Israel were the royal seed and descendants of Abraham, not all would receive the promised blessing. God gave the nation of Israel, his chosen people the power of choice. The choices they made had serious consequences, some good and others not so good.

The power of choice has always been a part of God’s plan for mankind. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given the opportunity to choose. Think about Genesis 2:9 “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” God himself placed both “the tree of life” and “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” in the garden. Adam and Eve would be blessed by their choice or cursed by their choice. On the border of the Promised Land, Moses clearly sets a choice before the people, De 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”

In Psalms 25, the psalmist reveals a list of petitions to his God and a list of awesome promises from God. God promised protection from his enemy, instruction for the sinners, guidance and direction for the  meek.  In verse 12, “What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.”  For the person who truly walks in the fear of the Lord, God promises to teach him in the way that he should choose. The truly blessed man needs the Lord to help him make the right choices. Jeremiah 10:23, O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” God promises that those whose hearts are right shall not err for want of heavenly direction. Where God sanctifies the heart he enlightens the head.  We all wish to choose our way; but what a mercy it is when the Lord directs that choice, and makes free will to be goodwill!  If we make our will God’s will, God will let us have our will.  God does not violate our will, but leaves much to our choice; nevertheless, he instructs our wills, and so we choose that which is well pleasing in his sight. A Truly blessed Man is a man who chooses to learn at the feet of Christ and allows Christ to teach him what to choose; the man who will not violate his own conscience but will make choices that lead to quiet peace of a good conscience; and the man who make godly choices that will bless himself and his children. Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ opens the door of many wonder privileges here and in the hereafter. The benefits are increased or decrease by the choices we make. Let us draw close to God and allow him to teach us to make the right choice.

Illustration: Ah, life is so full of choices. Sometimes we choose wisely. Sometimes not so wisely—like the little boy whose older brother talked into letting him crack some eggs on his head. The two of them were getting ready to boil some eggs so they could decorate them for Easter when the older brother told the younger one—“if you let me break three eggs on your head I’ll give you a dollar.” The younger one’s eyes grew wide with the prospect of getting a dollar. “really?” he said, “a whole dollar?” “Yep. If you let me break three eggs on your head I’ll give you a dollar.” “Promise?” “Promise.” “Okay.” The younger brother closed his eyes and held his hands at the side of his face as the older brother giggled and cracked open the first egg. As the yolk was just beginning to roll down onto his cheeks, the older brother said, “That’s one. Here’s two.” As he cracked open the second egg the older brother said, “This is so cool.” The younger boy then braced himself for the third egg. After about ten seconds he said, “Come on, I’m ready for the third egg.” The older brother then slyly said, “Are you kidding? That would cost me a dollar.”

Music:  I have Decided To Follow Jesus (# 164 The New National Baptist Hymnal)

Trust and Obey (#443 The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Bicentennial Hymnal)

Am I A Soldier of the Cross (#438 The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Bicentennial Hymnal)

Prayer: O God, our Father, since it is not in man to order his steps or to proper choose his way, teach to draw near unto thee. Since we will have life that we choose, help us to make choices that lead to your divine favor and communion. We realize that in Christ all our needs are supplied and whatever come short of life and happiness, we owe to the choices we make. Lead us in the way of life everlasting…In the name of Jesus, our redeemer and Lord, Amen.

 

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