Making Choices That Matter

Sunday June 7th, 2015

Rev. Mouris Yousef, Pastor

Making Choices that Matter!

Exodus 2:11-15; Hebrews 11:24-27

 

Throughout our lives we are going to have to make a lot of choices and decisions. Most often when we are thinking about what direction to go, or what decision to make, we try to make the decision that is best for us. In our culture, we are told that picking the job that pays more is best. In our culture, we are told that it is not a bad idea to be ‘religious’ but not very much. We are told we can be involved, but not committed. Our culture teaches our kids that the best thing they do is to play two sports, take AP (Advanced Placement) classes, and get straight A’s so they can get into a good college. Very little emphasis or none, though, on God’s purpose for their lives and living a life that is honoring to God. The question that I want to ask this morning is, “Is choosing what our culture says is best always actually the best thing?” We all know that the choices we make can alter our life forever and set us on a course that may last a lifetime.

To explore this question, today and over the next few Sundays, we will be looking at some Biblical characters and some Scripture passages of people who had to make some hard decisions. As we look at those stories from God’s Living Word, the Bible, we will be able to identify some important Biblical principles in the decision-making process. It is my hope as we look at some of those principles to learn how to make God-honoring choices; choices that matter. This morning I want to look at a decision that Moses made that most definitely went against the culture and the values of his day. The background of Moses’ decision is found in Exodus chapter 2:11-15. As we look at Exodus chapter 2 and Hebrews chapter 11, please allow me to share a couple important principles:

First: Making God-Honoring Decisions are always Costly

In Exodus chapter 2, Moses had to make a very costly decision. He gave up so much! Once he had grown up, Moses had to choose between two countries, Egypt or Israel. Egypt was the country he grew up in. It was a country that offered great wealth, a great educational system, great privileges, and tremendous opportunity for achievement. Because he was an adopted member of the “royal family,” Egypt afforded Moses almost every opportunity and pleasure his heart desired. If Moses chose to ignore the beating of the Hebrew slave, He would have continued to gain power and wealth in Egypt. He would have enjoyed a glorious life with many treasures and other worldly pleasures. If Moses chose to intervene and save the Hebrew, he would be giving up the luxurious lifestyle that he was raised in.

After some thought though Moses makes his decision in Exodus 2:12, “Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” He chose to be on the side of the oppressed. He chose to affiliate and unite himself with the Hebrew slaves. The nation of Israel was enslaved by Egypt. A choice to identify with Israel was a choice to identify with slaves and to leave behind all the pleasures and treasures Egypt had to offer. We pay price for our decisions. Even today, as it has always been, the choice to identify with the people of God will mean that we will suffer persecution. Paul instructed Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:12 “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” How did Moses make his decision and on what basis? How did Moses arrive at this choice? If you were Moses, would you make the same decision? Would you come to the same conclusion? Hebrews chapter 11 gives us the rationale behind Moses decision. Moses saw things through the lens of God’s eternal perspective.

Second: Seeing Things through the Lens of God’s Eternal Perspective

In Hebrews 11:24-27, Moses is commended for his choice. “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” Moses understood that choosing what the culture said was best, was not what God thought was best. In fact, in these verses in Hebrews 11, it says that if Moses had chosen to ignore the beating and live comfortably as an Egyptian prince, it wouldn’t have been just a worse decision, it would have been sin! Anytime in our lives when we make decisions that are not honoring to God, we sin.

One of the secrets of making God-honoring decisions is found in Hebrews 11:26-27 “He was looking ahead to his reward … He persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.” Moses was often talked about as having conversations with God face to face. It was only through his direct relationship with God that Moses was able to persevere. When you decide to make a Godly decision that goes against what the culture says, you will have to turn to God for help in sticking with your decision. It is hard to make Godly decisions and the strength that is needed only comes from God and seeing things from God’s perspective.

Friends, in 2 Peter 1:8-9, the Scripture warns us against being “nearsighted” and “blind.” In other words, making choices and decisions that are not taken in the light of God’s eternal perspective. If Moses would have aligned himself with the Egyptians, he could have continued to enjoy the pleasure of an extremely comfortable life. He could have continued to enjoy the best of everything that Egypt at that time had to offer, but we would not be preaching about him today. He could have had a great tomb full of gold with the rest of the Pharaohs, but this could have been the end of his story. He could have had a great monument or even a pyramid in the land of Egypt, but his name would have not been written in the Book of Life.

Friends, I am praying for all of us today as followers of Christ to make decisions on the basis of our identity in Christ. You and I should view things differently. We view things through the lens of God’s eternal perspective. May we have the courage to stand our ground and make choices that are honoring to God more than our culture. Friends, the choices will be determined and the decisions will be made whether we make them ourselves based on our convictions or allow others to make them for us. Late U.S. President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) learned that it’s better to make a decision than to let others make it for you. When he was a kid, his aunt took him to a shoe store and had the shoemaker to make him some custom-made shoes. He was asked if he wanted square-toed or round-toed shoes. He couldn’t make up his mind and when he went to pick them up, one was round-toed and one was square-toed. It was a lesson the shoemaker was teaching him about making his own decisions. Let’s wake up, people of God. Let’s become followers of Jesus Christ and not followers of our culture. In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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