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Principles Of Decision Making

INTRODUCTION

• John Maxwell shares the following story. The personal manager had advertised a
job opening, and a large group of applicants was waiting in her waiting room. The
first young man was ushered into her office, and she began explaining the job to him.
“We need someone in this job who can make fast decisions,” she said, “someone
who can really think on his feet. Can you show me that you’re capable of doing that?”
Without a word, the young man got to his feet, stuck his head out the door, and
announced to the waiting applicants, “Okay, you guys. You can all go home- the job’s
just been filled.”

• That was a quick, risky decision!

• Today we are going to deal with a subject that each one of us deals with each and
every day. Several times a day we are called to make decisions.

• SLIDE #1

• Life is about making decisions. Each day we all have to make decisions. Some of
the decisions we make are of little or no consequence. What am I going to eat for
breakfast, what car will I drive to work.

• Other decisions can be life changing or life ending. Am I going to go to that party,
then drink and drive home?

• Am I going to take that person up on their offer that would cause me to commit
adultery?

• Am I going to smoke that first cigarette, something that will have an adverse affect
on my life span?

• How many people do you know who have ruined their lives or ended them because
they made a bad decision? How many people do you know who when they reach a
crossroads in their life, they take the wrong turn and end up regretting it.

• Do you know people who seem to always make good decisions in life? What was
the difference between those who seem to make wrong harmful choices verses
those who more times than not to get it right?

• Making good decisions in life can be very tough and sometimes very confusing.

• Today we are going to look at some of the principles we can see in the life of Jesus
that should help us to make better decisions in our lives.

• Today we will look at five principles we can glean from the life of Jesus.

• SLIDE #2

SERMON
I. JESUS UDERSTOOD HIS PURPOSE (LUKE 19:10)

• It is difficult for us to make good decisions without a sense of personal destiny,


without a sense of knowing where we want to go in life.

• Jesus knew what His purpose was for being here and would not allow Himself to be
knocked off track, even as painful as it was going to be.

• We make a lot of our bad decisions because we do not have a sense of purpose or
a sense of knowing where we want to go in life.

• I know early in my life I made some choices that shut some doors of opportunity for
me. Had I thought out my decisions based on what I wanted to do in my life at the
time, I would hope I would have done things different.

• Jesus had a keen sense of His purpose.

• SLIDE #3

• LUKE 19:10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was
lost."

• SLIDE #4

• MARK 2:17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, "it is not those who are healthy
who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous,
but sinners."

• These are but a few verses where we can see Jesus knew what He was here for.

• How did this affect His life choices?

• There was a pretty good sized segment of society who wanted Jesus to overthrow
the Roman governmental control, but Jesus decided not to do that because it did not
line up with the purpose of His life.

• Many people wanted to make Jesus a King, (John 6:15) but Jesus refused to let
that happen because that choice would have interfered with what He knew He was
called to do.

• Jesus made decisions as to who He would spend time with based on what His life
objectives were. The religious leaders did not like Jesus because He spent time with
the “sinners”, but as Mark 2:17 said, Jesus came for those who were spiritually sick.

• I had a friend who I went to Bible College with who was in my Jr. High youth group
when I taught in my home church. Phil (now since married) went through Bible
College single.

• Phil was the type of young man I would have allowed my daughters to date. He was
a SOLID Christian who had a great personality and was a nice looking young man
from a good family.
• Phil had so many people trying to set him up with the ladies at Bible College, but
even though Phil went on dates with plenty of young ladies, he refused to allow
himself to get serious with any young lady who would interfere with his calling to
serve God.

• I really admired his sense of purpose and how he would not allow a hurried decision
to marry someone cause him to make a choice that would have hurt his life
objectives just because the pickings looked good

• Are you trying to decide to go to College? If you want to be in some professional


career, you better consider that before you make a choice that would close future
doors to you.

• My lack of degree was a BIG stumbling block when it came time for promotions,
because I did not make a decision based on my objectives.

• Will the decision help you to fulfill your life purpose or will the decision take you
away from it?

• SLIDE #5

II. JESUS HEEDED GOD’S WORD (MATT 4)

• Over 20 times in the gospels we have Jesus says, “It is written.”

• When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness in Matthew 4, Satan posed three
questions to Jesus and three times Jesus said “It is written”.

• Turn with me to Matthew 4:1-11 READ

• Jesus was facing one of the most difficult times in His life to this point. When Satan
tried to get Him to stray off the path He was called, Jesus heeded God’s word.

• Jesus did not make decisions based on human reason or logic. Jesus was hungry,
what was the harm in turning the stones into bread?

• Jesus firmly stood on “it is written!” God’s word will clear up the fog involved in
many of the decisions we make in life.

• Most of the confusion comes when we go to God’s word for help and we do not like
the answer we get.

• God is clear on so many things. I have people tell me that God would want them to
be happy and since their spouse (who by the way had not left them or committed
adultery or was not even mean to them) was not making them happy so they felt it
was alright to leave or have an affair on them.

• MOST of the bad decisions you will make in life can be avoided by simply heeded
God’s word. In every area I have had problems with in life; most of them were a
result of not heeded God’s word. FINANCES!

• SLIDE #6
III. JESUS CONSIDERED OTHERS BEFORE HIMSELF (JOHN 4:7-FF)

• How many of the decisions in our lives are selfish and how many are selfless?

• There were many times throughout the ministry of Jesus where He was tired and
hungry, but He would put His own needs aside to take care of others.

• In John 4, Jesus comes to a well, He is tired and hungry, and the disciples had
gone away into the city to buy food. Jesus could have minded His own business or
decided to get some sleep; instead He took the time to speak with a woman in need.

• In Luke 18:15-17, people were bringing their children to Jesus for blessing.

• SLIDE #7

• LUKE 18:15-17 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would
touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus
called for them, saying, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. "Truly I say to you, whoever does
not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."

• Many of us are tired and feel used up.

• John Maxwell states, “Many people feel used at times, but being used is different
than LETTING yourself be used. Serving means unselfishly choosing to put others
first without harboring bitterness, anger, or resentment.”

• There are a lot of people who will not do anything unless it benefits THEM.

• Jesus modeled putting others first!

• SLIDE #8

IV. JESUS HONORED GOD’S WILL (MATT 26:39)

• Our decisions will always be better when our decisions honor God’s will for our
lives.

• SLIDE #9

• JOHN 8:28 So Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know
that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the
Father taught Me.

• SLIDE #10

• JOHN 5:19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say
to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father
doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

• Jesus restricted His decisions to the will of the Father. When Jesus spoke to the
people, He spoke what God wanted Him to say.
• For many of us, this is hard to do because we have our minds fixed on what WE
want to do in life.

• When God’s will conflicts with what WE want to do, God gets tossed to the side.
Then when things go bad, we want God to fix it. Have you ever wanted to tell
someone, “I told you so.” I bet God deals with that one a lot.

• When Jesus was in the garden just before He was to be arrested. He was
struggling inside because He knew what was going to happen to Him.

• SLIDE #11

• MAT 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed,
saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as
You will."

• Even though carrying out God’s will was going to be painful for Jesus, He ultimately
told God that He would do as the Father willed!

• Life can be simple, but that does not mean it’s easy. A simple principle, honor
God’s will. Not always an easy principle to carry out.

• You will NEVER go wrong by honoring God’s will in your decision making.

• SLIDE #12

V. JESUS HUMBLY PRAYED (LUKE 6:12)

• When you read the gospels, you find that Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer. When
Jesus was going to make one of the most important decisions in His ministry, Jesus
spent the whole night in prayer.

• SLIDE #13

• LUKE 6:12-13 It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He
spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples
to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:

• Jesus was about to chose the men who would carry out the message of the gospel
after He ascended into heaven. This decision would make or break the spreading of
the gospel for centuries to come.

• Going back to the garden, Jesus spent the evening in agonizing prayer over what
was about to happen to Him.

• One of the things we need to do in order to make good decisions, we need to spend
a lot of time in prayer.

• Prayer is a key that will open many doors for us. Do not wait until after you made a
bad decision to ask God to bless your choice. Go to Him before you make the
decision!

CONCLUSION
• We make decisions each and every day. If you would like your decisions to be good
ones, follow the examples Jesus gave to us.

• Today you will have the opportunity to make the ultimate decision! Your decisions
to give your life to Jesus!