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Choose Life!

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For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!

Choose Life:

Thanks ________, please keep your Bible’s open to this passage as we will look at it together.

Introduction

My favourite restaurant as a teenager was Sizzler! I loved it. When I moved to Sydney I found out that there is one near Kogorah. It was exciting to go there, to get all you can eat, then walk over to the salad bar! Mmmm! Caesar salad, with crunchy bacon bits! Chips! Fruit Salad. Seafood. Soup!
Then In the corner of my I, I see the soft drinks with free re-fills, mmm.. What will I have? Sprite! Coke! Raspberry fanta! Orange Fanta! So many options!
Some people, like my wife love mixing the different drinks together! There are just so many choices for dinner and drinks at sizzler!
Then after you eat your 5 different salads and your three soups, your cheesy garlic bread. Then! You go and see the dessert bar. Oh man.
I always feel so confident when I get to the dessert bar. There’s the apple crumble! There’s the custard. And friends, I must confess. I have a weakness. It’s the Chocolate Mousse. I actually think I have an addiction to chocolate mouse! But it’s the second bowl that defeats me.
There are so many choices when you go to sizzler! So many options to choose from.
That is nothing like the christian faith. That is the complete opposite to the christian faith.
Love and Obedience Linked.
Love and Obedience Linked.
It is not one of many options. It is not the better of many options. Like Islam is the apple crumble (halal of course), the jelly is buddhism, the ice-cream is atheism and the chocolate mousse is Christianity. And because I choose mouse and you choose ice cream that we are both fine. No! The Bible tells us that there are only two options. There is choosing life, and there is choosing death!
But that is the complete opposite to the christian faith. It is not one of many options. It is not the better of many options. Like Islam is the apple crumble (halal of course), the jelly is buddhism, the ice-cream is atheism and the chocolate mousse is Christianity. And because I choose mouse and you choose ice cream that we are both fine. No! The Bible tells us that there are only two options. There is choosing life, and there is choosing death!

Context

I hope you’ve been enjoying reading through Deuteronomy in your REAP Journals this week. The passage that was just read is the end of the book of Deuteronomy,
The Israelites were about to head into the promised land. Moses was about to die. And what he is about to say is his famous last words.
Moses was about to die.
These are his famous last words.

Linking Sentence

What would your last words be? Would your last words to me be “choose the Jelly not the Mouse”. I joke, but what would really be your famous last words?
Moses here wants to encourage the people to make the most important decision in their life!
Let’s quickly look at it, before heading of to your discussion groups.

Point 1: Two Options In This World

Friends, there are only two options in this world
Let’s look at what Moses has to say.
Follow along from verse 11. “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
It is not too difficult! God helps us in it.

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Nobody needs to go up to heaven to find it out for us. But someone did in fact come down from heaven to tell us about it. Jesus did!
f
The word is very near to us, we have God’s Words here right in front of us, teaching us the truth!
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

What is actually the difference between life with prosperity and death with destruction?

What does it actually look like to choose life?

The Book of Deuteronomy is full of detailed ways that God’s People in the old testament could choose life, but Moses summarises it here.
to love the LORD your God,
to walk in obedience to him,
and to keep his commands, decrees and laws;
decrees and laws;
then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!

Point 2: What will happen if we choose death?

Follow along with me. Verse 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
What happens is that those who don’t choose God as the lord of their life, are doomed to spend eternity without God and without all of the good things he gives. For the Israelites, it was a very concrete thing, when they chose to disobey God, they were exiled from the promise land, and the second half of the Old testament talks a lot about how they were destroyed, just like God promised here in verse 18. They were exiled into a foreign land, and other nations like Babylon and Assyria treated them really brutally.
We need to realise! God doesn’t want anyone to choose death. God says earlier in Chapter 18, “ I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!”
But the thing is, nobody would actually say they choose death. They just say “I choose not God”. When you prioritise things in your life in such a way where God isn’t really there, that’s choosing the second option.
Nobody would actually say they choose death. They just say “I choose not God”. When you prioritise things in your life in such a way where God isn’t there.
God says earlier in Chapter 18, “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!”
It’s like saying I can’t come to youth on Friday because I have to study. But on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, you played games, or was on snap chat, or spent time with friends instead. Then Friday night came, where you would spend time with God’s People, and learn about God’s word. That study is more important. Don’t get me wrong, study good. But when we act like that, it is showing that you God (and life) isn’t your first choice.

Point 3: So Choose Life! (vv. 19-20)

So point 3. Choose Life!
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The people must decide between life and prosperity or death and destruction. Faith, love, and obedience are all instruments for receiving the blessings. Rejection and disobedience are tantamount to accepting a substitute suzerain, which leads to death.
Evangelical Commentary on the Bible D. Call to Decision (30:15–20)

The people must decide between life and prosperity or death and destruction. Faith, love, and obedience are all instruments for receiving the blessings. Rejection and disobedience are tantamount to accepting a substitute suzerain, which leads to death.

Application

How do we apply this to our life?
There are lots of path’s that lead to death in this world.
Having idol’s before God - School, Friends, Family, Soccer, Online Games, Popularity.
The things we fill our minds, the things we choose to prioritise, they say alot about what’s in our hearts, and what decision we’ve made. When God doesn’t really have a big place in our heart, in our mind, in our speech, in our actions, it’s a bit of a sign that we aren’t choosing life.
Choose life!
One way you can do that, very soon, is by making sure you come to DIG. Coming along to the DIG conference is going to be a great place to think deeper about God, and to understand his plan for your life!
One way you can choose life, is by making God a priority in your life.
Coming along to the DIG conference is going to be a great place to think deeper about God, and to understand his plan for your life!
In your discussion groups now, after you discuss your REAP journals, have a chat about what it looks like for us as Arny’s Youth, to choose life! And make sure you discuss the ways that we sometimes feel tempted to choose death.
And make sure you discuss the ways that we sometimes feel tempted to choose death.
I’m going to pray for us now, and i’ll head in to those groups.
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