Pastor Ronnie McDougall : Crossing the Great Decide

Knowing the Will of God · 30:58 · Recorded August 21, 2016

Crossing the Great Decide

James 3:13 (NIV) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Decisions, decisions!

Ordinary decisions – NO RISK choices.

Destiny decisions – HIGH RISK choices.

Moral decisions – RIGHT & WRONG choices.

Priority decisions – GOOD & BETTER choices.

What should I do?

1. Ask God for needed wisdom.

James 1:5-8 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

2. Consider the right issues.

James 3:17 (NIV) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

3. Invite trustworthy input.

Proverbs 12:15 (NLT) A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others.

Proverbs 1:5 (GW) A wise person will listen and continue to learn, and an understanding person will gain direction.

4. Accept your responsibility to decide!

Romans 14:5, 10, 12 (TEV) We each should firmly make up our own minds… All of us will stand before God to be judged by him… Every one of us, then, will have to give an account to God.

5. Trust the final outcome to God!

Psalm 32:8, 10 (NIV) I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you… The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.

8 Tests of a Wise Idea:

James 3:17 (NIV) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Pure – Does it honor God? Could he get behind the idea?

Peace-loving – Will it do harm to a person or relationship?

Considerate – Is it as fair as possible to all involved?

Submissive – Is it open to improvement/revision by others?

Mercy – Will it meet a need or heal a hurt others have?

Good fruit – Does it display righteous, Christlikeness?

Unwavering – (NAS version) Am I convinced of it myself?

Sincere – Is there any deception or hidden agenda involved?

  • Describe a seemingly small or insignificant decision you made that ended up having a major impact on your life. How was your life altered by that decision?
  • What’s the difference between taking a leap of faith and taking biblical steps to make a wise decision? How do you go about making your decisions based on the decision categories that we talked about in the message?
  • Look at James 3:13. How can you recognize a wise person? If someone looked at these things in your life, would they call you wise?
  • Who do you go to when you need trustworthy input? Why that person? What background, knowledge, biblical insight, etc. do they possess that causes you to choose them to speak into your life and major decisions?
  • What did you think about what Ronnie said about your responsibility to decide and trusting the outcome to God? Have you been uncomfortable in past decisions because you didn’t receive a clear answer from God? Do you feel more settled knowing that you did your best to apply biblical wisdom (James 3:17) and that you can trust God with the result? Why or why not?
  • What’s your personal take-away from this message? How can your group pray for you over this?
  • This week, post these message notes where the whole family can see them. At dinner, bedtime, in the car, and anywhere else you can, bring up the idea of wisdom. Talk with your children about James 3:17 and review the key words in the scripture (on the inside of the notes). Relate these words to choices they make every day. Teach them to ask themselves some of those key questions when making a decision or choice.
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