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September 22, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Lots and lots of long choices. The Scripture say the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end.
There are new every morning new every morning great is thy that's the business that God is in joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going pastor Bill Gebhardt. Now once again he shows us how God's word are Laurel, you have a child. The child is four years old is a good parent.
You think you should make most of the choices I hope I get yeses. Yes, yes, child. 14. Should you make most of the choices for the job or should you make some of the choices for the job. See, it's not easy child's 24. I imagine that people saying most of 14 are still going to say most the 24 but that would be in error. You see, what is that what happens the child matures. You want the child to make more more choices. That's the whole idea of parenting that's launching. You want the child that and that's why by the way, one does this become an art form the teenage years as an art form because how much slack do I believe in the line there. Some parents say no slack just a choke collar and I'll hold him and her other parents and say all your 13 and they unleash you, and then to say go live your life the wrong but eventually as they mature. You want them making their own choices. Cartridges exactly the same way. One of the most important things for us as we grow spiritually. So we make choices. You see, if you say no God can make every choice of my life every single choice that be ridiculous and foolish but you know what that is. That's fatalism is not much of a point being alive. You see, the whole idea is that if I can't tell which drawer to go through something is wrong is not necessarily true. When I was a student at Dallas seminary. Dr. Paul Meyer was a professor in the pastoral ministries department.
He was a cites a Christian psychiatrist and he taught in the p.m. department and he and Frank minutes ran the men with Meyer clinic out of Dallas. It was one of the largest clinics in the world and it was entirely devoted to Christ unique thing to see. But before Dr. Meyer came here. He was a professor at Trinity seminary in Deerfield, Illinois, and had a practice in the Chicago area and so Dr. Haddon Robinson, who was the head of the pastoral ministries department went to recruit Dr. Meyer. They offered him the job and then he flew up and he said he took us out to dinner at a restaurant and he said I can remember the doctor. Robinson said to us, for you to look terrible.
You look like you've really been through it and they said we have we have prayed and prayed and prayed over this and we don't know we just don't want to do.
We don't know if God wants us to be in balance what God wants us to be in Chicago. We just don't know. And then Dr. Meyer said it hadn't just got the biggest smile on his face and lean way back on his chair and laughed out loud and said God doesn't care. God doesn't care if you're in Chicago or you're in Dallas what God cares about is how you walk with him and how you serve him you walk with him and you serve him and then you live where you want to live in. Dr. Meyer said as soon as he said that my wife looked at me and he said I could just see that the relief on her face. She said dollars. He said all the pressure left.
You see, the idea that if I can't tell which border to something is wrong is not necessarily the case at all. It might just be part of my maturation process. The third is this if God opens a door for you. The circumstances are going to be wonderful and easy to see if God opens a door for the person that you married and you two had that wonderful wedding ceremony. If God put you together then every breakfast you hold hands while you're eating breakfast and he writes poetry. Do you mean this is the most it's nothing but wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I have actually had people say to me things like this, you know, we really believe it was God put us together and were miserable. Why did they say that Adam and Eve God's fault.
This is God's fault. That's why were miserable. God did this. Now that's not why you're miserable. You see, all fight if I only get that job got open the door to the job and I get the job it's going to be amazing because what they're going to do was every week they're going to give me a raise. Emily and Dennis either so glad I'm there and it's going to be sold wonderful ideal vacation but working because everybody's going to love me because God opened the door.
That's not the way it works. In fact, turn to first Corinthians chapter 16 with me first Corinthians chapter 16 verse nine.
You can't beat the context Paul says in verse eight. I'm going to remain in Ephesus until Pentecost and then he says for a wide door notice. Paul didn't say a door is that it's more than a door. It's all wide door know what's the thing about a wide door wide doors a reason to go through. He said God is provided a wide door for effective service has been opened to me. You think that's great. See, that's how great it is. Then he says this and there are many adversaries in many adversaries. You see, adversity, avoidance is tempting, but it's not ennobling.
Spiritual maturity always travels with adversity. I can tell you have seen in my own life and in the lives of so many of you over and over again. I find people going through really difficult times and inevitably somewhere along the process of say something like this.
I don't think I've ever felt this close to the Lord before. That's what adversity does see our helplessness drives us to. We have to have them. We have adversity. Jesus said in Matthew 24 to the disciples and eventually the tribulation will saints you will be hated, he says, and handed over and persecuted and put to death in John 16. He said concerning us, the world will hate you because of first hated me. In other words, circumstances are going to be very difficult.
This whole idea that you know when God opens a door. The circumstances going to be easy is not true.
I can tell you what will be easy, not the circumstances but the yoke come unto me all you are heavy laden, and I will give you rest because my yoke is light. It's easy what is he saying when you face adversity in difficult circumstances. I'll be right here with you and I'll do the work. That's what Jesus saying you to stay close to me.
I'll carry you through this.
That's the part that's easy okay my life is too insignificant for God to be opening and closing doors.
If I can tell which door to go through the must be something wrong when God opens a door. My circumstances will be easy. And then there's another one and this one is there's always a right door for every choice I make, there's always a right door for every choice I make. I made some you believe that I can am facing a choice or decision. There's always a right door to get. I'm telling you that's blatantly false. That's not the case at all. First of all this deal with the idea of all the decisions that you make Columbia researcher Sheena Iyengar. I did her doctoral dissertation on the decisions and choices. You and I make every day, and once he studied was that she said that the average person and am venturing were at least average. The average person makes 70 decisions a day. Now see, I don't think she meant like left sock right sock you know which one I put on for something that what she means.
But 70 decisions every day.
Now if you think about that for a moment. That's 25,550 year if you live to be 70 that's 1,788,000 decisions you made. Now if you actually believe that every single one of them, there's only one right decision to make. You will go insane. You see, you would go insane you could possibly do that because that's not the way life works. That's not really even the way it is.
Think of and from this point of view, God created Beatles now is only one way 1 Right Way to make a video. There are 300,000 different kinds of Beatles so apparently God felt he had some latitude you see a lot of the decisions and choices that you make. You have a choice between sometimes between good and better, and best. I mean a lot of choices are like that, you'll be paralyzed if you lived your whole life thing and is only one right choice for everything I do one right door for me to go through and that's the only one you'll never have any piece, the next man, God would never push me through a door. I don't like telling me to Psalm 32 for that Psalm 32 God would never push me through a door. I don't like that we could ask Jonah how that worked out for him or how much Jeremiah God.
Remember Jeremiah good open door for him as he's going to be a prophet Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. You know why he hated his job got really didn't care much God can push you through a door you don't like what he says in Psalm 32 verse eight.
The first part of the verse sounds the way got a B. I will instruct you and teach you in the way in which you should go that's reassuring. That's wisdom is that I will counsel you with my eye upon you. That's intimacy. God says I'll stay close to not tell you how to live your life and you think this is that this is great. That's what I want. Then he says do not be as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding whose trappings include a bit and bridle the whole them and check boxes. I'll tell you the right door to go through but if you don't want to open a bridle and you and push you through that door. You see, that's what you're saying is a lot of stupid mules out there. He said you still control and so is talking about us uses an amazing thing.
Kind of ironic in light of that verse that Baylon said I'm going to Moab got a close that door did not benefit. I'm going to Moab. So Baylon's donkey said to him know you're not. Why is that even a donkey knows a donkey may see one how this applies to us. I I can handle my drinking problem I can. I can handle the drugs I take I can handle my gambling I can handle this, but you don't.
So don't be surprised you lose your job. Don't be surprised you lose a spouse. Don't be surprised if the person pushing through a door you see sometimes that door is the best thing for you. You've got a get through that door. Remember many years ago we had a man in our church. It confided in me and told me that he had been an alcoholic since he was 12 and the really sad thing, but he went through a set of circumstances, and in the set of circumstances he was in a family business and within the same week he was told in the family business that he would no longer be part of the family business. In that same week, God moved through his wife would been really faithful and loyal to him and said she told him she was done, that she would not divorce him, but she would leave him and you know what happened became a recovering alcoholic sober. The rest of his life. What happened God pushed him through the door. Sometimes God will push you through the door because of open doors and close doors are there so that we can serve him and that we can spiritually grow and mature.
The last method is this if I have chosen the wrong door.
My life is irreparably damaged. I run into this quite often how I made this terrible choice. In 1979 not understand, and I believe in reaping and sowing. That's clear, and there certain consequences. The certain sin in other words, if you do the crime, go to the time that's that's part of it. I get that in life but that's not exactly what I'm speaking about. I'm speaking about people who, what they call now counterfactual thinking. Counterfactual thinking is people who are obsessed with what might've been a real right of the people like that all my life could've been so much better but I went through the wrong door there sooner if only people were telling me to second Corinthians 2nd Corinthians chapter 7. This is what Paul writes in verse 10 second Corinthians chapter 7 verse 10, Paul says for the sorrow. He says that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret, leading to salvation but the sorrow of the world produces death. Whenever you go through a wrong door. You make a wrong choice or a bad decision.
There is a right kind of sorrow that can accompany that wrong decision in the right kind of sorrow will always lead to repentance, which will always lead you closer to God he says is a wrong kind of sorrow, he said. And when you do that you have regret.
And when you have regret.
He said that separate you from God separation. God is a just another way of saying death. Jesus did not say the kingdom of God is at hand. Regret and believe the good news said repent, sometimes again we become our own worst enemies.
If you believe your irreparably damaged because every wrong choice you've ever made. You will be irreparably damaged and never get over it can stop you know why because you can stop making wrong choices. That's who we are. We make lots and lots of wrong choices.
The Scripture say the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end. There are new every morning new every morning great is thy faithfulness. That's the business that God is in all of us of May choices will be gone through the wrong door. But the damage of your life can be very limited on the basis of the sorrow that leaves the repentance with lead you closer to God. Six Miss my life is too insignificant for God to be opening and closing doors don't despise small things. If I can't tell which door to go through something must be wrong, not necessarily God's primary purpose is for us to serve him and to grow spiritually. If God opens the door good things will always have in my circumstances will be easy and one for Jesus. They were for Paul and will be for you either.
There's obviously a right door for every single decision you make millions of choices in your lifetime.
Many of your decisions are just choosing between good and better.
God will never push me through a door. I don't want to go to oyez, he will. He is determined to conform you to the image of the sun and if I have chosen the wrong door. I have irreparably damaged my life only. If you have regret.
Instead of repentance. That's what he is saying just some simple Miss we approach these so often in the wrong way.
Just imagine if Abram had done this when God told him to go through the door lever of the Chaldees. I found this little poem number. Sounds like Dr. Seuss and says this is Abram speaking where are these places you want me to go. When will I get there how I know Seattle is. He says will I need a design why need a degree. Why need other things that you're hiding from me. Where's the map of your plan for my life. I must know all this stuff.
I must tell my wife I'm old. I'm not bold and you're leaving things out. There are bales of details, you must tell me about the writer who gave me that said in low, the Lord, and tell him any thing he just let them go through that door. Six words to describe your life, not the life I was planning that can be a good thing because God opens doors and God closes doors, but he does so that we can serve them in that we can grow spiritually and mature. The spray father as we begin to look at the doors of our lives.
I just pray of any of these myths have been part of any of these people's experiences that hopefully they gain some insight into that father I'm afraid that we don't realize how many doors there are. We only see the doors when you're very important to us. When looking for spouse or were looking for a new job or were going to move someplace and were thinking of completely changing our vocational wine anything like that. We always say I'm looking for the open door. The father we know that you provide doors every single day.
You provide doors of opportunity for us. Those doors allow us to serve you and those doors will allow us to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Father I pray that we become sensitive to that and see this wonderful adventure we call the Christian life.
Father, I thank you for thinking so much of us.
You've given us the ability to choose father had that ability is the responsibility to choose right. Father I pray as we continue to think through this concept of open and closed, we do so from Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like a listen to the message one more time remembering a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as well Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just the 100th support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC and oh LA not owe Argie in our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find sermon series are looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the message you are looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own.
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