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Sacrificing Your Future for Momentary Pleasure - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
May 16, 2024 12:00 am

Sacrificing Your Future for Momentary Pleasure - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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May 16, 2024 12:00 am

Discover the seven moments in which a person can sacrifice their future for momentary pleasures.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, May 16th. Today, we'll hear a tragic story from the Bible that illustrates the danger of acting too quickly. Here's part one of sacrificing your future for momentary pleasure. How often would you have changed the decision that you made if you had known the consequences, if you had known the fallout, if you had known the effect that that decision was going to have in your life? Or maybe in the lives of somebody else or somebody around you.

How often would you have changed that decision? When I see how people live and how thoughtless, how irrational their decisions, it's very evident that the only thing that they're thinking about is the here and now. And they think nothing about the future effect upon their life. So I want to talk about something in this message that affects every single one of us. It is a very sobering thought.

It is one of those incidences in scripture that seems to be rather insignificant when you first read it. But every single one of us, more than likely, has made a decision or decisions in our life we would like to have changed, but we could not. Or maybe some of those decisions that we went back to change because we began to realize the effect was not what we thought it was going to be. So I want you to turn, if you will, to Genesis chapter 25. And in this 25th chapter of Genesis is an account of two men's relationship and a decision that was made that affected him the rest of his life. One of those decisions that he regretted deeply and he became bitter and resentful and hostile and angry even to the point of murder. He made a wrong decision because here's what he did. He sacrificed his future for the pleasure of the moment.

So let me give you a little background. Abraham, God's chosen servant, had a son by the name of Isaac. That was his favorite son of all. In fact, the Bible says that he gave him at his death every single thing he had. The 25th chapter of the fifth verse says that Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. Now, when you come to another verse here, here is an epitaph that probably most people would like to be able to legitimately place on their tombstone. I have somebody place it there after you die. And here's what it says.

Verse eight. Abraham breathed his last breath and died in a ripe old age. An old man satisfied with life.

Think about that. He died satisfied with life. Do you think you'll be able to say that?

I died satisfied with life, not if you sacrifice your future for the pleasure of the moment, which is the habit of so many people. So I want to begin reading, if you will, in this 25th chapter. Let's begin in verse 19 to give you a little background of what's happening here. Now, these are the records of the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son. Abraham became the father of Isaac. Now, Isaac was 40 years of age when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, the Aramean of Paddan Aram, the sister of Laban, the Aramean, to be his wife. Now, Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was barren. And the Lord answered him and Rebekah, his wife, conceived. But the children struggled together within her and said, she said, if it's so, why then am I this way? So she went to inquire the Lord.

And this is what he said to her. Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body.

One people shall be stronger than the other, and the oldest shall serve the younger. When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. Now, the first came forth red all over like a hairy garment, and they named him Esau. Afterwards, his brother came forth with his hand holding onto Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob. And Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to him.

So they'd been married about twenty years thereabouts before they gave birth. When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field. But Jacob was a peaceful man living in tents. Now, watch this next verse, family problem. Now, Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for game, and Esau was a hunter. But Rebekah loved Jacob.

Now, you got a problem right there. When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. And Esau said to Jacob, Please, let me have a swallow this red stuff, therefore I am famished.

Therefore, his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, First, sell me your birthright. Esau said, Behold, I'm about to die, so what use then is the birthright to me? And Jacob said, First, swear to me. So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and little stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went on his way.

Thus Esau despised his birthright. Now, what I want you to see is this. When is it that you and I sacrifice our future for the present moment? Now, you say, Well, sacrifice what? Oftentimes, it is sacrificing our good health, sacrificing our privileges and our opportunities for the future, sacrificing loving relationships, sacrificing a family, sacrificing God's use of us in life, sacrificing the plans, the good plans that God has for us, sacrificing those dreams that we have, sacrificing the possibility of success in our life. There are many things that you and I can sacrifice when we choose the pleasure of the moment rather than God's purpose, God's will, and God's timing.

So let's begin with the first one. We sacrifice our future. Now, when I say our future, it could be our future dreams, hopes, success, privileges, opportunities, love, whatever it might be. We sacrifice our future when we disregard the true values in our life.

And this is what people do every day. What are the true values in life? Think about what Esau did. He sold his birthright. Now, what was the birthright?

The birthright is what belonged to every firstborn son. And this gave him some awesome privileges and opportunities in the family. It made him the head of the family after the father passed away. It gave him authority and rule over the other members of the family. He was also recognized even when the father lived with recognition and privileges that the other children did not have. It gave him at least, if not more, a double portion of the father's wealth and inheritance. And you just saw a few moments ago that Abraham gave Isaac all that he had. He was his firstborn. It also gave him the privilege and the right to offer sacrifices for the family until the tribal Levi came along later on.

They were given that responsibility for the whole nation of Israel. So wonderful privileges, wonderful opportunities, great future, great wealth, all of this he had. And so what happens? He comes in from a hunting trip, empty handed.

And what does he do? The most valuable thing that he would possibly possess and could ever possibly possess in his entire life, he sold it off for one bowl of stew. So ask yourself this question. Have you spent and invested and given all of your time to the neglect of your family to have more and more wealth? Because somehow you thought that wealth is the most awesome, valuable thing in life.

Is that your bowl of soup? Money? You want to sacrifice everything else because you've forgotten the most valuable things in life of friendship and love and devotion and companionship and all the rest. Have you been willing to sacrifice your good health because you like what a shot will do, what a drink will do, what a puff will do? Are you willing to sacrifice your health because of some sexual act in the present moment? Not thinking about the future consequence that may bring a disease upon your life that will absolutely destroy you. You see, people have little regard for things that are extremely valuable. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, extremely valuable. You only have one.

You're not going to get another one. And so people destroy their lives beginning very early in life. You know why? Because a bowl of soup is more important than their future health. So number one, we risk, we sacrifice our future. Our future plans and dreams and hopes and the good things that God has for us for the pleasure of the moment when we disregard the values of life. The second thing I want you to notice is this, we sacrifice our future for the present moment when we are ruled by our appetites rather than by the Holy Spirit. Now, there's nothing wrong with appetites. Appetites for our stomach, our rest, our pleasures, sex, whatever it might be. Appetites are God-given, but they're given to be controlled.

And what we forget is this, when the appetite rules, we're in automatic trouble. Lust always says, I can't wait. Love says, I can wait. Lust can't wait. Love can't wait. And what's happening all around us is people who are desirous of a good future want to be happy, are willing to sacrifice their future promise of happiness, the privilege of happiness, the opportunity of happiness.

And fulfilling their dreams for the sake of the moment. And this is exactly what Esau did. He came in. He was hungry. You remember the little cross that guy gave you and the word halt. Don't get too hungry. Don't get too angry, too lonely, too tired.

H-A-L-T, halt, stop. So he'd been out on his hunting trip and more than likely he was very, very famished. He said he was famished. He says, in fact, he says, I'm so hungry, I'm about to die.

In fact, I'm so famished, what good is a birthright when you're this hungry? Wrong reasoning. And, of course, he was out there and probably had an empty hunt. So he came back sort of angry about the whole deal.

Spent all that time out there. And not only that, he was alone. And so he was feeling a little lonely.

So he comes in. He smells this aroma of this scrumptious, delicious stew. It was something like, not red soup, though it says red, it could have been sort of brownish of that color.

That doesn't mean necessarily red. But the odor is what got him and the fact that he was so tired, he said, give me some of this stew. Jacob, being the sharp guy that he was, not to be complimented in many things that Jacob did, he said, sell me a birthright. And here was a man in a moment of weakness and the moment when his appetite was ruling and reigning without thinking, rationing. Did he think? Sure, he thought. He had to make a decision. He swore to him his birthright. But because his appetite ruled at the moment, he sacrificed all of his wealth, his position, his prominence.

He sacrificed it all. One bowl of soup. Now, Brundrick stew is delicious and there are certain kinds of soup delicious, but you know what? I've never seen a bowl of soup that was worth much.

You can always get another one. You can take a bowl of soup and pour it out in the ground. What happens?

The ground absorbs it. When you eat a bowl of soup, it's gone in a few moments. And the way he's talking here, he said, if you'll notice what he said, he said, please let me have a swallow of that red stuff. Therefore, I am famished. When he said a swallow, he meant he wanted to eat it rapidly.

So think about this. Let's give a hungry hunter, let's give him some leeway and say five minutes. In five minutes, the soup was gone.

No, no, that's not it. In five minutes, the soup was gone. The inheritance was gone. The position was gone. His privilege was gone. His future was gone. Those around him would feel the effect of that for centuries and centuries and centuries.

No, it was more than the soup that was gone. And this is the way Satan blinds us. We only see what's before us and what looks important, what we can touch and feel.

What happened was his whole future was gone. And oftentimes we forget the fact. It isn't just what we see that we're sacrificing. But he sacrificed for the moment because his appetites ruled him. Appetites bad?

No. But remember what he says? He says the fruit of the Spirit, that is the work of the Holy Spirit is not only love and peace and joy and goodness and all the rest, but he says self-control. He gave us the Holy Spirit to enable us to control our legitimate God-given appetites.

Paul the apostle said, I discipline my body lest when I have preached the gospel I lose it all. Every single one of us has appetites, all kinds of legitimate appetites. And the issue is this.

Are they under control? Think about this. What appetite do you have that you're willing to sacrifice your whole opportunity, your whole future of success and enjoyment, relationships and all the rest for one bowl of soup?

What appetite could be that important? And yet people do it every day. What's the bowl of soup in your life that you're looking at, that you've been thinking about that could cost you everything in your life that you really and truly maybe have worked for, dream of, desire, whatever it might be? Now think about this. Do you think if Eve had thought about the consequences of what she was about to do, she would have done it?

No. I mean, we can say, well, God's providential hand, all those things, but humanly speaking, if she had been able to see what's it going to cost me in my relationship to Adam? How's it going to affect my family? One of my sons is going to kill the other one.

How's it going to affect humanity? She would never have done it. Do you think, for example, that Samson playing around with a prostitute, Delilah, who wanted to know the source of his strength, do you think in her desire to find out what his secret was, in his desire to please this woman and to get her acceptance and to enjoy her sex, do you think if he could have foreseen that one day the Philistines would have walked in, tied him up, took him down to a dungeon and gouged out his eyes, tied him to the bar that pushed this big iron stone around that ground the wheat, and if he could have foreseen that he would walk blindly for years, round and round and round and round, grinding the wheat of his enemies, do you think he would have sinned against God? Absolutely not. Do you think, for example, if David had, could foresee the effect of one night with Bathsheba, the effect on him personally, in the nation, with his family, and for all eternity, a mark against his life, do you think he would have done it?

No, I don't think so. Someone asked you a question. Esau didn't look ahead. He didn't ask what's going to be the consequences of one bowl of soup, one sale, one surrender of my birthright, because you see, later on, his father didn't bless him, he blessed Jacob. And so what happens is Esau gets left out totally and absolutely. Not only that, he ended up being bitter, angry, hostile, and planning to murder Jacob.

He set out to kill his brother. You know what started all that? One bowl of soup. Someone asked you a question. What is it that you're towing with, looking at? Has a very strong appeal to you today.

Looks good, feels good, touches good, smells good. You see great potential, great opportunity. It's what you want. But you're not asking the question, if I do this, if I go there, if I take this, if I make this decision, what are the lasting consequences in my life? If I sacrifice my future for this present moment, am I not playing the fool? And the answer is yes, you are.

You don't have to. If you're willing to look at yourself and ask yourself the question, God, how did I get in this position? Why am I in this position, Lord? I want to do what's right. I want to be what you want me to be and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and tell Him that you want the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. You're tired of messing around with life, tired of doing your thing and knowing in your heart that one decision after the other is leading you further and further down the road away from God. You can repent of that sin, surrender your life to God and see what He will do once you have made that wise choice. Thank you for listening to Sacrificing Your Future for Momentary Pleasure. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-16 02:37:23 / 2024-05-16 02:44:51 / 7

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