Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – March 12, 2017
Theme: Building Blocks for Godly Living
Topic: Kingdom Choices
Text: Matthew 7:13-23; Joshua 24:14-16
Key Verse: Joshua 24:15: “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”(NIV)
In our study last Sunday of the topic “Persistent Prayer” we noted that it is an expression of our continued confidence in God. Our learning from that study include the following:
- God desires that our relationship with Him be based on fellowship with Him – being in tune with Him – rather than on our getting instant answers to everything we ask the way we want them. The times He seems to be delaying in answering us should be a time of closer walk with Him.
- Remember that great men of faith in the Bible experienced what seemed to be delays in their prayer. As they stayed in fellowship with God, they got to know His mind on the issues. In the case of Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”, it was a clear “No”, and the only thing he got was abundant grace!
- The Christian must resist the temptation to seek ungodly alternative (“Plan B”) solutions when it seems to him that God is delaying in answering his prayer, or when God is offering him a better but seemingly unappealing response. Such moves always lead to regrets in the longer term. However, God can lead us to avenues where He has prepared a solution for us which we might not have thought of. One rule is that a “Plan B” typically undermines God’s principle.
We have often heard the statement “Choices have consequences”. Indeed, the Christian’s life, like everyone else’s, is all about choices. For the Christian, it starts with the choice to quit the driving seat and hand over the key of our life to Jesus Christ. This is the best-known choice the Christian makes. Just as Joshua said to the Israelites, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”, Apostle John writing about Jesus, said “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already” (John 3:18). In our first main text, He points out that salvation boils down to a choice between two gates – a wide gate and a narrow one. Everyone who make a choice to commit their life to Christ does so after weighing two sets of conflicting interests. Apostle Paul, comparing these sets of interest, concluded: “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8). He weighed the options and made a choice.
1. Give examples of considerations that may make one not choose to come to Christ, even when they understand the gospel.
The pledging of allegiance to Jesus Christ is not a one-time affair. It is a choice the Christian is called to make time and time again in his or her daily walk with God. We know about choices of career, a spouse, and so on, and about seeking God’s face in these critical life’s choices. These are choices we make in the interest of our personal comfort and happiness and may have no bearing on our eternal destiny or even character. But we make far more choices than these obvious ones – choices that may or may not impact us materially, but which nevertheless reflect our commitment to God’s kingdom and therefore our walk with God. These are “Kingdom Choices” too. We reflect such choices in the causes to which we commit our resources, the sides we take on issues such as politics, the law, ethics, values, and so on. Some choices affect our reputation and relationships, and most define our character. Willingness to be on God’s side– asking first and foremost what would be a pro-God’s-Kingdom position – is a key building block for godly living.
2. Give examples of choices we make which are primarily a reflection of our commitment to God’s kingdom. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” (Jer 17:9 NIV). We are most capable of justifying our choices.
When we allow vested interests to inform our choices, we readily offer altruistic explanations to defend such choices. A criminal who has benefitted from the governor’s prerogative of mercy is more likely to push for leniency for criminals. One who has benefitted from corruption in a government is more inclined to defend that government. A beneficiary of ethnicity and nepotism in an organisation is more likely to defend the practitioners of these vices. It takes brokenness to take God’s side on issues even when so doing hurts our immediate interests.
3. Suggest some personal questions to ask to help us take God’s side when confronted with hard decisions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Prayer: Father, help us to search our hearts for, and deal with tendencies to allow personal interests sabotage Your kingdom’s interest in the choices we make. In Jesus’ name, Amen.