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Logo of GYC 2017: Arise

Not Choosing Is a Choice

Lisa Topete
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Conference

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  • December 28, 2017
    8:00 AM

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This message was presented at the G.U.Y.Z. twenty seventeen conference arise in Phoenix Arizona for other resources like this visit us online at W W W dot. Org. And morning. That couldn't have been a better song. For this morning's time together. My brother is right he is definitely an answer to prayer and thankfully got introduced me and he's right again I've been married for all of eighteen days a man. That is a sweet blessing I am happy to be able to share with all of you mourning people how many mourning people are in here raise your hand I cannot raise my hand with you I am not a morning person but the Lord woke me up early this morning because I believe he has a message to share and I'm excited to be with you this morning I'm going to be preaching from the Bible OK and I'm going to be reading a lot of it so I want you to stay with me Philip as fast as you can help your friend next to you Don't be embarrassed if you need help finding a place in the Bible know that I often rehearse the song whenever I have to go to a place in the Bible right Genesis Exodus of it against you I think Mahatma Gandhi once said you Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilization to pieces to turn the world upside down. Bring peace to a battle torn planet but you treat it as though it's nothing more than a piece of literature the title of this morning's devotional. Is not choosing is a choice Let us pray. This morning Lord we come to you asking that your Holy Spirit will be our only teacher I pray that that song that was sung right before this message would be the prayer of my heart take my mind take my mouth let it be used for you right now. Lord of myself I have nothing to offer these people but you offered them yourself on the cross so I pray we get a picture of who you are like we've never seen before we love you we miss you and we cannot wait to see you face to face in the name of Christ Amen it wasn't far from here that I was driving on a freeway don't ask me what freeway it was. I was driving on a freeway from Phoenix to Flagstaff through Camp Verde. And at the time this was two thousand and ten I was in a relationship with a man that I shouldn't have been in or in a relationship with. And as I was driving on this freeway I had a moment in my life that would forever change the direction of where I was headed. I had heard and learned about the Seventh Day Adventist Church the year before in two thousand and nine but I just couldn't choose to give my heart fully to God I knew that God was talking to my heart. And I was living the life I shouldn't be it was on this drive that I heard a still small voice it wasn't anything dramatic it was in a firework show it was in a neon sign that flashed it was just a quiet thought that entered into my mind as I was driving on this freeway. Now I know it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me amen the Holy Spirit speaks Yes he does and the thought that came into my mind was Lisa you can go on to be a veterinarian go to vet school you can marry the man you're living with No it's not the man I'm currently married to you leave their life and you can live the life you think that would be best for yourself or you can give your heart entirely to me still quiet in my car Nolan's with me. And the next thought that came into my mind was but no matter what you choose Lisa I'm going to love you the same but what kind of choice is that. It actually made me kind of angry because here I am sitting in my car in thinking I can choose to live the life the way I've been visioned it how many of you are planners are thinking fifty years in advance Newsflash friends of only have today but I'm with you and I could picture injury MUP these fantasies of how my life was supposed to look and then God like or you can give your life entirely to me. Friends I wouldn't be standing here today if I didn't choose to give my life to God. What kind of choice was that yet I knew deep down I had to choose. Shortly after that moment in the car. I broke off the man I was supposed an engagement to a man I was supposed to marry one of the hardest things I had ever had to do in my life. Shortly after that moment in the car I contacted a lady from the Seventh Day Adventist Church I very first went to in Clovis California I contacted her on Facebook and then the already used facebook and i Message share one question and you know my one question was how on earth does someone choose to live for God and not just choose to live for him but live for him for fifty years. She kind of chuckled. Haha on Facebook. And her reply do you know what it was. I'll tell you at the end of the message because it's the key insight the key to staying faithful. Go with me in your Bibles First Samuel chapter three as we continue the message not choosing is a choice First Samuel Chapter eight. Are you ready to read the Bible. You can look at me and smile if you're there you have to be with the Lord today. You're in the right place first I'm going to chapter eight verse one says now it came to pass when Samuel is old that he made his sons judges over Israel the name of his firstborn was drawn the name of his second A by did they were judges in Beersheba but his sons did not walk in His ways they turned aside after dishonest gain took bribes in Perverted Justice were these good sons of Samuel they were not following the Lord then all the elders in verse four of Israel. Gathered together and came to Sam and said to him Look you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways now make us a king to judge us like all the nations verse six but the thing displeased Samuel when they said give us a king to judge us so Samuel prayed to the Lord. What comes after this verse six is verse seven and perhaps in my opinion one of the saddest verses in the Bible the Lord said to Samuel heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you for they have not rejected you but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them according to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day which would they have for saken me and served other gods so they are doing to you also now therefore heed their voice however you shall solemnly forewarn them and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them I want you guys to see in verse nine the beauty of the character of God Amen in the very act of being rejected he's beginning to show them what. Oh warning of mercy he's for warning them exactly what kind of king is going to serve over them you see God's knowing the future was not God's doing Amen many people are blaming God today but God's knowing about the future is not what it's not God's doing. Verse ten so Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king and he said to them this will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you are you ready for this he will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots to be his horsemen and some will run before chariots verse twelve he will appoint captains over his thousands captains over his fifties he will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest and some to make. Bins of war and equipment for his chariots he will take your daughters to be perfumers cooks and bakers he will take the best of your fields your vineyards or all of groves and give them to his servants he will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage and give to his officers and servants he will take your mill servants your female servants your finest young men and your donkeys and put them to his work he will take a tenth of your sheep and you will be his servants you will cry out in the day because of your king whom you have was chosen for yourselves and the Lord will not hear you in that day friends if you are the children of Israel in the hearing of the Lord what would your natural instinct be to say. Just kidding we don't want to King any more because he's about ready to take everything you own friends don't get it mistaken the devil wants everything you have. And he will stop at nothing. Verse nineteen. Never the less that people refuse to obey the voice of Samuel and they said no but we will have a king over us that we may be like who. All the nations. And that our king may judge assess and go before us and fight our battles Samuel heard all the words of the people he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord so the Lord said to Samuel heed their voice make them a king and Samuel said to the men of the Israel every man go to a city friends we just read all of First Samuel Chapter eight who was there King before King Saul the very first King God with their king he brought them up out of the land of Egypt he provided for the manna he provided for them shelter he would split the Red Sea folks but no no no we want to keep over us. The next history of the children of Israel is so incredulous it gets worse and worse and worse and sixteen Kings later Guess who's king over Judah. Who knows the sixteenth I didn't know I had to count it was Hezekiah. Hezekiah was was he a good or a bad King was a fairly good king he made some poor decisions but he wanted to uphold the law of God friends this morning and we read this chapter to have a context for the theme verses of this year's do I see I want to take you to where will land for the ridge already of the rest of our time and Isaiah fifty nine Take your Bibles please go to Chapter fifty nine the book of Isaiah is largely a Messianic book in many. And the first part is more a book of judgment chapters one to thirty nine chapters forty to sixty six more book of comfort were God lets them know that you're going to go into captivity but I'm going to show you the redemption you'll get out of that literally friends he lets them know through the prophet Isaiah over two hundred years before they when it's about alone in captivity that not only are you going to become captive but I'm going to show you the redemption that I'm going to give you. Isaiah Chapter fifty nine film shows us the condition that the decision to make themselves their own king had led them to Isaiah Chapter fifty nine behold verse one the Lord's hand is not sure and that it cannot save nor has the cure your heavy that it cannot hear jump to verse four but no one calls for justice nor does any plead for truth they trust in empty words in speak lies they conceive evil in bring forth iniquity they hatch Viper eggs in we've the spider's web he eats of the he who eats of their eggs dies in from that which is crushed a viper breaks out their webs will not become garments nor will they cover that them selves with their works their works are works of what iniquity in the act of violence is in their hand their feet run to evil and they make haste to shut in the sim blood their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity wasting and destruct. In our in their paths the way of the peace they have not known in there is no justice fairness in their waves they have made for themselves crooked paths whoever takes this shall not know peace what is the condition of the world. Sounds a lot like the days of Noah. Verse nine there for justice is far from us nor does righteousness overtake us we look for light but there is darkness for brightness but we walk in blackness we grope for the wall like the blind we grow up as if we had no eyes we stumble at noonday and as that as a twilight we are as dead men into places we all growl like bears and moan sadly like doves we look for justice but there is none for salvation but what. Do you remember the point in First Samuel Chapter eight where he said you'll cry out to me but guess what. You made a choice. God's knowing is not God's doing verse fourteen jumped to fourteen justices turn back righteousness stands afar off for truth is all in in the street and equity or fairness cannot enter so truth fills and he would depart from evil makes himself what So basically at this point you don't have an option unless you choose evil or else you become a prick the Lord saw and it displeased him that there was no justice friends even after knowingly rejecting God is very keen. The Lord still saw them. And it displeased him that there was no intercessory it displeased him that there is no justice in verse sixteen says he saw that there was no man he wondered that there was no intercessory there for his own arm brought salvation to him and his own righteousness if sustained him for he put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation on his head he put on the garment a vengeance for clothing him with clad with zeal is a cloak according to their deeds Accordingly he will repay theory to his adversaries recompense to his enemies the close lands he will fully repay so they shall fear the name of the Lord from the West and his glory from the rising of the sun when the enemy comes in like a flood the spirit of the Lord will raise a standard against. Friends I don't know about you but when I read Chapter fifty nine I see this horrible people. And I'm so thankful I'm not God because these people don't even know right from wrong anymore they think that the crooked path is a normal path. And the only hope this people had is what that his own arm brought salvation is. Friends nothing in us Chapter fifty nine is one of the clearest pictures of the actual disposition of you in that. That nothing in this can conjure up righteousness nothing in us can find a straight path not wearing the right clothes eating the right the. Make you right there fruits of it but God said I can't leave these people. Look at verse twenty. The Redeemer will come to Zion. And to those who turn from what transgression in Jake says the Lord. You see God made a choice here but before the beginning of the creation of the world God had made his choice. You see the history of Israel's choosing and right here you see the picture of the choice that God had made from the beginning of the foundations of the earth go with me to a fusion told here in fifty nine and sixty we are going to come back go with me to the book of efficiency Chapter one Verse three Chapter one Verse three It reads. Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ just as he what. Chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ himself according to the Pleasure of His will to the praise of the glory of His grace by which he made us accepted in the beloved friend when did God choose you. He covenanted with you before the foundation of the world he made a choice that no matter what you choose I'm going to still love you no matter the how much you reject me my heart will still yearn for you and seek after you he said Why will you die oh house to visit real I can't let you go how can I forget you oh Israel friends this god of the universe has chosen you we saw the choice of Israel we saw the disc this the decision they made to not have a king and now we see the choice of Christ we see that he chose to hang on a rough wood splintered cross don't picture it is from a shiny wood in a cross that he was on. He chose to have seven inch nails driven through the worst part possible of his arrest he chose to not just have a crown of thorns that we see often depicted but a helmet of thorns in casing his entire head he chose within a few minutes of being on the cross to have pics of thick ropes on either wrist stretched so far that his arms were actually dislocated to be not not just nine centimeters but nine inches longer than normal on each side he chose fact. He chose that the position he was in would cause him to slouch on the cross in his loans what actually eventually most crucified victims didn't die right away was generally close to three days and their lungs were finally collapsed from the position they were in because they couldn't breathe anymore they could no longer hoist themselves up to take a breath he chose one of the most painful tortures Everett invented in crucifixion You know we get the word excruciating from the Hebrew six six says every time we sin we crucify the Son of God afresh and put it into an open chain. He chose to take our cross and our crown of thorns. With full understanding. That many of you in this room will never choose him. That's a covenant that's a commitment in friends each one of you in here this morning have a god has a God who is so committed to you. You don't get it I don't get it. When he says he will never leave you or for sake you don't let that verse be so simple Isaiah Chapter fifty nine verse twenty one our scripture reading as for me says the Lord this is my covenant with. My Spirit who is upon you and my words which I have put in your mouth shut not to part from your mouth nor from the mouth of your descendants. Nor from them from the mouth of your descendants descendants as the Lord from this time and forever more but what was the condition as far as seeing all of this take place you see in verses six trapped or sixty the whole chapter we actually get a picture of what the redemption of Israel will look like when you look at the context of Isaiah fifty nine and Isaiah sixty you're actually seeing a prophecy of captivity to redemption they're being told exactly what's going to happen can you imagine if someone came to you and told you this is exactly what's going to happen to you you'd be like. I don't know I don't know if I believe them. But here God is literally telling the children of Israel this is exactly what's going to take place a messiah then is going to come and redeem you and rescue you but Verse twenty of Isaiah fifty nine the Redeemer will come to Zion and to those who what who turn from John's aggression in Jacob so he's coming to Zion Jesus is coming Amen. But especially for those who choose to turn from transgression injector we often talk about as a church the freedom to decide right free will but friends the clearest definition of choice is the way we see it in Christ. It's not so much the commitment I need to me but rather look at the commitment Christ has made to me. Instead of saying ha I've got to give my heart to Christ look at the heart that God in Christ gave to me. Instead of saying I got to have devotions I can say look at the God who so devoted to me. Know the results of those who pick Christ. As a sixty verse on a rising shy for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you for behold darkness shall cover the are in deep darkness the people but the Lord will what arise over you and His glory will be seen upon you and the Gentiles shall come to your lie in teens to the brightness of your rising do you know the rest of verses for all the way through twenty two in that chapter God literally tells them what their life can be like if they give it to him. He tells them they will have peace prosperity and hope he tells them I'm actually going to die so you will have peace prosperity and hope. So I look at the children of Israel and I'm like. Surely they're going to pick him. Surely they're going to pick God Right I mean he set it up it's full proof. But what did the children of Israel do they definitely didn't pick God even after he showed them they still did pick. I was reading through this and as I had been studying I was shaking my head in disgust thinking how could you not use them if they don't like me. How did you know I think this is God who gave you everything. But then again. What in the world are you choosing today you've seen Christ on a cross you hold a piece of literature. That can turn the world upside down Gandhi said bring peace to a battle torn planet and you look at it is though it was nothing more than a piece of literature friends you have a stick of dynamite in your hand he will even. The only way our theme verses for G.I.C. this year sixty one to three can ever be a reality in our life is because of Isaiah fifty nine twenty and twenty one the Redeemer King. And not only has he come friends he's here he's available to you today. There's a story of a little girl who they found in an abandoned wilderness in India. Apparently her parents had left her and threw her to the animals. And when they found this little girl they took her to the hospital begin to give her administer first aid making sure she was OK but this little girl. Acted just like an animal she refused to lay on a bed she refused to eat from a table or out of a bowl she wanted to eat off the floor like a dog and she would do nothing but scream and scratch in kick in hit we look at that and we're like that's. That's not normal. But to this little girl Guess what that's all she knew is normal friends the life you're living now is not normal it is not the way that God had wanted life to be. But before the foundation of the world he chose you. He chose to give you a way out so I'm guilty because I shake my head in disgust at the children of Israel but do you know what happens in Revelation twenty one and twenty two he actually tells us not only does it come again but what it's going to be like when he comes so the very prophecy that we see in Isaiah sixty and through the rest of the book of Isaiah friends you have your revelation of what it's going to be like or is this world just too good. One of the most precious yet heartbreaking quotes feel ever read is found in Christ object lesson it reads in Page three eighteen in heaven it is said by the ministering angels the ministry which we have been commissioned to perform we have done we pressed back the army of Evil Angels we sent brightness and light into the souls of men quickening their memory of the love of God expressed in Jesus we attracted their eyes to the cross of Christ their hearts were deeply moved by a sense of the sin that crucified the Son of God They were convicted they saw the steps to be taken in conversion they felt the power of the Gospel their hearts were made tender as they saw the sweetness of the love of God they beheld the beauty of the character of Christ. But with many it was all in vain. They would not surrender their own habits and character they would not put off the garments of the earth in order to be clothed with the robe of heaven their hearts were given to covetousness they love the associations of the worlds more than they love their God. Who'd you choose this morning. Who have you chosen this past week. I don't know I can't read your heart. But there's a God who has chosen me. And he chooses you time and time again. He's made a covenant with you he's made his choice well you make yours today. Because many in the book education it says think of the result of hastening or hindering the Gospel and when they think of it they think of it in relation to themselves and to the world if you think of its relation to God So what we are hearing here is that when most people think of the gospel they think Jesus died for me I'm I'm a part of that group right and he did and the gospel must go forward and God must use me but few stop in think of its relation to God A few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our creator all have been suffered in Christ's agony but that suffering did not begin or end with his manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our adult senses that the pain from its very inception sin brought to the heart of God Do you guys I'm going to read that again Don't miss this point all have been suffered in Christ agony but that suffering did not begin or end with his manifestation in humanity the cross is a revelation to our adult senses of the pain that from its very inception sin has brought to the heart of God every departure from the right every deed of cruelty every failure of humanity to reach his ideal brings grief to him but he still chose you from the beginning of the foundation of the world he still chose you as he died upon a cross believing that some of you hopefully all of you would choose him back so you do want to know what the lady told me she said all Lisa I didn't choose to serve God for fifty years. She said I chose to serve him today and she said I wake up every morning and I say One Simple Thing Today I choose you for my God he's already picked you guess what he's waiting on. You to pick him. Choose this day who you will serve. Because not choosing friends is a choice he's made his covenant he's made his commitment. What are you doing where do you stand in relation to God today because you know where he stands in relation to you there is a little boy who two of mine and my husband's mentor. Foster Parent ID. And if anyone has been a foster parent they know that that can be a difficult thing. Because you hear some of the most heartbreaking stories. The wife the mother of these young foster children told me a story one day she said You know Lisa the funniest thing kind of sad happened but kind of funny she goes every Sabbath before we go to church I take my two young foster children to the church and right before we go in the sanctuary we pray because we don't want things to go crazy she's like so I'm going to hold their little hands and as a go to grab their hand the little boy refuses. To give her his hand he has a balled up in a fixed and she's like closing her eyes but trying to grab his hand and she finally just grabs this fixed and she prays OK so they're praying God help us not to be crazy during the sermon of the falsely you know hear from the Lord and she's holding his little hand and when they get done she's like why you're here involved up in a little fixed and he's like. Not letting her see and the older sister's like let us see what's in your hand so finger by finger the open up this little boy's hand and do you know it was inside of his hand. Dog food. Dog food was inside of his head they all had a moment they started laughing and then. My friend looked at him and said Well where do you have dog food in your hand and he said in case I got hungry during the sermon. They all started laughing and then the she looks at him and goes dog food isn't a normal snack I can give you a snack. And the older sister happened at that moment to come in and said But that's the snack our grandparents used to give us friend are you eating dog food this morning. Do you think this is normal. Because he thought the hog food was a normal snack. I say this with his much love and sincerity but if you have not decided we chose in Christ today you are eating dog food. Because what he has this home which better. The life he is gives is a life John ten ten more abundant he came to give life and life more abundant. Arise my friends get out of the dirt and choose God. If you haven't made a decided decision to follow Christ. I assure you friend you've chosen dog food but today this morning you have an opportunity to pick between him. Or the devil to particular tween the Christ who died on the cross for you are all that the world says it has to offer you there's no in between friends to not choose a choice. Friends if there is a stirring of any kind in your heart it's like the quote we read the angels are drawing near and saying to you Will you pick him today. If there is any stirring in your heart it's because he's asking you to respond to the company he's already made with you he wants you do you want him. This call right now isn't for everyone. It's for those who hear this morning say I actually have never publicly picked Christ. For whatever reason like you we saw in two thousand and nine you couldn't fully choose to give God your heart. But today you have that option. To pick because friends the Bible tells us of a time where you can pick no more not choosing is a choice in your choice will be decided against him but this morning the opportunity is fresh the blood that Christ shed on the cross is free for you in for me if you've never picked Christ it's a bold thing to do if you want to say I want to give you a chance I don't know what I'm getting myself into here I'm here at this Jew I think Convention never been here before. But I want to see what you have for me friends challenge the lorry he's got you. If you've never publicly made a decision for Jesus and you want to make that decision this morning I'm going to ask you to stand where you're at stand and recognize that Jesus gave it all for you the Lord sees you sister and it's so precious human brother the board wants you. And it's not a simple wanting it's a want that even if you were to pick my friends to no longer choose him he would still choose you but maybe you're like the Israelites and you're back and forth and back and forth and you're tired of it this morning. And you want to choose him today and say I am done. I am so done going back and forth I want to ask you to stand now and say I'm going to make a public decision that I am tired of going back and forth this isn't for everyone it's for those who are saying today this morning at U.I.C. I am sick of playing the fence I want to give him my whole heart the Lord sees you friends this is a decision between you and Christ and guess what angels in heaven are rejoicing at your decision. Christ is looking down at his people right now and saying but for these ones it was in the if you're still sitting and you're feeling the Holy Spirit say Stand stand friends don't let his sacrifice be in vain for you this morning he died to give you a new start for those who have stood. It's no light decision. But you're running into the arms of a God who picked you first so you're going to be OK You don't have to work up righteousness on your own. He's made you write history in his book. At this time I'm going to ask you to come forward so we can have a prayer. Don't be shy. Everyone who is sitting has obviously chose in Christ Amen and they want to support you in your decision to choose him come to the front come close however in as a family of God. No more back and forth Amen no more hot and then cold OK I'll just be lukewarm right. We are making a decision to follow Christ friends I'm going to ask us to sing a song acapella I have decided human and then we're going to have a closing prayer I ask you in the quite innocent your heart to just repeat after me saying I'm going to give Jesus my life today no turning back. Decent. To. Do for. Us. To follow. Us. You can still come forward and pick the Lord any. Me doing so and. Me. Oh. Well. Know any. Will you decide now. You. Know. Friend started she Y.C. off picking right and some are still coming forward and you can still come. To. She. Certainly. Knows. At this time and I ask you to bow your head and close your eyes in the quietness of your heart I'm going to lead you in a sinners prayer for you ask God back into your life. And remember friends you're just choosing to serve him today and then you know wake up in the morning and say Today I choose the formica. Father in heaven. Lord I know I have most of my life not chosen you. But this morning I'm standing up here. Asking what you would forgive me of my sins. That you would cover me in your righteousness cleanse me in your blood. Please forgive me for looking at your sacrifice so lightly forgive me for being like the children of Israel in choosing another king over my life. This morning that changes between me and you this morning I give you my heart afresh Today I choose you for my. No turning back. Thank you for the blood that you show on the cross for my sins thank you for giving me life in life much more abundant. Please abide in my heart forever in Jesus' name. In. This message was recorded at the G Y C twenty seventeen conference arrives in Phoenix Arizona. G Y C support the ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ entered and so when Christians to download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W.W.W. dot she Y.C. Web dot org.

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