The Most Significant Decision You Can Make in 2020

most significant decision

make the right choice and follow God

2020 is here! It is a new

 year and a new decade. As such, many people are making new decisions and seeking to take a new direction in their life. The most significant decision any person can make this year is a very simple one. It is the decision to follow God’s plan for their life. You see God has a plan for every single person. It is clearly revealed in His Word. There is no other decision that will have a direct impact on your daily life and your eternal destiny than this. In fact, your decision to follow or not follow God’s plan for life already has impacted your life. Right now, if you are not following God’s plan it is affecting you in a negative way. However, the decision to live God’s way can create a very positive impact upon you and your relationship with others.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalms 119:165)

Perhaps you are looking for peace this year. Maybe your life is full of turmoil and strife. If that is you, then making the decision to follow God and love His law can bring great peace.

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (Proverbs 1:33)

Perhaps you are looking for that feeling of security and safety. Determine to follow God’s plan for your life and He guarantees that you will “dwell safely” and will have no “fear of evil.”

The Bible is full of promises to those who make the simple choice to follow God’s plan for their life. You can read about these promises further in God’s Word by looking up the following passages.

  • Matthew 6:25-34
  • Mark 8:34-38
  • John 3:16-21, 36
  • Acts 2:38-39
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • 2 Peter 1:2-10
  • Revelation 20:15

My prayer is that you will make the most significant decision you could ever make in 2020. Make the choice to follow God’s plan. Our desire here at Calvary Baptist Church in Bedford, Virginia is to help you with that choice. Each week we preach and teach encouraging messages from Scripture that will help you grow spiritually. Our motto is to help each person know and make known the Christ of Calvary. If you would like further help, please notify us through email at calvarybaptistbedford.org or by phone at 540.586.3434 Additionally, we invite you join us for a Sunday Worship service each Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)



Objections Overruled!

What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. (Romans 3:1-8)

How many of you enjoy watching court dramas on T.V.? I have always enjoyed some the great shows that depict how the courts operate. As most of you know already, the court scene is made of up a judge, a jury, a prosecuting lawyer, a defense lawyer, the accused, and many witnesses. One of the things that you will see often in a court of law is arguments being made over whether the accused is guilty. Usually, the prosecuting attorney is given the chance to lay out his/her case proving the accused is guilty of their crime. Afterwards, the defense given their opportunity to prove the accused innocence. Many times, during either the prosecution or the defense there are objections raised over a comment made by a witness. At such time, the attorney will say to the judge, “Your honor, I object to such and such” whatever the case may be. The judge then has the power to accept the objection or to ignore it. Usually, if the judge decides to ignore the objection, he or she will say “Objection overruled.” In effect the judge is saying to the objecting attorney “Sit down, be quiet, my ruling stands!”

Paul in Romans chapter 2 has just finished stating that a Jew cannot get to Heaven on his own merits. Now, Paul knows that there are going to be many objections. In fact, as you read our text, Paul lists three objections to his argument and, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God gives three answers to the objections. In other words, God is saying to those who would object the idea of a Jew not getting to Heaven on his own merit, “Objection Overruled!”

Let me give the three objections and their answers quickly. Then, I want to deal with one thought from these verses that I think will be helpful to all of us as we start this New Year.

WE OBJECT!

Here are the objections!

  • #1 – Was Paul attacking God’s People?
    • The Jews hold an advantage over everyone else because they are God’s chosen signified by mark of circumcision. (verse 1)
      • God’s Answer – Yes, they do! Their advantage though is because they were given the “oracles” of God or as we might say today the Word of God. (verse 2)
  • #2 – Was Paul attacking God’s Promises?
    • Even among the Jews many did not believe. Yet, God promised that they would be His people and would be elevated above all other nations. Is Paul saying that unbelief can undermine God’s faith making it ineffective. (verse 3)
      • God’s Answer – No! God is true. Men are liars. God’s faithfulness to men remains the same despite man’s unbelief. (verse 4)
  • #3 – Was Paul attacking God’s Purity?
    • This one was a very slick objection. Basically, to sum it up, some were saying that Paul teaching indicated that God used man’s sin to bring glory to Himself. They felt that Paul was impugning the righteous purity of God. (verse 5)
      • God’s Answer – God forbid that you would think that about me. Nowhere does God encourage or condone sin in order to glorify Himself. If that were true, then how could God judge the world? (verses 6-8)
      •  

All these objections were raised! All these objections were overruled by God!

Here is the point! Many are still objecting! Many people are still trying to question God. Many people are still trying to find flaws with God’s plan. Even today, many people when confronted with their sin try raise arguments. How do you think teachings like evolution came to be? We live a word full of agnostic and atheists who think they have it all figured out. They think that know more than God! May I say to you this morning, there is not an argument big enough to overturn God’s plan for humanity. If you have not accepted Christ as Savior, you can argue with God until you are blue in the face, but it will not change anything. In the end, you will still be a sinner. You will still be on your way to hell. You will still need Christ to save you. The best thing you can do is stop your arguing with God and simply believe and trust Him.

We Stand in Contempt

There is a phrase that is often used in the court system. You may have heard of it before. It is to be in contempt of court.

Contempt of court, often referred to simply as “contempt“, is the offence of being disobedient to or disrespectful towards a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice, and dignity of the court.[1][2] It manifests itself in willful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law, which is often behavior that is illegal because it does not obey or respect the rules of a law court.[3][4]

However, I want you to notice something interesting. God gives us a picture here of how the Jews were in contempt before God the righteous Judge.

  • FIRST, IT IS NOTED IN VERSES 1 AND 2 THAT GOD COMMITTED TO THE JEWS THE ORACLES OF GOD. GOD ENTRUSTED TO THEM THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS. It was their responsibility to the know the law and to live a testimonial life before all nations. However, as is noted in our text and we know from reading the Old Testament, many did not believe or care to live according to God’s Word. Instead, they chose to live in sin and wickedness.
  • SECOND, THERE WAS WIDESPREAD UNBELIEF MANY TIMES DURING ISRAEL’S HISTORY. WHY THE UNBELIEF? They had abandoned the Word of God. In fact, at one point in their history, they had completely lost the manuscripts.
  • THIRD, ALONG WITH THEIR CARELESS HANDLING OF GOD’S WORD AND THEIR UNBELIEF CAME PERVERTED THOUGHTS AND IDEAS about God and His covenant relationship with them.

 

The Jewish people openly defied and opposed God. Even though God had given them so many wonderful things – His Word, His Promises, His Blessings, His Prophets, and ultimately, His only Son! Repeatedly, they manifested willful disregard and disrespect towards Him. It is a wonder that God is still willingly to keep His promises to Abraham. Yet, does it not speak to the wonderful grace, mercy, lovingkindness, and forgiveness of God?

As I thought about this, I realized the implication for us today. We are not God’s chosen people – Israel. However, as Christians who have been saved by grace, we are God’s chosen people through His Son, Jesus Christ. And, as such, God has entrusted us with some things as well. He as entrusted us with…

  • His Holy Spirit.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

  • His Word

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

  • His Mandate

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

POINT – Here is my point! Just as Paul noted that the Jews stand in contempt in God’s court, how are we any different? God gave to the Jewish nation the greatest opportunity to obey Him and to live for Him as a witness and testimony before other nations. He gave them the Law and the prophets. He empowered them with His Spirit. And, yet, here we stand today in the exact same position. God has given us the greatest opportunity ever to obey Him and to live for Him. Yet, what have we done? May I say to you this morning that we stand in contempt. We do not appreciate God’s Word. We constantly resist the Holy Spirit. We totally ignore the mandate He has given. All of us this morning stand in contempt before God.

Conclusion

What must we do? We stand on the threshold of an entirely New Year. Last year is done. It is finished. We cannot go back and relive it. What we can do is make some changes. We can ask God this morning to forgive us of our sin. We can determine we are going to study and know our Bibles like we have never done before. We can determine that we are going to stop resisting the Spirit of God and begin allowing Him to fill us. We can determine that we are going to be witnesses for Him.



The Beginning of a NEW DECADE at CBC!

Well, here we are at the end of 2019. We stand at the beginning of a new decade at CBC with the arrival of 2020. This new year brings a new opportunity to serve the Lord and carry on the commission that He gave to us. And, our excitement about what lies ahead is growing. 
 
Here are a few things that we are looking forward to this year.
 
  • A New Opportunity to GROW in our walk with Christ. This year we are challenging everyone who is a part of our church to commit to reading through the entire Bible. God’s Word is the blueprint for our relationship with Him. Thus, it is important that we spend each day learning from Him through His Word. Additionally, we are challenging everyone to spend time in personal prayer. Prayer is our avenue of praise, petition, and pardon. Again, it is a vital part of our keeping our relationship with God on the right path.
  • A New Opportunity to GO as witnesses. With each passing year, we get a little closer to Christ’s return. 2020 could be the year that trumpet sounds. If not, it still brings us that much closer to its sound. So, we must be working hard as witnesses for the Lord.
  • A New Opportunity to SERVE Christ. There are many ways to serve Him. We can serve Him by learning to serve others. There all kinds of opportunities for service at our church. If you do not have an area of service, let this be the year that you find a place to plugin and get busy for Him.
  • Calvary Baptist Church is a going, growing, and serving church. 2020 presents for us another year to do that. We are about to start a new decade at CBC and would like you to join us. Let’s get excited and let’s serve Him together!
 
 


A Place of No Escape!

 

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I love this little cartoon picture. This guy has literally painted himself into a corner with no way to escape. You notice that there are no windows or doors nearby. When I first saw this, I laughed and thought “How can anyone be so dumb?” Then it hit me that life is full of dead ends. And, oftentimes, we are the ones that work ourselves into these dead ends.

 

Have you ever come to a dead end? Perhaps, you have driven down a back alley only to find that there was no way out and you were unable to turn around. How frustrating such circumstances can be. Yet, many times in our lives we hit what seems to us to be dead ends. Matter of fact, as a Christian, I am assured that I am going to encounter many dead ends in life. The Bible repeatedly tells us that God is going to bring difficult circumstances into our live in order to grow us spiritually. The Bible also gives us many examples of people who encounter places of no of escape.

 

The children of Israel are a great example. In Exodus 4, we find the story of their exodus from Egypt. Of course, many of us know about the plagues. God used the plagues to demonstrate His awesome power and that He would take care of the Israelites. In the end, Pharaoh had no choice but to let God’s people go. Exodus 4 tells us that God led them away from Egypt and straight to the Red Sea. He led them to a place of no escape. They were surrounded. Pharaoh was angry about his decision and had amassed all of his military might to bring them back.With Pharaoh bearing down from behind and the Red Sea in front, the Israelites were in a place with no escape. Their reaction was two fold. They immediately began to complain and blame God for their predicament. There are four things we can learn from this.

 

  • Sometimes, it is a place that God leads us. (Exodus 4:1-4)

God specifically commanded the children of Israel to encamp by the sea. God led them to that specific place. Sometimes, God leads us to places of no escape. God had a purpose for leading them there. His purpose was to prove once again His awesome power and His willingness to deliver. God wants to do the same for us. When we experience His power and His deliverance, our faith in Him grows even more. We need the faith in Him that demonstrates to the world that He is in control. In order for that to happen, God will sometimes lead us to a place of no escape.

  • Sometimes, it is a place that God tests us. (Exodus 14b-9)

Very often when God leads us to a place it so that He can test us. It is important to note that the Israelites were in this predicament because they were obedient to Him. It was not because of disobedience or some other sin. They did exactly what God had asked of them. We are the way of obedience. In other words, God works through those who are obedient to them. If we want to experience the awesomeness of God, then we must obey Him completely and confidently. We must obey Him even when the circumstances seem to be overwhelmingly against us. We must obey Him even to the point we feel that we have no way of escape. Each circumstance is opportunity for God test us and know that we are committed to obeying Him.

  • Oftentimes, it is a place that we fail Him. (Exodus 14:10-12)

Two reasons we fail Him when faced with dead ends. One, we fail because of our fear. The Israelites overreacted because of the fear that darkened their heart. Fear causes us doubt God’s ability to deliver and protect us from harm. We allow fear to defeat our faith and trust in God. Second, we fail because we forget. The Israelites forgot how bad it had been in Egypt. They forgot about the bondage, the death, the hardness of life as slaves to the Egyptians. Their forgetfulness paved the way for fear and failure.

  • Always, it is a place that He delivers us. (Exodus 14:13-14)

No matter that circumstances God has promised to deliver us. I Corinthians 10:13 is great promise from God. He has promised that He will always make a way of escape even when it seems there is no way of escape. Moses told the children of Israel to do three things: fear not, stand still, and watch God deliver. We must follow the same advice. When we are faced with impossible odds, we need to overcome our fear by putting complete faith and confidence in God’s ability to deliver. We also need to just stand still and let God do His business. Too many times we try to work it all out. Instead, we should be still and give Him control of the situation. When we do these two things, God will fulfill His promise and provide an escape. He is good and promises are everlasting.

 

Can you relate to the children of Israel? Are you in a dead end situation such as dead end job, a dead end marriage, or a dead end financial mess? How can you be obedient to Him in these situations? What advice would you give to others who find themselves in places of no escape? Do you have testimony of being in places of no escape and seeing God deliver?




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