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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

A challenge of the Christian life: Knowing what I should do in order to live a life that pleases God. How do I make a decision when there are a host of factors that will sway me one way or another? So how should a Christian make a decision? What does the Bible say about decisions and God?


There are three parts to this subject


We walk in partnership with God, not as automatons under remote control. The outworking of this partnership is the fruit of faith, hope and love. To have a partnership requires interaction from both parties.  This page is on our part.


Bible Zone

There are five factors given here.  Lordship is key since it touches on all the remainder.


Lordship

If my fears and desires rule me, then I am not free to choose well. Our first place in making a godly decision is surrender to our Father’s will. We look for the path of God’s love.

  1. How does God look upon those who seek to do His will?
  2. What is the outcome for those who accept God and His word?


John 14:  21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."   ...    23 Jesus replied, "All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.


Example of Lordship

  1. For what purpose was Timothy sent?
  2. At what cost was Timothy sent to Thessalonica?


1 Thessalonians 3:  1 Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens,2 and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God's co-worker* in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith,3 and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through.


A personal example of Lordship.


Bible Commands

Sometimes there is a command in the Bible that tells us what we must or cannot do. This text (Acts 15:15-19) is from the first Church council. Here, James concludes the discussion:

  1. On what basis does James make his decision?
  2. What expectation is there that the judgement would be agreed?


Acts 15:  15 And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written: ...   17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the LORD,

  including the Gentiles—   all those I have called to be mine.  ...   19 "And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.


Example of Bible Commands

Paul is on trial before the Romans.

  1. What standard does he seek to live to?
  2. What (in the second passage) does it cost him?


Acts 24:  14 I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets.15 I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous.16 Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.


Acts 24:  25  "Go away for now," he replied. "When it is more convenient, I'll call for you again."26 He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him.   27 After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison


A personal example of being obedient to God’s Word - An expensive truth.


Desire & Common Sense

Sometimes the answer to a decision does not need great spirituality, one only has to follow one’s desires, or recognise what is obvious.

  1. What does the Lord give to those who delight in Him?
  2. What does it mean to delight in the Lord?


Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD,

  and he will give you your heart's desires.


Example of Desire & Common Sense

  1. How did Paul’s desires influence his decision?
  2. How did his understanding of people influence his decision?


Acts 20:  16 Paul had decided to sail on past Ephesus, for he didn't want to spend any more time in the province of Asia. He was hurrying to get to Jerusalem, if possible, in time for the Festival of Pentecost.17 But when we landed at Miletus, he sent a message to the elders of the church at Ephesus, asking them to come and meet him.


A personal example of desire and common sense - The bottle of sweets.


Godly Council

It is good to gain a perspective from others who are competent in the area of decision, or who can be trusted in godliness and wisdom.

  1. How can a decision be influenced by advice?
  2. Why do these proverbs emphasis numbers of advisers?


Proverbs 15:  22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice;  many advisers bring success.

Proverbs 19:  20 Get all the advice and instruction you can,  so you will be wise the rest of your life.


Example of Advice

There was a riot about Paul in the city of Ephesus.  Paul wanted to defend himself before the people.

  1. What stopped Paul from meeting the rioters in the amphitheater?


29 Soon the whole city was filled with confusion. Everyone rushed to the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, who were Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia.30 Paul wanted to go in, too, but the believers wouldn't let him.31 Some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, also sent a message to him, begging him not to risk his life by entering the amphitheater.


A personal example of godly council - Not nice.


Priority & Calling

Sometimes we have to follow our vocation in life.  This can interfere with what seems to be more appropriate relationally.

  1. What decision were the crowds pressing for>
  2. Why did Jesus make the decision to travel around?


Luke 4:  42 Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them.43 But he replied, "I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent."44 So he continued to travel around, preaching in synagogues throughout Judea.*


Example of Priority & Calling

Paul is travelling a second time round Lystra.  Wherever he went he would take a couple of representatives from a church to accompany him on his trips.

  1. Why did Paul take Timothy with him?
  2. Why did he have Timothy circumcised (A practice he would normally not suggest for non-Jewish followers of Christ.)?


Acts 16:  2 Timothy was well thought of by the believers* in Lystra and Iconium,3 so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek.4 Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem.


A personal example of Priority & Calling - Commitment






Illustration on decision making & God’s leading -

Decisions Leading

MAKING GODLY DECISIONS