We were created to need other people

Genesis 4:11

Central Theme:   The way we treat other people effects the way God allows us to be treated.

Introduction–Tell the story of Cain and Able.  Cain thought that he could live a good life if he could get rid of his brother.  He did not understand that the way we treat other people effects the life we live.  Have a member read Genesis 4:11.

I.     All of us want good things to happen to us

1.  We cannot understand why we aren‘t able to get the job we want, and live where we want, and pay our bills.

2.  We don‘t understand that the way we treat other people effects the way we are treated and the things that happen to us.

II.     Jesus was always kind and loving he is our example of how we are to live and treat over people.

A. He wanted the little children around him

B. He forgave the woman who was brought to him caught in the middle of having sex with a man who was not her husband.

C. He healed the sick and epileptic

D. He raised the dead boy and gave him back to his mother.

III.     Jesus wants us to treat others in the same way.

A. We should not be hurting other people with our mouths.

B. We should not be pushing and shoving.

C. We should not steal from each other.

D. We should not be rude.

Conclusion: He will treat us with love as we treat others.  Jesus said, “Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.:”

Created to Make Choices

Romans 14:12

Central Theme:   God gave us the ability to make good and bad choices.

Introduction–I went to a pastor’s meeting and was forced into taking a job I did not want.  In reality, I made a choice to do the job I didn’t like. Each of us have choices and we make choices.  We do have the opportunity to talk to God about all the choices we make when we pray.

                 Have a member read Romans 14:12.

I.     Tell the story of Adam and Eve

1.  Eve was deceived but she made a choice.

2.  Adam was not deceived, he choose to follow Eve.

II.     There are two kinds of choices that we make.

A. We are tricked into making the wrong choice.

1.  We find ourselves in a place where we know what we should do but we choose to do something that is wrong.

2.  We might be tricked, or pressured, or forced but we do the right thing anyway.

B. Right or wrong–we decide on our own to do what we do.

III.     Each of us make choices each day and we should talk to God about the choices we make.

Conclusion–Jesus helps us to make good choices in our lives.

Most of us understand that obeying God is what we should want to do.  There are some decisions that probably won’t change our lives.  When I go into a restaurant, I’m handed a menu.   I must make a choice about what I’m going to eat.  My husband used to tell me, “Linda, it’s not your last meal.  Just choose something.”

But not everything in our lives should be a choice.  There are some things and some people that I should obey–speed laws, my husband, my boss.  God wants us to learn how to obey Him in the same way that Joseph learned.

In Matthew 1:24 we read about Joseph, When Joseph woke up, he did what the Lord’s angel had told him to do. Joseph took Mary as his wife.”

Mary was going to have a baby and the baby didn’t belong to Joseph.  Being a good man, Joseph wanted to do good to Mary.  He had decided that he would send her away; and she would have the baby.  But an angel came to him and told Joseph that God was the father of this baby.  In spite of the obvious objections and misgivings, Joseph decided to obey God.

Joseph did have a choice but his choice was to obey.  Obedience was an option; but if he did obey he would be in big trouble.  I can imagine that even after the angel had spoken to Joseph, he probably had concerns about obeying.

He knew his life would be changed forever.  He knew that this baby was not his child.  His family, friends and neighbors would suspect him for getting Mary pregnant before they were married.  He knew that for a lifetime he would live in shame because no one would understand.

Obeying God may take many forms.  When we get ready to make an important decision, such as buying a house or changing jobs, who do we want to please?  Our husband or wife, our children, our boss or ourselves.  Do we think about pleasing God?

When we are ready to make a smaller decision, when we are with our boy/girl friend, who do we want to please? Ourselves? Our boy/girlfriend?  Or the Lord?

When it is time to be generous in regard to our money? Do we want to please God.  Or do we want to soothe our conscious?

Joseph did obey because God sent an angel to instruct him.  Good sense said that Joseph would not have a good life, if he chose to obey God.  Joseph made the right choice.  He married Mary.  For eternity, Joseph will be honored for that decision.  Yet, he could not see the future and making the decision was not easy.  There are times that we obey only because we know that it is what God wants.

All of us are usually happy that our members have been empowered with choices.  For years, they have been told by the professional community what they will and will not do.  Finally, there has been a true awakening as to the importance of their learning by failure. 

However, as it often happens, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.  Now, CHOICE has almost become a god within the mentally challenged community.  Let me say, that I believe in choice.  Nevertheless, I am conflicted when our members are first told again and again by the professionals and representatives of the State what it means to be an adult and then encouraged to make a Choice based on what other adults are doing.

More than once your members have been told that adults go to nightclubs and drink.  And it’s okay to get drunk.  They are told that adults have sexual relationships before marriage so “we’ll get you a motel room anytime you are ready.”  Visiting an adult book/dvd store is what adult men do so we will go there on our outing.  Adults go on the day cruises and gamble.  So that is an outing that you would enjoy.

Therefore, I don’t mind telling our members that not every adult chooses to get drunk, have out-of-wedlock sex, visit porn shops or gamble away their money.  However, we must provide them with other choices.

When my children were small, I quickly learned that taking away a light cord had much less of a sting, if I replaced it with something else they could play with, like a toy.  I learned to give them a choice between an apple and an orange, rather than a cookie or a piece of candy.  I even had the nerve to tell them that they could choose to eat all the celery they wanted, but the cookies were off-limits. 

They are being told how much fun living a life of sin is.  And that is enforced by the fact that “this is what other adults choose to do.”  We must let them know that the choices they make to live godly lives will be of greater benefit to them. 

Before I even met my friends, Wylene and Woody, I wanted whatever it was they had.  I wanted to be like them.  I want my life to shine with enough joy and positive enthusiasm that our members will desire to have what I have in their lives. 

Choices was wonderful but wonderful choices are even better.  My question as I look in mirror, “Is my life shining in such a way that people see Jesus?  Will they desire what I have and want to be like the Jesus they see in my life?”