Consequences to Bad Decisions – Ron Graham –
There are consequences, sometimes overwhelming consequences, when bad decisions are made. Sometimes we ignore or shy away from the really complicated decisions, avoiding them all together if at all possible. It’s hard to always be right when it comes to making decisions. Occasionally we blow it. Sooner or later regret sets in as we’re faced with consequences we never expected.
There may be times when we are afforded the opportunity to change our decision before some horrible outcome materializes. Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone else who would make those difficult decisions in life for us so blunders and regrets might be avoided? Mostly we learn and grow stronger from mistakes but there are many who, as each new opportunity arises, will repeat the same erroneous decisions again and again.
Many of life’s bad decisions can be avoided by studying our Bibles. By making decisions based on God’s word the road ahead pretty much smoothes out in front of us. Through the diligent study and adherence to God’s inerrant word we can avoid making bad decisions.
The lack luster life of a biblically illiterate Christian is evident in how many wrong decisions occur in that individual’s life. But there’s a great deal of godly evidence in the life of a believer who has become committed to studying God’s word. Is it God’s word that holds our attention or the world? “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22. The cares of this world too often get in the way and God and His word became relegated to the back seat of lives.
Daily we’re faced with the decision of whether or not to ignore God’s word. The more we neglect reading and studying His word the easier it gets to just forget about it all together. “My Bible’s not going anywhere and tomorrow is another day.”
There’s an excellent line from a “Rocky” film that I just love. As Apollo Creed is speaking to Rocky Balboa trying to convince him to get with the program Rocky makes the statement “Tomorrow, we’ll pick it up again tomorrow” and Apollo yells back at Rocky, “There is no tomorrow!” Friends, tomorrow never comes, especially when we are putting off doing something that we now find tedious.
If you find Bible study monotonous or boring you’ve allowed outside interests to burden your thought process. The world has become more important to you than God. This is easy to see happening in a believer’s life when they are avoiding God. The more we avoid God the more He’ll just keep silent. If we aren’t walking with God guess who’ll be there to keep us company? The enemy relishes the opportunity to stumble us. He’s right there waiting to pounce and devour at a moment’s notice. It’s our decision to allow this attack to happen.
The decision to skip a routine of devotional time or to neglect the daily reading of God’s word will have profound effects on the other decisions of the day. Praying, for example, will not be important before we commit ourselves to any new course or action. Eventually our prayers will become less of a priority in our lives. The less relevance we place on prayer the further we’ll move away God. Through prayer a believer speaks to the Creator of the Universe. If we love God with all our heart, speaking to Him will become our highest priority.
Witnessing becomes almost a non-event when Bible study is forfeited for other more appealing activities. Who can be an effective witness without sufficient knowledge of God’s word? Questions will arise from nonbelievers that will confuse and even cause doubt in the mind of biblically illiterate Christians. And doubt can inevitably lead the believer to avoid witnessing altogether.
When you wake up and spend a little time in prayer and devotion to God the rest of that day’s decisions are then made with a completely different attitude. Always seek God’s council first. A godly decision that is based solely on God’s will, not our own selfish, wicked hearts, will be no match for the enemy. But the ill effects of godless decisions can cause profound consequences.
Reading and basking in God’s word can be as stream of living water rushing through our souls. Believers are empowered as we read and study His word. Through our diligent study of His word God lays more discernment upon us. Glimpses into who He is are as nuggets and pearls stored up in a believer’s heart.
Bible study becomes very enlightening as our desire to learn more of what God’s word says. But if the desire isn’t there the occasions to study will cease to materialize. Sometimes it takes a little motivation to get started, but once you’ve committed to a routine of study you’ll begin to progress and the more you learn the more you’ll want to know. You’ll never know it all but being grounded in God’s word becomes evident in a believers life. As you dig deeper you’ll be given more knowledge as a reward for your diligence.
Without biblical knowledge believers are as logs floating on an ocean filled with many misleading currents. They may find themselves drifting from one current to another void of any real direction. When believers allow themselves to be “current driven” or “guided” without knowing where they are heading they may not be aware, until it’s too late, who’s doing the guiding.
The enemy takes great delight in guiding believers off course. Satan will take advantage of believers who are ignorant of God’s word. Pushing the warm fuzzies of the current trendy alternatives to a real Christ centered biblically based message is Satan’s endgame strategy. Those who refuse to study or who deny the truth of God’s word become easy prey for the enemy, these folks will believe anything but the truth.
This life is a never ending assortment of decisions. Read my Bible today, don’t read my Bible, go to the movies, don’t read my Bible, watch television don’t read my Bible, begin my day reading my Bible, begin my day in an argument with my spouse, and on it goes. It’s your decision and it must be made daily.
There’s another decision, though, that only needs to be made once. The most important decision to ever confront humanity is the decision to follow Christ. Jesus is the Messiah of the world, the Creator of the universe, the propitiation for our sins. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 1:10.
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:14. Man does indeed stand in the valley of decision, but it is God who does the deciding, not man. It is a valley of judgment–and we should decide for Jesus right now so we never stand in this valley of decision. Where do you stand?
Reading the Bible is awe inspiriting, and the most worthwhile and incredibly fulfilling journey that a believer can take. To be completely forthright though, the only way to actually grasp much of the nuances of God’s word is to become a believer and then read His word with a new heart and love for God. Paul the Apostle refers to the Gospel message as foolishness to those who are perishing. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;” 1 Corinthians 1:18a. Who is Paul speaking about? All those who will be standing in the valley of decision at the end.
We aren’t saved by reading the Bible, but by reading it after we are saved we are given direction for this life. God’s direction is the only correct path to walk.
If you’re reading this commentary today and you’re not a born again believer in Christ you were guided here by the Holy Spirit to read this message.
In God’s economy everything happens for a reason. The Holy Spirit is beckoning you to believe in the One who God the Father sent. That’s Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Messiah of Israel, and the Savior of the world. We have been given an incredible gift, a free gift from God Almighty. God’s gift to us (which means everyone) was the life of His only begotten Son who died in our stead. He took our sins upon Himself, died, was buried, and rose again on the third day all according to the scriptures. Whose scriptures? God’s scriptures.
You can believe and accept God’s free gift of salvation today and be assured of your place in Heaven for eternity, or you can make a bad decision by choosing to ignore the Holy Spirit’s message and go your way. Before you close this page and relegate it to obscurity, please give these last few words some serious thought.
Remember earlier in this commentary I spoke about the regret from the consequences of bad decision making? Think about this, you may never have the opportunity to say yes to Jesus again. Your life could end in a heartbeat before you reach the door.
If you choose to ignore God’s Holy Spirit today and then die in that lost state, your final decision in this life will result in the most horrible regret you could ever imagine. Unlike a decision that can be changed and the regret of a bad decision avoided, this ultimate decision of yours will fill you with a regret that will last for eternity. You will have just afforded yourself the same horrifying, awful, and dreadful eternal reality that so many before you have done. Hell will not be a huge kegger in the park with your buddies. The reality of Hell will be fully realized the instant you die as the result of your final bad decision.
So please, take a moment and come to the good and correct decision, the decision that will place you in Jesus’ loving hands for eternity. Say yes to Jesus now! You won’t regret that decision.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham
All scripture is from the KJV