Message Recap – 6/18/10 – The 2nd Best Trap: Part 1

Monday, June 21, 2010

We are introducing a brand new series starting tonight! This will be a three part series, starting tonight with:

The 2nd Best Choice

Word of the week: Prose. Look it up.

This week we're talking about temptation. You know, the cookie when you're on a diet. The video game when you have a paper due tomorrow. The all night Family Ties marathon when you need to go to bed.

For Pastor Dan procrastination is a temptation. He likes to put things off. Strangely, he does really well doing things at the last minute. Perhaps some of you share this weakness, or maybe there is some other issue that trips you up.

The second best choice is the moment when you have a choice to make; eat the felafel wrap or the Little Debbie Swiss Roll. You can choose to do the thing you know you're supposed to do, or the thing that you really want to do.

Everyone has their weakness. Maybe for you it's not Family Ties, it's Growing Pains. When that's on, you have to watch! Maybe for you oatmeal raisin cookies are easy to pass up, but a Snickers bar is irresistible.

You know that one choice is the better thing, but the other choice would feel soooo good! That is the second best choice.

In Genesis 25:29-34 there are two brothers who had a rich dad. In those days they didn't measure wealth by money or cars but by sheep and camels. In those days the firstborn inherited not only the riches but also an extra blessing. Jacob managed to convince his older brother Esau to give up his right as firstborn to property and inherited blessing in exchange for a bowl of soup. Talk about a really bad choice!

You may not know this, but God takes oaths very seriously. Esau thought that this was just a grade school bet – he thought his promise didn't mean anything. He chose something to fill his stomach now instead of long term provision and blessing.

Temptation always involves immediate gratification. It appeals to what you want right now. The best choice is usually harder in the short term. It takes a little more self sacrifice. It means you're not just thinking about right now, but about the long term.

The 2nd best choice appeals to our emotions, our desires and our weaknesses. It always appeals to your immediate needs for gratification – anger, lust, laziness, hunger. It means giving in to feeling good right now. It has short term benefits that lead to long term heartache.

Not every 2nd best choice is sin. There's nothing wrong with Family Ties necessarily – but if you're watching an all night marathon instead of doing your homework, that's not the best for the long term.

Sin is fun: for awhile. Drugs, drinking, sex: they're all fun at first. But there are serious long-term consequences that aren't so fun.

It's fun to stay up all night playing video games and not go to school the next day. But when your grades drop and you fail school and can't get a job, the fun you had doesn't seem as important.

Esau was heartbroken when he finally realized all that he had given up.

Unwed teen mothers face life changing consequences to their choices.

Drug addicts destroy their lives in their quest to feed their addiction.

Choosing the best requires short term patience and self control, but leads to long term satisfaction.

Working out, going to bed on-time, saying no, studying... it's not necessarily fun at the time. But in the long term you will find satisfaction.

Your successful spiritual life works the same way. The best choice is God's choice. It leads to lives without regret, without the heartache of 2nd best choices. God's choice for Esau wasn't for him to sell his birthright for a bowl of soup! It was blessing! God has a choice for you, too. You can't choose both God's choice and the 2nd best.

Some will never know the goodness of God's choice because they settled for the 2nd best – they settled for indulging in what felt good in that moment.

Check out what Deuteronomy 30:19-20 says. You can choose life! Maybe you're not even thinking about your kids yet, but the choices you make will have a huge impact on them, as well as on your spouse.

God has the #1 choice for you.

Even though he didn't choose the best, Esau still became a rich man. He was blessed. But Jacob lived under tremendous blessing and even ended up being father of an entire nation: Israel.

Choose God's first choice for your life, your job, your spouse! You won't regret it!

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