2 Kings 14-15 – The Future Impact of Current Choices

Global warming. It’s one of the hot topics today…if you’ll excuse the pun. Scientists tell us that past decisions to satisfy our growing hunger for more (more products, more comfort, more convenience, etc.) are now having destructive consequences on the current state and health of our environment.

Just as decisions in the past can affect current conditions environmentally, past decisions can affect current conditions spiritually.

That’s the message we hear over and over again in 2 Kings chapters 14 and 15. Time and time again, we hear phrases like, “He did evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father did.” At times, the Scripture connects the behaviors of the current king of Israel all the way back to the idolatry of the first king of Israel…Jeroboam. And this pattern is repeated so often in chapters 14 and 15 that you get tired of reading it.

I believe the Scripture is trying to drill home the idea that the choices we make now have a lasting impact in the years to come. Our decisions now will reverberate down through the generations. (Ex. 20:5) Our current choices and actions are key to the spiritual climate of the future. My words and actions impact my children; which has an impact on their interactions with their friends, their spouses, and their children.

Whether or not you believe in the reality of global warming, you can believe that your current decisions and actions will impact your future spiritual climate. That is the clear message God gives us in 2 Kings chapters 14 and 15.

1 Kings 4 – Here and Now

“It doesn’t get any better than this.” It’s something we say when things feel good, worries seem to evaporate, and all seems right with the world. Maybe you’ve said it on the beach, during a vacation, at your favorite restaurant, or just someplace with your feet kicked up.

It’s a statement that fits 1 Kings chapter 4, because in this chapter…

It’s easy to assume all of this just happened; that it was just the “luck of the draw.” But remember, 1 Kings chapter 4 is preceded by 1 Kings chapters 2 and 3. The foundation for this current prosperity and peace was laid through a past pursuit of God and a willingness to make difficult decisions for Him.

The “here and now” is a product of the “there and then.” And this “here and now” is the preparation for a future “out there.” One stream flows into the other. A future of prosperity and peace depends on a present pursuit and dependence on God…and the willingness to make the difficult decisions that will align us with Him.

If the future is to be a time when we say, “It doesn’t get any better than this,” we must pave the way in the “here and now” by pursuing God and making difficult decisions for Him…now!

2 Samuel 11 – What a Difference a Decision Makes!

“What a difference a day makes.” It can be bright one day and dark the next. Your investments can be growing one day and tanking the next. A relationship can be great one day and falling apart the next. What a difference a day makes!

When it comes to 2 Samuel chapter 11, we could say, “What a difference a chapter makes.” In 2 Samuel chapter 10, David is the conquering king. But in chapter 11, David is the cowardly sinner. In chapter 10, David is killing the enemy. But in chapter 11, David is killing his own man.

How did this happen!

Though the change in David seems quick and radical from chapter 10 to chapter 11, it was actually a slow and subtle slide. David started taking it easy. He let up a little. After all, he had worked hard and suffered much in his life. No one would begrudge him for taking a little break…even if it was the time when kings were normally out working hard with the troops.

So, instead of advancing on the enemy, he stayed behind. Instead of aggressively taking ground, he took a nap. Instead of running toward victory on the battleground, he took a stroll on a roof. And things just naturally progressed (or rather digressed) from there. With each wrong decision, David became more insensitive to God and what was right.

It can happen to us, too. One decision leads to another, which leads to another, and so on. We need to remember that there are really no small decisions. Decisions have a cumulative effect. They lead somewhere. And because of that, we should not make decisions casually.

Perhaps the phrase should be, “What a difference a decision makes!”

Joshua 9 – Do You Shoot First and Ask Questions Later?

“Shoot first and ask questions later.” This statement calls one to make quick decisions, and worry about whether it was the “right” decision later.

There may be some rare occasions where a person needs to shoot first and ask questions later. I’m thinking of occasions like natural disasters, criminal violation, terrorist attacks, and military endeavors. But most would agree that “shoot first and ask questions later” is the stuff of movies, and normally not the best approach.

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Deuteronomy 30 – The Choice Is Yours

Choice. It’s both wonderful and scary. Choice is always there and always available. From the dawn of creation until this very moment, choice has been the canvas on which life is painted. Choice is both the common denominator and the wild card of life.

It’s amazing that God would entrust us with the privilege, power, possibility, and unpredictability of choice. The fact that the God of order would allow us to choose speaks volumes about both His extensive power and love.

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3 Major Marriage Decisions

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Sometimes marriage can feel like an endless stream of decisions. Even if you decide not to make a decision…that’s still a decision!

These decisions come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

There are minor decisions like: Where do we go to eat? Who cleans up after the dog? What movie will we watch? Who will take out the trash?

Then there are major decisions like: Is it time to have a baby? Should we change careers and move? What should we do about our wayward teen? How do we care for our aging parents?

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Too Many Choices

Too many choices. Ever felt that way? You turn on your TV and there’s over 300 channels. You go to the grocery store and there are at least ten different types of anything you’re looking for. And if you go out to eat, there are more choices than you could possibly, get around to trying.

We typically think the mores choices we have, the better off we are. But that’s not necessarily true.

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Patterns

Hand stopping dominoes falling isolated on whiteThis time of the year, there’s a lot of talk about new year’s resolutions. Lose weight. Get organized. Eat healthy. Get on a budget. The list is long and varied, but the goal of each resolution is the same…a big change in some area of our life.

I heard a statistic that said 60% of people who make a new year’s resolution have abandoned it within six months. (Been there. Done that.)

Why do so many of us abandon our resolutions? They’re good resolutions. Important resolutions. What happens?

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