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Choices: Calamity Or Cleansing! (13 of 13)
Series: Book Of Nehemiah
INTRO: One of the greatest gifts outside of salvation that God has given all human beings is the gift of CHOICE! Unlike the animals who operate on a level of mostly instinctive behavior humans have very few instincts outside of some simple basic ones: SURVIVAL, SUCKLING, and NURTURE BY FOOD and WATER.
Most of the other areas in our lives involve the need to make CHOICES. Life is really a series of choices ... if we choose wisely we often find joy and self-respect. If we choose unwisely we often suffer many sorrows from those poor choices ... some sorrows lasting a lifetime.
ILLUS: We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. -- Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 41.
Even when we choose unwisely ... once we realize it, how we choose to respond to if can mean the difference of learning from it or becoming bitter over it!
The ability to choose will be with us the rest of our lives ... it is a powerful and awesome gift ... with powerful impact upon our lives and those closest to us.
PROP. SENT: Nehemiah upon his return had discovered the people had made a series of poor choices that had a cumulative affect upon the whole population of Israel that had driven them from their commitment to God! It was time to call them back to make the right choices NOW ... or suffer the consequences that time has shown again and again leads to captivity and bondage!
I. CONDITION OF CALL Neh. 13:1-3
A. Criteria Neh. 13:1-2
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