Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Download MP3 (right click to save)
I don't know how long Presidential candidates have had campaign songs, but I'll bet George Washington even had one! Now, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's was pretty famous, as it represented the Great Depression "Happy Days Are Here Again." Bill Clinton had a song for his 1992 campaign. In fact, he reached back to 1977 for his song "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow." They used it so much people wanted to sing, "Please Stop Singing About Tomorrow." Now I don't know how you felt about the candidate, and I don't even know if you liked the song...but it's not a bad theme for your campaign!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Choices Without Regrets."
Our word for today from the Word of God takes a look at somebody who did, with painful results. Esau was the oldest son of Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob was his younger brother. Jacob wanted the birthright. But it was Esau's to receive because he was born first, and that meant he received double inheritance. He'd run the family when his father died. What a privilege! And he gets to do that just because he was born first. But it wasn't going to happen that way.
Genesis 25:29 - "When Jacob was cooking some stew one day Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, "'Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!' Jacob replied, 'First sell me your birthright.' 'Look, I'm about to die,' Esau said. 'What good is the birthright to me?' But Jacob said, 'Swear to me first.' So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread, and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised (or didn't think much about) his birthright."
Esau made a choice, a terrible choice here based solely on what would meet his need right now. Man, I want to scream at the Bible, "Esau, don't do it! This is a terrible deal." Guess what? His need was met, but he had that need again the next morning, and he sacrificed his tomorrows for it.
In fact, in Hebrews 12:16-17 we find out what happened later in life. "See that no one is...like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward...when he wanted to inherit this blessing he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind though he sought the blessing with tears." A lifetime of regret because of what he did to meet one need one day.
See, God wants you to make "no regrets" choices. That means you don't make Esau's mistake: meet a need; lose a treasure. The need will return as soon as the pot of stew wears off, but the treasure you paid for it could be gone forever. You could be on the edge of that kind of short term decision right now. You really want to be married and not alone anymore, and you're about to marry the wrong person to meet the need. And that will lead you to the loneliest lonely of all.
Maybe the pot of stew solution is in your finances, a way that will take care of the immediate need, but cost you so much later on. Maybe it's tempting right now to just compromise your integrity a little, or your reputation to get something you want, or to keep something you don't want to lose. But is it worth the scars that will be there long after this moment is gone? It could be that your needs are drawing you toward a sexual sin before marriage or outside of your marriage. The bill will last a whole lot longer than the thrill.
God knows how good that pot of stew is looking to you right now and how you're minimizing what you're going to lose. And guess what? He brought us together today to intervene before you lose a birthright; something with lifetime value. This is a loving voice from Jesus saying, "Please don't do this; it will cost you too much." There is no need so important that it is worth losing a lifetime treasure to meet it. Please, don't stop thinking about tomorrow.