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Choices that determine destiny

Biblical examples on principles of right choice, consequence

BISHOP WILSON MWALE writes

I CALL heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore chose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. – (Deuteronomy 30:19)

The book of Ruth is a good example of how choices determine destiny… (Ruth 1:1-18)

The book of Ruth proves that there is bright hope for dark days…

The book of Ruth is a redemptive story…

Ruth is an Old Testament picture of the church….

Boaz is a picture of our kinsman redeemer, the lord Jesus Christ….

When we find ourselves in a time of darkness, trouble or despair…

Then Jesus becomes what Boaz was to Ruth…

The first chapter of Ruth tells of choices made and their consequences….

1. The principle of a willing choice.

(Ruth 1:1,2) – “Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife, and his two sons.

And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, ….”

i) We are free to chose

God sets before us the same choice that was before Elimelech…

The choice was between life and death…

Blessing and cursing…

God desires that we choose well…

(Proverbs 16:25) – ” There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

ii) You cannot avoid making choices in life.

In life we always make choices….

If you don’t make choices, you will not take the chances available…

If you don’t take chances, you will not change anything in life…

Even not wanting to decide on something is still a choice…

Not making a decision for Christ is making a choice to be against Christ…

(Matthew 12:30) – “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

If you don’t make a decision to gather, you have chosen to scatter…

(Luke 11:23) – “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.”If you are not into something or someone, you are against them…

iii) You are not free to choose the consequences of your choice.

They are already pre-set…

(Galatians 6:7) – you reap what you sow….

We first make our choice, then our choice chooses for us…

Our choices inevitably bring consequences in our lives and into the lives of those close to us…

The biggest decision we ever make is saying yes to Jesus…

2. The problems of a wrong choice.

Elimelech made a wrong choice when he decided to leave Judah for Moab….

The challenge was there but it was a temporal one….The Moabites were enemies of Israel…

Moab was a cursed land and a pagan nation….

Elimelech made a wrong choice due to 3 basic reasons…

He had a wrong motive.

He was motivated by physical and material reasons and not spiritual ones…

Don’t place the materials above the spiritual…

(Psalm 37:25) – “I have been young, and now I am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

God does not forsake you in a time of trouble…(Matthew 6:33) – “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Often times our priorities are out of order.

We love things and try to use God rather than loving God and using things…

ii) He had a wrong method.

Elimelech walked by sight and not by faith…

(2 Corinthians 5:7) – “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

Faith is believing God in spite of appearances, and obeying God inspire of consequences…

(Psalm 55:6) – “And I said, O that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away and be at rest.”

This is a desire to run away from problems…

But God desires to give us the wings of an eagle to mount up over our problems…

(Isaiah 40:31) – “But they that wait upon th lord, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

iii) Elimelech had the wrong master.

When Elimelech went into Moab he went into enemy territory…

He worshipped a strange God and lived with a cursed people…

There was something wrong with the God, the people, the place , even the graves….

(Ruth 1:16,17) – “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God.

Where thy diest, I will die; and there will I be buried…”Elimelech’s choice brought consequences.

It brought death in the family…

He wanted a quick solution but he ended up in trouble…

3. The power of a wise choice.

Ruth decided to go with her mother in law to Bethlehem…

Ruth’s decision changed the course of her life…

Ruth had previously lived a cursed life, but…

(Ephesians 2:12, 13) – “That at that time, you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Jesus.”

Ruth had lived a crushed life but she made a decision that changed her destiny…

She had known poverty but her choice brought prosperity…

She had suffered loss but she gained more…

BIOGRAPHY

Bishop Wilson Chakwaba Phiri

HE is the Pastor of Ebenezer Cathedral of Pentecost in Kabwe under the Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAOG).

Bishop Phiri has been involved in Pastoral work since 1986 and has served as a Bishop in PAOG for 25 years.

Born on 22 June 1960 in Kabwe, the man of God is married to Janet Mwale Phiri

2. EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

PRIMARY SCHOOL: Ben Kapufi 1966 – 1968. (Grade 1-3)

Lunsemfwa power primary school 1968-1972 (Grade 4-7)

SECONDARY SCHOOL. Mumbwa dual secondary school. 1973-1977 (Form 1-5)

UNDERGRADUATE AND POSTGRADUATE. Kaniki University College. Diploma in biblical studies. (1984-1985).

REDDING UNIVERSITY. Master of Arts in biblical studies and Doctor of Philosophy in biblical studies. (2003-2011).

3. EMPLOYMENT AND WORK HISTORY.

Year.        Employer.                Position.     

1986.        Ebenezer PAOG.     Ass. Pastor.

1987.        Peniel PAOG.          Pastor.

1987 to present.

Ebenezer Cathedral Bishop in charge.

4. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

Appointments in Pentecostal Assemblies of God Zambia.

1994-1996 Executive director for church ministries.

1998-2000 Executive director for home and foreign missions.

2000-2012 Bishop for Midlands PAOGZ

2012- to date Deputy presiding bishop for PAOGZ 2012- to date Southern region overseer for PAOGZ

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