Church Choices, Life Choices

By Karen Polich

Choices aren’t always easy. At times there is not a clear answer on right and wrong. Continuing the sermon series, Becoming the Church We’re Called to Be, Pastor Michael M. Cook laid out how to handle the “grey areas” of life in 1 Corinthians 8. Listen to the podcast here.

At first glance, this text may not seem applicable to us today, but look deeper. The Corinthians expressed personal liberty in their behavior and saw no issues with their choices because they weren’t choosing something that went against their walk with God. Their knowledge of God was how they determined right and wrong. Paul pointed out several problems with this.

While knowledge is essential, it is not sufficient. Ultimately, love limits liberty.

In this case, the food didn’t bring them closer to God or push them farther away. The issue was the impact of decisions on the new believer and non-believer.

Their situation is a prime example of the grey area. These areas bring real challenge. How do we live them out? How do we answer questions from the grey area that our children and grandchildren ask?

We are free in Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:17, Galatians 5:1) But what if fully exercising our freedom causes others to head down the wrong path?

Love is the key. Knowledge says go for it, love says, how does this impact someone else?



Pastor Cook gave five terms to assist the believer in filtering right and wrong.
Excess. Do I need it? Is it right or wrong for me? Hebrews 12:1
Expedience. Is it useful? 1 Corinthians 6:12
Emulation. Is this going to allow me to walk as Christ leads? How would Jesus handle this situation? 1 John 2:6
Example. Would this represent righteousness? Is it a good example to others? Romans 14:13
Evangelism. If I do this, would it benefit those who do not know Christ? Colossians 4:5

As Christ followers, we have a biblical responsibility for each other. At times, we may need to give up our liberty and freedom out of love for another. What are we teaching with what we do? The last thing we want to be is a stumbling block to someone else. In the grey areas, we have to decide if we will choose “me” or “we”. Choices may not hurt me, but we must consider others.

What life choices are you making in the grey areas? When the choice isn’t clear, remember LOVE is the key.


Our World- Samson: The Cost of Low Living

By Karen Polich

Judges: 13-16

You and I live in times of chaos and confusion. Moral lines are blurred and biblical foundations ignored. It really isn’t new, though at times it can feel out of control.

Pastor Michael Cook’s sermon series Our World, continued with a look at Samson. The story of Samson is one many know well, but we must not miss the lessons to be learned from the choices Samson made. Listen to the podcast here. Pastor Cook explored the cause of Samson’s fall, the collapse of his faith and the forgiveness in his comeback.

Samson was a man set aside by God. His strength was both physical and spiritual. His hair was a symbolic picture of the distinction of being a Nazarite chosen by God. The source of all of that incredible strength was the spirit of the Lord upon him.

Samson demonstrated a bundle of contradictions. Bold before men but weak before women. He was graced with the spirit of the Lord upon him, yet weak in the flesh. Samson fought the Lord’s battles by day while breaking His commandments by night. His name means sunshine, but he ended his life in darkness.

Samson’s choices charted the course of his life. Time after time Samson made decisions that were clearly outside of God’s standard. Ultimately, God still remembered him for his strengths not his failures.  (Hebrews 11:32)

Choices are made every day. Some are easy while others can be hard.

Choices can bring us closer to God or send us spiraling into darkness. If we choose low living, we will pay the price.

God has called us to something more. He has called us to a life beyond our imagination when we choose Him first.

Like Samson, we have been given the ability to choose. Even if we had made the wrong choices in the past, we serve a loving God who forgives. Despite the chaos in this world, we can choose Him.

What will you choose today?