5-Minute Bible Studies
DECISIVENESS – A Five-Minute Study (Version I)
Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
Contributed by David and Christine Palmer
Ph.D candidates at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio
March 12, 2001
The Ideal Man as Visualized by Isaiah (Version II)
DECISIVENESS: The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions.
BIBLICAL MODEL – The Ideal Man of God
The ability to make good decisions requires a knowledge of the good and a sense of purpose which prompts you to act decisively in pursuit of that which is good. These traits are included among the features of God’s ideal man as described by the prophet Isaiah.
The ideal man:
- is filled with the Spirit of the living God.
- has learned from God the way of good and wisdom.
- has received from the Spirit understanding, counsel, knowledge, reverence for God.
- has a moral framework to recognize that which is a good decision.
- is not wrongly influenced by peer pressure.
- does not make decisions by mere appearances or what sounds like it might be good.
- acts with righteousness.
- does what is right no matter what the cost.
- is so filled with a sense of mission and purpose that righteousness is said to be the very clothes which he wears.
- transforms the world around him through his decisive stance for the goodness of God: fear into trust, danger into safety, ignorance of God into knowledge.
Read Isaiah 11:1-10.
11:1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD– 3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. 10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
DECISIVENESS IN OUR LIVES ––
Some practical evidences of decisiveness we can see in our lives are seen in the following “I will” statements:
I will look at things from more than one point of view before making up my mind.I will make the right decision and stick to it.
I will do what I say.
I will not give in to peer pressure.
I will not look back.
Divide into pairs and discuss:
- What are some of the hindrances to our lives in being decisive?
(Some possible answers: laziness, pride, fear, lack of awareness, lack of discipline, lack of trust in God, lack of devotional time with God and His Word)
- What are some of the benefits of being decisive?
(Some possible answers: pleases God, yields benefits to others and self, avoids lost opportunities, helps develop good character)
DECISIVENESS IN MY LIFE THIS WEEK–
Spend 2 minutes in personal reflection with God:
- In what situations in my past did my failure to act decisively result in losses or disadvantages to others or myself? Ask forgiveness of God now, and commit to asking forgiveness of others this week, as appropriate.
- What decisions need to be made this week – including all that I have been procrastinating about? Write them down.
Ask God to:
- forgive you for times when you have not been decisive.
- help you complete all of the decisions on your list this week.
- give you wisdom and strength to make a good decision in each case.
- help you develop the practice of decisiveness.
This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.