Challenge to Make Great Decisions video audio notes

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes. How many decisions do you make thinking this is only another unimportant decision you will make not realizing this one decision could be the largest decision you ever make in your life? For example, how huge could the decision be of a student in the back seat of a car with her boyfriend? How large is the decision of a parent to allow their child to date a person? Think about how large is the decision to do drugs the first time.

Additionally, how large is the decision to smoke the first cigarette leading to years of addiction and maybe cancer? Decisions you make write your future. Furthermore, the Decisions you make define your character. Also, Decisions you make tremendously affect others.

Challenge To…

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes

by Delbert Young







Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes

Scriptures: Luke 23:4; Luke 23:7, Luke 23:12, Luke 23:16-20; Matthew 27:19; Luke 23:23-24; Matthew 27:24

(Video) It was early in the morning we call “Good Friday.” Jewish leaders put Jesus through a mock trial. They spat on and beat him in the face then took him to Pontius Pilate, the governor. The Jews wanted Pilate to execute Jesus. Pilate would make a decision.

I wonder how many people Pilate sentenced to execution on crosses before Jesus. I am certain as he looked at this Jew named Jesus, he thought this was only another unimportant Jewish life. However, how huge was the decision he was about to make?

 There are people who look to you and are dependent on your ability to make GREAT DECISIONS. Decisions either undermine or establish your competence. Great people are great because they make GREAT DECISIONS.

Today I want to talk about the CHALLENGE TO MAKE GREAT DECISIONS.

Much of the remainder of Luke chapter 23 is concerned with Pilate making his decision. We know the decision Pilate made was destiny. It had to be. Jesus had to go to the cross, but why Pilate? Why was Pilate the one to make the decision to crucify the Christ? History shows Pilate was notoriously bad when it came to decision-making. Once he marched through Jerusalem carrying Roman “standards” (banners) with Caesar’s image on them. This was a bad move. He knowingly did this in defiance of Old Testament law forbidding any graven image. This caused a revolt by the Jews and got Pilate in trouble with Caesar.

Not long after then, he built an aqueduct to bring a new water supply to the city, which was a good thing, but he financed it by taking money from the temple treasury. Again, he found himself in trouble and in a revolt in the place he was sent to keep peace. Pilate’s bad “decision-making” continued after Jesus. Eventually, he made the ultimate bad decision. Pilate decided to commit suicide and did. So, why Pilate? God could count on Pilate to make a bad decision. Today, by looking at Pilate’s decision-making process, we will learn valuable principles about how to make Great DECISIONS. (End of video)

What do you think?

What degree of decision-making can the Lord count on you to make? Additionally, what is your decision-making track record? Most likely, all of us would say we do well. Do we? I am sure Pilate said he did well too. Good or bad decision-making does not usually catch you immediately. It is later it bites or blesses.

We make decisions every day, all day. Life is about making decisions. What am I going to eat for breakfast? What will I do today? Some decisions are simple. Some decisions seem simple but could be death-threatening. For example, a decision to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a life-threatening decision. How many people do you know who have injured their lives, ruined their lives, or ended their lives because they made a bad decision? For example, deciding not to stop smoking, or dating/marrying the wrong person. How many of us have made some dumb decisions? We all have, but there are people who seem to make making bad decisions a daily goal. It is one bad decision after another.

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes

On the other hand, do you know people who seem always to make good decisions? Somehow, it seems they always do it right. What is the difference between those who seem continuously to make wrong decisions and those who usually get it right? What do they know others do not know? Making GREAT DECISIONS is a CHALLENGE. It’s a learned skill and great people know how to make GREAT DECISIONS. In fact, this ability is near the top of the list as to why they are great.

You heard the story about the woman driving through the mountains around Denver when she ran into a snowstorm.

She was disoriented, lost, and could hardly see, but decided to continue driving. Then she saw a snowplow and decided to follow it. So, she kept as close to the machine as she could while it blew snow from her path. After some time, the plow stopped, and its driver got out and walked to her car. “Lady, where are you going?” he asked. “I’m on my way to Denver,” she replied. “Well, you’ll never get there following me! I’m plowing a parking lot!”

Life is like this sometimes. We think we are on the road to our destinations when in reality we are only doing circles in a parking lot going nowhere. Certainly, we made a decision we thought would get us to greatness – great parent, great business owner, great preacher, great employee, etc., but the decision made us appear as fools. Let’s look at some principles required to make GREAT DECISIONS.


Luke 23:4  Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find NO BASIS for a charge against this man.” 

Pilate first attempted to avoid making a decision at all. He said he found no basis to charge Jesus. People who attempt to avoid making decisions procrastinate. They do not want to upset anyone or receive the blame for making a bad decision, so they attempt not to make any decision. However, by not making a decision, you are making a decision – to leave situations as they are, good or bad, and it is usually bad. We correct and adjust our destinies by making, not avoiding, decisions.

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes

Luke 23:7  When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he SENT HIM TO Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 

Pilate then attempted to pass making the decision off. He learned Jesus was from Galilee. Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, so he passed off this problem to Herod and let him make the decision. True, Galilee was Herod’s jurisdiction, but they were not in Galilee. They were in Jerusalem, and Jerusalem was Pilate’s jurisdiction. We should operate with the correct protocol allowing others to make decisions in their jurisdiction. However, this was not the case with Pilate. This was Pilate’s call.

How do you do here? Many parents do miserably. Have any of you moms ever avoided the decision and said, “Go ask your dad?” Have any of you dads ever said, “Go ask your mother?” You knew you should make the call. It was your jurisdiction, but you passed it off. You do not want to “upset” your child, bless your heart. Well, you will never be a great parent if you are concerned about not upsetting your child. Here is the point: If you avoid or pass off decision-making with your children, you most likely attempt to do it in every area of life. You will never be a GREAT DECISION maker if you look for ways to avoid and pass off making the decision. Great “decision-making” will upset people, but they will RESPECT YOU BECAUSE YOU MADE A GREAT DECISION.

Years ago, I faced a serious decision.

It involved a lot of people and there was no way I could make the right decision and not upset some very good people. I put it off. Then, I tried to pass it off. I procrastinated. It was seriously affecting the church at every level. One day Judy, my wife, said to me, “If I was looking for a church, I would not select Life Gate.” She was right and I could pass it off no longer. I faced it and things rapidly improved. Did I upset people? Oh yes! I seem good at upsetting people, but Life Gate Church is an outstanding church and if you are going to have anything outstanding, you cannot avoid or pass off making decisions.

Do what you need to do to make a good decision. Calm down (you will seldom make even a decent decision when upset or angry). Get the necessary information. Get input from others. Do what you need to do, but, don’t avoid or pass off making the decision. It will only come back on you again, right?

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes


They took Jesus to Herod who mocked Jesus. Herod also refused to make a decision and sent Jesus back to Pilate. Isn’t this what happens when you pass off making a decision you should make? It comes back like a boomerang to hit you in the head.

Using our child decision-making analogy, go ahead mom or dad. Don’t make the decision to discipline your child, or decide to allow them to date a person you know they should not date. See if it does not come back to you. There are consequences in making a decision, but at least you and others will avoid the tragedy caused by your not making a decision.

There is a very insightful thought I want to share here.

Luke 23:12  That day Herod and Pilate became friends – before this they had been enemies. 

Isn’t it interesting how people who have poor decision-making skills attract people with poor decision-making skills? People with great decision-making skills, attract people with great decision-making skills. You can look around your circle and get a good idea about your decision-making abilities by the decision-making abilities of your “friends.”


Luke 23:16-20  Therefore, I WILL punish him and then release him. With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again.

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes

Pilate interviewed Jesus and found nothing worthy of death. He actually made a decision to punish and release Jesus. However, the outside pressures changed his decision.

Pilate even tried another ploy. He figured the people if faced with a decision to release Barabbas, a known murderer, or Jesus, would decide for Jesus. Pilate made another bad decision in even making this compromise. The compromise caused the release of a murderer and the crucifixion of Jesus.

Here is something I have learned. The masses are usually wrong. Truth is seldom determined by popular opinion. Most often, the great decision will not be the popular decision. This is true in your home or if you are the President of the USA.

Outside pressures caused Pilate to make bad decisions repeatedly. Pilate also had outside pressure from his wife. She told Pilate to leave Jesus alone.

Matthew 27:19  “…Leave that innocent man alone, because I had a terrible nightmare about him last night.” 

Yes husbands, you do need to listen to your wives. If your wife is anything like my wife, she has already spent countless hours pondering it and even dreaming about it. Why not at least check it out? Outside pressure is not always wrong. Somewhere there is correct guidance. You learn from where to get it through a process of elimination over years of decision-making. I will not make a heavy decision without running it by certain people in my life. Once, someone came to me asking my counsel concerning a situation with a person. I gave my thoughts. They told the person what I said and the person asked, “Why did you have to ask him?” They said, “Because anything he has ever counseled us to do worked out well.” Who helps you process, or do you simply listen to popular opinion?

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes

Luke 23:23-24  But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, AND THEIR SHOUTS PREVAILED. So Pilate DECIDED to grant their demand.

Pilate made the decision to crucify the Lord of Glory by the voice of popular opinion. Again, I know it had to happen, but how would you like to be responsible for that horrific decision? Do not make your decisions because of popular opinion.


Matthew 27:24  When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and WASHED HIS HANDS in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 

Don’t we wish it were this easy to avoid personal responsibility for decisions we make? Don’t you wish you could make a decision, avoid the uproarwash your hands of it, and declare your innocence of any consequences your decision brought? It just does not work this way. Had he been a great man, he would have done what was right, and taken the consequences. Instead, his decision-making made him a coward. I want us to see DECISIONS DETERMINE YOUR CHARACTER. Pilate is remembered for this decision. People will remember you for the decisions you made.

Students, the decisions you make today write your future and the degree of greatness you experience in your life. Your decision to study or not, obey or not, do right or not, etc. will write your future. Parents, decisions determine if you are a great parent, or if you simply procreated. Your decisions greatly determine your child’s near future and destiny. Business owner, decisions will make you a great business or a bankrupt business. Employee, decisions determine your income level and future in your chosen profession. When it is all melted down, there is probably nothing more important than decisions that determine where we end up in life. Decisions make us great or they make us failures.

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes

(1) Do not avoid or pass off decisions you should make.

(2) If you do, they will come back to haunt you.

(3) Be aware of the power of outside influences – some good, some bad.

(4) You cannot wash your hands of the decisions you make.

Decisions write your future and your history. Also, Decisions define your character.  Furthermore, Decisions undermine or establish your competence.

Before we pray, I want to tell you a true story.  It is about a young man who walked out on his pregnant wife.  He came back at the birth of his son only to decide to leave again in a few weeks.  This was over four years ago.  To this day, the young man cannot close his eyes at night without seeing that precious girl, holding his precious boy, begging him not to leave them.  Your decisions affect others.   Let’s pray…

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes

Challenge to Make Great Decisions video audio notes

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes

Other Related Sermons:

Challenge To sermon series audio video notes

Making Decisions Audio

Irrevocable Decisions sermon series notes

Matthew 27:11-26 Jesus Before Pilate Audio

Herod Jesus Gave Him No Answer Luke 23:1-25

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Delbert Young Sermons YouTube

Flavius Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews 18.4.2.

Challenge to Make Great Decisions sermon video audio notes