Sunday Sermon 7.25.21
What is it that brings you your greatest joy?
A favorite hobby, a memorable location, a special loved one?
Over fifty years ago I started teaching. At first it was in Sunday School classes of primary children, and through those early years I realized just how much I loved teaching. I mean really LOVED teaching.
At age 16 when I was considering a “life verse” 3 John 4 captured by heart and determination:
“ I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
I wasn’t a mother of course, but in my heart was such a compelling drive to do whatever I could to teach the truth to my classes, my “kids/children”.
Through the years, no matter the class, the age, or setting, I knew in my heart of hearts I was to teach the truth, and I also knew that there was no greater joy than to see the light bulb go on over those students’ heads, or see that facial expression change from just listening to “Wow! I actually understand that, now!”
3 John 4 has been a life verse for me since those days.
But today, it takes on a whole “new” enhanced meaning.
Many parents would say that their greatest joy is their children. I would join them.
As our son turns 30 today, and we have joined with family & friends to celebrate him, I am so proud to say he is my greatest joy, AND he walks in the truth! Proud mama here, for sure.
There is a legacy to be passed on and parents, we cannot afford to drop the baton. Not for our sake, but for the sake of our children, we must speak the truth, live the truth and teach the truth. We are only stewards of those precious lives and are responsible for what we have imparted to them.
Whether or not we are parents, our responsibility to what we teach remains. Are we teaching the truth to our students and are we living it before them?
In these days, those teaching opportunities are growing exponentially. Let’s be ready and do everything in our power to assure that our children are walking in the truth.
Oh, and, Happy Birthday, Karrington.
Go with God,
Sunday Sermon 6.13.20
Look at the image. What do you see?
Look at our nation, what do you see?
I’d like to suggest when looking at the events and happenings within our nation that you consider the opposite of what you see, as truth. What do I mean?
First, we must establish that the prince of this world is the devil. His is the spirit that rules this world and is at work in it. Ephesians 2:2; John 14:30; John 12:31; John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4
Jesus nailed it strongly, when he said to his audience, in John 8-
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”John 8:44
What do you see in the image above? A man? The word Liar?
What do you see in the nation? Lies from the chief liar, father of lies – the devil. All counterfeits and polluted truths stolen from our Heavenly Father. Now, what do I mean?
Just take a look at some of the things that have been imposed upon us or spoken and see the truth that is being lied about, polluted or counterfeited:
- Lie – cover your mouth and face. Truth – this is the Hebrew year 5780, the year of the voice. Speaking out, openly.
- Lie – lawlessness in the streets. Truth – God is bringing His Kingdom rule and order. He is the Prince of Peace.
- Lie – lockdown and stay at home. Truth – go, share, tell, save.
- Lie – close houses of worship. Truth – where 2 or 3 are gathered, there He is!
- Lie – don’t hug, touch, socialize. Truth – there is power in love, hugs and human contact.
- Lie – division. Truth – we are all made in His image.
- Lie – I can’t breath, the life is being squeezed from us. Truth – Jesus came to bring abundant life.
- Lie – death and destruction. Truth – resurrection life and power through Him.
- Lie – no large gatherings. – Truth – this year many Gospel stadium rallies were planned worldwide.
- Lie – no graduations, weddings, parties at all. Truth – He rejoices with those who are celebrating and wants us to be happy and joyous.
Getting the idea?
You can look at what is happening in the political and social world and very often see it as a counterfeit or pollution of God’s truth. That is because the prince of this world is a liar. He only knows how to lie, counterfeit, pollute, destroy, offer fake, bring delusion, destroy, steal and kill.
Apply this filter when you hear and see things and see if it doesn’t ring true. You will be amazed. Think opposites. Think opposite of what you are seeing. Discern between truth and lies.
Then remind yourself that there is One who is over, in everyway, the prince of this world and That One has conquered the prince. I once heard a pastor say, “The devil walks around like a roaring lion. But he doesn’t have any teeth, he can only roar at you but not bite you because Jesus defeated him on the cross. Jesus knocked all his teeth out.” 1 Peter 5:8
The devil is a deceiver, Revelation 12:9, and he wants to make us think his power is great; when in fact it is a LIE! He is a liar.
God, the Father, sent His only Son, Jesus to earth, to conquer sin and death. Jesus then, disarmed those spiritual powers and authorities and made a public spectacle of them by his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, triumphing over them. Colossians 2:15
He (Jesus) is the TRUE power of this world. He reigns over every principality, authority, spirit, prince, and lie of the devil.
Jesus said, “I am the way the TRUTH and the life.” John 14:6
When faced with lies remember who’s behind them. Remember where truth comes from. Look for those opposites and flip the lies on their ear with your truth crowbar.
Recognize the liar. See the truth.
What do you see?
Go with God.
Just today I had a conversation with a friend in which I said, “I don’t believe everything I am told. Far too often, I don’t believe people tell the truth”. This so reminded me of the dozens of times my sister and I have had similar conversations.
Is it 41 years of teaching and hearing so many “stories”? Is it working with teenagers for so long? Is it the culture? Is it the society? Is it the years I spent working in jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers? Is it having raised a son in the 1990’s? Is it just me? I dunno. I can say that my sister and my friend are both waaaay more trusting and believing than I am.
Where do you stand? Are you a believer in what people tell you or a doubter?
The truth is, if you listen to much news, or politics, or are privy to administrative meetings, sales reps, and commercial pitches you will find it sorely lacking. Especially in this modern age of being “woke”. Unfortunately, “truth” has morphed into “my truth”, “your truth”, “their truth”. What has happened to truth?
Then, there is the old English, long, lost word – righteousness. It’s not used much, but it’s root is – righteous. Now that’s used as more of an old, cool, trendy, surfer, exclamation – “That’s righteous”. (Can you tell I grew up in the 60’s/70’s?) Where else is it used? The Righteous Brothers? (sorry another old one)
Do our young people even know what it is? Sometimes I wonder the same about truth. What’s happened to righteousness?
Here’s the deal, I don’t particularly like the direction our society is going. I’m not a fan of what has become accepted as the “norm”, the “everyone’s doing it” ploy. You can agree or disagree. But I am not willing to let society (and our kids) go uncontested, unchallenged, and down this slippery slope.
I am not willing to give in to the “no absolutes” philosophy or the “accepting everything” morals. I believe there are absolutes and truth is not just “my” truth”, but “the truth”. (Sorry Oprah)
“Truth – that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.”
“Righteousness – acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin”
“Righteous – (of a person or conduct) morally right; virtuous. Very good, excellent.”Merriam Webster
I just feel that we can make an impact by what we say, do and believe. By what we stand up for, speak up for and won’t stand for.
We can make a difference by speaking the truth and not compromising on confronting untruths. Holding to truthfulness.
We can make a difference by living “rightly” – righteous, in righteousness. We’re not perfect, but we can choose to live right, and we can choose to do what is right and not be troubled by guilt.
What’s happened to truth and righteousness?
Cheers to you