River Church NOLA
Wednesday Nov 10 Honesty
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        September 26, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
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        September 26, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
        How to Trust God...
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        September 22, 2021 - 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
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  • My Redeemer Lives
  • Forever
  • It Is Well
  • Great Are You Lord
  • Series Values to Live By
    Today we want to talk about honesty. We all say that we value honesty and when asked what we want our kids to be, honest is always at the top. Survey’s have shown that 90% of Americans lie regularly. How can you even trust the survey?
    There are opportunities every day for you and I to lie… research says about 200 per person per day. Every interaction with anyone is an opportunity to lie.
    Here are a few great American Lies...
    The check is in the mail.
    I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.
    The doctor will call you right back.
    It was good to see you.
    One size fits all.
    This hurts me more than it hurts you.
    Your table will be ready in just a minute…
    Tell them I’m not here.

    Dishonesty is promoted in our culture

    Our culture endorses untruth… embraces untruth… and practices untruth consistently. We have come to expect dishonesty and that’s pathetic. We expect a degree of untruthfulness in our political system. We expect that. We expect a degree of untruthfulness in advertising. We know over years and years of watching different advertisements that they lie to us. They are dishonest.
    Old spice… the babes didn’t come running like they did on the commercials..
    We expect a degree of untruthfulness in business. Seven out of ten business people surveyed said they compromise their values to conform to company standards. It’s amazing to me how many people struggle with honesty in their businesses.
    People will cheat and lie to win a prize in a contest. A kid won a contest with a 11,000 pound bull, but had it taken away when it was discovered that he filled the bull with air… don’t ask how…
    Dishonesty is every where and one of the reasons it runs in our culture is that it’s in our nature.

    Dishonesty is present in our nature

    There is a flaw in human nature that draws us to untruth. At the core, people are dishonest. If you have read the Bible, this is no surprise because it says that we have all sinned. It also say that our hearts are deceitfully wicked. It’s part of the fallenness of the human race.

    Dishonesty is part of our spiritual structure

    It’s light versus darkness… good verses evil… Satan verses God. You and I are the object in a Spiritual battle. Truth vs. Falsehood. God is the father of truth while the devil is the father of lies.
    John 8:44 NLT
    44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
    God is on one side … the side of truth… and Satan is on the other side… the side of lies or untruth. They are oppose to each other and we have a choice… do we follow God, who is truth or do we follow Satan who is a liar?
    Listen, when it comes to God, God hates dishonesty. It’s a perversion of His character. God places high priority and premium on truthfulness and he wants you and I to have a love affair with honesty.
    The question we have to answer is why. Just because God wants us to be honest, do we need to be honest? Let’s look at what’s happened because of dishonesty.

    Affects of Dishonesty

    1. We are skeptical

    We have been lied to over and over, so we always wonder if what the other person is saying is the truth.

    2. Trust has broken down

    We are a culture of people, a nation where we don't trust anybody any more because of continual and consistent lying.

    3. Dishonesty has made us insecure people.

    People are looking for the security that the truth brings and in the absence of truth, we become insecure. Remember Cross your heart and hope to die… stick a needle in your eye. They wanted the truth…
    A lot of people say… Honesty… that’s a nice concept. LISTEN TO ME. Honesty is a command from God. He loves you and I so much and he wants us to have security… to have trust in relationships… security in our businesses… security in our churches… security in our families.... and we will not have security until we feel like we are being told the truth. When we feel like someone is lying to us we feel insecure and frustrated… defeated and shattered. It keeps us from living the way God wants us to live.
    When we lie and deceive people, it actually wounds our souls. The more we deceive the more we do it and the easier it becomes. Remember our hearts are wicked…
    We were created in the image of God and while the Fall of Man scarred that image, there are some steps we can take to lead us back to truth.

    Steps Toward an Honest Life

    Proverbs 23:23 NLT
    23 Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.
    The truth is worth whatever the cost. Pay the price to be known as an honest person. What’s the price?

    1. Take an inventory of your truthfulness

    This could be difficult because too many are so used to being deceitful. It may take some work.
    Proverbs 14:9 NCV
    9 Fools don’t care if they sin, but honest people work at being right.
    ILL - Mole on my face… didn’t pay attention until it began to hurt when I would shave… then had it checked to make sure it was ok. It’s the same with truthfulness. It may take a little surgery to get the bad stuff out.

    Ask yourself 3 questions:

    1. When am I being dishonest?

    Marriage… work… friends… myself… lifestyle… God

    2. How am I being dishonest?

    Protecting others… People come up to me a lot and say, I don’t know if you remember me… I usually say, you look familiar… leater realize they don’t but why did I say that… didn’t want to hurt their feelings.
    slander… expose and defeat.
    exaggeration… Greek word resume - means we exaggerate to make ourselves look good.
    silence… when I know something that will help you but don’t say it.
    deceit… shading the truth… you tell your kids to tell a caller you are not home…
    cheating… motive… compromise… use of time… flattery… justifying
    Next we have to ask why...

    3. Why am I being dishonest?

    fear - Peter lied because of fear…
    insecurity ___ personal gain___ greed ___ pride - Cain lied because of pride… his was wounded.
    outside pressure___ convenience ___ expediency ___ selfishness___ anger ___ insecurity ___ jealousy

    2. Make an honest evaluation of your gains and loses

    There are some gains when you are untruthful. I can cheat on my taxes and gain more money. I can lie about something and gain more time… until you get caught.
    But when you look at those gains, we have to determine if they’re more appealing that the truth. If they are, we are living the world’s way. The bible is clear that gains made through dishonesty will be temporary. Like sprinter who won the Olympic 100 meter race and proclaimed himself the fastest man alive only to be stripped of his title because of steroid use.
    Proverbs 13:21 NLT
    21 Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous.
    What are the troubles this verse tells us about.

    1. We lose character because honesty develops character

    There's a difference between character and reputation. It's very important to understand. Reputation is what you think about me or what I think about you. Character is what I really am when no one's looking. Character is who you are when no one's looking.
    Honesty and integrity is when reputation and character come together and they're consistent. That's integrity. That's honesty. Character is the one thing we take to heaven with us. We can also pass it on to our kids.
    Proverbs 20:7 NCV
    7 The good people who live honest lives will be a blessing to their children.
    The real test of character is at home.

    2. We lose spiritual maturity because honesty develops spiritual maturity

    Ephesians 4:15 NLT
    15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
    When we are dishonest, we are not facing the sin in our lives that keeps us from growing. When we are honest, we face the sin in our lives and deal with it and it propels us to spiritual maturity.

    3. We lose security because honesty develops security

    When you are truthful, you don’t have to worry what you said or made up because you told the truth. When we do that it provides security in our relationships… in our families. People know that they can trust you and it gives them security. We lose them when we are dishonest.
    Proverbs 11:6 NCV
    6 Doing right brings freedom to honest people, but those who are not trustworthy will be caught by their own desires.
    Circle freedom
    Mark Twain said,
    It's easier to tell the truth; that way you don't have to keep track of anything
    Thats security.

    After the evaluation, ask yourself:

    After you answer thee three questions, ask yourself,

    What’s the cost?

    After you do this evaluation of your gains and losses you need to ask, "What's the cost?" What's it going to cost me to be a person of integrity, a person of honesty?
    There is a cost to being honest. The Bible says, "Buy it! Purchase it! Do whatever it takes."
    Once you realize where you are leaking honesty, ask yourself…

    Am I willing to change?

    Am I willing to pay the price to live a life pleasing to the Lord? where God can look at your life and say, I would have said it just like you did… ?
    What does it mean to live a life pleasing to God?
    1 Chronicles 29:17 NLT
    17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.
    integrity… good motives…
    If God rejoicing in your life?

    3. Love God and pursue a relationship with Him

    What does this have to with honesty? The closer you grow to the Lord, the more you will be honest. If God is in your life, it’s difficult to be dishonest. If the Holy Spirit is living in me, he will send internal signals to guide me and to correct me when I am being dishonest. When we don’t have a close relationship with God, we will not hear the signals. No relationship with the Lords leads to being a chronic deceiver.
    A lot of times, some of you will come up to me and say that message really hit me… It wasn’t me, it was the Holy Spirit. Listen if the Holy Spirit is convicting you, congratulations… God is at work in your life.
    Psalm 51:6 The Living Bible
    6 You deserve honesty from the heart; yes, utter sincerity and truthfulness. Oh, give me this wisdom.
    Psalm 140:13 NCV
    13 Good people will praise his name; honest people will live in his presence.
    When we live in the presence of God, we are compelled to be honest.
    When you pursue a relationship with the Lord, you can embrace these truths… Truths like…
    God created me
    God is concerned about me
    God really loves me
    God can handle the truth
    God delights in my truth
    Proverbs 19:23 NLT
    23 Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.
    Relationship is an important part of the process of truth.

    4. Practice honesty

    Practice it in areas of your life, but do the work first. Take your inventory.
    James 1:22–23 The Living Bible
    22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. So don’t fool yourselves. 23 For if a person just listens and doesn’t obey, he is like a man looking at his face in a mirror;
    How are you going to practice being truthful this week? God rewards honesty. What are those rewards?

    God blesses honesty by guarding us

    Proverbs 2:7 NLT
    7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
    He means that God is a bodyguard whose purpose is to protect you… If we will be honest, He will protect us.

    God blesses us by directing us

    Proverbs 11:5 NLT
    5 The godly are directed by honesty; the wicked fall beneath their load of sin.
    When we are honest, we see things the way God sees them and direction becomes very clear.

    God blesses us by sustaining us

    Proverbs 12:19 NLT
    19 Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.
    Honesty will always outlast dishonesty.
    Story of the newlywed couple from Chicago that opened their presents before they went on their honeymoon, gathered all their cash, put it in a suitcase, loaded up the car, left the cash on the top of the car and drove away -- $12,000. It fell to the street. It was found by an honest man. This man was unemployed. But he returned the money. The city of Chicago went hysterical about this guy. How can an unemployed man do something like that. Why didn't he just take the money. He had to search to find out whose it was. When the story broke, this guy got job offers from Sony, Hilton, Hyundai, Motorola, America Tech and more. He was rewarded for his honesty
    God rewards honesty.
    You and I have to determine who we trust. God’s way or the World’s way. Whose I am determines who I am.
    Conclusion
    If this sounds like a foreign language to you, you don’t have a relationship with the Lord.
    John 14:6 NLT
    6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
      • John 8:44TLB

      • Proverbs 23:23TLB

      • Proverbs 14:9TLB

      • Proverbs 13:21TLB

      • Proverbs 20:7TLB

      • Ephesians 4:15TLB

      • Proverbs 11:6TLB

      • 1 Chronicles 29:17TLB

      • Psalm 51:6TLB

      • Psalm 140:13TLB

      • Proverbs 19:23TLB

      • James 1:22–23TLB

      • Proverbs 2:7TLB

      • Proverbs 11:5TLB

      • Proverbs 12:19TLB

      • John 14:6TLB

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