Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday June 14
  • I'm Going Free (Jailbreak)
  • We Want To See Jesus Lifted High
  • The Way
  • Trust In You
  • Not a sermon this morning - mainly from my heart. Turn to Col. 2. As much as I want to continue in the Book of Acts, I feel I should address the cultural climate one more time. And after this I’ll never talk about it again.
    Last week I coached us around the topic walking the narrow road that we as followers of Jesus Christ are called to walk - walking in humility and thinking more highly of others and so. I hold true everything I said. I reminded us of the need to always come back to Scripture - how do we live, how do we respond, how do we see the world. I also emphasized the need to practice listening to people in whose shoes we have never walked. I think we could all agree that we need to do a better job of listening to other people. So I am not retracting anything I said. However, there's another element to this that needs addressed and that is the element of standing firm in the faith - of standing firm in Biblical truth.
    If we're not careful, our listening and empathy will cause us to compromise. The narrow road that I mentioned last week has boundaries - and it’s called truth. See, if we are not grounded in our faith, rooted in Biblical truth then we will either stray from the narrow road or make it broader than what God intended. If we don’t stay within the boundaries of Scripture, we will get beat up and tossed around like little rag dolls - especially when global movements erupt like what we’ve seen over the last 6 years. If we do not have a firm Biblical worldview, we will not know how to respond with the wisdom and truth, and the love and the grace that we are called to exude. Jesus came in grace and truth, and so should we.
    I'm concerned about the Church - because on one hand we must listen, and we must love and we must stand for justice. But on the other hand, we cannot get swept away and caught up in every movement that the world says we need to be a part of. Yes, there are battles that the church must fight, but we follow Jesus - we’re to be on mission with Him, not on mission with the world.
    When we follow the world’s voice or the loudest voice of the moment, then other voices can get drowned out.
    Question: Who are the other voices that you need to continue to hear or maybe hear for first time?
    (e.g. victims of sex trafficking)
    When we follow the world’s voice or the loudest voice of the moment, we can miss the mission that God has for us. For example, right now the world says racism is the biggest issue. But if you or I were to say, “I get it. I'm against racism, but the mission God has for me is for the unborn,” what would happen?
    There is an evil movement, a mob mentality in our world, and I believe it is rooted in the spiritual realm because we can't pinpoint it here in our world, but it exists. This movement says you must agree with our narrative or else! There is a huge price to pay for anyone who disagrees - even their own. For example, JK Rowling, The author of Harry Potter was recently blasted for a comment that did not align with the narrative. She clearly condones homosexuality and transgenderism - she’s on their side if you will. But she also said she’s thankful for being a woman. She finds being a woman, being feminine a beautiful thing. She was attacked with brutal vengeance. Countless stories …. This narrative says either agree with us or pay the consequences.
    There are some movements, some narratives out there that are good, that we can support, even lead. But there are others that are not, we should pay attention to who or what we’re behind. My concern is that if we're not careful and hold fast to Biblical truth we will get caught up in narratives that is ungodly. It may look good on the surface - seem wise and appealing to human nature, but underneath ….
    Think about some of the narratives (movements) that you support and ask yourself a simple question -
    Question: How well do I know what's behind the movements I support?
    Two examples: I’m not a member of the NRA, but I support them. However, I've never read about the organization. So, I did some reading this past week, and I can say with clear conscience, I still support the NRA. Their purpose is gun education and safety. Not everybody needs to support the NRA, and I'm fine with that, but I've done my research and I have a clear conscience.
    Black Lives Matter. How well do you and I know what that movement and that organization is about?
    I'm revealing my ignorance. I thought black lives matter was just a slogan against racism. I had no idea until last week that Black Lives Matter is a real nonprofit organization with a global agenda. I got on their website and read about their purpose and what they believe. And I can tell you with full confidence, that as much as I am opposed to racism, I cannot support the official organization - its values and purposes go way beyond racism and into sexual immorality that are in opposition to Biblical values and truth. It is weaving a narrative, no pun intended, that we must be cautious about - not cautious as white people - that has nothing to do with it - but cautious as Christians who follow Biblical truth. Let's be clear, I hate racism. There is no room for it in this world, but I cannot support an organization that is an opposition to biblical values.
    This message is not about Black Lives Matter. That’s just an example of how easily we, even as Christians can be swept away and engulfed in philosophies that are ungodly because we don't do our due diligence.
    Look at Colossians 2. Paul’s mission was to proclaim Christ. He said in his letter, “I have toiled and struggled with all my energy to proclaim Christ to you.”
    Colossians 2:6–8 ESV
    Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
    We have human ideologies and narratives and we have spiritual ideologies and narrative's that are at war against Christ and His people. Some of these narratives or just plain stupid, but some of them are intriguing and convincing and they appeal to the human heart and psyche. If we are not careful, it is easier to go with the flow. But here Paul exhorts us to be diligent and do not allow ourselves to be swept away by false and ungodly narratives.
    1 Timothy 6:20–21 ESV
    O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.
    Question: What are you doing to stay within the boundaries of God's Word? What are you doing to protect yourself from manipulation and false knowledge?
    Right now we need to be like the Bereans in Acts 17. When they heard the Apostle Paul preach, they went to the Scriptures to see if what he was saying was true or false. And as a result, many became believers. What were they doing? They were aligning themselves with Scripture.
    But there's another key component here that is critical - having conversations with godly people. I don't know about you, but during the last several months I found myself leaning this way and then leaning that way. Then I see the same thing with other Believers. So we start having these conversations - working out our Salvation, working out what we believe. What we were doing was pulling each other back toward Christ, back to the center, back to Scripture, back toward that narrow road of reason.
    If we're not having conversations with godly people, we run the risk of staying from the narrow road. And ultimately, straying from the mission of God?
    Question: Who are the godly people you are having conversations with to help you stay on the narrow road?
    If the answer is no one, then
    Question: Who are the godly people you should be having conversations with to help you stay on the narrow road?
    My last thought. I asked earlier who is the loudest voice that still needs to be heard. When I first wrote this I thought if we could get past all the other voices out there, there's one voice that needs to be heard more than any other - that is the voice of the sinner - the voice of the soul who does not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If we could get past all the racism and the protests and power hungry politicians etc. etc. - if we could get past everything that's out there and listen to the cry of the one who is separated from Jesus Christ - that’s the voice we need hear.
    As true as that may be, there is a voice that must be louder still. And really, the only way to hear the quiet gentle voice of God our Father is to get alone.
    Luke 5:15–16 ESV
    But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
    Ever been in a great crowd with hundreds of voices? Can be overwhelming. Who do you listen to? Who gets your attention? He would withdraw to desolate places to be alone with His Father - to hear the voice of God.
    We can shout, we can protest, we can argue and prove our point, but until we stop and listen to our God - to His voice we’re just a clanging cymbal.
    How many of us need to be like Jesus? Tune out the voice - withdraw and pray?
      • Colossians 2:6–8ESV

      • 1 Timothy 6:20–21ESV

      • Luke 5:15–16NLT

  • Jesus Friend Of Sinners

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