S-1338 17SAP/3B 9/23/12 Hymns: (O) #536 vv 1-4; (S) #355; L.S. #439; 307; #381; (C) # 536 vv 5-6
Text: Jeremiah 11:18-20; James 3:13-4:10; Mark 9:30-37
Theme: “Know the Truth” (James 3:13-14)
Question: “How do you know what is true?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for our meditation this morning is from the Epistle lesson: “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth” (James 3:13-14).
In the name of Jesus, Amen! Precious saints in Christ, it is very important that we know the truth of what Scripture teaches and what others are saying. According to many sources, U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff were killed in an attack in Benghazi on Wednesday 9-11, as a response to the outrage over YouTube video about the prophet Mohammad; but that is NOT the truth. The Muslim religion doesn’t need to have a reason to kill the infidels. It is important to know the truth.
The last few days there has been a buzz among scriptural scholars over what Harvard Prof. Karen King has written regarding “a fragment of a fourth-century CE codex in Coptic containing a dialogue between Jesus and His disciples in which Jesus speaks of “my wife.”” First, you must know it is a fourth century papyrus and second, like its many counterpart they want to bring to the forefront the “Gospel of Jesus”. It is important to know the truth.
In many of the theaters around us are playing a movie called The Last Ounce of Courage. The story is of a grieving father over the loss of his soldier son in a battle. He is challenged and inspired as the mayor of a small town by his grandson to take a stand for faith and freedom against a tide of apathy and vanishing liberty. Alongside fellow citizens of courage, faith, and integrity, he is a challenged to fight for the freedom his son fought for.
Today, the Lord’s brother, James exhorts us to know the truth that leads to eternal life. It is important that we know what truth is, because truth brings freedom, deliverance and peace. Truth helps us keep things in perspective. Truth sets us apart from the world.
He also reminds us of the truth of the things that separate us from God—jealousy, evil desires, selfish ambition and the like. James keeps before our eyes of the many problems that come upon us. And what is it that makes us jealous? We don’t trust that Jesus can take care of us. We don’t put our hopes in Him keeping His Word. Why do we quarrel? Because we haven’t learned the art of forgiveness as Christ taught us “Forgive as I have forgiven you.” We don’t forgive because we want to be even. We quarrel because we think others always wanting to hurt us. Why are we envious? Because we don’t believe Christ has been fair with us and what He has provided for us. We look at the cup as half empty rather than half full. We look at what the Johnson’s have and we want it too.
This is the recipe of the sinful heart. This is the malady of living in this world; we are not satisfied, content or happy. We want more. And our arch enemy the devil, always reminds us of not getting our fair share. We deserve more, but God’s arm is short towards us. How foolish we are when we look to our strength and work to satisfy us and make us happy. PAUSE.
Beloved in Christ, did you know that every movie story deals with someone who wants more than what God has provided for him? Whether it is Batman, Superman, Spiderman, western or otherwise there is always someone who wants just a little bit more. Watch movies and study them well, the core of these stories is that people are not satisfied with what they have.
Some want to replace their wife for a trophy wife. Pastors want a bigger church. Workers want to take over the foreman or the boss. People want a bigger house or car. Others look for satisfaction and fulfillment in worldly things rather in Christ Himself.
But this is not what Christ has called us to be. Christ wants us to be His and to depend on Him daily for life and salvation. He who is the truth has revealed the truth to us in His Word and has given us that Word to know Him intimately and realize that we are His blessed and beautiful children.
I pray that those who know us may not think of us as only Sunday Christians, but as His truly committed followers and Christian’s everyday of our lives. We want others to know us in the way that Christ knows us as sinners but by His grace have been made holy and righteous. We want to live for Him and speak of His grace to others. We want to acknowledge the truth that without Christ we don’t have spiritual wisdom, peace and joy in our hearts.
Without Christ our life is empty and will always be jealous and envious. Without Christ wars rage within our hearts. Without Christ the treasure of heaven, we are not satisfied. But with Christ the heaven-sent Savior we have peace, contentment and love. With Christ the crucified and risen, we have joy to serve others and care for their needs. With Christ who died for us, we reach out in His name and share the sweet Gospel so that others may know the truth that leads to eternal life. PAUSE.
Saints in Christ, it is so important that we know the TRUTH and that TRUTH is a Person—Jesus Christ. He Himself spoke of the Truth when He said, “I Am the Way, and the TRUTH, (emphasis mine) and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6). Peter and John taught the truth saying: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Paul the great Apostle to the Gentiles taught the truth proclaiming. “…God our Savior, desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:3b-5). And the Savior Himself taught thus: “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32). We need to know that truth.
It is important to know the truth, because that means you know Jesus as Your own Savior. It is not enough to know that He is a Savior, but YOUR Savior, who went to hell and back for you so that You may live in the grace, forgiveness and freedom He offered you.
It is important to know that there is a true and false religion. The Muslim religion is false and there god is a god who loves to hurt and harm people and send them to hell. It is important to know the truth, by not believing everything that people publish or declare on TV or in writing as the truth as this forged 4th Century manuscript about Jesus. Jesus was NEVER married nor did He have wife. Instead His loved His bride the Church—you and me to die for her to present her holy and without blemish to God His Father.
It is important that you know the truth like the grandson in the movie “The Last Ounce of Courage” Chris states: “Grandpa, I know the truth!” May we be like Chris and shout to the world that we, too, know the truth—Christ is my Savior and Lord! Christ paid for my life with His blood! Christ forgave me my sins through His death and resurrection. Christ has opened the gate of heaven. Christ has given me life, peace, freedom and eternal life.
You are who are precious in His sight and mine. THIS IS THE TRUTH AMEN!!!
Now the peace…
SOLI DEO GLORIA