Summary: "Hello Sister Tabitha, this is Ananias and Sapphira calling you; are you going to be tomorrow for the church? Just asking… we sold the property and we will give ALL the money to the church. I thing you qualify to be helped… so don’t miss the opportunity.
ILL. The story is told of Joe the Butcher who had crafty ways of selling his chickens. He had one chicken left, and he didn’t want to keep it over the weekend. The priest of his church came into the store. He said: “my wife sent me to buy a good size chicken to roast for dinner. We’re having my boys come back home from college”.
Joe said: “I have just what you need”. He went to the freezer and brought out the last chicken, the one nobody wanted, and put it on the scale. Joe said, "This one is 2 pounds 3 ounces." The priest said, "It looks sort of small, do you have anything else?"
Joe took the chicken back into the freezer and came back with the same chicken, the only one he had. He put it on the scale and this time said, "this one is 3 pounds and five ounces. But since you’re a man of God, I’m going to let you have it for the same price."
The priest said, "well thank you, but come to think of it, the way my boys eat. Just go ahead and give me both of the chickens and I’ll pay the higher price for them both”.
Just when he least expected it, Joe had been caught in a lie. When was the last time when you, like Joe, last time when you was caught in a lie? Although we don’t want to admit it, lying is one of the most common sins practiced by so called Christians… Are you one of them?
We are getting near the end of our series on the 10 C – Law and Grace... It has amazed me just how little mankind has changed over the centuries. All of the Cs we have looked still as relevant to us today as they were when they were first passed down to Moses.
The 9th C - is another one that hits us where we live. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16
God considers laying a very serious matter regardless of whether the consequences of that lie are immediate and deadly or not. Prov. 6:16-19 READ
Yet as much as God hates lying, I doubt that there are only few people that we may label them as liars... May I suggest that many of us have probably already lied to someone this morning?
For example, when someone asked this Sabbath morning how you are doing, we said “Fine”. We answer, “I’m just fine” even though our life may be falling apart. Why is that? Reflex? Habit? Maybe we’re scared that no one cares, that no one has the time, or that someone would reject us if they really knew what was going on inside our hearts.
The Bible doesn’t speak of church as a place where perfect people come to congratulate one another on how perfect they are. It talks about church as a place where hurting people come to admit their hurt and find healing for their hurt. “Confess your faults one to another” so that you might be healed. (James 5:16) The church family should be the place where we are the most free to be ourselves and admit our weakness.
That’s why we’ve come here today – to admit our weakness before a holy God, to praise Him for His holiness and strength and to ask His power to sin no more, to change, to transform something radical in our lives by beholding Jesus… This “how are you - I’m fine” is just something mechanical, but they are other things who are, by consequences, aggravating… It’s a light lie… because in our sinfulness, we began to classify the lies: different levels: light, medium, heavy… Like in sports. But a lie, even a light one who don’t seem to hurt somebody else, still sin.
Mark Twain was right when he said, “The difference between a person who tells the truth and tells a lie is that the liar’s got to have a better memory.” But truth frees you to enjoy all the benefits and promises that God has offered to you. When you are truthful about your sin, the truth frees you to enjoy God’s forgiveness. Truth frees, according to John 8:32 – “You will know that truth, and the truth will set you free.” lies enslave…
First lie in the world history - “God is out to stop your fun!” – (Gen. 2:25-3:8)
- 2:25 – “naked . . . no shame” honest; nothing to hide; how would you like to live in a world like that? Not necessarily naked physically, but a place where you could be totally naked emotionally and even spiritually with no fear of how anyone is going to react. That’s the kind of world that they enjoyed. Then Satan came along.