Summary: A message about what many Christians do not want to hear about .... personal accountability for what we say. Full text and audio will be placed at www.sermonlist.com
America has evolved into something that does not reflect its beginnings. In the beginning, our nation honored respect; today we don’t. In the beginning, our nation helped those who helped themselves. Today, we give handouts to those who refuse to help themselves. In the beginning, we worshiped God. Today, we worship our own desires.
Christianity has also evolved from its beginning. In the beginning, Jesus was the center of our worship. Today, we cannot wait to kick Him out of our nation. In the beginning, we were hungry for the word of God. Today, we want to hear that which will make us comfortable with ourselves.
That is called cheap grace, and that cheap grace is killing us spiritually. It is the desire to be comfortable that inhibits our hearing the Holy Spirit convict us of our sins in this day and age. Cheap grace is stealing us away from God.
It is cheap grace that tells us it is okay to be rude and disrespectful to our fellow man. After all, if we want to be comfortable in who we are and what we are doing, we have every right to be angry with those who don’t want us to do that. They disturb our comfort, and that takes our focus off us and puts it elsewhere. And then we get angry.
Now, the Bible does not say to never get angry. What it does say is found in –
‘In your anger, do not sin.’
Jesus gave us a command to love one another, even our enemies. If you love somebody, you will not use your words to hurt them or to destroy them, will you? If you love somebody, you will be willing to cut them more slack than you cut someone you do not care about.
When we use harsh words either towards someone else, or in talking about them to other people, we are sinning in our anger. God says, “DON’T DO THAT!”
And it is for that reason; we need to be very careful what we say.
· We need to watch our thoughts because they become our words.
· We need to watch our words because they become our actions.
· We need to watch our actions because they become our habits.
· We need to watch our habits because they become our character.
· And we need to watch our character because it will become our eternity.
There is a verse that says it plainly. It is where Jesus is talking to those who do not believe, and He says in -
‘The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.’
We think of ourselves as being good people, don’t we? But we must realize that our nature is inherently evil and wicked. It is only by the grace of God, and the covering of Jesus Christ that we are seen as good through the eyes of God. Yet, too many of us continue to harbor ill thoughts in our hearts.
Jesus is reminding us that our speech and actions will reveal what is in our hearts. And whether our thoughts that are in our hearts are good or bad, they roll off our tongues with ease. Do you remember what your mom used to tell you? “If you can’t say something nice about someone ……” Your mother had some Godly advice.
So, if our thoughts are on ourselves, they cannot be concerned with anything else but our own personal comfort. And that causes us to sin because it keeps us from focusing on other people. And we cannot love others if we don’t care enough about them to focus on their needs and desires, too.
So, if our sinful nature demands that we focus on ourselves at the expense of others, what can we do about it? Paul summed it up perfectly when he said in –
PHILIPPIANS 4:8 [NIV]
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
Have you ever heard the expression; ‘We are what we think?’ Or, what might be a better description of today’s society would be; ‘Garbage in – garbage out.’
What is in our hearts will always find a way to come out of our mouths.
There are two verses in the book of MATTHEW that should scare every human alive! Those two verses tell us what we can expect, considering the way in which we have talked to others during our lives. These two verses are the base of our sermon today. Please turn with me to -