Summary: Our Church, our lives must be lived out with relevance
“Being Righteous: With My Witness”
“Our Church, our lives must be lived out with relevance.”
Sunday Morning Sermon
The preacher’s son was 5 years old and always quick to give an answer. He was in Sunday school one time and the teacher asked: is there anything God can’t do – the rest of the class agreed that God could do anything. The young boy raises his hand and the teacher reluctantly calls on him. Ok, she said, what is it that God can’t do? He replies, “Well, my dad says that not even God can make everyone in this church happy.”
Did you hear about the police chief who gave himself a ticket for a traffic violation? Police chief Richard Knoebel issued himself a $235 ticket complete with a four-point penalty against his license after he realized he had failed to stop for a school bus with its lights flashing. Knoebel said that he didn’t notice the bus until he had passed it because he was distracted by a truck. “When we get someone for not stopping for a flashing school bus we give them a citation. So I shouldn’t be any different so I did,” he said.
That story was on every major news network, I heard it on the radio for almost a week straight. – the burning question in my mind, but I’m sure I wasn’t alone in this thinking was – WHAT DOES IT MATTER? He gave himself a ticket – Big deal. He could just as easily not given himself the ticket and probably only a few people would have noticed. He was sent hundreds of emails – several people offering to pay the ticket for him; he refused them all, paying his fine the next day.
The other day I was in Target right before they closed. I put one of the three 12 packs of soda on the belt. I wasn’t paying attention, told her I had 2 more in the basket, the girl at the register was ready to go home. She totaled my order, I thought it was low but didn’t think any more about it. I get home and realize that she didn’t charge me for 3 -12 packs, but only one. I went back into Target and paid for the other 2 -12 packs of soda – the girls behind the counter were shocked at what I was doing. Why does it matter? I could have realized the mistake, and justified keeping the money and the soda. After all it’s only soda, and you want to compare my checking account to that of the 2nd largest retailer – go for it, mine is not anywhere close. What difference would 7 dollars make to them anyway – I could eat a meal, by diapers or buy a book with that money.
Here’s why it matters – From time to time, the world – those outside the church will be interested in, and will without invitation look into the lives of those who claim to follow Christ – and we demonstrate who we are – not when we have invited people in, not when we have made sure everything is straight, but when we allow an honest look at who we are and what we believe, and it matches up with the truth of God’s word, it’s at that point we have the chance to impact the life, and offer encouragement and hope.
I want us – you and me – to live out our righteousness with our witness. I want us – to be concerned about those outside the body of Christ. This is the same concern Paul had for the Roman Christians.
If you have your Bibles with you this morning turn with me to (advance)
Romans 13:8-14 (read)
I see three things this morning – that will allow us to live out our witness with righteousness (advance)
I. Love – Fulfill the Law (8-10)
a. We have a charge, a command
i. To love Everyone around us
ii. Regardless who it is, what we gain from it
iii. Or if we believe they fit as potential church members or not.
b. Love is boundless –
i. The need is great
ii. The debt remains unpaid.
We will never be in a position to claim that we have “loved enough.”
So often times our reaction to a situation is not love. We’ll do good works; we will talk to people about changing their lives, offer advice, even show tolerance – but do we take the time to show those around us – in our circle of influence, that we love them.
Our world doesn’t care how many Greek words you can define, they don’t care if you can explain the deep things of the faith – The world cares, if you care about them. Which means getting on their level (not sharing in sin – but helping them rise above). Listen to me – if we don’t care about the ones around us, they will find someone, or something that does – and it might not be positive, it’s one of the basic needs of life to find people who care about you – that’s why you have a mom. Our love for each other is an overflow of God’s love for us, but it also identifies us as followers of Jesus. (advance)