Summary: This is the first sermon of a new discipleship series on Building Lasting Values. These are values that the believer needs to build up God's house within us. Today's sermon then looks at our present moral decline, what is the cause, the cost, and the cure.
Building Lasting Values
“Choosing Right Standards”
Today, I’d like to start my next series on discipleship, which I promised back when I started the first one on “Building God’s House.” This series will look at those Christian values the Bible talks about that are needed in the building process of God’s House within.
Values are the core belief system that helps shape everything we do in life. Therefore, it matters what we believe, because our beliefs determine our behavior and our behavior determines who we are and what we’ll become.
In other words, the kind of person we want to become is based upon the things we’ve chosen to value. So, whatever we value will determine what we want to be in life as well as determine our level of stress, success, and salvation.
Here at Living Waters Fellowship we want to grow in our relationship with God and with others, along with being that place where life’s difficult challenges meet real life solutions. If we want to build a lasting legacy of success and significance then we need to build it on the biblical values we’ll be looking at in this series.
If there’s one thing that everyone agrees on, whether they are liberal or conservative, democrat, republican, independent, religious or irreligious, Christian, non-Christian, or even an atheist, is that our society is in a moral decline. We are living in an age of declining values.
Further, most surveys say that while the economy is the number one issue of our day, the decline or decay of moral values is a close second. This area of moral decline can be seen in just about every area of our society: politics, business, entertainment, education, and yes even religion. In fact, each of you can probably think of at least one recent scandal in each of these areas.
Today we’re going to begin this series by looking at why people aren’t building their lives on these all-important values. We’ll be looking at the cause of moral decline, the cost to our nation, families, and ourselves, and then the cure.
So, let’s get right into our study
What’s The Cause?
What is the cause of the crisis we are now experiencing. In two words: Truth Decay.
We no longer value truth. Instead we value two other things. These are the Signs of Truth Decay.
• Convenience: is it easy
• Pragmatism: does is work
People today no longer care about whether something is true or not; instead they want to know does it work and is it easy. If it works and is easy to accomplish, then we’ll sign up. How else can we explain the explosion in all these info commercials and social media ads that sell us on how to make a million while never leaving the comfort of our homes?
There has been a major paradigm shift in values over the last couple of decades. It used to be that most everyone agreed on what was true and what wasn’t, or what was right verses what was wrong. Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone did what is right, but at least they knew when they were doing something that wasn’t right. It was a choice they made, not a confusion of values.
What’s happened since them? “We were sold a bill of goods.”
People today have bought into four Destructive Philosophies.
This is where we live for ourselves, and could care less at what others may think. We become our own standard by which we live our lives. We believe that we are more than adequate to judge what is right and wrong, and nobody has the right to tell us otherwise.
In a way, we have become our own gods, determining for ourselves what is right and wrong for our own lives. This, however, isn’t something new; it’s been around since the beginning. After eating from the tree of good and evil, Adam and Eve saw that they were naked and quickly hid themselves. When God called out for them they were afraid, because they were naked. The Lord, however, said, “Who told you that you were naked” (Genesis 3:11). They determined for themselves that their nakedness was wrong. God never did!
Now, I’m not advocating for running around naked. But, once sin was entered into our DNA, we stopped determining right and wrong based upon what God says, and started determining right and wrong for ourselves.
Thousands of years ago the nation of Israel fell prey to this philosophy as well. It was during the time of Judges. It could best be described as a time of total chaos. Nobody knew what to do, so they all did whatever they thought was right, which is recorded for us three times in the book of Judges.