Summary: When it comes to stewardship, giving, generosity, our finances, our money it really isn't truth or dare with God it's truth and dare.
So hey there, good to see you and to have you with us. So we are wrapping up a series today, but before we talk about that let’s spend a second or two talking about this, that means that we are starting a brand new series next week, a series called Inside Out. We have spent the first two months of this year really challenging you hard to build your core and put some things into practice in your life that will lead you to the life that you want, the life that we all come in here chasing after every single week. Now, it’s time to shift and help us all deal with the stuff that is going on behind the scenes, behind the curtain in our lives. What do we do with the anger, hurt, sadness, worry, anxiety, and depression that is going on deep inside of us? That’s the question. Where is God in that? What does he have to say about that? How can He help us with that? I’m excited about what God is going to do in this next series which will lead us up to this crazy little weekend in this place we call Easter. So start inviting your friends, not only to Easter. Invite them to this next series too. It’s going to be great.
So, that’s next week, let’s get back to today. Today we are jumping back into and wrapping up a series that we have been in for the past few weeks called Truth or Dare. For just a 3 week series this series has been packed with quite the punch. Even though the title of the series may make some of us think about the game that we played when we were younger this series has actually been built on what Jesus says in John chapter 8 when he says that if we hold to his teaching we will know the truth and that truth will set us free. Just after one of the services the very first weekend of this series a really nice lady approached me in the lobby to tell me that as she heard me set up this series she couldn’t help but think about the title of Gloria Steinem’s book from last year. The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off. I haven’t read the book but I think the title is hard to argue with isn’t it?
Which brings me to this. I want to pause again for a moment and brag on you. I have been a part of this story now for almost 12 years. In the past, when we have even hinted at a series having anything to do with giving, generosity, or money we have seen attendance drop fairly significantly the next week. Lots of people just peace out until we start the next series. This year is different. Watch this now...the attendance drop from week 1 to week 2 was 1%. That’s amazing. In week 1 of the series I talked about that line from A Few Good Men...you can’t handle the truth. Well, obviously you can, you want to hear the truth, because more than anything else you want your heart to be alive and free. Just know I am proud of you for that. So let’s jump back into this and wrap this up. For the first two weeks God chose truth. Now it’s our turn. Let’s just be honest. Truth or Dare is just not near as fun if no one ever chooses dare. Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to do that. I’m choosing to do that for you. So, here we go...let’s jump back in and wrap this thing up in the time we have left together today.
If you brought a Bible we are going to be in Mark chapter 12 today. If you don’t have a Bible they are back on the back tables that you can grab right now if you would like if you close or on you can always grab one on your way out. As always you can hit our app or the YouVersion app too. Or you can ignore all of that and read along with me on the screens. So, here we go, Mark chapter 12 beginning with verse 38…
38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
Let’s give a little context to this moment as we walk into this. Jesus is teaching a large crowd and much of his teaching here is in response to a question that these very teachers of the law or Pharisees that he is talking about here have asked him to answer. As he is teaching, he turns to his disciples, his own guys and says this. Watch out for those guys...yes those guys right there, the religious of the religious, those guys who are doing all this religious stuff that looks so good but really the back story is not so pretty. I love how Jesus walks into this. In effort to help us see what it is, he points to what it’s not. So we have chosen dare and we are actually going to unpack three dares in the passage we are reading today starting with this...