Summary: A sermon encouraging honesty with God (Much taken from Prayers from the Gut: An Honest Prayer Journal for Teens by Steven James. I adapted this to cover older adults)
Evening Sermon for 12/4/2005
Honesty with God
A. I am thankful for is my relationship with God. What makes me thankful about my relationship with God is that I can be real and honest with God.
B. If I was completely open and honest with people, it would be a disaster.
C. I am thankful that I can be honest with God and he doesn’t take it personally. I can be honest with God and he will not smack me around or hate or despise me or misunderstand what I am saying or will not want to be around me.
D. When I was a teenager, my youth minister encouraged us to have a personal time with the Lord each and every day. He encouraged us to open up our lives to the Lord and share as much as we could with him. Share with him the good, the bad and all of our warts. Be honest with God and he will help us to deal with our lives. In John 8:32 Jesus says that the truth will set you free and this has been so true in my life.
E. The church can be such a fake place and it is a shame. But before we can be real with others, we have to be real with God.
F. Sure, we talk to God. Most of the time it’s not deep or honest stuff at all. It is just a habit or a ritual. Few of us are ever really honest with God.
G. IF the truth were known, most of us wear masks. Most of us spend our lives piling on more and more layers of protection against the real world. WE pray for the things we think we’re supposed to pray for. We say the words we’ve heard others say. We chant or repeat or nod our heads without ever really opening up the secret places of our hearts. Sometimes it’s all a show to impress others with how spiritual we are. Sometimes we just go through the motions.
H. Let me tell you something about God. God knows all about you. Look up and read Psalm 139:1-10.
I. I also like Psalm 51 where David is so honest with God about his sins. Read Psalm 51:1-6. I want to focus in on vs. 6. What are the inner parts? What is the inmost place? I dare say that it is when we are alone. When it is just me and God.
J. The New Living Translation says here, “But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.”
K. The Living Bible Paraphrase says here, “You deserve honesty from the heart; yes, utter sincerity and truthfulness. Oh, give me this wisdom.”
L. David is here saying that the Lord wants us to be honest and open with him. This is what he desires from us. And why not be honest? He already knows how we feel and what we think anyway.
M. I love the book of Psalms because it is so honest. There were high times where they expressed their love for God and thanked him for their blessings. However, there were times that they called it like they saw it. Sometimes cursing their enemies. Sometimes baring their souls by confessing terrible sins.
N. Jesus was honest with God. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed, (Mat 26:39 NIV) “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
O. Jesus prayed from the cross, My God, My God! Why have your forsaken me?
P. Somewhere we have lost sight of that gut level honest communication with God. We seem to be afraid that if we really let God know how we feel, what we think or where we hurt, he will somehow be surprised, disappointed, or let down. But exactly the opposite is true! The thing that God desires most from us is that we stop hiding once and for all and come to him in complete honesty and humility.
Q. God is the only one who sees us as we really are- down to the core of our being- and loves us anyway.
R. In my devotional times in the mornings, I have been going through a devotional book called, Praying from the Gut: An honest prayer journal for teens. This book has helped me to open up and be honest with God, not holding anything back.
S. This book gives sample prayers to get us started in praying from our hearts and guts and then it gives some Scripture and some questions for us to consider.
Thesis: Tonight I am going to give you some of the thoughts from the devotional book and also some other thoughts that would apply to us as adults to help us to be open and honest with God.