Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: In an age of deception and denial we have to wonder if there is anyone that we can tryly trust? Is there anyone who stands by their word? The writer of Hebrews shares with us that Jesus is the Anchor of our hope.

The Anchor Of Our Hope

Hebrews 6:13-20

For most people having the security of knowing that we can deal with things at face value is of great importance. Eighteen years ago, Connie promised to love me with all of her heart for the rest of her days. In eighteen years she has held tightly to her promise and her commitment has given me such security as I live my life from day-to-day. Words can’t adequately express the stability and sense of peace that I experience in my relationship with Connie because she has proven her commitment to be true.

When God blesses a mom and dad with a precious little baby they are called to love and support their child throughout his or her days. Kids need the security of knowing that their parents love them even when they mess up and are unlovable. The security and stability that is fostered in a child’s life when he or she knows that their parents will always love them regardless of what takes place is of such great value in the shaping of a child’s life.

When people strike up a friendship one of the greatest characteristics and most valued of gifts is truthfulness and honesty. For us to have friends that we know we can trust, that what they tell us is true, and that they deal with us honestly in all circumstances and situations is of great importance. On the other hand, if we have a friend who has charisma and charm, a great sense of humor and a fun personality, but we can’t trust them, then the friendship will not last.

Truthfulness if priceless and yet "truth" in our society is on the endangered species list. Truth has become relative. Truth, as it is defined today, is whatever we decide is true. If lying, or stretching the truth can benefit me, then most people today feel that truth is expendable.

In one of his Breakpoint commentaries, Chuck Colson reported that this past year the Josephson Institute for Ethics released the "Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth." The Institute, after studying its results of the survey says the results point to the "shocking levels of moral illiteracy" among American kids. Some of the findings of the survey are:

* 92 % of kids surveyed admitted to lying to their parents.

* 78 % admitted lying to a teacher.

* 70% said that they had cheated on a test, and half of them said that they had done so more than once.

* 25% of those surveyed said that they would lie to get a job.

* One in six said that they had gone to school while drunk-not hung over, mind you, but drunk-at least once in the previous year.

An editorial in the Atlanta Constitution summarized the findings as follows: "America’s next generation [believes that] it’s perfectly acceptable to lie and cheat at home and in the world."

What is truly amazing about the findings concerning kids willingness to lie and cheat is that now three quarters of all the states in America now mandate that students be taught about "values" like honesty, trustworthiness, respect for others, and the like.

I mentioned to you last week that during my lifetime I have yet to see any of our moral problems solved by throwing money at them or by mandating programs to address them. Why haven’t we seen government or humanitarian efforts succeed in solving our moral dilemma? Professor James Davison Hunter gives his answer in his book, The Death of Character, by saying that most character education in our society is ignorant about why people behave morally. Hunter points out that while these programs tell students that, for instance, honesty is better than dishonesty, they don’t provide a justification for these beliefs.

Our government programs don’t provide a justification because they can’t-not legally. As Hunter points out, character is intimately linked to tradition and communities. The first provides the justification for the moral teachings, and the community reinforces those teachings. Chuck Colson says,

Hunter is, of course, describing religious communities. But religion is the one issue schools can’t mention. The courts have ruled-wrongly, I believe-that government must not only be neutral as between religions-like Christianity and Judaism-but also between religion and irreligion. What’s more, this moral education emphasizes the role of the autonomous individual, operating independently of any group that might hold him accountable. This leaves appeals to personal gratification and fulfillment as the only justification for moral action-with the predictable results the Josephson Institute documents.

Those of us who believe that Jesus is our only hope for changing our behavior need to communicate to those around us that our only hope for living morally upright lives is to submit to God’s Word and allow the Lord to take command of our lives. We can’t point our kids, and those around us, to our leaders because they are willing to lie and deceive to protect themselves.

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