Summary: What it takes to find the Moral Compass in our world in the only place that it can be truly found!
How would you like to have the NFL as your moral compass? Last week, we were hammered by reports about Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson and how the NFL was responding (or not responding) to the allegations of abuse. Tabloids, Social Media, and ESPN have been overloaded with their stories and many others that have surfaced in recent days. So how has the NFL responded? Are they the beacon of fairness the media and social activists think they should be? Looking deeper, you’ll see a number of inconsistences. For example, a player for the 49ers is currently accused of spousal abuse and still playing, yet one of their commentators has been suspended for 2 games for mentioning his feelings about Ray Rice and his wife. Where is the reasoning? That’s because we should never look to a worldly organization to be our moral compass!
In today’s world, this same disturbing pattern can be seen. We probably all have heard the name Richard Dawkins. As an atheist, he has stated that behavior and morals are learned through adaptive and repetitive behavior referred to as memes. Thus, as he mentioned in a 2013 interview: “The very idea that we get a moral compass from religion is horrible.” Really? So I guess the idea of killing children for fun is acceptable so long as the society deems it so? OF COURSE NOT! But how many Christians today would challenge such assaults on our foundation of faith?
Today, let’s examine our personal moral compasses in light of the objective truth found within God’s Word!
READ MATTHEW 7:24-25
I. True North (7:24)
A. Any good compass has one major factor – it has the exact location of True North!
B. According to the Bible, man was created in God’s image. With this, a part of our makeup is that we are moral beings, and are able to differentiate between right and wrong. How is this possible? Through our knowledge of God’s law! Romans 1:19-20 says,
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
C. This, as well as Romans 2:15 stating that God wrote His law on our hearts shows us that our moral nature is directly attributed to our Creator!
D. God also reveals this moral idea through His revelation, the Bible. God gave a commandment to Adam and Eve in the Garden. He gave Ten Commandments to the Israelites after the exodus in Sinai, and Jesus boiled those Ten commandments down to two essential commandments—love God and love your neighbor. All of these represent God’s revelation of His law, which is a reflection of His moral character to His people.
E. Due to the fallen life, our relationship with the Lord is marred and disfigured, as is our conscience. So even though we know God’s law through what is around us, we often switch it up so that things go the way we think it should. That is why we need the Word!
F. Jesus and the Word are our True North! It is impossible to have a fulfilled relationship with Christ without having a deeper conversation with Him. We accomplish this through study and prayer. Moreover, it is impossible to teach and preach the Word without this relationship. Surely there is another way!
II. Short Cuts or Diversions? (7:26-27)
A. My brother Curtis had come home from Italy to visit us, and attended worship at the congregation where I served. Afterword, he wanted to go to Mammoth Cave and show his wife and son one of the natural wonders of the US. We tagged along, and I told him I knew the way. He said, “Naw, we’ll use the GPS and that will get us there faster.” I should have never listened to him! We went through Amish country, down every backroad, and ended up at a trailer in the middle of nowhere! I asked him to let me see his GPS, and he had entered Mammoth Cave, KY…not Mammoth Cave National Park! He said from that point on, I would be in charge of directions anywhere in Kentucky!
B. That’s how a lot of Christians are! We can often get so focused on a particular subject or idea that we think we have it all figured out and don’t need assistance or examination. Or worse, we rely so much on someone else to explain the path that we just take it as the Gospel!
C. How many times can you recall a fight in your neck of the woods about the age of the Earth, or instruments vs. non-instruments, or worship styles? Or how about your reaction to when you hear someone say, “Well, in my church…” or “My preacher says…” Instead of going on a side based on tradition or feelings, let’s try something revolutionary! Let’s study it for ourselves!