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, we are kicking off a brand new series today called Truth or Dare, which I would venture to guess stirs up a little something in most of us sitting here today. I understand that there was a horror movie that came out in the past few years that had that title. Maybe some of us are thinking about that. Not me, I didn’t see it. So, I don’t know about you but when I hear those three words truth or dare I can’t help but think about the game I played as a kid. If you don’t know what I am talking about it’s actually pretty simple. I ask you to choose truth or dare, if you choose truth you must answer a question truthfully, if you choose dare I dare you to do something and you must do it. If you don’t there was some sort of penalty. I don’t really remember that, I do remember that the game took on a whole new level of significance when girls started to be included, but we are in church and don’t need to talk about that.
What I do want us to spend some time thinking about is this out of the box idea of what it would be like to spend some time playing truth or dare with God himself. Hang with me now. Some of you are struggling with the thought of that. The Bible says don’t put God to the test. Relax, deep breath, we will get there, play along. So, let’s imagine God goes first and chooses truth. Do you have any questions for God that you would like to get answers to? We all do. They look a little different for all of us. We all have lots of questions that we would like to ask God. So, we could spend weeks and months trying to answer questions that might help some of us. But, I think a better use of our time is to spend a few weeks on a question that will help all of us. Here’s the question. How do we find the life that we come in here looking for every week? I mean we keep showing up and trying. What is getting in the way of that? Before we get to any type of dare we really need to hear some truth.
ILLUST> Back about 22 years ago I led my very first mission trip to Poland. While we were there we spent a half a day walking through Auschwitz the German concentration camp location during WW2. I will never forget so many things about that experience but especially how unsettling it felt walking through those gates for the first time. Let me show you a photo of those gates. There it is. The prisoners would be marched out those gates every day to go build the concentration camp Birkenau which was about 5 miles away. Right above the gates there is a phrase that translated says this...work brings freedom. If you work really hard you will eventually be free. This word freedom is a really big deal to all of us, and as we talked about last week it really should be, what we are shooting for is loving God and living not only forgiven but free. So, the Germans in WW2 tried to convince their prisoners that work brings freedom. Jesus actually says something a little bit different. Since Jesus said it, we probably ought to pay attention to it. It points to our need for this series. This is John chapter 8 verses 31 and 32….
Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’
Jesus makes it clear. If you hold to my teaching, not just some of it, not just the parts that are comfortable and convenient, or that you like or that fits your life as you have already decided it is going to be, all of it. If you hold to my teaching that truth will set you free. So back to the question...God chooses truth. We are actually asking two questions. How do we find the life that we are looking for? What is getting in the way of that? Got it. So here we go. Jesus is going to tell a story that is going to help us answer our questions. If you brought a Bible we are going to be in Matthew chapter 25 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, Matthew chapter 25 beginning with verse 14…