Truth or Consequences is a city in New Mexico, made famous by a game show from the 1950’s that bore the same name. Now it will be the name of a blog post as well. I confess I am writing this message while in a bad mood. Yesterday I wrote a different blog post. I was about two minutes from hitting the “save” button when unfortunately, the men working on the foundation plugged in one tool too many. The power went out, including the power to my internet connection. I threw the breaker back on, praying that my blog post had survived. It didn’t. This morning I am still at home waiting for the foundation repairs to be completed and typing a completely different message. It has been a difficult week on some personal levels and then I made the mistake of watching the morning news shows. Each network aired one person after another who was interviewed about their opinion of the Chick-Fil-A position on gay marriage. So this blog post is about telling the truth, or living with the consequences. Is the Bible a truth, or is the Bible the truth? Is the Bible “personal truth” or is the Bible truth for every person? The way our culture chooses to answer those questions will determine our future consequences. It is time for Christians to experience an awakening. Spiritual awakening is a renewed commitment to the roots of our faith, the truth of God’s word, and an abundance of God’s grace and love. This can’t happen until we recognize the inevitable consequences of living apart from God’s truth and guidance. Solomon said, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) Jesus concluded his sermon on the mount by saying, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25) Given my “foundation issues” this week, I am keenly aware of this verse. Jesus has just preached the most important sermon a Christian can hear and he concludes it by saying we need to stand on his words. If we don’t, there are consequences. If we do, we will not fall. Take a moment and ponder these questions: Is God going to allow our culture to stand? Do Christians and their churches need to make spiritual awakening the only goal worth their time and money? What will be the major news stories in 2030? Who will be leading our country? What will our churches look like then?
Where do you find truth? Television, movies and a sense that the “news” programs present truth are currently guiding what the world believes is truth. Political ads get someone elected, regardless of whether or not they are true. Few people are taking the time to find the truth, and vote accordingly. The current political climate is the consequence of the voters’ lack of effort and the fact that a lot of really great potential leaders don’t want their families to endure the inevitable slander that is sure to accompany a run for office. Note: I am NOT endorsing any brand of politics here. But the politics of our culture have worked their way into the politics of our businesses, banks, churches and into our personal value systems. Are our politicians telling the truth, regardless of the consequences? I want to vote for that person.
Matthew 5-7 is the Sermon on the Mount. How long has it been since you put your Bible in your lap and allowed Jesus to preach it to you? Think about the Beatitudes as a list of “truth and consequences.” And then realize today that Jesus looked at the crowd surrounding him and said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice” is wise and has chosen to build their house on the rock. Meet Jesus in the eyes and hear him tell you, “you will not fall.” I don’t think I can change the direction of our culture. But I know for certain that God can – and will. I don’t know how he will accomplish his will, but if he chooses to use storms, I hope all of us are standing firmly on the rock when the wind and rain arrive.
Today, “fear God and keep his Commandments.” Make Jesus’ words the rock you stand on. Nothing else is even a close second on your list of duties.