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2–2022-05-08AM (Mother’s Day)


Lies and Truth (Part 2)


It’s Maytime in Michigan when green inevitably springs into our part of the Mitten. We have endured cold days grey with rain and now the earth tilts toward the sun and warms the earth and the green runs along the ground into every yard and field and park and pasture. Green climbs from the understory of the forest up every tree and into every leaf. And the Redbuds blush and the Dogwoods blaze. Thanks be unto God. This is my Father’s World. 


During the beautiful month of May I feel led of the Lord to plant something very beautiful in the collective garden of the heart of the Bethel family. These are things fragrant and beautiful. These are things valuable and fruitful. There is something very practical I want to teach you, something very profound I want to show you. For some of you it will be a reminder, for others some or all of it will be new and fresh as a spring morning. For all of us it will bring life and spiritual refreshing. The Word of God promises this repeatedly. 


I’m talking about the power of learning to meditate on the truth of God day and night and the blessing God has promised to those who do.


I have called our May series simply Lies and Truth. Along with some simple teaching the series is mostly giving examples of lies people believe and truth to counter the lies and bring fulness of life. We are simply explaining how to replace lies with truth in your own thoughts. This morning I want to give you more examples of lies and how to counter them with truth. My hope is that you will develop a skill at it yourself. 


Before we give those examples let me tell you five of the many good things that happen when you replace lies with truth


1—You Will Experience Genuine Success and Prosperity. 


Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalm 1, ESV)


Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!” (Psalm 112, ESV)


2—You Will Be Transformed.


Romans 12:1-2 NLT And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.


3—You Will Defeat Your Spiritual Enemies.


2 Corinthans 10:4-6For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (2 Corinthians 10:4–6, ESV)


4—You Will Experience Fullness of Life.


Romans 8:5-7 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” (Romans 8:5–7, ESV)


Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8, ESV)


5—You Will Enjoy A Foretaste of Heaven. 


Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2, ESV) “…let heaven fill your thoughts…”


Let’s Look at Some More Examples of Lies and Truth:


Case: Pastor hurt by church sat in back. Would not serve. Person who was hurt by church people conflict with a person who is self-righteous…  


Lie: I’m wasting my time and my life serving the Lord. The church is full of hypocrites and I’m just going to go and dart out the back door and not get involved....


1 Cor. 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (ill) Gordon Jenima—started church quoted this to me.


2 Cor. 5:10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10, ESV)


Truth: When you work for the Lord, you are making investments that will yield great riches forever... The local church is the hope of the world today. It is God’s best plan. Doing what God made you to do and using your God-given gifts is fulfilling and satisfying like nothing else.


Truth: There is more joy in serving than there is in being served. Going to honor your mother when you are a mother… and you will find more joy in that. 


Acts 20:35In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”” (Acts 20:35, ESV)


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Case: I once met a man who felt that he had a dark cloud over him and he just had more than his share of bad luck. It was just dark fate in his mind. My life has been a disappointment. I have been felt a bad hand. Met a woman who felt that she was felt a bad hand. It didn’t pay to do things right. Nothing worked out for her. I met a young man who waiting to have sex until he was married then he had adjustments… He got involved in sexual sin and lost his job. Woman who was in a bad marriage and betrayed. 


Lie: Some people just have bad luck. They get a bad hand. 

Truth: All things work together for good… And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28–29, ESV) I can glorify God in any situation and there is fulfillment in it. 


Truth: God will reward you when you pass the test. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6–7, ESV)


God is sovereign and works all things after the council of his will. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,” (Ephesians 1:11, ESV) “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20, ESV)


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Doctor whose wife was angry all the time. Women at work around him were helpful and compliant all day long.


Lie: I can never be happy living with a person who is contentious and verbally attacks me. 


Truth: Your happiness is not dependent on your circumstances.“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11–12, ESV)


But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44–45, ESV)

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Case: Guy whose wife did not please him. Tension. Conflict. Sexual adjustments. Emotional needs… 


Lie: I cannot be holy and happy at the same time. 


Truth: Happiness is not possible without holiness. Sin brings sorrow, sadness and more sin, sorrow, and sadness. Holiness brings joy. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23, ESV)


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Case: Counselor told me that we probably make too big a deal about sexual sin. 


Lie: Sexual sin is not a really big deal. 


Truth: Sexual sin is damaging and deadly and brings judgment. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” (1 Thessalonians 4:2–8, ESV)


Lie: We make too big a deal of sexual sin.


Truth: The answer is not making sin a small thing, it is making Grace a greater thing. Maybe he was trying to say there are other great and damning sins. Maybe he was saying, “We are not doing well at getting people free from condemnation….” 


Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” (Romans 5:20, ESV)


Truth: The answer is that our emotional well-being does not depend on our own righteousness, but the Righteousness of Christ. 


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Case: My parents are trying to ruin my life and rob me of any innocent fun. 


Lie: There is joy and satisfaction in sin and following Jesus I will miss out on desirable things. 


Truth: There is some, but it is short and dangerous and has a toxic after-effect. A deadly timed-release effect.


“Though evil is sweet in his mouth, though he hides it under his tongue, though he is loath to let it go and holds it in his mouth, yet his food is turned in his stomach; it is the venom of cobras within him.” (Job 20:12–14, ESV)


Pleasure in sin for a season but it runs away quickly. “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” (Hebrews 11:24–25, ESV)


Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1–3, ESV)


Holiness is beautiful and lasting and growing and enriching and fulfilling and satisfying and it is what you were made for by God. Sin is Satan’s way of keeping you from that beauty and fulfillment and joy of holiness. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, ESV)


—Following God is Bittersweet and the bitter goes away and the sweet remains forever.

—Following Satan and Sweet-Bitter and the sweet goes away and bitter remains forever. 


Puritan Thomas Brooks: “Sin so bewitches the soul, that it makes the soul call evil good, and good evil; bitter sweet and sweet bitter, light darkness and darkness light; and a soul thus bewitched with sin will stand it out to the death, at the sword's point with God; let God strike and wound, and cut to the very bone, yet the bewitched soul cares not, fears not—but will still hold on in a course of wickedness, as you may see in Pharaoh, Balaam, and Judas. Tell the bewitched soul that sin is a viper that will certainly kill when it is not killed, that sin often kills secretly, insensibly, eternally, yet the bewitched soul cannot, and will not, cease from sin.”


Are you making a list of lies? Is there is big lie in the bottom of your soul? Have you done any heavy-lifting? Do you meditate on God’s Word day and night? 


Conclusion: There is great joy and fulfillment and transformation in meditating on God’s Word day and night. 


—Fullness of Life

—Transformed

—Genuine Success

—Strength in Warfare

—Foretaste of Heaven. 


Pastor Leo… three days of rich conversation because we never strayed from the Bible.. 


[story] Unusual young man… Dove away thinking: “This is the kid of young man I want my daughters to marry.” —discovered when I borrowed his Bible… Russ Bennett. 


[story] Michael Card—Kyle was impressed with his teaching. Not because so much the music but the content of his Biblcal teaching. His grasp of the Bible. 


A young man traveling with him named Sam Judd. He was from the Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Working together. Rich fellowship. Meaningful conversation. Regularly tried to get him to serve with me… Out talking and moon rose over the mountains… The next night I was reminded of the secret to his—a worn Bible. 


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