Assimilate or Accommodate?
Matthew 22:36-39 January 8, 2017
“People of faith will always be free to practice their faith in their churches, mosques, and synagogues.”
President Barak Obama (May 2016)
True tolerance: Ability to acknowledge and permit other people’s views. To put up with opinions with which you don’t agree.
Fake tolerance: We will tolerate you as long as your opinion falls within the range of what we deem acceptable.
Assimilation: Embracing the claims, concerns, and commitments that are dominant in our current culture.
Accommodation: Choosing a counter-cultural way. Your life stands out as odd and curious, tethered to a different set of truths; e.g., Bible.
“But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – who pay no attention to you O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image you have set up.” Daniel 3:12
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-39
We are called to express LOVE that speaks and acts with RESPECT for those with whom we disagree.
You Are the Keeper of Your Soul (Part II)
December 7, 2014
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7-8
I. A soul without a center has difficulty making a DECISION.
II. A soul without a center feels constantly VULNERABLE to people or circumstances.
III. A soul without a center lacks PATIENCE.
IV. A soul without a center is easily THROWN.
V. The soul without a center finds its identity in EXTERNALS.
When my soul is not centered in God, I define myself by my ACCOMPLISHMENTS, or my physical APPEARANCE, or my TITLE, or my important FRIENDS.
“As a deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?”
“Let the morning bring me word of Your
unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go,
For to You I left up my soul.” Psalm 143:8
You Are the Keeper of Your Soul
November 30, 2014
I… and no one else am responsible for the condition of my SOUL.
“You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God.” Dallas Willard
God judges each person INDIVIDUALLY.
“Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7
“Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off have picked up scraps under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them.” Judges 1:7
Analogy: The stream is your SOUL. For it to flow freely, the keeper of the stream must clear it of anything that become more important than GOD.
An unhealthy soul is like a CANCER in the community. I care for my soul because if it becomes unhealthy, it will INFECT others.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
There are more than 365 “fear nots” in the Bible. So why all of a sudden is Jesus telling us to be afraid? The body eventually ages and wears out, but the soul lives FOREVER.
Sin and Your Soul (Part III)
November 23, 2014
IDOLATRY is the most serious sin in the Old Testament.
Anytime I sin I am allowing some competing DESIRE to have a higher priority than GOD & God’s WILL for my life.
We all commit IDOLATRY every day. It is the SIN of the soul meeting its needs with anything that distances it from GOD.
I love God, and I want to follow Him more closely, but there is one thing that always seems to get in the way, and it is ______ __________________________________________________.
“So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” Genesis 29:20
“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Luke 19:8
The soul must orbit around something other than itself – something it can WORSHIP. It is the nature of the soul to NEED and it is the nature of God to GIVE.
“My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2
“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped
and served created things rather than the Creator –
who is forever praised. Amen.” Romans 1:25