Monday, August 23, 2021

The Tender Commandments Overview

This summer we preached through the Ten Commandments at Coastline. In my opinion it was the best sermon series we've ever done. I think the plurality of voices in the series was a huge win and the planning for this time was deep. 

One thing we do at Coastline is what I call: "Big picture sermon planning as a team." Let me explain this a touch more. We have about six different people who sit in the room for sermon planning. We use the white board to line out: sermon title, big idea, ideas, Scripture, songs, video clips, illustrations, books, and quotes for the sermon. 

I love the team dynamic that plays out in the room. We start each session in prayer and aim to line out four to five sermons. Sometimes we get more stalled and other times we are moving quickly. In every situation we trust that the Lord is leading the process. 

From there I take the white board notes and put them in a Google Doc that is shared with the team. Since we just finished the Ten Commandments I want to share all those notes with you! 

Here are the notes that came from our team planning. It's a way to show you what goes into the planning of a series:

June 20 | Exodus 20:1-3
Sermon Title- None Before Me

Big Idea- We put Him first because of who He is and what He’s done

Philippians 3:19
Isaiah 44
Mark 10:17-27
Teach about other gods that people worship 
Tie into previous sermon on how we can tell what matters in our lives 
Israel was called to be set apart (not set aside). Teach on Santification? 
God was concerned about getting the Egypt out of them. -Dave Roberts 
God’s brought us all out of something. We need to help fill in that blank. -Becky Shipe 
In the rich young ruler the commandment was put to the test 
God gave us the commandments in a desire to provide and protect us 
Illustration- What struggle do you put in front of God?
Core Value- We put God first 

I- Items
D- Duty
O- Others
L- Longings 

Your great name 

June 27 | Exodus 20:4-6
Sermon Title- Don’t Reduce God 

Big Idea- Out thoughts about God determines our worship of God 

Exodus 32- Aaron and the golden calf
Psalm 115
John 4- the Woman at the well 
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. ... Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. - Tozer
Our image of God will have everything to do with our worship of God. -Dave Roberts 
Westminster Shorter Catechism- the chief goal of man is to worship God and enjoy Him forever 
The heart is an idol factory 
God is a jealous God. We have a negative connotation of jealousy in our culture 
Jealousy and love aren’t in opposition to each other
How does idol worship affect those around us: Family, spouse, kids, relatives, work?
Our concept of God determines our life before God 
Left to our own devices we will make anything into an idol. -Dave Roberts 
It’s so important we get our understanding of God correct 

Your great name 
The Blessing 

July 04 | Exodus 20:7 (Blaze McEntee)
Sermon Title- His Holy Name 

Big Idea- Reverence for God’s name will lead us to represent Him well 

Mark 5- Demons flee at the name of Jesus 
The tribe of Korah didn’t understand the power of God’s holy name 
When Israel moved the ark from the Philistines the man who reached out his hand to stabilize the ark lost his life. 
Stories of taking God’s name in vain 
“The name Austin was being misrepresented.” 
We don’t understand how different God really is 

Break every chain
Your great name
No other name 

July 11 | Exodus 20:8-11
Sermon Title- Living Rested 

Big Idea- God knows I need rest to be my best 

Deuteronomy 5:15
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath Matthew 12:1–8, Mark 2:23–28 and Luke 6:1–5
When Israel were slaves they didn’t have days off, there was no rest for them 
Explain the Jewish perspective on time- a new day started when the sun set
We wear busy as a badge of honor in our culture 
Research on rest, naps, sleep, and neuroplasticity 
Animals at the zoo get days off where they are not on display 
CF takes Saturday off and still makes more than other restaurants 
The sabbath is a time for restoration and recreation
Michael Yankoski’s book on Sababth enjoyment 
Lance Witt’s story about waking up in the middle of the night 
God didn’t have to rest but modeled rest for us--we are not following Satan’s example 
We are creating a rhythm of rest as a church body (no events on Saturday) 
I take days off and am not available, I shut down email, I have a vacation coming up 
Pastor who received a call about a failing marriage on Saturday. He asked a few questions to learn that the marriage had been failing for five years. She waited to meet later that week 
We rest to follow God’s example of rest. God knew we needed to rest 

Your great name 
The Blessing

July 18 | Exodus 20:12
Sermon Title- Powerful Parents 

Big Idea- When you rightly honor your parents, all your relationships get better 

Colossians 3:20 
Luke 15
Ruth 1
John 19:25
Malachai 1:6

Honor parents who aren’t honorable 
Is it only to a set geographical location? 
What does it mean to prosper? 
People who have trouble of thinking of God as a Father 

The blessing 
Break Every Chain 
Make Room 

July 25 | Exodus 20:13
Mike Lovato

August 1 | Exodus 20:14
Bert Alcorn 

August 8 | Exodus 20:15
Sermon Title- Caught red handed 

Big Idea- Do not take what rightfully belongs to others 

Malachi 3:6-10 
Acts 5
1 Kings 21
Deuteronomy 24:7 
Micah 6:8 
Story of stealing when I was 5 years old 
Story on Twitter of woman who stole hand sanitizer from Bath and Body works 
$970 or more is stealing CA 
Moving boundary stones to gain more power 
Employer taking wages, an employee stealing hours 
Aladdin steals to eat 
Movie example- Liar Liar with Jim Carey 
We write it down because we need to remember it 

Clean Hands 
No longer slaves 

August 15 | Exodus 20:16
Sermon Title- Truth Teller 

Big Idea- The Bible teaches us how to tell the truth 

Acts 5
Matthew 26:57
Mark 14:53
Luke 10:36
Colossians 3:9-10
1 Kings 21
John 8:44
Matthew 5:33
Can’t be killed on the testimony of one witness 
US Judicial System- tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth 
Examples of “white lies”- the check is in the mail 
Movies and TV shows that promote lying 
More than just morals 
We believe untruths and share them as truths 
Have so much integrity that people believe what you say 
Teach on how to apologize for lying 
Exaggeration- how to work on truth telling 
Making excuses
Using ‘Always’ and ‘Never’ statements  

The blessing 
Break Every Chain 
Make Room 

August 22 | Exodus 20:17
Sermon Title- Facing Covetousness 

Big Idea- Coveting is an expression of our distrust of Jesus 

Romans 7 
Joshua 7 
2 Samuel 11
Psalm 51
James 1:13
Ephesians 5:5
Colossians 3:5
Proverbs 4:23
Philippians 4:11-12
Coveting starts with the physician 
Story of Christopher Duntsch (wanting to be a doctor and rich) 
This i the internal one
Covetousness is the motivation for many of sins 
Covetousness is hidden 
We covet thinking it will make us complete 
“Trust the Lord who is provider” -Ryan LaFata 
Why do I covet knowing the greatness of the Lord? 
“Coveting is a sinful belief that things will make me happy.” -Dave Roberts 
Gratitude and thanksgiving combat covetousness 
“This isn’t a uniquely American problem but we’ve perfected it.” Dave Roberts 


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The impact of false testimony

The ninth commandment is more than simply lying. The commandment forbids us from giving false testimony against our neighbor. 

What we don’t know about the Hebrew language hinders our full understanding of this passage. In the Hebrew, the word neighbor means anyone you’re in close contact with. There is also a judicial understanding in the text. For the original audience it was not giving false testimony in the courtroom. In a time when forensic science was unavailable the courtroom could shift on the testimony of one person. If that testimony was false, it could lead to the loss of life. 

Let's look at the life of Joseph and how his brothers stole him and sold him into slavery. The slave traders took him to Egypt and sold him to a man named Potiphar. While living in Potiphar’s home, Jospeh excelled. He was basically put in charge of the entire home:
The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Genesis 39:2-6
But there was a problem. Potiphar’s wife had longing eyes for Jospeh. She wanted to have sexual relations with Joseph but he refused time and time again. One day the house was empty and tragedy struck:
One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
Genesis 39:11-15
Potiphar’s wife lied about Joseph and it hurt him. Of course he would loose his status in the home. He might have to go to trail for attempted rape. She gave false testimony against him to her master and it landed Jospeh in Jail. Now Scripture teaches us that Joseph was innocent. We know this because in Genesis 39:1 we read that Potiphar was the captain of the guard. He was a military official. If he suspected that Joseph had tried anything funny with his wife, he would have had him killed. Potiphar knew his wife was was lying and spared Joseph’s life. 

Listen to how the Lord feels about lying:
The Lord detests lying lips,
    but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
Proverbs 12:22
The Lord detests lying lips. The Lord knows that lying hurts others, lands people in jail, and has the potential for the loss of life. That is why we are commanded not to lie. 
If you have been lying will you submit yourself to the examination of the Holy Spirit to search you and find where those lies are hidden? 
Will you allow the Lord to examine you, as a judge examines a court case, and find where lying is hurting your walk with the Lord? 

Our neighbor is anyone we are in close proximity to. But it goes further! Listen to this: “In laws and formal rules, neighbor has nothing to do with proximity or familiarity; your “neighbor” connotes any other human being you may have dealings with, actually or potentially. -Douglas K Stuart.

The impact of false testimony
For the original audience there was a huge ramification for giving false testimony. That impact echos forward to today. If someone went on the stand to give false testimony against their neighbor it could lead to the loss of life. There is a captivating story in 1 Kings 3 about two prostitutes who stand before the young king Solomon. They are living in the same home when one woman rolls over on her son in the middle of the night. She proceeds to take her dead son to her roommate and steals her living son. She swaps the dead baby for the living baby. 

The mother wakes up in the morning and sees her son is dead… but it’s not really her son. The case is brought to the king. The evidence is there. One living baby and one dead baby. Two women. Two different stories. The king needs wisdom in making this decision because the stories don’t line up 

False testimony could have cost the life of another child in this story. Solomon uses the wisdom God gave him to judge the trail. But this didn’t have to get this way. If the one woman would have told the truth the whole situation could have been solved. 

The story doesn’t tell us the punishment of the lying woman. We could look at the Levitical Law and conclude that her punishment could have been death. This woman not only lied but she stole another person. She became a kidnapper because of the pain of her loss.

I wonder what would have happened if she decided to tell the truth. She might have woke up in the middle of the night and wailed. She could have cried with her roommate and grieved the loss of her son. Maybe she would have changed her ways and not stolen a child. Her pain became pain for another. Her lying hurt. 

This story reminds me about how important it is for us to have friends who we can be honest with. So often we ask each other: “How are you doing?” It’s a great question but in our culture it has become a greeting. We don’t tell people how we’re really doing. And there is another layer. Most people are so busy they don’t have time to listen to your answer. We need friends who listen to us. 

Listen to what Dr. John J. Ratey wrote, “In modern life, people tend to have fewer friends and less support, because there’s no tribe. Being alone is not good….” 

The importance of having friends helps us to keep accountable open telling the truth. When we tell the truth we live in the light. Listen to what the Apostle John taught us on telling the truth (read 1 John 1:6-7). If we claim to be Jesus followers we need to excel in telling the truth. If there is anyone in the world who tells the truth it needs to be those who call themselves Christians. We should excel at telling the truth because we are in relationship with the truth. That friendship encourages us to be relationship with others who keep us accountable to truth telling.  

I love what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 6:14). If you are having trouble with telling the truth. memorize this verse. Every morning you and physically put on the belt of truth as you commit to telling the truth. Don’t say: “I’m going to try to tell the truth.” Say: “I am a truth teller.” If we say we will try to tell the truth we will fail. Commit to truth telling. Clothe yourself in the truth and watch how your life changes. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Being a Truth Teller

In 2016 I was sitting on the edge of my seat watching the summer Olympics. As the games progressed a frightening story was developing. American swimmer Ryan Lochte had been robbed at gun point. The story came out that Ryan and three other men had been robbed at gunpoint during a taxi ride. The kicker was that the men who robbed them flashed badges. Then it came out that Ryan had a gun placed on his forehead during the robbery. Olympic athletes feared for their safety. It looked like Brazil would receive a black eye for the Olympics but the truth came out. The whole story was a lie! It was fabricated after a night of partying. 

It seems like lying is all around us! Remember when Tiger Woods told the world that he was a faithful husband? The truth came out that he was having extra-marital affairs with over a dozen women. 

Remember the man who won seven consecutive Tour de France titles? Years later Armstrong confessed to taking performance enhancing drugs. 

We all know about Bill Clinton and his famous words: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Lie! 

Maybe the most heart-breaking for me was when Milli Vanilli were accused of lip syncing their song: “Girl you know it’s true.” It was a massive hit but the pop stars confessed to lip syncing. It seems that we are surrounded by lies in almost all areas of life. 

We all know this, but lying hurts all parties involved. The lies we just talked about hurt millions of people. Think about the last time you were lied to and how you felt. Think about the impact it had on your life, relationships, and integrity you thought someone had. When was the last time you told a lie? Maybe it was this week at work or to your children. It could have been a big lie or a white lie to just keep things quiet. No matter what, lying hurts. 

Being a Truth Teller 
Many of recall the ninth commandment in the most simplest terms of “do not lie” and that’s a good start. But the commandment is longer than that:
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." Exodus 20:16 

Let’s talk about lying. There are all kinds of lies that people tell: white lies, whoppers, fibs, gossip, half-truths, exaggerations, misleading silence, lying on paper, lying at work, lying at home. 

Sometimes we lie to make ourselves look better. An example of this might be: “The check is in the mail” when really you never sent the check. Sometimes we lie to make others look worse. At work a colleague might lie about an employee’s perform.

We’re all familiar with Pinocchio. Every time he lied his nose grew just a little bit. Sometimes it feels like life would be easier if that happened to everyone who told a lie. Instead of wondering who is, or isn’t, lying to us we could see that they are lying to us. 

The hard part about the day and age we live in is that we have to constantly decipher who is lying to us. We feel lied to by our boss at work when she tells us she tried to get us the raise we asked for. We feel liked to by the politicians we elected who promised to solve a certain problem. We feel lied to by our neighbor who swears his dog didn’t poop in our front yard. 

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Colossae and instructed them to give up lying:
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Colossians 3:9-10

We read this and think that the early church must have been full of liars. Maybe it was, or maybe there just a few. Paul wrote this because saw lying was an issue that was hurting the early church. Some people grew up lying. They learned that sin from their parents. I’ve seen first-hand how lying hurts the local church. A half-truth is shared as if it were the entire truth. Gossip learns to walk, is passed on as truth, shared on Facebook, and next thing we know another church split takes place. 

If you have placed your trust in Jesus, this passage is for you. It’s more than giving up lying, it’s surrendering your life to Christ and being transformed. There is progression that Paul teaches us about being sanctified as we keep following Jesus.

If you have yet to place your trust in Jesus, this transforming life is available to you today. Listen to what George Orwell once wrote: "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Lying has become more accepted and we need more truth-tellers in this world.