Keeping Families and Churches Solid in the Faith

Anchored in Truth: Strategies for Guarding the Truth in a Secular Culture

Ross Sawyers
Feb 11, 2024    48m
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Are you concerned about the rising tide of immorality, deception, and rebellion against God in our culture? Feeling overwhelmed at the task of guarding the truth in a secular culture and keeping your family and church solid in the faith? In this powerful message, Pastor Ross Sawyers provides biblical wisdom and practical strategies for silencing the rebellious voices, correcting the lies, and ensuring that your faith and practice align with the truth of God's Word. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:01] So grateful that under the praise of who God is, that we can come into His Word, resting in the depth of his love for us, reflecting on the grace in his eyes towards us. And then, we think about a lion inside of our lungs, just think about that for a minute. Christ is the Lion of Judah. and with Christ in us. there's the strength to be able to let a roar go towards him in praise. And it's not just in praise and in song that we don't want our lungs to be shy in what we speak, but in our everyday conversation, and what is worship in the way we live life day after day after day. And my hope and my prayer is that as a church, that we would not be shy about the truth of who God is while we're wrapped in the grace, and the love, and the mercy of what he's done in and through us.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:07] So as we move in Titus today, in chapter 1, verses 10 through 16. let that praise that we've just offered to God and who we've thought about inside of who we are with him, let that rest on you as you and I encounter afresh this morning the strength of his truth in Titus chapter 1.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:29] Tonight's the Super Bowl, and for a number of people, you could care less, and then for a number of you, you've been fired up about it for a while, and you've read every day, on the sports, all the different things that they're saying about the Chiefs and the Forty Niners. When there are moments like this, I'm looking for, one, I enjoy it, I enjoy the sport of it, but I'm also looking for who are the players that emerged and that get spoken of that have faith in Christ, that's of interest to me as a Christian.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:04] And the more I listen to stories today that come out of different people in their faith, one of the things that I've noted, and especially this Super Bowl week, is that people will talk about, there's players on the Forty-Niners, and there's players on the Chiefs, and they'll just talk about how they're their men of faith, and I want them to finish the sentence because it's not about being people of faith. You are a person of faith today, whether you believe in what I'm speaking of or not, every one of us are people of faith. It's not a matter of are we people of faith. It is what is our faith in. It's the object of the faith that matters. And I love it when people have the courage out there to finish it off, that they're not shy inside of them, and they'll finish it off, and it's a faith in Jesus Christ. It's a faith in the name of Jesus, it's not just I'm a person of faith. And one of the people that's playing tonight has been highlighted quite a bit over the last couple of years. He was deemed Mr. Irrelevant at the end of the 2022 NFL draft, Brock Purdy, the last person drafted, is considered Mr. Irrelevant. He made the Forty-Niners, and due to a series of injuries to the quarterback, he ended last year being the quarterback of the Forty-Niners. This year, he's continued to lead them, he's done a great job and now he'll lead them tonight in the Super Bowl.

Ross Sawyers: [00:03:45] But I wanted to know in all these stories that I hear about his faith, is his faith in Jesus Christ? Because I was seeing the same thing, they're not finishing the sentence. On his Instagram, in his bio, follower of Jesus. On his X account, his bio, he's a believer in Jesus. He's finishing the sentence, he's a young man of faith in Jesus Christ. But how does a young man like that maintain and keep that faith solid in his family and in his church? And that's what I want us to think about in Titus today, is keeping our faith solid in our families and our churches.

Ross Sawyers: [00:04:48] Again, we'll be in Titus chapter 1, verses 10 through 16, and I'll have the scripture up here as well. And we'll work with it a little bit, and maybe it'll help in thinking about some of the things that we speak of in the Word. Titus was written by Paul, and Titus was the recipient of this letter. The two of them had been on the island of Crete, it's a southern island of Greece. There were a number of young churches at the time, Paul left, and he left Titus behind. There's quite a bit of challenge left behind in the churches, and Paul writes this letter to Titus to let him know what he needed to do as a young leader, and how he needed to lead the churches that were emerging on the island of Crete. What we know about Crete is that immorality was characteristic of the island and the people and that they were liars. So we know that when Paul is writing this to Titus, he's writing to the churches and saying, hey, you're in the midst of a culture that is immoral and there are a bunch of liars, and he doesn't hold back on what their culture is.

Ross Sawyers: [00:06:10] Now, one thing that we need to note is that whatever we're being shaped by, whatever our character is being shaped by, that's how we'll turn around and lead. So if we're being shaped by our culture and our culture is anti-God, then the leaders that will emerge in those churches will be people shaped by God, not shaped by God as he's made himself known in His Word. Every one of us is like that, whatever we're allowing to shape us, that's how we in turn are leading. Paul is saying to Titus, hey, you got some hard work ahead of you in helping the churches to stay solid and be of strength, but here's some advice for you, and here are some things you need to do. And what his solution is for false teachers, opponents of the gospel that have raised up within the church, his solution is to multiply and have more and more godly leaders. And when I think about this at 121, we have so many people that are godly leaders. They're acknowledging the truth of God, and their characters being shaped by that truth. And it's more and more godly leaders that will be able to refute that which is false and that which is untrue, that comes from within the church and from outside the church. And some of the most challenging divisions and dissensions come from within the church, not necessarily from outside of the church. In this part of Titus, Paul is writing to Titus to say, hey, look, you've got some problems in all the churches because there are false teachers and opponents of the truth of God that are rising up within, and they're in leadership, and here's what you do with them.

Ross Sawyers: [00:08:09] So I'd like for us to think about three things in keeping our families solid and keeping our churches solid. And the first thing I would say is, whenever rebellion against God rises up in our homes or in our churches, what Paul tells us to do is silence the rebellion. If we're going to be solid in our faith and maintain our faith when there's rebellion against God, leaders have to step up and silence the rebellion. Verse 10, "For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision." He gives us the word for, that could also be because, and he's referring back to verses 5 through 9, and it's there that Paul tells Titus he needs to raise up elders, those who be overseers of the churches, and they have certain characteristics about them that match up with God. And that's the kind of character they have, and then they're to hold the sound teaching. He said, the reason that you need these elders and leaders in the church is because there are many rebellious men. There's not a few, there's not 1 or 2, but in your midst, there are many rebellious men. He describes them as empty talkers, that word could be empty-headed, they're saying something, but they're really saying nothing. It's people that are using biblical words and we think, oh, that might be truth, but the reality is what they're adding to it, they're saying nothing at all, there's no substance to what they're saying.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:56] And then he says they're deceivers, and we know that when someone deceives that something is behind the deception. Satan is the master deceiver, and when he deceives leaders or deceives people, then those people or leaders in turn deceive everyone else. And then he says, it's especially among you, those of the circumcision. These were Jewish men and women that had come to faith in Jesus, but because of their background in Judaism, they also believed that everyone had to be circumcised to be a Christian. So he's saying there are additions to the gospel of Christ. We'll talk about that in a few minutes, but just to note, he's saying, hey, especially among those that are creating a little bit of division, are those that are of the circumcision.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:54] So when we think about this group of people, we also know that in Acts chapter 20, that when Paul was leaving Ephesus, he said, when I leave, there are going to be savage wolves that rise up. Whenever there's a gap in leadership, somebody will step in and lead. He says you need to have elders in place, leaders in place, that will first guard themselves in the truth, and then secondly, they will guard the flock. And he describes it and says, the reason you do this is because the church has been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are not just another organization, nonprofit 501c3. The church is a living organism, it is the body of Christ, and he purchased it with his blood, and it's to be watched over with care, and truth is to be protected. When the rebellious men and empty talkers and deceivers rise up, in verse 11, this is what he says must be done, they must be silenced. In the church, in the home when there's rebellion that rises up, it must be silenced. The word silence is the word for muzzled or bridled, and it's so that damage is prevented, and it seems, that is what's happening here. This is why it must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families.

Ross Sawyers: [00:12:55] When families are being upset and divided, then something needs to be done about that. And when it's false teaching that's going through, or false ideas, or ideas that are against the truth of Christ, it has to be silenced because it upsets whole families, it divides whole families. And it's not just the church that they were coming into, they would kind of, it seems, peel off with families, it's how cults work today. They peel you off, a small number at a time, one at a time, family at a time, rather than have a context like this where there could be a protection for it. They're dividing and upsetting families.

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:42] Well, what would be those things they're being taught today? Which, by the way, when there are false teachers, they're usually about money. So if you find the love of money at the root of people that are leading, you want to watch out. He said, be careful, it's for sordid gain. We're tethering ourselves to what God's Word says. So what does that look like now? What does that look like today? What are rebellious and deceptive kinds of teachings that are rising up in our church, and in churches across the land? I don't think this is in, and I don't think this is leading the charge in ours, but these are the things that are rising up all over our country, though.

Ross Sawyers: [00:14:36] So let's just look at the sexual ethics of our country, and what has happened over the last several years. Sexual identity has become the primary identity for people, and once sexual identity becomes the primary identity, that would be something that's counter to the truth of the Scripture. Churches and denominations all across our country are now teaching and rolling with the same sexual ethic of our culture. We're no different than the island of Crete, immoral and liars. And church leadership has opened the way for that sexual ethic and that sexual immorality to be okay for people, so that now people just they'll come and say they have a faith in Christ, but then they're going to sexually do whatever it is that they choose to do.

Ross Sawyers: [00:15:40] We moved here in 1999, and in the first few weeks we were here, our neighbor came over and knocked on our door and she asked me if she could borrow some milk. Now you never borrow milk, you just give them the milk. but we talked, and I've never forgotten this conversation. And depending on your age, you're going to look at me like, what are you talking about? But she started telling me that she lives with the guy in the house next door, they're not married, they're living together. That was the first time in my life that I could remember someone blatantly, unashamedly, not blushing, telling me that they lived together. That was 1999, yes, people were doing it, I know that, but people were at least ashamed of it, it wasn't okay to the public, and you didn't talk about it. But what happens when we start accepting some kinds of sexual behavior outside of what God's truth is, it just starts to open it up to anything, towards homosexuality, and same-sex marriage. It's living together is nothing today in people's minds, that's just what you do. It's all kinds of a sexual ethic outside of God's design between a husband and a wife, or his design. it's a beautiful design for singleness as well. But this has risen in the church and people teach it as if all this is okay, and this is where we are today.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:58] In an article in Breakpoint this week on Wednesday, I believe, this is the title of the article, The Predicted Push For Polyamory Is Out In Full Force. What does that mean? Well, the week before, three major news networks praised polyamory as a way for people to get enlivened and a way for them to have self-discovery. Some of you are thinking, what is polyamory? This is why I give these resources to you because things are happening right now that we have no idea about, and then all of a sudden, they emerge and we're wondering, where did that come from? Polyamory is two married people who decide together that it's okay, and they're going to have multiple sexual partners because that will enliven their marriage and help them in self-discovery. That's polyamory, in full force, and The New York Times is praising it, and USA Today is praising it. When something gets approved of that sexually immoral opposite of what God says, it only opens the door for any and everything else. And sadly, it starts to shape the minds of our culture, that seeps into our churches, and then we think we have to adhere to that or we're going to lose people. Research shows, and social sciences show, that the most stable place for women, men, and children, is in a marriage relationship between a man and a woman. I don't even have to come from the truth of God's Word, our own social scientists tell us, this is what's true.

Ross Sawyers: [00:20:32] Several years ago, a man came to our church and. I've never forgotten this conversation either. And he said, everything out there is saying that it's free sex, do whatever. I need my church; I just need at least one place I go to stand for marriage. So I just want you to know today, that your church, that we believe what God says, and that marriage is for one man and for one woman, that we've been created in the image of God, male and female. And that sex is intended for that marriage relationship, and anything outside of that is against the way God designed it. We will also be a church that knows how to love and care for people who see it differently.

Ross Sawyers: [00:21:40] Someone said the other day in this young adult gathering we had where we were talking about tough issues. We're talking about respect, and that we have respect when we just listen to someone else, and we don't speak the truth about it. But the question was raised, is it not respectful that we actually tell the truth? Wouldn't that actually be respectful and at least give people an opportunity to see the truth? So in the church, from the leadership, I know that family after family is being upset and in turmoil over this issue. Children are being divided from their parents. Or someone is surrendering and rolling with the cultural sexual ethic rather than walking in the truth. It's not easy, and people talk about, you know, we have hard truths to talk about. I've been thinking about that and thought it's not the truth that's hard, it's our hearts that are hard, and we don't want to hear the truth because we want to do our own thing. But to have the best shot of being solid in the faith, it will call for us to be willing to silence that which is not true.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:18] Jesus said this, and these are strong words for us today. He said, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble." My prayer is that all of the adults out there who are driving the charge that are causing our children and our teenagers to stumble, that they would find rescue and repentance in Christ himself. And then, in turn, would lead our children to know the love of God for them, what's actually best for them from the truth of who God is. So we want to keep our family solid.

Ross Sawyers: [00:24:09] The second thing he says in verses 12 and 13 is to correct liars. If we are, in verse 12, he says, "One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” Paul does something brilliant here, he quotes the sixth-century philosopher Epimenides about the way he saw those who were on Crete, rather than him saying it directly, he quoted one of their philosophers. It's whenever we quote one of our own leaders in the culture and say, this is what someone in our culture is saying. And he says they're always liars. Now, I've been told to not use always, because always and never, are usually not totally correct, there's usually some exception in there. But this guy actually said that they're always liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons. That's quite the descriptor for someone.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:18] And then this is what he says to do with them. Now, Paul says in verse 13, "This testimony is true." so he wasn't disagreeing with it. And then again, "For this reason reprove them severely." So from His Word, we're told, I made it a lighter line, I said to call it to correct liars. Paul is telling us to reprove them severely, that means to correct with rigor. It's not to lay back, it's not to be silent, it's not to be quiet. If there are things that are lies in the church, then we are to correct those lies. Why? So that they might be found in the faith. The word reprove means to cut.

Ross Sawyers: [00:26:12] When I was in college. I played football in high school and hurt my shoulder, and then it gave me trouble all through college while I was playing baseball. And finally, it just fell apart, and so I had surgery on this shoulder, and when I went in for that surgery, they cut me, I've got a scar that runs right here, it's really attractive. And I was cut, and there's a screw inside of here that keeps my shoulder together so I can actually move it. But when they cut me, they weren't cutting me to be mean, they weren't cutting me to be cruel, they were cutting me to fix me and to get me healthy again. So when he uses the word reprove, it's not so that I can be mean, it's so that we can be sound in the faith and in truth. So when we are going to be a correction to someone that's not speaking the truth, we're not doing it so we can be right, we're not doing it to hold something over someone. We're doing it with the hope that they can be found in the faith and that they can be true in the faith.

Ross Sawyers: [00:27:29] In Second Timothy chapter 3, verses 16 and 17, we're told that "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." Why? "So that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." So God's Word, it trains us, it severely corrects us, and it gets us back on the right track so we can be fit for what God has for us. And so that's how we think about it. So when we think about silencing or correcting, we do it from God's Word. And it's important that we know God's Word and God's truth so that we know what's a lie and what needs to be corrected. I've always encouraged our church that when I teach or when someone else teaches up here, that you go back and look at it and make sure that it lines up the way you understand the truth. You should challenge us when you hear something that sounds like it's not true. There's a responsibility on every person to know the truth and to grow in the truth. One so they were able to do this. And two, that we know how to correct, and we'd know how to walk in it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:29:01] And then Paul warns us in Colossians chapter 2, verses 6 through 8, and then verse 8, specifically, he says, "See to it that no one takes you captive." And I just want to highlight captive and Christ. See that no one takes you captive, it's the word for kidnapped. He said, to make sure nobody kidnaps you from the truth, according to "...philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ". So when we think about truth, we want to think about Christ at the center of it, and we want to think about the truth of God's Word, and that's how we correct, and we do it with the gentleness and with the strength of His Word.

Ross Sawyers: [00:29:42] Now, I don't know about you, but when I get in conversations with people and I disagree, or I think they're off or wrong, if I don't have a good, solid standing in God's Word and I'm clear myself, what I end up doing is getting a knot in my stomach, I end up in an argument, and I have nothing to stand on so I just talk louder, hoping I can be more persuasive. But when I'm strengthed in God's Word, and I understand the truth of God's Word, I can be calm in my spirit, I can speak the truth of God's Word, and oftentimes the truth itself just rests on someone and nothing else has to be said.

Ross Sawyers: [00:30:24] There are people who help us with things like this. I've written a lot of books, I've chosen four that have the word lies in it because I think it says to us how pervasive lies are in our culture, that we have, thoughtful Christian people responding to those.

Ross Sawyers: [00:30:44] One of those is Live Your Truth and Other Lies by Alisa Childers. In that title of her book is a lie of our day that is seeped into churches to live your truth, it's God's truth. It's not you get a truth and I get a truth and all of us pick a truth; it's God's truth.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:06] The second one is Live No Lies by John Mark Comer. I think Comer does a great job of exposing Satan, the world, and our flesh. is that which can lie towards us. And then, one of the ways that we can respond to Satan's lies, is by putting up a shield of faith. And I love how Comer describes it, it's like fiery darts are shot, and those fiery darts are like a thought with a will behind them. And if that lands in us and it's not truth, then it will take root and it will become a fortress that we're unable to resist after a time. But with faith in God's Word and trust, we can resist that which comes against us as false. Rather than being conformed to the world, our minds are renewed and transformed in God's Word. Rather than our flesh, all that pride and that immorality and the things that really stir us from within, that it'd come up, we yield to the Spirit, and we ask God to kill the flesh, just like he did on the cross so that it doesn't kill us, as John Owen said.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:23] Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age by Rosaria Butterfield. I've mentioned her several times, I think she's fantastic. She's a former lesbian, she will tell you that she helped lead the charge for where we are today. and then God saved her, and she's been responding with truth ever since. I think she has a richness to her anchoring in Scripture and then her story itself.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:54] I've mentioned Jim Denison's Culture on Forum and Truth, at different times. This week he wrote a story about San Francisco, and there are more drug addicts in San Francisco than there are high school students. And, you know, the prevailing philosophy is behind what goes the homelessness and the addiction there. It's your body. It's your body. That's a lie, if ever you hear a leader say otherwise, it's not true, it's not your body. In First Corinthians 6, 19, and 20, here's the truth to counter the lie, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." You can rest assured today that whatever you choose to do with your body, it affects at least one other person, and probably way more than that. It's not your body, its God's body, he's the one that's given it, we're his, it's his. So we silence and we correct.

Ross Sawyers: [00:34:31] There's the last piece to this in verses 14 to 16, if we're going to have solid families and solid churches, then faith and practice need to match. That we say our faith is in, then what our character is and what we do, matches that character. Verse 14 tells us, "Don't pay attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth." So that word paying attention is do not be devoted to Jewish myths. I thought it was interesting that Brock Purdy describes, in his belief in Jesus Christ, he said, I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. I believe that God raised him from the dead. And then he said this, I don't believe it's a myth, it's real. Now, I don't need Brock Purdy to tell me that it's real, I'm just grateful when people are so connected in relationship with God in Christ that they are bold enough to say it. So start out by saying, as we kind of came in from the worship, he's not shy, he's not shy. It's not just in a church gathered to praise where we don't be shy in our lungs, it's when we're out and about. Can you imagine what it takes today to be in the public eye and to stand for the truth? And then commandments of men who turn away from the truth. So often what happens is we will add things to the message of Jesus. What Jesus did in his perfect life, his death, and his resurrection, that's sufficient for our salvation. We don't need to add anything to it, but people start adding things, you've got to do this, or you've got to do that.

Ross Sawyers: [00:36:32] I've often wondered what the appeal is of Islam, and I think one of the appeals is, here are five things you do, it's pretty easy to see what those five things are. You do them, and things will probably work out for you, they may not, but they might. I think it says a lot of us as people, what blogs we read, what podcasts we listen to. Here are three ways to have financial success. Here are five ways to improve your marriage. Here are four ways to help you get through conflict. We're looking for, give me three things to do so that I can be good at something, or I can get something right. The message of Jesus is one of grace, you can't do anything. It's news to be believed, and it's too good to be true, but it is. And once we believe in what Christ did for us, then how could we do anything else but be motivated by how great his love is for us? Could we do any less but to love him and to follow him? So we want to be careful not to add anything to the Gospel.

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:48] "To the pure (verse 15), all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled." So he's talking about inner purity, and only Christ can cleanse us. And by the way, today, no matter what our sexual sin is or has been, what Jesus Christ did on the cross and any other sin, his grace, and mercy cover every detail of that sin. There is not one part of our sin that Jesus Christ has not covered in his death and resurrection, there's a goodness and a hope that flows from us. He says, there's an inner purity, but to those who are not pure inwardly, their mind and their conscience are defiled. Their mind and conscience, every bit of who they are, if there's not a purity, is defiled.

Ross Sawyers: [00:38:47] And then verse 16, this is a piercing piece of scripture, "They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him." And then here's the ugly list of words again, "Being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed." They're not fit for any good deed. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny God. God has invited us into a relationship with him on his terms, not on my terms, not on your terms. What we want to do is say, I believe in God and I'm going to make this sexual identity my key thing. I believe in Jesus, and I'm still going to live with this person even though we're not married. I'm a follower of Jesus, and I'm going to have sex with as many people when I go partying as I can find. We want to come with our terms and take a little bit of God's terms, but that's not how God works. People say they love the teachings of Jesus, and sometimes I wonder, which ones are you reading? You're skipping some. "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." You give up everything and you come and say I'm yours. I thought like this before, God, how am I supposed to think about this? I did this before, God, how am I supposed to do this? I'm totally yielded to him and his ways. It is a lifetime journey of him doing that work. The reality is that whatever we believe, our character and our ways probably match it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:41:26] And here's one more lie that we have to be careful to refute in our culture. Because culture as a whole has taken our Scripture and beat us to death with it, do not judge. It's possible that today you're listening to me and you're thinking, man, that is a really judgmental sermon. Not in the way Jesus talked about judging, see Jesus is the one who said that do not judge in Matthew 7. But we can't quit there, one, we need to understand what the word judge means, and it means to not have a critical spirit. It doesn't mean you can't make assessments about what's going on and make statements about them. And then Jesus said, make sure to look at the log in your own eye before you look at the speck in someone else's eye. He didn't say, don't look at the speck in another's eye, he just said to take a good, hard look at yourself first, and you'll go in with a lot of humility when you look at the speck in someone else, which is the right way to have these conversations.

Ross Sawyers: [00:42:51] So the humility, strength, and a love for the person to be sound in the faith. Jesus said you'll know them by their fruit. I was having a conversation with someone probably 2 or 3 years ago, and we were trying to figure out, I was trying to figure out, if that person a Christian or not, based on what we were talking about, and we spent 30 minutes trying to figure it out. And I finally said, if it takes us 30 minutes to figure it out, does that not give us our answer? But usually the character and ways of a person tell us what it is that they believe.

Ross Sawyers: [00:43:46] Tonight, with the Super Bowl, I want to give you a challenge if you watch it. There's a lot going on, there will be a lot of commercials, a lot of music, and a lot of people, I want you to look for truth and lies all night long. What commercials are giving you truth? What music is giving you truth? Of the people, does their character match what they're saying? When usher sings at halftime, what's the worldview that's coming through? When Post Malone sings what's the world view? When Reba McEntire does the national anthem, what's the world view? If you watch Nickelodeon, where there will be an alternate broadcast and you're watching the ones who are announcing because it's trying to design one for families and younger children to watch. When you watch SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star, be your announcers for the whole game, what is the worldview that's coming through? Where do you see truth, and where do you see lies?

Ross Sawyers: [00:44:57] Father, thank you for our time in your word today. And then, God, I pray that there would be more and more people that are leaders not afraid, and not shy about the truth. God, will you shape us so that there's grace and mercy and, Father, help us, just to start where people are and then to move from there, but, God, help us not shy away from silencing that which is rebellious, from correcting that which is lies. And then, God, I pray that our lives will match up. so that we actually have something to stand on when we talk about it. I pray for strength for people in their homes. and strength for churches today, and more and more leaders to multiply to counter that which is false. And then, Father, I pray in these moments as we reflect and take the Lord's Supper, that it would help us just to have a vivid reminder of what you did for us in your broken body and shed blood, that that song which we sang at the very beginning. And Jesus, I pray that everything will be centered on you. And God, if there's anything we're holding back on our own terms today, will you help us let those go and to lean into your terms knowing that that's the very best and then the most honoring to you, God? Today, Father, where there needs to be repentance, I pray we'd not be afraid of that, and we come broken before you. Father, where there's affirmation from the past and things you've done in people's lives, I pray they'll just hear and receive your grace, God. I pray we will be a bright light, burning. I pray there will be healing, God , when there are cuts, that there'll be cuts so that there can be healing and there can be strength again. Thank you for your Word today.

Ross Sawyers: [00:47:06] So what I'd like for us to do is, I want to ask those who are serving the Lord's Supper, they take their place in different places around the building in this worship center. Cam, and the band, they'll lead us, sing over us for a bit if you want to join in, you can join in. But I want you to take some private time before the Lord and to really reflect on the things we've talked about today, and then just the grace and mercy of what he's done at the cross for us. And whenever you're ready, you can go, and there'll be lines of people, I do that on purpose so that if today is a day that you don't sense you should take the Lord's Supper, it won't be uncomfortable, there'll be a lot of chaos as we move around. But you're welcome, in just a moment to come get the elements, go back to your seat, and then we'll kind of guide out of here after we take the supper today.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213