Synopsis: The sermon urges believers to reject false narratives that can infiltrate their minds. It identifies two common lies that can deceive people – feeling emptiness in their hearts and blindly pursuing zeal without understanding. The lies will destroy our lives. So, let us remain in truth. By standing in the truth, we can find great riches in our hearts and experience the full power and blessings of God.
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, 2-12-2023, Proverbs 12:19
Pastor John Kim, Lakeridge Lutheran Church
God’s beloved ones, let us come together to reject the false narratives that try to infiltrate our minds. God calls us to cast aside these lies and not allow them to take root in our lives. When we entertain falsehoods in our thoughts, they can become our perceived reality. But if we hold fast to the truth, the lies will lose their grip and disappear. Today, I want to talk about two such lies that can deceive us.
1. The emptiness of our hearts
Have you gone through a time when everything seemed pointless and devoid of meaning? It can feel futile. Do the monotonous routines of life leave you feeling unfulfilled? When these thoughts creep in, it’s crucial to keep them from permeating our thoughts, hearts, and emotions.
Our first step is to recognize that this emptiness is not from God. We must not take that for granted. When our hearts feel empty, we may instinctively try to fill them with something to ease the void. However, what we choose to fill ourselves with is of utmost importance. If we try to fill the emptiness with something that is not from God, it only deepens the void and leaves us feeling lonely and unfulfilled.
2. Zeal without Understanding
A fulfilling life cannot be achieved through mindless hard work alone. Happiness doesn’t stem from blindly following a passion without understanding.
Here is an example from the Tower of Babel story in the Bible. The people who survived the great flood in Noah’s time tried to demonstrate their civilization’s greatness by building the Tower of Babel. The flood was a source of shame for them. Let me clarify, I am not suggesting that natural disasters we experience today are judgments from God.
The story of the Tower of Babel teaches us about the dangers of blindly following a zeal. Why did they build it? They were driven by the desire to flaunt their wealth, power, and civilization. As more people joined their cause, their strength grew. The issue with this power was that they were so focused on their goal that they disregarded what was best for all of humanity. They had the technology to build the tower, but they lacked a true understanding of human nature and the principles of the world around them. They didn’t fully comprehend how-to live-in harmony with all living creatures.
The same applies to us. We should not blindly chase after wealth, as it will ultimately lead to emptiness.
So, what should we do?
1. Let’s fill our Time with Jesus
Let’s fill the void in our lives with truth. Truth isn’t just knowledge, it’s a person – Jesus. Jesus, the Word made flesh, is with us as the Holy Spirit. We can connect with the truth of God by reading the Bible in various ways and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By communicating with Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can experience the incredible wisdom of God, as well as comfort, assurance, and love, on a daily basis.
2. Relax, Empty Yourself
Let’s take a step back and appreciate the beauty of God. When we’re engaged in something that we enjoy, time flies by. But when something is boring, we can’t help but check the time. Maybe you’ve thought to yourself during a long sermon, “When will this end?”
But consider this – when we love someone deeply, we prioritize their desires over our own wants and needs.
Relax, let your guard down, and welcome God’s spirit into your soul. God loves you more than anyone in this world, and taking a moment to bask in His protection and presence can bring great peace and comfort. It may not be easy to quiet the ego at first, but as you focus on God’s love and peace, you’ll tap into the fullness of His presence. Let God be the foundation of your beliefs and the center of your faith. On this foundation, He will build a temple and you’ll be able to achieve amazing things through your faith.
In conclusion, battling lies doesn’t require effort on your part. Your faith already stands above truth, and you reside in truth. So, there is no need to try to fight against lies. Just like a mirage, if false thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them for what they are and let them be. By ignoring them, their power will naturally fade away. Simply wait, just like you would wait for the morning star to rise until the confusion, hopelessness, and emptiness in your heart are gone and Jesus, the morning star, shines brightly in your heart.
If you choose to stand in the truth, you will find great riches in your heart and a sense of peace that cannot be found in the world. When the chaos subsides, you will be able to move forward with ease. I pray to God that you will embrace the truth, freeing yourself to experience the full power and blessings of God on this earth.
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