Episode 1
21 March 2022

I Dare You | To Be Honest

Is that the truth? I dare you to take time to evaluate your thoughts. Then practice speaking the truth to yourself and others.

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glad to be with you though get the chance to hang out my name is kevin one of the pastors if we've never met would love to meet you after the service
and uh excited anybody watching online hang out and dare you to do some stuff this week the next
couple of weeks we want to dare you do you remember playing truth or dare when you were younger and i mean younger like hopefully you
outgrew it uh i remember a moment i still remember their names josh and jeremiah
josh was dared and did lick peanut butter
out of jeremiah's armpit it's disgusting and disappointing
i can't imagine things have turned out well in his life um making decisions like that anyway uh
we're not going to dare you to do dumb gross stuff uh what we want to do for the next couple of weeks
is point to this truth about this thing we call the bible or scripture that we believe by faith just like as we
follow jesus and we believe his words and and the way he viewed this that this is god's text to us that it guides us and
it's more than just stories more than just history uh more than just like some
recorded teachings from jesus that this is god's word that he
dares us like a way to read this is like this is a challenge don't just hear it
do it don't just believe it become it and so we want to dare you for the next couple
of weeks to not just hear the stuff that jesus has to say but but to take steps
of obedience towards becoming like that and so we will dare you to be honest today we want to dare you to be grateful
dare you to be kind and dare you to be bold as we lean into to what jesus actually
he would talk about this in a lot of different ways and he wouldn't say i dare you but but it's it's what he's challenging us and inviting us to do
i'll show you just one example here in luke chapter 11 luke records jesus in this moment of
teaching and it goes like this jesus said blessed rather
are those who hear the word of god and obey it that that there's hearing but then doing
something with it and that's where the blessing comes and if we're not careful we hear things
and maybe we even think we believe the right things but the real blessing the real challenge the real dare is to obey
it to become it to do it jesus's own brother would say this don't be merely hearers of the word of god be doers of
the word of god and so if you're like new to church maybe new to all this jesus stuff this is a great
series for you to hear the challenge the commands and the invitation that
scripture calls us to to take steps of faith in fact what's amazing about the stuff that
jesus teaches is you don't even have to believe that he is like the messiah who died and rose again you don't even have
to believe that this is the word of god spoken to guide us in life you can just do it and then see how
as you follow what jesus says it's true and leads you to understanding in faith and belief but this is also a really
great series if you've been around church like i have like my whole life if i'm not careful i can like show up
and and like hear some things and and know some stuff but the real
blessing is the call for those of us who believe in jesus to follow him every day
of our lives to submit to his lordship to trust him
as our truth and that's why today i'm going to dare you to be honest and not
not just honest like we know honesty is the best policy we all know we're not supposed to lie so that but but more
than that to be honest in every arena of our lives to live no
secrets and so let me well i mean i don't know if you remember like the first
time you lied or like a really significant time you lied i know you have and what's also interesting is that
no one ever had to sit us down and teach us the art of deception like it just comes quite natural to us um and if you've had
kids or been around them you also know this to be true i remember one of the times that i that i lied to get away with something
i was in the fifth grade i don't know if you've ever met a fifth grade boy but they are a very primitive
life form and as we'll become clear in this story it's one of those like what was going through
your what were you thinking and it's like obviously i was not thinking there was nothing happening but we were told
to go out in the hallway and line up and my friend adam was in front of me and i thought this would be hilarious i leaned
forward and i bit adam on his shoulder still makes no sense and like in my head i was like
thinking maybe he'd be like hahaha you bit me but instead he cried and he got really angry and then i had to look at
him and my teacher and somehow try to explain why in the world i would just bite adam and think it's funny
well then the rest of our friends found out and they're like kevin you bit adam
and i was like no i hit adam because that's a far preferable version
of the story to me was like no i punched him and he cried and that's you know and i just moved on
trying to like sanitize the truth to save face
and one of the saddest truths of my life is that where i learned to lie and hide and not fully be honest the
most was at church i grew up in a church community like i craved their approval in my life i
needed them but they were super judgy people and so it was the kind of place where
like you don't let people know the real you not the bad parts of you you're not the weaknesses parts you suppress deny
pretend you know save face like churches where i learned how to hide the
the real truth about me and just pretend to be something hoping to like fake it until i make it
but that is not jesus's way that is not his invitation of how to live our lives
he invites us to live fully in the light of who we are because of the goodness of his grace
i'll show you another way that jesus talked about this in john chapter 8. uh i don't know if we're allowed to have
favorite books of the bible john is definitely mine though and what i love about john he's he like
everyone else is telling nativity steen stories to open up the gospels and john's like that's boring jesus was the
word he spoke everything into existence and by chapter two jesus is picking fights and overturning tables in the temple it's awesome like you're off to
the races and and if you've ever wondered why jesus like why would they crucify such a nice guy it's he's not as
nice as you think he was not nice in the way that we think he's safe but man he
he is someone who was poking his finger in the religious authority's chest it's
the kind of things that you would say and do that would lead you to get murdered by them and in john chapter 8 you get some
examples of this and in verse 12 i'll show you where this starts we'll come back to in a minute but in verse 12 jesus says this
he's teaching the people and he says i am the light of the world whoever follows me will never walk in
darkness but will have the light of life jesus calls us into the light that is
him to live no secrets to bring our weaknesses and the truth
about who we are into the light and the grace and the love that he has for us and we we want our human tendency
religious or not is to live like a redacted life you ever try to read like a a report
that's had all these redactions like you wanted to read the juicy details but they're all covered and hidden
because they're just certain things in that report that would have been too embarrassing or private or whatever but we do that in our lives we like to
show up this is how we this is how our lives look on social media especially very redacted we just showed the good
parts and we try to hide the bad parts but jesus is like no no bring everything into the light
i am the light in me there is no darkness and those who follow me are constantly on this journey
it's not a one-time thing out of the darkness of what we want to hide and deny and suppress into the light of who
he is even our worst parts even our weaknesses
because jesus says that it's in him our his strength will be most experienced through our weaknesses
if we bring them into the light of who he is if we stop trying to like hold
all the bad stuff down under the water and just let it let it be dealt with let it come up let it let it just be true
and so many times while we might think we are living an honest life because we don't speak lies without knowing it and
unintentionally we are living lies hiding truth denying it trying to outwork it or
outrun it and it's exhausting and jesus's
promise to you and i is that like another way that he would say about the light is that he would say
that he is the way and the truth and the life jesus's claim if you believe in him is
that he is the way to live and so as you learn to follow that and trust that each day of your life you
will be led towards truth and he says i am the truth jesus doesn't say truth is this thing
for you to believe or to find or to study or to look within to get that truth is a person and it's him
so he he is the way for you to live he is the truth and and he is the source of
life and he's inviting us to find our source of life in him
nothing else because anything else just leads towards decay
and death and so jesus he's very unapologetic
about this and calls us to live honest lives in the light so i want to show you
this uh in in ephesians chapter four if you have a bible open up to ephesians chapter four
i always like to just stare for a second after i say that because basically nobody moved
so just pretend like you're listening to me and be like oh yeah my bible do that get your bible app out
many of you are still not choosing to participate thank you um some of you like i know you're going to
put it up on the screens in a second what if i don't
then you will have to just trust that the scripture i'm reading i didn't make up which is not a good plan
this is god's word for you to guide you to speak to you open it up
pull out your bible app even if you just need to play a game it'll make me feel better and i'll assume you're with me
just kidding don't play a game uh but ephesians chapter 4 is this great chapter we're going to take a detour back to john 8 in a second but in
ephesians chapter 4 uh the apostle paul this is one of the later letters that he
wrote as this missionary church planter who took the story that began in israel
with in a jewish culture with disciples and rabbis and translated that to make
sense to the non-jewish known world in modern-day turkey and greece and rome
and he would go to these big influential important cities of the first century world to tell them of the
truth of jesus and then those who began to follow help them organize and be church
and so when you come to the book of ephesians because it's written later after he's done a lot of this work and
worked with lots of christians from lots of cultures you get like the best practices from him
his opening chapter is just this deep rich theology of what it is we believe
because of who jesus is and so when you get to chapter four uh it's one of the clearest chapters we
have in the new testament of what it means to be church right church is in a building church isn't a service
church is christians following jesus and living in community with each other and so in the the first kind of half of
ephesians 4 you get this rich theology about what the fancy theology word is
ecclesiology like what church is supposed to be about he talks about how we have one lord and one faith and one
baptism and all this awesome stuff and then the second half of ephesians 4 he turns the conversation from just the
big picture of the church to talk to you and i individually of the instructions and the standards we are to live by
as followers of jesus and so i want us to start we're going to jump to verse 25.
see what he says then we'll back up and see how he got there but in verse 25 listen to what paul says to us as
christians therefore each of you and anytime there's a therefore he's connecting this with what he's been talking about so because of what i said
therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor for we
are all members of one body now paul would use two different
analogies the most to explain church and following jesus one is that like we're like the body of
christ we all have a role to play and the other is he would use like family like we are for if you're following
jesus you're now part of a new spiritual family and so this call for you and i to put
off all falsehood to speak truthfully to each other is a daily lifelong process
where we learn to take what we learned in the family we grew up in and taught by the culture that shaped us to be
re-parented now into the family of god into a new spiritual identity of who he
says we are and so the way like our culture or our family dealt with money or forgiveness
all must be re-parented and this is kind of a cool connection in this series to where we just came from
because in our last series if you were with us as we talked about restoring relationships and the importance of forgiveness
because if we are going to be restored to god we must become a restorer of other relationships if we will accept
the forgiveness that god has for us we must become people willing to extend forgiveness how we live matters
we are not meant to just believe or just receive but to become and so paul is telling us ask yourself
this question what falsehood do you tend to believe in life about yourself or about others or about
the world that doesn't fully align with what jesus says to be true it's like the times that you it's the hardest to
really trust him where is there a falsehood that you need to put off and see is like the old way
of doing things or the not jesus way of doing things it's not becoming in the light and the fullness of what he has
for you and now listen to what paul says next in verse 26 so first put off the falsehood
of course speak truthfully to each other and then next in verse 26 he says in your anger do not sin
do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and many times that verse is referenced just like that about our anger and
that's great but i want you to think about what he's saying here put off all falsehood and in your anger do not sin
ask yourself this question for for a second when you are angry what is the falsehood
that you are most likely to believe in that moment of your anger when you're angry with someone or a
people group or a situation what is what is the the lie you're tempted to believe the most
is it not to believe that those you're angry with are worse than they actually are
or to believe that you are right or better more than you actually are
no like put off all the falsehood and don't see others the way the way the world sees others don't love
those that love you and be mean to those that are mean to you no the way we interact with each other matters believe
the truth even when it's difficult and then listen what paul says next is going to mess you
up all right because i know you're a modern intelligent
western person this is going to sound ridiculous but it's what he says in scripture here
we go verse 27 and do not give the devil a foothold
i feel like you got to read that like bobby boucher's mom the devil right
because we i let's just be honest we are spiritually pretty illiterate like we we
don't like to think about the unseen the mystical oddly enough we're fine thinking about concepts like god and
maybe trusting him or jesus and like the good stuff but the devil or demonic
forces that's like caricature cartoon stuff primitive stuff ancient stuff and
scripture is like no it's not see if we don't have an understanding
of the the bigger battle that scripture portrays to us that it wasn't just our
decision to to either follow or walk away from god but that there is a cosmic
battle that there is an evil who hates you there is a real enemy that scripture
and jesus does not shy away from he's called the satan the adversary the father allies and many things
that there is a real enemy who really hates you and really would love for you to think he doesn't exist and not pay
attention to his tactics and his attack in jesus's word he's like a lion that prowls around looking to destroy and
devour to steal your joy and destroy your peace to distract you from the
goodness that jesus has for you and make you think you can decide how to live the good life
and jesus jesus was so serious about this at one moment he didn't just talk about him as this real entity out there
he even called peter one of his closest friends satan one time and meant it like get behind me satan is what he said to
peter and this is why this is so important if you and i don't have some understanding
and learn to lean into an understanding of the unseen realm
of god's love and of real enemies and demonic agents we will demonize other
people and make them the enemies in our life and they are not
is really clear there are these three primary enemies you see all throughout scripture there's this devil in his
agents there's our own distorted sinful flesh and then there's this world around
us that doesn't value the kingdom that god has that he's called us to
and so this is where i want to do this little detour back to john 8 because jesus is picking fights
and if you ever wonder why they murdered him this is a pretty good example and he's having this back and forth
exchange with people in verse 12 i showed you he says i'm the light in me there's no darkness and those who follow me
and in this exchange they're kind of arguing with them and he just very like calmly is just matter of fact just
saying stuff back to him and he's triggering them he's triggering their ideologies that compete for their
allegiance to the truth of god and his heart that they they'll go back to their own sense of their history or their identity
or who they think god is all is a way to reject jesus and the light and the truth
and so he's having this conversation we'll jump all the way to verse 31 listen to what jesus says
it says if you hold to my teachings you are really my disciple then you will know the truth
and the truth will set you free and the religious leaders who heard him
say this were like we have always been free we have been a slave to no one
which is completely not true it's a convenient redaction of their history
and it's oddly ironic because their their like primary governing story of their identity was
called the passover which is about how they were slaves for about 400 years and god freed them and heard their cries
through plagues and a parted red sea into the wilderness and they're like we've never been slaves to anyone jesus
like no that's not true because if you were true children of
abraham you would have known me and then they're getting real angry
and they're like we are only children of god and he's like nah
this is what he says next in verse 44. you belong to your father the devil
and you want to carry out your father's desires he was a murderer from the beginning not holding to the truth
for there is no truth in him the rest of verse 44 he says when he lies he speaks his native
language for he is a liar and the father of lies again if you lived in the first century
world and you wanted to get murdered say that to the religious authorities
tell them their religious identity of being children of god and descendants of abraham is not true they are children of
the devil of lies now think of this jesus is saying this because it's real
whether you know it or not and if he is the truth then anything not him is a lie if he's
like reality anything not jesus anything not aligned with his way and his truth and his life
is a false reality that will lead you to emptiness or decay or to death it leads
you farther from god not towards him but jesus is being even more specific
that if you are not honestly living in the light of him we are children
servants slaves of darkness of the devil
and that's so hard for us to understand we're so removed from a world that had these kinds of beliefs and interacted
with it and more than that we love to think we are autonomous individual rational
freedom-loving american folk but we're not we're highly emotional driven by desires
and if we don't learn to pay attention to that we don't even know it we start living lies
not truth do you know what the most dangerous kind of lie is
it's the lies we tell ourselves it's the lies we believe
it's the lies that we choose not to daily bring in submission to god's truth and trust his truth
over how we feel or what we think or what we see or what we experience this is the life of faith we are called to
and so let's let's go back to ephesians 4 and just read through a couple of these verses here so in verse 25 where we
started he's saying put off all the falsehood now we'll back up and listen to what he's talking about as we interact with the world around us
like they interacted back then we'll start in verse um 17.
he says so i tell you this and and i insist on it in the lord you must no longer live as the gentiles do
and that's just not jewish people but it's more like just people not following
jesus right if you're trying to follow jesus in a world in a culture that's not that comes with tensions and
difficulties so he's reminding them then he's reminding us do not no longer live like
the world around you lives the way the world around you prioritizes their life
but the way jesus has called you to in the futility of their thinking in verse 18 he says this
they are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of god because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts
paul is saying if you're not careful watching this you might think well i believe in jesus so i'm fine he's like no no but you're
still following a way that is not of jesus here's the way i want to say it so to
like think of this tomorrow paul is reminding us that we are at war
every day of our lives a war of ideas that will dominate our
thinking and our priorities in life and just like there was a pacific theater of war and world war ii you
every day whether you know it or not are in a mental theater of war for what
truth will dominate your life what truth will you believe what way will you
follow jesus's way or your own and if you if you don't come to like
understand this this meaning like the depth behind it you'll miss how so many times we're living and
believing lies and we don't even know it because they are not jesus's truth there's some lesser version
so to try to like make the unseen evil realm make a little more
sense this comes from a book by john mark comer called live no lie highly recommend it
also read your bibles but it's also good but he says this and this is really helpful
to understand why this matters and and to wake up to the reality that you are
at war every day for what truth you'll believe and follow every day and so here's a way to understand that
the father of lies as jesus calls the devil operates primarily through deceptive ideas
those deceptive ideas aren't like these like full frontal lies that are easy to see they're subversive ways of sighting
around the truth they sound sort of true and in these deceptive ideas they they have this way of playing to
our distorted desires scripture calls it our flesh it's the truth we want to be true
it's the way we want life to go and so these deceptive ideas that that play on these distorted desires then
get normalized in the sinful culture around us where if we're not careful the world is
affirming what we want to believe not jesus calling us into the light of who he made us to be
so not only do you need to realize you were at war every day of your life you need to know your enemy's tactics
it's like warfare 101 stuff know your enemy know he's real know that scripture talks
about him and know how he operates and he operates the same way he always has read the story of adam and eve read the
story of jesus in the wilderness he questions the things of god in a way that makes you go well yeah maybe
i mean did god really say that i mean if god is good would he really tell you no
the answer is yes by the way learning to understand how to how to
see his tactics and then combat them with the truth and the scripture of what jesus has invited us to believe
and that uh that becomes this so important piece of this so i want to jump to verse 20
and 21 and listen to what paul says in ephesians here
that however like that culture those lies all that stuff that however is not the way of life you learned when you
heard about christ and we're taught in accordance with the truth that is in jesus
keep going verse 22. you were taught with regard to your former way of life
your former values your former assumption of what's true and how to live
to put off your old self which is being corrupted by deceitful desires
verse 23 and 24 to be made new in your attitude of your minds how you think
and to put on the new self created to be like god in true righteousness and holiness you and i are called dared
challenged by the truth of jesus to become more than we are left to ourselves
we are called to not just recognize that we are at war and not just know our enemy's tactics but to combat it with
truth know the truth that god has given you to stand upon
to know who it is he says you are so you don't have to rely on your own version of you or what the world tells you is true about you what he nailed to across
and forever proved your worth two thousand years ago
stan and this this is gonna sound more simple uh than it actually is it's very difficult but i'm going to give you a
simple way to do this and combat and know truth and i'm going to i'll share with you a
couple examples from my own life of how i have to do this all right so the way to do it is identify the common
lies you tend to believe all right so one of mine is that i'm not enough
that's a lie i've believed my whole life that i'm inadequate that i just i i have
to like accomplish one more thing then god will be happy then god will be proud i gotta do better at this and then god
will love me and really accept me like yeah i know he forgives me but like he doesn't like me
and i have to recognize that this is not only a lie i genuinely i tend to want to
believe but then choose with like a child like faith to trust what he actually says is
true about me one example to combat that and no truth in psalms 139 it says i praise you because i'm
fearfully and wonderfully made and every day of my life i have to
choose which truth or lie i will choose to believe what god has said about me
or what i tend to feel is true without god i'll give you another one
this is convenient for me as a guy but i feel like my emotions are unnecessary they're annoying
they slow me down i don't like them i'd rather live my life ignoring that i feel anything and just do stuff
and if i don't pay attention to this it creates all kinds of havoc inside my internal world and especially for those
who are around me most in life and if i believe that i'm fearfully and i'm wonderfully made then i've got to
slow down and pay attention to what i'd rather ignore as i love this verse again from king
david why my soul are you downcast it's like learning how to preach to yourself
learning how to talk to yourself man why am i downcast why why so disturbed within me
put your hope in god for i will yet praise him my savior and my god
the truth that jesus has extended to us is available every day but you have to choose to trust it
you have to learn to identify the lies that you tend to believe so here's my
challenge to you all right i dare you i double dog dare you
which is not funny some of you laughing you can't back down from a double dog i dare you this week
to identify the two or three lies you usually believe the ones that are easiest the ones that you operate from
identify those lies and then find god's truth about those lies
combat it with scripture like this is why god invented google which actually he didn't but it's really useful in this just google what does the bible have to
say about whatever it is you don't have to know all of scripture to come and land get hold of some truth that god
says you can believe you can live this but you have to be honest about that life first and then you have to choose
to trust his promise to you what he's already said is true about you and then
this is the hardest part of the challenge then you need to admit it to somebody
else honesty begins between you and god
can you be honest about the lies you tend to believe can you be honest to god
but then you have to say it out loud you have to bring it outside of you and look another person in the face and say these
are the lies i tend to believe and this is the truth i'm going to choose to trust jesus brother james tells us that when
we would when we confess our sins and our weaknesses to each other like that's where the healing is there's something
powerful about coming into the light about saying it out loud

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