Honesty with God

Honesty with God

Ephesians 4 “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” My relationship with God is one I am thankful for. What makes me thankful about this relationship is that I can be real and honest with God. If I was completely open and honest with people, it would be a disaster. I am thankful that God does not take my honesty personally. When I am honest with God he will not smack me around, hate, despise or misunderstand what I am saying or will not want to be around me. Amen! When I was a younger, my grandfather encouraged me to have a personal time with the Lord each and every day. He encouraged us to open up our lives to the Lord and share as much as we could with him. Share with him the good, the bad and all of our warts. Be honest with God and he will help us to deal with our lives. In John 8:32 Jesus says “That the truth will set you free” and this has been so true in my life.   Sure, we talk to God. Most of the time it is not deep or honest stuff at all. It is just a habit or a ritual. Few of us are ever really honest with God. If the truth were known, most of us wear masks. Most of us spend our lives piling on more and more layers of protection against the real world. We pray for the things we think we are supposed to pray for. We say the words we have heard others say. We chant or repeat or nod our heads without ever really opening up the secret places of our hearts. Let me tell you something about God. God knows all about you. Psalm 139:1 says “O’Lord you have searched me and known me.” Amen!   I love the book of Psalms because it is so honest. There were high times where love for God was expressed and God was thanked or their blessings. However, there were times that David called it like he saw it. Sometimes cursing his enemies and sometimes baring his souls by confessing terrible sins. {{more}}   Jesus was honest with God. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed, Matthew 26:39 says, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”Jesus prayed from the cross, “My God, My God! Why have your forsaken me?” Somewhere we have lost sight of that gut level honest communication with God. We seem to be afraid that if we really let God know how we feel, what we think or where we hurt, he will somehow be surprised, disappointed, or let down, but exactly the opposite is true! God is the only one who sees us as we really are- down to the core of our being- and loves us anyway. This week I am going to give you some of the thoughts that would apply to us as adults to help us to be open and honest with God. When do you pray? Is it when you need money? Retirement income usually remains stable while the cost of living continues to climb. Many older adults do not receive adequate adjustments to keep up with the standard of living. Therefore, they become so limited and boxed in that there is little hope of improving living standards. Have you been open and honest with the Lord about your financial needs? The Lord is not a social security worker nor is he an investment banker. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Amen! A person’s work and profession in life is very important to him. He directs much of his energy and creativity toward his work. His closest friends and his status in the community are often tied solely to his work. It is the same way with stay at home moms. When someone is unemployed, disabled, or entering retirement it is quite an adjustment. They may feel they are no longer contributing to society, lost sense of worth, unable to cope with leisure. Pray about it and the Lord will give you things to do. With your skills and talents there are things to do in the church and in the community.   When my anger controls me I know I am in trouble! This can be a problem even for the older adult. Changes in society, changes in the body, and changes in the family can result in many lashing out with anger and verbal abuse. Jesus got angry but what did he get angry about? We need to be angry about what makes God angry. Identify the sources of your anger and share them with the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you to deal Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Amen!   When you have an addiction such as smoking, or you like to drink, and or have any bad habits. Be honest with God and he will help you to see them in a different light. Romans 7:24 says, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen! When I do not have the strength that I used to have I call on Jesus. The older adult has problems with accepting the fact that what he did when he was 30, he no longer can do at all or not as quickly. Isaiah 40:29-31 says,” He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Amen!When I do not want to forgive someone. I want to hold a grudge against this person. I want to hate this person. I want for this person to suffer the same way they have caused me to suffer. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Sometimes your past will try to controls you. You will be thinking “I cannot do this or that or I am this way and I will always be this way because of my past.” In the book of Ruth, Naomi could not let go of her past. When her husband and two sons died, she became resentful with God. When she returned to her hometown, this is what she said of herself in Ruth 1:20-21 “Do not call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” What honesty! What resentment! The story of Ruth unfolds and we see at the end that Naomi was blessed with a new son in law and a grandchild. When I am all alone I think about Hebrews 13:5 where God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Amen! Many times the elderly are sad because of the loss of loved ones.   Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Amen!Sometimes you may pray and pray and nothing seems to give comfort or help. Tell that to God. He will put people and situations in your life to help. Matthew 7:11 says, “If then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Amen! Romans 11:33 says,”Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Romans 11:34 says, “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” Amen!So many people are not honest with God. If you are honest with God, then this will help you to be honest with others, be real and open. The biggest dishonesty is to say that you do not need God. I do not need Jesus; I do not need any of that stuff. Look up 1st John 1:8-10 and discuss Christians and non-Christians. You must make Jesus Christ your friend! Now you know why you must be honest with God. Amen!