THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 3-27-11
LESSON TITLE: “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE: RESPECT”
In Psalm 145, verse 3, we read, “Great is the Lord, and Greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable!” Yes the truth is we serve a wondrous and great God!
Good morning, and thanks for joining us for the study of God’s Living Word on this His special day! We are glad you have put God first today and that you have decided to give this time to Him. It will be our privilege this morning to sing songs of praise, to study His precious Word, and to approach the throne of God in prayer. So, at this time may we start our praise to God by talking with our Father in prayer? Bow with me please!
Let’s begin immediately with our songs of praise. The first song of the morning focus’s our minds on just how precious Jesus should be to each of us. So won’t you do your part in worship to God at this time and join in with the congregation as we sing together, “Jesus Is All The World To Me!”
(SONG # 1)
Sin has got to be one of the most difficult things we all deal with throughout life. For no matter how hard we try we continue to do those things which are “contrary to His Will,” or “which transgress His Covenant."
One thing that has always amazed me about sin is that we continue to commit the same sins time and time again. You would think that when we know something is wrong or sinful and we repent of it that we would never do it again. However, quiet the opposite is usually true. But why? Well, the reality is we are usually tempted time and time again to sin in the same area, because Satan is attacking us at our week points. In fact, if you consider why we fall in the first place, it is because we allow our own desires to conceive and when they do we sin. Just because we repent and strive not to commit the same sin again, doesn’t dismiss that fact that we still probably have the same desire still within us. So what must we do to strive to quench this desire and make sure that we will not fall pray to the same sins time and time again?
Read with me a passage from the Old Testament, Psalm 119:11. There God’s inspired writer says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against you.” There we have it; King David has revealed the key to it all. So what is it? If we put God first, learn His word and keep it in our hearts, guess what, God’s word in us repeals sins. But how does it do this? No doubt God’s Word is more powerful and is able to overcome anything in this world. That includes the desires in our life and those imperfections which would allow us to sin.
The clear teaching of this text is, that the more we meditate on God’s Word, and focus on the Cross and strive to do His blessed Will; obviously the easier it will be to focus on perfection. Furthermore as those who are striving to be perfect with God, we are certainly centering our lives around the righteousness things of God and if the righteousness of God is within us, we can not fail! Have you brought the word of God into your life? Have you placed it in the center of your being? Are you hiding the righteousness of God in the depths of your soul that you might be able in all things to withstand the darts of the wicked one?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our lesson topic today, we will be continuing our series entitled, “Let Your Light So Shine!” The specific lesson of the day will deal with, “Respect!” So, please stay with us this morning and in just a few minutes we will be led in this study from God’s Word.
As far as our speaker today, we are happy to again have brother Jerry Sullins with us. We thank him for joining us this morning. Now let’s join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
I want to welcome you to “The Living Word” broadcast. It’s so good to have you in our audience this morning. We are so happy that you are watching our program. Many of you are regular viewers of this program. In fact, just this last week I heard of one of our members who happened to be carrying on just a casual conversation with someone who really doesn’t go to the services or to church anywhere and he said how he was a regular viewer of “The Living Word” program. If you happen to be that person, you may know who I am speaking of this morning and I want to thank you for viewing in again today.
We’re in a series of lessons which is a great encouragement, I believe, to not only those of us who strive to live the Christian life, but to those who are out in this world today who are living among people who claim to be Christians and especially also those of the Lord’s Church. We’re so glad that we have the opportunity to live in the society today and to live by such principles that encourage everyone to do God’s Will. That certainly is not the case with many religions in our day and time, whereas many religions are based upon principles that are nowhere near those wonderful principles that are given to us in God’s Holy Word. We’ve been discussing many of them such as wisdom, and cooperation, and reliability, cheerfulness, and so many things that a Christian ought to possess. This morning we are continuing this study about “Letting Our Light So Shine Before Men” in speaking of the principle of “Respect.” Oh what a great principle.
When you get down to defining the word “Respect,” basically it means to honor or to give due honor. Even in some ways when you’re speaking of deity, to show reverence, to esteem as we are speaking of other people, to live other people up in our estimation above ourselves. And of course to treat with consideration.
When we look at our society today verses the way it was just a few years ago and especially back in the days of our forefathers, maybe a generation or so ago, and we see that this attitude and this treatment that people should have toward one another has greatly ceased to be in many circles of our society. In fact, when we get to thinking about respect in our society today, especially the lack of respect, we know as we look at the way the children even view their parents, they view their parents with little or no respect today. Of course, they are not taught to respect others, maybe that’s the reason this might be true. Then we see people even going so far as to not respect the government by burning the flag, such a disgraceful thing to do and such a showing of a lack of respect. We see people who do not respect life, that is those who go out and murder other people, those who perform abortions, or those who have abortions, not respecting the life that God has given that embryo. We see those who do not respect the property of others, that is those in our society today that are put in prison for robbery and even we see children being taught that really theft is not that bad. It really depends on how it affects someone else, but if you steal something now or then from the grocery store… And it really doesn’t matter if someone gives you too much change and you just keep it and never say anything about it. This shows a total lack of respect in our society today and we really need to deal with it. We need to build up that respect that people ought to have for one another again.
One other example I will give before we talk about how to deal with this problem is an example of how people no longer respect those who are older. In the simple societies of Africa… We lived in those societies for over 20 years over in Africa. We saw a general respect for the aged, for the elderly that we don’t see in the United States today in many circles. How sad that is. Over there, a man or a woman who is elderly is respected because as my Granddaddy once told me, or in fact he told me many times, he said, “Son, I’ve been down this road many more times than you have.” And I was taught to respect my grandparents. I was taught to respect anyone who was older than I was by saying, “Yes sir,” and “No sir.” Where have those days gone? Saying, “Yes maam,” and “No maam.” Why are our children not taught that anymore, because if they lack respect for their parents and their grandparents and if they lack any teaching of respect in the home, then how are we going to end up with a society that is full of the proper respect for all things?
Well the scripture certainly teaches us about respect. I want to call your attention first of all to 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 12 and 13. Here Paul said, “And we urge you brethren to recognize those who labor among you and over you in the Lord and admonish you to esteem them very highly in love for their works sake. Be at peace among yourselves.” I believe this tells us a principle that is taught here is how can we have peace among ourselves unless we show proper respect? Now he may have been referring to here, and I believe he was, those who might be considered elders or pastors or evangelists in the church, anyone who is older, an older Christian. We ought to esteem them highly for the work that they are doing for the cause of Christ.
But not only in the church, we see in 1 Timothy chapter 2 verses 1-2 an admonition that is given. “Therefore I exert first of all the supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the Truth.” Now here is a very important aspect of respect and what can happen when we begin to respect others as we should respect them. What it does is it makes them seek Christ in us and because of our living for Christ, what happens? They come to a greater knowledge of what it means to be a Christian and then as we teach them, they desire to know more about Christ and want to do more of God’s Will and eventually they may even obey the gospel. Because we have done what? We have shown proper respect for those people.
We see also in Romans chapter 13 verse 1, in fact throughout that chapter, we are told to respect or to actually obey every ordinance of man. Now how many of us can truly claim that we respect our government today, whether it is a local government, whether it is a national government, whether it is the state government? Do we respect those authorities? Well certainly, as the scripture teaches in Romans 13, they are ministers of God for good and as long as they are ministers of God for good, we ought to highly respect those people for what they are doing as far as governing the people. They are instruments of God for good, upon those who do evil. They take care of those problems as the scripture says there. They render out the punishments that are necessary so our society can be safe to live in. So we ought to respect those of higher authority in our government today. Do you show that proper respect? Well every Christian should because the Bible says they must if they are going to be in line with God’s Holy Word.
Then in Romans chapter 12 verse 10 “we ought to give preference to one another.” Along the same lines of thinking is found in Philippians 2 verse 3 that we ought to “esteem or respect others better than ourselves.” So many times we want to show a greater light upon ourselves and how people look to us rather than looking to others and trying to esteem them highly for love’s sake, and we ought to love people and show them the proper respect that they should be shown in this world today.
Now how do we determine who is to be respected? That’s a good question that we ought to consider. Well of course our society teaches us that we should respect athletes and true enough there are enough good athletes who are good role models. Some people say, “Well the superheroes and the models and the princes and the princesses and the kings and the queens and the presidents and the senators and all these people we ought to respect.” Well, true enough. We should respect these people. Respect them highly and have a proper relationship with them as long as they are seeking to do God’s Will. But following after a role model who is not presenting the proper role in life is not something that even God Himself would want us to do. In fact, when we look at the scripture and see what the scripture is actually teaching, it is teaching us that we ought to respect those who are deserving of our respect. Those who are deserving of our respect should be based upon the criteria that we see in God’s Holy Word.
Well what are some of the ways that we can show respect? It’s the way we treat other people. When is the last time you did something kind to someone else? When is the last time…? And I can remember not just too long ago that we were in a bus actually a train ride and we were going in a terminal there in Atlanta, and my wife has a problem with and especially at that time she was having a problem with a bad knee and couldn’t actually stand up very long at a time and was coming in on a walker, well it wasn’t a walker but it was a cane, and people could see that she was struggling. And I saw not just young men, not just young women, but I saw children sitting in seats and they saw the predicament that my wife was in and not one person stood up and offered her a seat. That’s what I am talking about. That’s an example of how our society is going today. Get out on the roads of Springfield. I had someone who was riding in a vehicle with me just yesterday who is not from Springfield and he said it scared him to death to drive in Springfield. How much respect do you see going on in our community when people are just driving their automobiles? We see a lot of disrespect by those who gesture at us in an ugly and ungodly way because maybe we made a mistake and entered a lane before we should enter it. You know what I am talking about. You live with these things all of the time. People not respecting the opinions of other people. Our society really needs to learn to know how to respect one another.
Well why should we be respectful? Why is it that we should be respectful? Because God Himself has told us that we need to be respectful. We have read that in the Word itself. Why should we be respectful? Because it will tell others many things about us and how could anyone truly and properly show Christ in his or her life unless she or he shows proper respect for their fellow man?
I am reminded of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Did He not show respect for everyone when He died upon the cross? He showed such great respect and love for everyone. In fact, love for even the sinner. What does that show us? We ought to even respect our enemies. In fact, the scripture says, “Do good to those who persecute us, pray for those who spitefully use us.” In fact, the Bible even says, “Love your enemies.” Isn’t that what Jesus did? He said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Jesus died upon the cross and showed His respect for all mankind. He showed respect for the Father in being obedient to His Will and He showed respect for fellow man in saying, “These are the beings that we have created and therefore I respect these lives and I want to give them the opportunity for eternal life.”
So we respect other people so Christ will be seen in us. How happy it makes people when you show respect. As we treat other people, that’s how other people will treat us. We show respect for other people, and people will show respect for us. It just takes that act of kindness, that smile of the face, that approval of what someone else is doing that is a good thing, showing respect for them as human beings, just doing these small things will spread like a cancer throughout our bodies and throughout our society, and then we can see again the respect and honor and esteem that people once had for one another can and will be restored.
Now in the closing minutes of this program this morning, above all things we need to respect God and His Word. All of these things that I have been speaking of for the past few minutes are things that are directed in God’s Word. The way we respect God’s Word is that we do what? We add all of these things to our lives that we’ve been talking of for over ten weeks now. That’s how we let our light so shine before men and they can see our good works. They can see Christ in us and glorify our Father who is in Heaven.
Now I want to ask you something. Do you truly respect God and His Word? I’m not talking about respecting man. I am talking about respecting God and His Word. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Light. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” How can we not respect our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? And how could we say we respect Him unless we are willing to do His Will? Jesus Himself said, as you well know, you who know the Words of Jesus, He said, “Except you repent, you will all in like manner perish,” Luke 13 verse 3. And also in verse 5 the statement is said over again, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” God can be respected by repenting or turning away from our sins. Having believed truly that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then confessing His precious name as Jesus said, “If you confess Me before men, I will confess you before My Father who is in Heaven.” Then showing proper respect for God and saying, “Okay what would you have me to do?” Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” So my friend, the simple truth is there that if we respect God we will respect His Word not only in the way that we live, but the way we come to Christ. I am pleading with you this morning that you show proper respect for God, that you come to Him through Christ by obedience to His Will. This is the way we show proper respect to God and once we have shown that proper respect to Him, then and only then will we be able to show that proper respect to one another as in Him we will live and move and have our being.
May God bless you.
(SONG # 3 - “Kneel At The Cross!”)
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today? I hope our time together has been an uplifting and an encouragement to all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Do you show the proper respect required before God and those of this world. What better way to show forth the spirit of Christ than by respecting your fellow man. To God be the glory in all things!