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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - How To Become Incorruptible

James Meehan - How To Become Incorruptible

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    James Meehan - How To Become Incorruptible
TOPICS: Temptation

Well, what's up Bible nerds? My name is James Meehan and today we are continuing our exploration of idols what they are, why they suck, and how to tear them down in our own lives so that we can be a people of holiness and justice as a reminder an idol is anything other than God that we put above God. Sometimes it's a really bad thing, but usually the idols we create in our lives are good things that become bad things when they take God's place. Power is one of those idols. Power on its own is not a bad thing, it's a neutral thing. What makes power good or bad is how it's used. For example, in the very beginning God used his power to create the world and everything in it.

Right now we have mission partners using their power to fight injustice and protect the most vulnerable. When you serve, you are using your power to benefit people. But what about when power is used for selfish reasons? That's when it becomes a problem. And if we are not rooted in Christ and anchored to his truth, then the chances of us using and abusing power rises dramatically. So to help us become the kind of people who serve Jesus faithfully and use our power for the good of others we're gonna look at three examples of what not to do. So starting with bad example number one we are looking at David. David is a guy who started out as an all-star, courage, integrity, faithfulness. These were the qualities that defined him until he fell prey to idols.

Last week, we looked at the time that David made an idol of his desires when he took Bathsheba for himself had her husband murdered and tried to cover it all up. And while it's true that David was remorseful and repentant that would not be the last of his failures. You see two chapters later in second Samuel 13, David's son Ammon takes advantage of his sister Tamar and David doesn't do anything, because of this. It was two years later when another of David's sons a guy named Absalom takes matters into his own hands after getting Amnon drunk at a party. Second Samuel 13 reads this. "Absalom told his men, wait until Amnon gets drunk. Then at my signal, kill him. Don't be afraid. I'm the one who's given the command. Take courage and do it. So at Absalom's signal, they murdered Amnon".

This event planted the seeds for Absalom's rebellion that would rip the nation apart and leave thousands dead. David as a king and father, had a responsibility to step in and deal with the dysfunction before it got out of hand. But he didn't care enough to step into the mess get his hands dirty and put his broken family back together. Why? Because he, like so many others came to power and fell victim to its corrupting effects. The lesson when it comes to the idol of power the more we have, often the less we care. Now for a bad example, number two, Solomon. After David came, his son Solomon a ruler who has been described as the wisest man who ever lived. And for a time he absolutely was like he was wise, he was gracious, he was just but like his father before him he fell prey to the idol of power.

And as he grew in power, in wealth and in fame he wanted more and more to the point that he literally ended up with 700 wives and 300 mistresses. 1 King's 11 reads "the Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel you must not marry them because they will turn your hearts to their gods. Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway, he had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord" through his craving for more power and more wives, the idol of power's roots grew deeper and Solomon and his people's hearts turned away from God. The lesson, when it comes to power, the more we have often the more we crave. Now for a bad example, number three, Rehaboam. Next we have David's grandson and Solomon's son, Rehaboam. When he became King, the nation was divided and in turmoil. He needed to act quickly to reunite the people and bring stability.

One Kings 12:3 tells us this that "the leaders of Israel summoned him and Jul and the whole assembly of Israel. They went to speak with Rehaboam. They said, your father was a hard master. So lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us then we will be your loyal subjects". So Rehaboam sought advice from two groups of people the older, wiser men who counseled his father and the friends he'd grown up with. In 1 King's chapter 12:7 we read that the older counselors replied "if you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer they will always be your loyal subjects".

Their advice was to use his power to serve his people because that's what a good king does. His friends had very different advice. They told him to deal with the complainers by making them work harder and punishing them more severely. Because he had been taken by the idol of power. Rehaboam rejected the advice of the wise counselor. Instead of becoming a servant of his people he tried to put them in their place so the people cried out for his downfall and the end of David's dynasty. The lesson, when it comes to the idol of power the more we have, often the less we serve. So now what, if these prolific leaders from the Bible all fell to the idol of power? What hope is there for us? There's loads of hope because we have something they didn't. We have the example of Jesus and we have the presence of His spirit.

In Philippians 2 the Apostle Paul writes, "don't be selfish. Don't try to impress others. Be humble thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't only look out for your own interest but take an interest in others too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to instead, he gave up his divine privileges. He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross".

So how do we become incorruptible? We follow the example of Jesus and we trust the power of his spirit. So start praying for God to give you the wisdom the courage and the humility to use your power to honor him and serve others. That's the first step to becoming incorruptible. And if you wanna learn even more than be sure to check out the message that's dropping this Wednesday night at 7:00 PM where we will talk even more about tearing down the idol of power. Take care and stay nerdy.
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