My father and
I are going through a series of messages entitled "Don¡¦t
throw Away Tomorrow: Living God¡¦s dream for your life."
We have been going through different topics involved with
how to hold on to your tomorrows. Today, I want to talk
about synchronizing our goals and dreams with our values
How do we actually
synchronize our goals with our morals and our values and
our ethics. It is an important part of reaching and accomplishing
the tasks that God has for our lives. The first thing we
have to remember is that the ends do not justify the means.
It's very important for us to remember this. When we look
at evil in our world today, how is it justified? The human
being has an immeasurable capacity to be able to justify
almost any behavior. We look at the evil that we see in
terrorism around the world today and they justify it by
the ends. They say they are doing this because God wants
them to accomplish this. The ends do not justify the means.
provided 30 years of humanitarian effort and work in Iraq.
She didn't have to live there. She had a U.K. passport and
could have lived in England. However, she decided to dedicate
her life to the Iraqi people and for 30 years she did humanitarian
work as the Director of Care International. In October 2004
in Iraq she was kidnapped and killed. What's the rational?
Those who kidnapped and killed Margaret Hassan would say
the end justifies the means is the rational. Therein is
the problem. As we continue to climb the ladder and strive
for the goals that God has for our life, we must be very
careful we do not climb on people but we carry people with
us. In the process of carrying our brothers and our sisters
we lift everyone and everyone is exalted and feels the presence
of God as opposed to being stepped on and taken advantage
of. The ends do not justify the means.
I was talking
with someone recently about the topic of evil and this person
referred to the recent tsunami as an evil event. I interrupted
him and told him the tsunami was not an evil event. It was
a horrible tragic event but it was not an evil event. It
was a natural event. A tsunami is a natural event. Hurricanes
are natural. Tornados are natural. Death is natural. There
isn't a human being who has ever been born, with the exception
of Jesus Christ, who will not experience death. Death is
a natural thing. There is nothing we can do can do to avoid
it. It is not an evil thing. The tsunami was not an evil
event. Evil takes place in the hands of people who have
lost the understanding of the premise of morality and the
premise of ethics and values and have rationalized beyond
human comprehension to do evil things. The ends do not justify
How do we synchronize
our goals with our morals? We need a North Star to fix our
eyes upon. My North Star is a book called the Bible. This
book gives me a course and a direction so that as things
change in life, I don¡¦t lose my way because we are
in a very transitory, very fast moving, changing society.
Let me explain how things have changed. College freshmen
today were born in 1986. Anyone born after 1986 to the present
time have the following conditions: this actually represents
about 20% of the population. So 20% of the population or
more have the following in common.
¡P They are too young to remember the first space
¡P Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
¡P Bottle caps have always been twisted off and plastic.
¡P The CD was introduced the year they were born.
¡P They have always had an answering machine.
¡P They have always had cable.
¡P They have always used a remote control to operate
¡P Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
¡P They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
¡P They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.
¡P The most shocking one to me, they don't have a
clue how to use a typewriter or what one is.
I know it makes
you feel a little older, but you know life goes on, and
on, and on. As life goes on, it changes. As it changes we
need to have clear cut directions as to what our moral values
are in life. That is why the Bible tells us that God spoke
and when He spoke He literally audibly spoke so that every
single Israelite could hear His voice. It was extremely
terrifying. There were millions of people who heard Him
say these words. Here are the ones you¡¦re most familiar
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not give false testimony against your
- You shall not covet your neighbor's house and all
of his possessions.
And the ones
that are most important, the ones He shared with us first
and those we need more than anything else are:
- You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall
not make for yourself an idol.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
The Ten Commandments.
When we keep these as our North Star, as our guiding light
and our foundation, society can progress, and things can
change, but we won't lose direction and get out of synch
with our goals and our morals. When you get out of synch
you just simply get lost and who knows what will happen
went to Palm Springs for a wedding. When I was in Palm Springs
it was raining. It's the first time I've ever been in Palm
Springs in the rain. As a result of that, I couldn't see
the mountains. I was trying to find my way around and I
got completely lost. I made a huge circle and I didn't know
where I was until finally I came back to where I started.
I didn't have the ridge of mountains to give me my bearings.
There are times in life when we think we are making progress,
we think life is going our way, but if we are not following
the commandments that God has given to us and we are living
outside of His law, all we are doing is going in circles.
How do we synch
our goals with our morals? The end does not justify the
means. We keep our eyes fixed on the North Star. Then you
are probably thinking, "well what about the gray areas?"
You know, the gray areas are an interesting thing. We discover
that there are words from Jesus that help us come to the
realization of how to deal with those areas in life which
the Bible does not talk about. There are lots of gray areas
morally and ethically and spiritually. How do we deal with
those things? Here are the words of Jesus when He was asked
"of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
"The most important one is this,
Hear, oh Israel,
the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul and with all of your mind
and with all your strength.
And the second is this, love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these."
Mark 12: 28-31
When we apply
these principles to the gray areas of life we discover the
realization of actions applied to our goals and our values
become crystal clear and we experience the joy of what happens
in daily living.
I studied ethics
in seminary which was taught by a professor named Dr. Lewis
Smedes who is known as probably one of the foremost ethicists
of the 20th century. He was a fabulous man, who
unfortunately passed away a few years ago. When we were
in class we would debate various situations discussing what
made it moral, what made it ethical? How do we resolve the
conflicts? In the process, we would always come around to
love. If our hearts are full of the love of Christ, you
will do the right thing. How do we synch our goals with
our morals? We live with love.
However, I hate
to be the bearer of bad news, but no matter how hard you
try you won't do a perfect job. It won't happen. You will
fail. It is inevitable. No one is perfect. We have all fallen
short of the glory of God and have failed. When you fail,
you simply come to God and you ask for forgiveness and God
in His love and His mercy will forgive you and that's the
beautiful thing about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the
message we have today.
How do we synch
our goals with our needs?
- We understand that the
ends do not justify the means.
- We need a North Star to
fix our eyes on (The Bible).
- When we fail we come to
God and we seek forgiveness.
gave us these words: "Joy is not the same as pleasure
or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure while
an ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally
comes from things and always through the senses. Happiness
comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving
God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent and like
a flash of lightening. Joy is steady and abiding like a
fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances such
as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them
for it comes from a good conscience and love of God."
It is time for
us to synch our goals, our values and our morals. Let us
pray: Dear Heavenly Father we thank You for being here and
sending Your love. As we come to You and we fall on our
knees and ask for forgiveness, we know that You will forgive.
You are a God who loves, who cares, who wants to forgive.
So we ask for Your guidance today. We ask for Your touch.
We ask for Your leadership and in all things and in all
ways, we say thank You Lord. Amen.