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I'd Like To Buy A Vow


"33 "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil."

Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my honor and privilege to have you here with us today. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website, and social media platforms with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness and commitment to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. People are responding to God's Word! This is all so amazing. We ask you to pray that God will continue to give us boldness to speak the truth in ministry in the face of adversity in the coming days! As you may have noticed, it's becoming more and more difficult in the days in which we live.

When I was growing up a man's word was as good as gold. Keeping one's word was considered a measure of one’s worth. In fact, a handshake between parties meant a man would keep his word and was as good as any contract. A gentleman's handshake finalized many a deal.
Parents once taught their children, the importance of a good reputation and instructed their children not to ruin it. I believe that a man's word without integrity is like having a car that doesn’t run.
Proverbs 20:6, "Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?"
I remember hearing a story about four college boys were so confident going into the final exams, that the weekend before finals week, they decided to go with some friends to a party. They were having a great time and didn't want to leave. Drinking a bit too much, they overslept all day Sunday and didn’t make it back to college until early Monday morning. Instead of taking the final then, they decided to make up an excuse as to why they missed the final. They told him that they went camping over the weekend and had planned to come back in time to study, but that they had a flat tire on the way back and didn’t have a spare. So they had to walk a long way to get help, that's why they were late getting back to campus.
The professor thought it over and agreed that they could make up the final on the following day. The four boys, being pleased with themselves, went back to their dorms and studied that night and went in the next day to take the final exams. The professor had each of the boys sit in four separate corners, and handed each of them a test and told them to begin. They opened the test book, looked at the first problem, which was something simple about morality and solutions and was worth 5 points. They thought to themselves, "This is going to be easy." They quickly answered that question and then turned the page. However, they were completely unprepared for what they saw on the next. It said the next question is worth 95 points. The question was "Which tire?"

Today, the truth is hard to find. The truth is corrupted by an individuals perspective. It’s almost never universal. Because we choose to believe our perspective is right, it doesn’t mean our truths are fact. Our perspectives are typically the result of the events in our lives and shape our truths. By refusing to consider any other perspective, we limit our ability to comprehend truth. 
The mantra of our society, is "Live Your Truth." Because we are all different as individuals, and society can largely influence us, our "truths" will differ greatly. The problem with living your truth, is learning what your truth even is. Post-modern thought dismisses objective truth. Truth is whatever is truth to you . You then have to go out of your way to convince people you are telling the truth!
All truth comes from fact, whether we choose to believe it or not. We must believe in objective truth otherwise there is no standard.

Henry David Thoreau, a nineteenth century American philosopher, poet, and environmental scientist once said, "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."
In John 14:6, Jesus said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
Like much of God's Word, the truth has been perverted. Emphasis is being placed in all the wrong places, has made truth, meaningless. With misplaced emphasis comes limiting honesty to vows made to God. Because people will always struggle against the truth and themselves, they will fail to behave exactly as promised. God's Word is totally faithful and His Word is true.

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word. Guard our tongues, help us to be children of truth. Lead us to always speak the truth in love. Help us to live in Your truth. Lord, we pray for those who do not yet know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, may they reach out today and receive the gift of grace. We pray for those who deceived by false religion, we ask that You would open their eyes and ears to the truth. We pray for those who are teaching Your Word, may they remain faithful to the truth. Grant them the boldness and courage to speak the truth, that they would not compromise with the world. We pray that You would convict the hearts of those teaching a watered down version of the truth, to please men rather than You.
Thank You for Your grace that cleanses the past and frees us to enjoy the blessedness of the present.We ask and pray that You would meet the needs of all those that are Yours, those who are suffering with illness, anxiety and depression, those who are struggling financially. May it all be for Your glory and for Christ's sake.
In His name we ask and pray

Today's Message: I'd Like To Buy A Vow

The late J. Vernon McGee once said, "When I hear a person say they swear on a stack of bibles, I figure the lie they are telling is just a tall as that stack of bibles!"
As we continue in our study of the Gospel according to Matthew, or simply Matthew, we are in the midst of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the first recorded by our Lord in the New Testament. In my judgement, the greatest sermon ever preached, the greatest sermon in the Bible. The Jews to whom Jesus was preaching on the hillside in Galilee, were led by the ritualistic, legalistic, self-righteous Pharisees and scribes, who had convinced themselves they had attained spiritual perfection.
The truth is, in the Old Testament, in His divine law, God had set a high standard, and they had descended far away from God’s standard. Because they could not attain God's standard, they invented a substandard, man-made system of their own design. That is why in Matthew chapter 5, beginning at verse 21, Jesus says six times, "You have heard.. But I say to you.." He’s contrasting their system with God’s truth, Jesus is reestablishing the biblical standard. Allow me to add, that in each case, He is stripping them of their self-righteousness, revealing them as sinners. The key to the Sermon on the Mount is found in verse 20, where He says " For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." The scribes and the Pharisees were so pious, its as though they were waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity. Jesus' reminds them, God's standard is far beyond their own.
I believe that one of the very most important elements of our worship, is hearing God speak. In His Word, God confronts us with His truth. God has blessed me in so many ways in the study of Matthew, it is my prayer that He has also richly bless all of you. I pray that we might respond in such a way that would be pleasing to Him.
Let us consider the connection between Jesus Christ and the Word of God. The purpose of the Sermon on the Mount is to convince people of their sinfulness. To show them the utter hopelessness of any attempt of human achievement in attaining an absolute standard of righteousness. Only then, are men ready to receive the gift of forgiving grace and the righteousness imputed to them.
Open your Bibles with me to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5. In verses 33 through 37, Jesus continues to confront the scribes and Pharisees with their unrighteousness. The thrust of it is, "You think that you are telling the truth, but I tell you, you're nothing more than a bunch of liars!"

I invite you to follow along with me as I read verses 33 to 37, to see how Jesus confronts them about the lying hearts that they’re masking with their self-proclaimed self-righteousness. Let us prepare our hearts for the Spirit of God is saying to each of us. Matthew 5:33-37. Listen for the voice of our Lord.
"Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil."
In our text, Jesus gets to the very core of a person’s character, to the heart of what it means to live as a child of God. We live in a culture in which we have an elaborate system of lawyers, contracts and notaries and binding signatures to ensure that we will do what we say we will do. Yet, character it is often the first casualty of interactions between men.
In two national surveys conducted by Barna Research, people were asked if they believe that there are moral absolutes that are unchanging or that moral truth is relative to the circumstances. Not surprisingly, by a 3 to 1 margin, people said truth is always relative to the person and their situation. It is also not surprising that born again Christians were more likely than non-born again individuals to accept moral absolutes. People 36 or older were more than twice as likely as adults in the 18-to-35 age group to identify the Bible as their basis of moral choices. There is such a credibility gap in our world today, everyone from advertisers, reporters, politicians and more tragically, pastors, with a few exceptions. The problem is then compounded by television, movies and music, which induces us into a state of fantasy mentality. The whole of our society is a network of fabrication. The truth has become scarce.
We make excuses, exaggerate and tell half-truths, flatter and betray confidences for personal gain, trying to discern who is telling the truth. It reminds me of the television program, Tell the Truth. Our entire system is built on a framework of lies, because it is all spawned by the father of lies himself, Satan.

Daniel Webster once said "There is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange."
I believe that the disappearance of the Christian faith as the cornerstone of the family is the culprit. If we are to have any relative impact in our culture, Christians must prioritize living according to the moral principles commanded by God in His Word, rather than conforming to the worlds standards. The failure to address the sin in our lives is at the root of the problem. It is as much the responsibility of the pastors to preach sermons that are biblical, convicting and requiring people to confess their sins
rather than crowd pleasing sermonettes. There is not a lot of that nowadays. Whenever the Bible talks about a subject, we had ought to stop and study it, not simply pass over it because its uncomfortable to hear. We must have a hungering and thirsting for a righteousness before we are able to attain it. We must understand that we are beggars before God, crying out for His mercy, mourning over our sin.
God knows men are by nature are sinners, that's why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to save us from ourselves and the kingdom of darkness. There cannot be one kind of standard of conduct in the church and another standard in the world. The Christian life cannot be divided, compartmentalized in which some God is involved, and in others, He is not.  
When I committed my life to the Lord for ministry, I surrendered it all to Him, and made a promise not only to preach the truth, but to live the truth until I die. That is a promise that I will never break.

Because God is a holy God, He demands righteousness to be in His Kingdom. If you will place your faith in Jesus Christ, believe that He is the Son of God, died on the cross for your sin and on the third day, rose again from the dead, that we might have eternal life, He will give you His righteousness. 
In verse 33, Jesus begins by saying "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’"
The scribes and Pharisees taught that an oath made by God was binding but oaths made by things related to God, such as His temple, the gold of His temple, were graded on a curve, if you didn’t stand by those oaths, it was ok to let it slide. Today, we often hear people say "I swear on my mother’s grave," "I swear on my children lives," or "As God is my witness." In Jesus day, swearing by this or that, had become a everyday thing, instead of something that was done every once in awhile. 
Man is notorious for breaking his word, he needs something fearful to hold him to it. I believe we still do today, the fear of God is a good way to bind men’s word. I cannot even begin to tell you how many peace treaties in the history of the world have been violated.

Throughout His sermon, Jesus has been zeroing in on the spirit of the Law, in keeping with its purpose and God's holy character. In Jesus' teaching, He does not often reveal His point without any effort on our part. We would love for it to be that simple, but I do not believe it is. His words pierce us and causes us think about things as we would never think about them apart from the influence of His Word. Because God alone is sovereign over all, His people are never to put a person or thing in God’s place.
Leviticus 19 says "You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord."
God, wanting to accommodate men, to demonstrate the unchanging character of His own promise, also made an oath. Since God doesn’t make an oath by anybody greater than Himself, you will find throughout the Old Testament, "As surely as I live,’ says the Lord" and then the statement. When Jesus says "verily, verily," He's emphasizing the significance of that which He has said, setting it apart from other things, in other words, He really means it.

Making a statement and calling God to witness to the truth of that statement, when in fact you’re not telling the truth, is invoking a curse from God. We live in a society where they think its ok to think something they don’t act upon. Because God looks deep into our hearts, He sees what we value most, our hidden thoughts of lust, greed, resentment, anger, envy, covetousness, and sexual deviancy. In other words, He knows the secrets of the heart, and He judges the intent of our hearts. God knows our thoughts and He wants it to be pure. 
Jeremiah 23 says "Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?" declares the Lord.
"Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord."
When Christ returns, He is going to come and reveal our hearts, we should hope and pray that He finds us well. The scribes and Pharisees twisted the Scripture, they thought that if you didn’t say "in the Lord’s name," then they could lie. So, in verses 34-36, Jesus says "But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black."
What He is saying is "Whenever you touch heaven, you touch God. You touch earth, you touch God. You touch Jerusalem, you touch God. Touch your head, you touch God. Because God is all and in all, you cannot avoid God." God is in control of all. There is no division between sacred and secular.In other words, you cannot separate telling the truth in church and lying in your business. It is amazing to me that men think they can invent a "work around" God's Word. God does not need to be invited into specific areas of our life to be involved and kept out of others. God is in it all, every little detail of life. He hears not only the words which are spoken in His name, but also the ones that are not. All words are spoken in the presence of God. He will regard all promises as sacred. Jesus is revealing the truth, they're liars! Their error was not in misstating the Law; it is in mishandling the Law.
Revelation 21 says "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." 
Jesus is saying, "You can’t be in my Kingdom if you’re lying!" In other words, "Swear not at all in the manner to which you have been accustomed, evasively trying to cover your lies because it is God Who touches every place in His universe." 

That brings us to verse 37, "But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil." Invoking God’s name is right, when its needful, but it is a serious matter. In other words, you don’t have to swear by anything because your word is your bond, so let your normal speech be yes means yes, and no means no. Their oaths had become so ridiculous, like a contest to see who could bind the most impressive object to his statements to give them the greatest force. Jesus is pointing out how absurd this all had become and turns their foolish logic on its head. God is sovereign over all, you are sovereign over nothing, not even your own hair.
We are accountable to God every time we open our mouth. If your everyday conversation is so suspect that you've got to make vows to God to prove that your telling the truth, then there’s something seriously wrong. And it has to be dealt with, before you can enter God's Kingdom, you need to come to Jesus Christ, Who alone can give you the righteousness you must have.
In Closing..
God sees the malice in our hearts when we cling to anger, He sees the lust in our hearts when we  longingly gaze at another. It's easy for us to point our finger at the Pharisees then pat ourselves on the back for not being as bad as they are. When in God's eyes, we are as bad just as they are, if not worse, because we have Scripture revealed to us they didn't have. Oh, how we too fall short of God’s standard.
If you see this message as ammunition to hold against your brother or sister to the fire, you’ve missed the message and have sunk to the level of the Pharisees. I pray that you will simply humble yourself before God, because Jesus’ accusations in this sermon should leave every one of us feeling as guilty as anyone else. Jesus' standard of righteousness in this passage is God’s own righteousness. 

We will not speak truth, if we are not in love with the One Who is Truth, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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