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3. Enhancing or Endangering Spirituality?

Wes Peppers


Wes Peppers

Pastor, Traverse City & Kalkaska, Michigan



  • December 28, 2017
    2:45 PM
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This message was presented at the G.U.Y.Z. twenty seventeen conference arise in Phoenix Arizona for other resources like this visit us online at Deb you Deb you Deb you dot. Org. All right well are you ready for part three So here's where we're going to go we're going to finish this presentation and we're going to talk a little bit in this segment about balance and then how many of you knew that the Seventh Day Adventist Church the General Conference the voted world body actually has a position on competitive sports actually have an official statement on that subject some of you knew that not very many of you won I will say I was the one we're going to actually go through that is quite fascinating and you know there's a lot of confusion about a lot of subjects and our church music dress all kinds of things and you know that like the church manual just highlights and hits all those things the church manual is a beautiful guide that directs us in issues and matters of that come up in the church but so many people maybe ever know maybe I shouldn't ask that question how many you have ever read the church manual but when I say read it I don't mean like Page one twenty two I mean like cover to cover Yeah that's what how it usually is so don't feel too bad me feel bad but not too bad because most people do the same but I want to challenge you today to go and read the church manual it's not that long it's like one hundred something pages maybe closer to two hundred but it's not boring at all it's very interesting and a lot of the things that you wonder like why is the church doing this why are they doing that why wouldn't we do this and it's all laid out in the church manual and some of those things are good things that the church isn't doing maybe your local church or whatever some of those things are bad things that are good things that they that they should be doing that are some of them are bad and they shouldn't be doing them but they are. And like but if you read that thing it's a beautiful thing I mean is amazing and if we would be committed to a the Bible first and foremost yes be the spirit of prophecy and then if we would view that church manual as something of authority because God's world church came together put that thing together and voted it it is a document of man's would certainly doesn't hold the authority of scripture but it does have authority in church policy matters and if we would add here to that church manual I can promise you that like probably eighty five to ninety percent of the issues would just kind of dissolve away I mean we would have issues if people said whatever the church where the Bible says the Spirit of Prophecy the church may and I'm going to follow it as long as it doesn't conflict with scripture which it doesn't we would have amazing things and the rest of the problems would dissolve if we all committed to winning souls wherever we are if we would go about giving Bible studies and doing missionary service and etc then the rest of the problems in the church would fade away and we'd become more and more like the book of Acts I mean I think that would be a good place for our church to go I meant the book of Acts and so. I want to challenge you G.-Y. see this year that by next G. Y.C. or hey you could do it by then the next month read that church manual you'll be fascinated by it it is very interesting how of you're willing to accept that challenge Amen All right home of you are willing to think about it all right a man whom you say no way no don't raise him is getting All right well let's let's have prayer together and then we're going to get back into it and I appreciate your prayers I have I've been feeling better and you know if I say something just off the wall you blame it on the sickness because I am I do have a moment or two of dizziness but the Lord has given me strength that I know I don't have so it's evidence and you know I hate to even say this but because I don't want to be weird but I will even I will say who it was but there was a very well known person in our church that I respect very much and I believe that this person is really full of the Spirit of God And last night and the most humble people I know and last night we were in the back preparing to come out to present to talk about our seminars you guys remember that if you were there and I was feeling horrible I was I was just sitting there and I was talking to a few people and I just felt bad and I had felt bad all day and this person came up to me to greet me because I know them and I said you know Elder I'm sick I don't want to get to six I'll just greet you from afar and he smiled at me and he just put his hand on my head for about three or four seconds and I know he was praying. And then he just and then he started talking to me and it was not but a few minutes later that I started feeling much better and when I went out on the stage I felt like I wasn't even sick I mean it was amazing and it was a test and I know the Lord was in that and let me tell you the Lord wants to do those kind of things for all of us you know and we don't put our faith in miracles but when they happen they are a blessing Amen and and it's a joy because we see first hand the world working let's have prayer again do we have prayer ready OK let's have prayer and then we're going to dive in precious father we thank you once again to be in this place we ask for your strength Lord we ask your spirit to be close to us to speak to us to move our hearts Lord towards a decision and we ask Father that as we compile this information that it would turn into transformation and then it wouldn't just be something we take home and say those are nice things to think about but that actually make a difference in our lives and that's only going to be the case if you are uplifted and you are in the center of that so I pray that you would be uplifted today I pray that you would speak to our hearts I pray that you would convict our hearts and Lord afflict us if we need to be conflicted but draw us nearer to your heart of the LORD whatever it takes make us break us and mold us into your image Lord we plead and pray in Jesus name that everyone say amen. So I kind of beat you up a little bit and the first two seminars but now we're going to look at a little bit of the opposite side and we kind of ended by asking the question when our session too is God trying to take away our fun what and what was the answer No he's not. Eighty four eleven no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly in fact what God is trying to do instead of taking away our fun is give us the greatest joy do you realize and I'm a I'm on a this popped in my head I'm going to hammer on this for just a minute our whole culture and our whole society and it's bleeding over into the church in a so in a very sad way revolves around the idea that would ever I'm going to do has to be fun if it's not going to be fun then I don't want to do it I mean you know what I'm talking about like I'm not going to get some kind of pleasure or enjoyment out of it then I really don't want to do it you're I'm talking about and we train our kids that way and we raise them up we think everything has to be fun for them you know but the reality is that there are sometimes things in life that aren't fun yes or no and there's a great difference. There's a great difference between fun and joy fun is temporary pleasure is temporary but joy lasts for as long as you're willing to hold it makes sense it does not fade it does not taper off as long as you continue to do that thing and the thing is this when you're into and I'm not saying fun is bad or evil OK. I'm just saying it's not the most important thing that's what I'm saying but many times when we engage when you engage in pleasure and you find something that tickles your fancy and it's probably not the best thing but you keep doing that thing over and over because it triggers something in your brain it triggers those little neurons and you get the certain amount of pleasure out of it right and then you go back to to get in again after you do it so many times what happens. Is it does it start to lose its appeal to start to lose it's pleasure it does doesn't it and then you have to move on to something else there was this. There was this study done with this monkey and. Mark Finley tells a story but it was a it was a pleasure that there was this monkey they trying to push this button and every time they would push the button it would have had this some kind of helmet on or something and it would release this pleasure is pleasure senses into its brain and it would have this just this enormous amount of pleasure and satisfaction and that monkey kept pushing that thing over and over again until basically he fell over dead and so we're not monkeys are we we can understand when something that may be pleasurable is not necessarily good for us every one of us in this room knows the conviction of the spirit of dawn and we know that when he convicts us of something that's not good for us that we need to pull away from and only the question is when we find ourselves in that situation are we going to be willing to surrender our Wilson God and be willing to do what he's asking us to do knowing it and here's the thing the bottom line in this is trust it's what it's trust at the end it comes down to this when there's that thing that I want to do that I know is going to give me that pleasure that's not ideal that's not the best for me and God says No I actually have something better for you over here but in order to have that you have to let go of this in my really going to trust that what Gone is going to promise me is going to be better than that thing I'm chasing after you with me and my decision is going to be based on how much I trust that God really has my best interests and money and if your relationship with him is weak because you haven't spent time with him because you're flirting with whatever you haven't spent time in His Word you haven't spent time in prayer you haven't spent time you haven't you know gone to church consistently and etc etc etc All these things that strengthen our faith in our walk with Him not that we're saved by those things but they do strengthen us. If I have neglected those things then is it likely that I'm going to have that trust in that moment that God wants me to have it yes or no and the moment that I desperately need it why was it that that Joseph was able to resist part of his wife was a because he was just some great godly man that I mean another words do you think that he was so godly that he didn't think she was beautiful. You with me was it because he was so godly that he had no interest in women obviously not because leader in his life he got married right. But the difference between Joseph and many of us is that Joseph made the decision to trust God before he found himself placed in temptation that makes sense and he was able to confirm that solidify that same thing with Daniel Daniel one verse eight Daniel did what purposed in his heart not to defile him self he didn't wait until he was in the midst of it he made the decision before hand and he asked God to give him the strength Here's a novel thing I wasn't going to say this because I'm going to say it on Sabbath morning but I'll give you just a little bit feature here is the difference between those who those who walk in the flesh are going to care for how I say this and who who walk the when the Bible says The just shall live by faith OK Will God always accept a repentant sinner yes or no if we sin and we are sorry and we repent and we come to him does he always receive us and you always receive this right so there's nothing wrong with accepting grace but think about this it's a very novel idea it's a very simple idea but it's very profound What if as Christians that through prayer or through faith through trust through claiming God's promises we could actually arrive at the place where instead of asking God for grace after we sin for forgiveness we could ask for a grace before the temptation in the middle of the temptation for power to overcome it to make sense and see like that's what's going to prepare us for heaven I mean that's what's going to complete the process of sanctification when we move from asking forgiveness for a sin of grace for forgiveness for sin to overcoming the sin before it comes to us that makes sense as powerful isn't it and that's where God wants to Kara's he's not just interested in read dimming us he's actually interested in restoring us I meant. And so God's never going to take anything good for you member I said last session if it's good for you you can be sure that he's going to let you have it maybe not at any time he has a certain time for everything I don't want ya going out here going down the street get married you're not married yet you know going to just as the peace today but anyway listen to this this is a very balanced statement Avonex home page for ninety nine she says this I do not condemn the simple exercise of playing ball so is it wrong to go out and throw the football around the wrong to go out and kick the soccer ball around as a wrong to go out and shoot basketball No it's not wrong so don't leave this place saying all Pastor West said we can't touch it's a sin to touch a basketball I'm not saying that I love to throw the football I love to throw that you know to play tennis in fact. I play racquetball and I enjoy it very much I'll talk about that in just a minute but anyway she says but this even in its simplicity may be what overdone I streak always from the almost sure result which follows in the wake of these amusements it leads to an outlay of means that should be expended in bringing the light of truth the Souls that are perishing out of Christ so she's saying that it's bad. Is it would you say that she's saying it's OK to play some ball Yes but you have to ask the question how what priority is it in my life how much time in my spending on it what type of attitude do I have is there something that I can be doing that's better now we all need a release we all need a diversion every so often you understand we need a hobby so if we're doing that it's fine but if we're spending you know if we're spending fifteen hours a week going to play ball and we say I don't have time to do outreach with the church that's a problem if we have kids and our kids are in a soccer league and we pull them out of Pathfinder's adventurers so they can play soccer and we have to miss prayer meeting to take them to soccer practice that's a problem you understand to make sense well a Sunday afternoon you know and you know we've you know we've we've had our family time we go out we play a little ball they get nothing wrong with that thing wrong with coming together as a church and playing a little softball nothing wrong with those things but it cannot dominate the life that it's not that hard it's not it's actually quite simple the amusements and expenditures of means for self pleasing which lead on step by step to self glorifying and the education educating in these games for pleasure produce a love and passion for such things that is not favorable to the perfection of Christian character so like I said I play racquetball. And I have a couple people that I play with and they're all Christian they're all ministers I would play with a non-Christian too but we don't play to try to beat each other we keep score but we're actually encouraging one another we're strengthening one another and I'll tell you with all my heart with all my heart I do not care if I win this is what I pray every time we pray the prayer Lord help us to both do well and help us to get good exercise and help us to have good fellowship that's what we do and it's a wonderful exercise so there's an attitude that Hassid do so how do I know where to draw the line on the want to know that I don't know where to draw the line with these things Number one if it lowers your desire to seek holy things and listen nobody but YOU BUT YOU FOR SURE know in your heart of hearts if that kind of a thing we can your spirituality the make sense only you know you can put on the greatest front to me and you and I may think you're the greatest godly person since then of the prophet but in your heart it may be eating you up inside you may smile every time I beat you but if that's tearing you up and you start to have a problem with that. Maybe a good sorry in that you need to lay down for a while or even permanently when it lowers my desire I thought if I if I go play ball or I watch a game on T.V. and it's Wednesday afternoon and it the game is over a six and a prayer meeting starts a seventy you think you know man I just don't feel much like go in prayer meetings and I wonder why that's the case what you think when every other time you've enjoyed prayer meeting right makes sense Number two when it lowers our desire to sacrifice self to help others have a lower is my desire for missionary work if it lowers my desire to be a witness if I have to if I have to avoid people because I'm irritable from playing or watching people that I should be a witness to that's a problem make sense if I prefer to go to the ball game rather than to do outreach Yeah that's a problem I mean I mean it's not a problem if that's what you're going to pursue if we're going to pursue those things then then by all means you have the right to do that but if I'm going to by the grace of God say I want to be a Christian I want to follow Jesus then though the the love for Godly things they just don't come naturally that makes sense you might love Jesus but the love for Godly things half has to be trained and developed in our hearts by doing them and practicing them whichever one whichever. Whichever nature you feed the most which one what's a going to do. Is going to grow whichever one you feel the least is going to shrink but it's not that hard right number three when it increases our desire to dominate or be supreme to those around us if my only desire is to win that's a problem if I take pleasure in seeing someone lose or me being superior over someone else that's a problem what do you think and look I can't point to any of you and say you have a problem with that you can only be the one to admit to yourself and be honest if you have a problem with it and you have to see God in prayer to say God do I have a problem with this I can't be the judge of you God has to be yours judge Amen so I'm not beating you up on that coming down on you I'm just presenting it like it is and you have to search your own hearts Examine yourselves to see whether or not we're in the faith. Never fourth it places us in a position where we are tempted to compromise the principles of God in order to gain advantage over others what would be an example of that. Cheating exactly how have you ever been tempted to cheat play a game as a Christian minister I have been tempted to cheat play a game been tempted didn't say it it you with me what else. OK how about the Sabbath I mean like you know my favorite team made it to the playoffs they made all the way through the playoffs and guess when their championship game is Friday night at seven o'clock sat with begins six thirty what am I going to do or maybe we could say no to that but we're in the middle of watching the game and Sabbath begins I remember one time in my early Christian days I was playing this video game I was addicted to video games something fierce and I was playing this game I've been playing this game all day and it was Friday and. And the Sabbath was starting and I was about to complete this big task in the game and I wanted to do it and the Lord just kept convicting me and I just kept putting it out of my mind and finally I remember this to stink like I said sorry Lord but I'd rather play this right now I remembered saying that this was probably I was a a year in the face and I had to repent from there I mean the Lord broke my heart over it and he revealed to me that. My priorities were in the right place but if we're tempted to compromise what about lying we're tempted to lie in the game see my point if we're ever ever ever overwhelmingly tempted and we can't control ourselves to not compromise the principles of God's kingdom would that be a problem do you think. Yes or No I mean think about this if you were an alcoholic and you went into you know and you were converted what would be a problem for you not that you would do it if you were a Christian let's just say you weren't a Christian but you were not the halakhah and you had victory over that would be a problem for you to try to go to a bar yes or no would it be a problem for you to be around a lot of people that are drinking yes or no yeah it's just it's just a very basic principle number five when we are placed in a position to become angry envious jealous or hostile at someone else over the game I mean you have been tempted with that before right I mean you lose that as some brother was telling me the other day just a little bit ago I won't point him out I don't know if he's still in here or not but he was telling me that he used to run a lot of marathons and he used to be you know like number one and for years he did run and then he finally ran when he thought he had victory over it and he placed third in a marathon I mean like a five placed if I was last in a marathon I'd be happy I mean like there is no marathon you're going to see me in a marathon a five K. is my limit OK I was a I was a sprinter I wasn't I wasn't a long distance but this brother placed third and he said he crossed that line and he was so mad and this was after being a Christian for years and he was just frustrated and he said he lost his temper he started throwing a fit and he said he looked down and his son was just sitting there watching him looking at him responding that way when he should have been happy and you know the kid I mean like my son he's just thinking wow you finished you know it's amazing and that's the attitude I have but what he wasn't happy wasn't satisfied with that he was angry if a game causes to be angry and I think we have to consider that. What if I fall into these things every time I play well my wife when we first got married she used to inform me she said You are so competitive everything that I would always want her I said like come play tennis with me or come come do this with me and I was always like I'm trying to beat my own wife and everything and I'm thinking like why am I trying to be my wife I should be loving her and nurturing her and strengthening her and here I am trying to overpower her and everything that I do like anything I can do that you know like who can can she get the this was done faster than I can clean the bathroom you know like just competing and everything and she got to where she was like I don't want to play any games with you board games I don't want to do anything with you like that because you're always trying to beat me and that was a rebuke to me and for a while I just kind of ignored it but then I mean I've ever seen this game right here. Why is this thing. Here I mean I've ever seen that game right there you know that game is risk what's the subtitle world domination and let me tell you at risk I have never been beat to this day never been beat. And when I taught the amazing fact school I used to teach it amazing facts I used to work there at Afghan army you know Africa and so we'd have every two twice a year a session of students and those students would come and they would be there for four months and they would get training on evangelism and cetera well many times throughout the semester we'd have them over on a Saturday night there was some right there you probably came to our house at some point. And we would have you know smoothies and and that kind of thing just a night of fellowship and I think you even played with me didn't you know and. After a little while you know we'd play some apples to apples and all that and then some people would start to fade off and I would go to the closet and pull out the risk game and I would say only like five or six people can play and I would pick out the people I thought would be the best that it and then we would play and you know this game is not like a twenty minute game right you know how long it takes it can take five four five six seven hours and it's just slow and monotonous but you just gradually start to white people out and you take over their armies and and after a while there's only you know there's like three of you then there's two of you and then whoever stands stands right now I have a certain strategy I did and I was I was very good at the game and there was one time that. Well let me just say this after I would play that game it would usually be two or three in the morning and I would be so wiped out like I would just be utterly exhausted emotionally mentally even physically I just felt shaky big and I thought to myself you know that's probably not the best thing for me to do you know I'm like I'm not using up my vital force here and but that I just put on my set and so it's all good it's all good I can sleep in on Sunday in on good right I remember one time we played a game and then I let the ASCO students play with themselves and I watched how people who had been so kind and loving became cutthroat in the game and I realized God convict me like he I mean it was overwhelming he was like you won't quit this for yourself when I asked you to but look at the influence it's having on those whom you're supposed to be revealing Christ to and that convicted me so bad. I packed up that game after the students left I took it out of the dumpster and it was a very hard thing for me to do but by the grace of God I dropped to the gnomes or is that is that as bad as some things could be no but it can lead to those things. It wasn't the best and it certainly wasn't God's ideal first Peter chapter for you go with there with me. First Peter chapter four. A very powerful text first Peter chapter four verse one notice what the Bible says Therefore since Christ suffered for us in the flesh arm yourselves also with the same mind for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin that he no longer should live the rest of his life the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men before the will of God I think that's a powerful tax Peter here is appealing to God's people he's saying look he's saying you should because of what Christ has done for you for the suffering that Jesus went through you be willing to go through the same self-denial as Jesus went through be willing to do it because he did it for you didn't have to but he did and then he says in verse three for we have spent enough of our past life time and doing the will of the Gentiles think about that Peter is saying like look examine your life and recognize that you have spent anough time on those themes and most all of you in here today are youthful You're young people some of your older than others but everyone here is young in the eyes of God right and so whatever time we have spent on pursuing those things Peter says that is enough. And we need to readjust or we need to allow God to readjust our focus that we may focus on the things that are not the lust of our hearts but on the will of God Do you think that that cause that do you think that that would cause some discomfort in our lives or do you think I mean you think that would cause some discomfort in our lives Jesus says of your I can cause you to sin do on well you know it is in your hand cause you to sin you want to cut it off I mean there may be things that we God is calling us to cut off so that we can be living in harmony with the will of who with the will have gone back up there in verse two he should no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men but for the will of God we spend enough of our life time when we walk in the lewdness of us drunkenness robberies drinking parties in abominable Idolatries I mean to think that God is calling us to something better and event I think that God is calling us to the very best Amen What time do we go to three forty five OK to five. Now because we started at three forty five then we take a break Yeah all right so what should be the standard for recreation how do how do we judge it's very simple check the cell address home page five thirteen Christians have many sources of happiness at their command so does God want you to be bored because God wants you to be stale and stiff and you know like only you know just you know I can't do anything as a Christian is that what he wants oh we have many sources of happiness at our command and they may tell with an airy accuracy what pleasures are lawful and right in other words you will know in your heart if that is God's ideal for you or not and if you have any question I mean there might be three or four percent of things that you like I'm not sure about this what's the best principle if you're not sure. I mean if you go to a restaurant. And you see a dish there and you think that looks like bacon bits in it but you're not sure what do you do you don't do it you leave it alone Amen who follow that practice is that a good idea yeah I remember one time I was driving. Back from from Lansing up to my house and was on my way back and there was this great tie place on the way home and I was in a hurry so I called ahead I called my order in and I said I want pad thai vegetarian with tofu and then I want the fresh spring rolls with tofu no problem twenty minutes I got there picked it up I'm driving down the road and I'm famished like I haven't eaten all day so I rip open those fresh spring rolls I have prayer of course and I start just tearing in those things I ate the first one and I was like Man those are so good I just love those things and then I ate the second I took like two big bites out of it then I was eating the third by the last quarter of it and this big shrimp just fell out and it was like hang on my lips I know it's gross but I got to tell you something to keep you awake in the afternoon and. And so this rant was like hanging in my mouth and I'm like I'm like sitting here I can see it with my eyes you know on like seeing the piece of the tail hanging there and I almost you know it was gross and I strew him down and I thought you know I don't know why I told this story but. If there's I should have checked it first they men and but I looked at that last roll and it was sitting in the thing and it looks so good on the outside you with me it looked just like the fresh spring roll with tofu that I love so much was that was in sign and that's often the case it looks so nice on the outside but is it the best on the inside and is it the best when it gets inside of you. They enjoy the game in joy such recreations as will not dissipate the mind or debase the soul is that pretty straightforward and clear pretty straightforward and clear such as will not disappoint and leave a sad after influence to destroy self-respect and that powerful or bar the way to usefulness if they can take Jesus with them and maintain a prayerful spirit they are perfectly safe so that's the question that's the that's when you have asked all other questions about what you're watching what you're attending what you're doing what you're playing etc What you're listening to music it doesn't matter what it is when you ask yourself the question if Jesus were here with me now or of Jesus came in and saw what I was watching on the T.V. would he smile and come over and sit down and put his arm around me and watch it with me or would he be saddened and there would be a look in his eye that his heart was breaking I don't ask yourself the question how would Jesus respond if he was here do any of you think with just about almost everything that you could have a choice to do you any of you think you would have a problem knowing what Jesus response would be what you think. In other words whatever it is you're going to choose to do when you think about it for just a minute are you going to know or are you going to be confused you're going to know a quote and then the question is am I going to trust and obey that's a bottom line. Would Jesus Do this with me if not it is not likely this activity would being the greatest joy and happiness Jesus always gives the best never anything less another statement from the. PH one forty five Let us never lose sight of the fact that Jesus is a wellspring of joy he does not the light in the misery of human beings but loves to see them happy aren't you thankful Jesus wants you to be joyful and happy yes but only the things that he has designed for us will bring true happiness to Us you're going to have pleasure for a while but it's not going to last and that I found that to be true I can't tell you how many times I have been discouraged or frustrated or upset and maybe I've committed a sin maybe lost my temper and the last thing I feel like doing is going to the Bible I just want to go and brood over it for a while or you know what I'm talking about but it never fails that when I make the conscious decision contrary to my fleshly will to go to the scripture anyway God always has a passage for me it's incredible and let me tell you just a few weeks ago I was struggling with this one particular thing and tell you what it is but anyway I was wrestling with this thing it's been a thing that I wrestled with for years sometimes I've had victory over the net creeps back up on me and it's cetera et cetera and it's been a thing that I've wrestled with and the Lord gave me in this passage I was really striving to. To just put this thing away and. Some times have been better than others how many of you can relate it's the Roman seven thing right and you think and while the preacher wrestles with things too of course there is no preacher that doesn't Russell OK but I found this tax that God gave me and it was so powerful check this thing out it says Psalm one thirty eight verse seven and eight though I walk in the midst of trouble you will revive me amen. You will stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies who is our enemy it's Satan and his agents right and then notice this your I handle save me watch this verse eight the Lord will per fact that that which concerns me is that powerful. Your mercy oh lord endures forever do not for sake the works of your hands and so that tax has stuck in my mind since I first read it that if I stick with Jesus he will perfect that thing that concerns me and day by day as I put my faith and trust in him he's going to keep giving me the victory and the victory and as I put my faith in Jesus the day will come by the grace of God when I will have the faith of Jesus and you too I meant Amen so don't be discouraged if there's something you're wrestling with all right here's another one peach one forty five same place there's a great need of temperance and amusements as in every other pursuit and the character of these amusement should be carefully and thoroughly considered what does that mean don't why don't rush into something your friends say hey let's go do this you know what wait a minute me think about this for just a minute don't just be swept away in the moment right but be careful and thoughtful about the decisions you're making to do with your free time yes I mean your free time is so valuable you only have a certain amount of it and God wants you to use it for the very greatest good that great you can still find rest can still find satisfaction when we follow that principle every you should ask himself What influence would these amusements have on physical mental and moral health will my mind become so infatuated as to forget God shall I cease to have his glory before me I mean I think those are good questions to ask yourself on a daily basis and everything that you do ing gone Is this your will for me and your life will change if you live that way evidence home page five thirteen any amusements and which you can engage asking the blessing of God upon it in faith will not be dangerous but any amusement which disqualifies you for secret prayer for devotion at the altar of prayer or for taking part in the prayer meeting is not safe but dangerous. Yeah so think about this if I'm about to go to the Super Bowl I'm about to go to you know W W professional wrestling and these people are going to or let's just say like and Ultimate Fighting Championship can I pray ahead of time say God please bless me in that place I mean just even thinking about you just like man like those two things don't even remotely go together I mean you just can't even put them in the same box that makes sense and how how can we strive to ask a blessing on something that we know is going contrary to the principles have been very difficult to do all right you can search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will find no mention of sports as God's plan for man. Now Paul talks about the running the race but we talked about that earlier OK We talked about that already if you are here you have to kiss the recording but it's always talking about the strive against sin personal battle against sin not being one up on someone else it's just not there but God has given us something that is very valuable and very useful God's gift of work what what is it work now people say Amen you can't be serious let me tell you manual labor is a blessing Why do you suppose that society today especially Will Western culture has put a degrading emphasis on manual labor why just about everything that society Scott sat almost you can almost look at all those things and say those are God's ideal for man the make sense are you with me I mean. I'm not going to get in that but I had a thought I was going to go out on the way to do it and so God has given us the beauty of work you know in the book of Genesis we find God made labor more difficult after the fall why did God do that was it because he was trying to beat up on Adam any is because he didn't love them why did he make the labor more difficult as a what as a protection for them to keep them focused on something that was good for them that they would have to work harder and think more about so that it would lessen the time that they have for for other things that was going to lead them for the way from is it makes sense I mean when you go to the Book of Genesis let me just show you this real quick you guys did OK because awake all right and the Book of Genesis Check this out. When gone and removed Adam and Eve from the garden verse twenty four says so he drove out the man and placed Chairwoman the east of the garden this is Genesis three verse twenty four he drew a place Cero at the east of the Garden of Eden and a flaming sword which turned every way to do what what's that word to guard the way to the Tree of Life so many people think that that when God kicked Adam and Eve out he was putting the sword or the angel there to prevent them from coming back in as a punishment. I mean in a sense it was but more so it was that the Bible says he was guarding the way to the tree of life what does that mean it means that he was guarding it until he could work the process of salvation in them and they could once again partake of the tree of life without becoming immortal sinners to make sense so almost everything that we think oftentimes is a punishment or or degrading influence on US is actually a blessing from the Lord yes so good old manual labor gardening you know two years ago we put in our first garden and I built some garden boxes and we follow this I forget the name of it but we found this method that supposed to be very natural and you put this molds down and and it ends up dissolving back into the soil and fertilizing it and it's mimics the what happens in the forest when the leaves fall and then the soil becomes fertile when they rot away anyway we had the most beautiful garden and I've always wanted to have a garden with that was the first time my life ever had one and my kids if you want you if you have kids and you want them to eat vegetables let them plan through the garden right and but it is incredible to watch that stuff grow I mean I planted that thing in those little plants were like this and then I went to camp meeting for two weeks and I came back and they were like this and it's almost like sometimes you can you can you see it and then you go to bed that night you get up the next day and it grew like overnight I mean it's incredible and then when that stuff starts papa now all the fruit and vegetables and it all starts coming out and it's growing I had I had watermelons last year this big around I mean this this this long and that big around and tomatoes out the ears and I mean it's an incredible thing and I'm telling you as a pastor we have a lot of stress right pastors have a lot of stress really knows that but my stress level went way down. When I had my own garden and these are the kind of things that God is calling us to be involved with things that are going to draw our hearts close to him watching things grow at cetera et cetera we were designed to fulfill find fulfillment and pleasure and the practical duties and responsibilities of life and in works of service to God and man and those things will provide the greatest fulfillment in our lives Amen amen. Here's another statement this is the very best God has to offer it says As a rule the exercise most beneficial to the youth will be found useful employment in the words work the little child finds both diversion and development in play and his sport should be such as to promote not only physical but mental and spiritual growth as he gains strength and intelligence the best recreation we found in some line of effort that is useful tell me how useful playing on a football team is in the ultimate goal is a life it's it doesn't help you that much that which trains the hand to helpfulness and teaches the young to bear their share of life's burdens is most effective in promoting the growth of mind and character the youth need to be taught that life means earnest work responsibility caretaking they need a training that will make them practical men and women who can cope with the mergence ease why do you think that many people today don't know what to do in emergencies they're not leaders they just they just cave one pressure comes on because they haven't learned how to work hard they haven't learned how to be leaders. They should be taught that the discipline of systematic well regulated labor is essential not only as a safeguard against the changes of life but as an aid to all around the elements how do you think that's a great. And that powerful men let's do this we've got a couple minutes we're going to wrap this up I'm almost to the end then we'll take our break can you guys are you guys with me all right most of you are all right here's some tips for practical life focus if something is not worth doing badly it's not worth doing at all in other words so it's over your life while in other words if I if I can't do it and be OK with my own heart if I do it poorly then that's problematic make sense it goes back to that circle dominance element but focus on doing well just for the sake of doing well yes focus on the sake of doing well just for the sake of Alec's excellence and you doing well for something or in something has nothing to do with any one ounce right you can strive for excellence it doesn't matter who's around you or who's in the room with you right you strive for excellence in yourself you strive to compete with who with yourself and yourself. Notice this it says attempting to do well and trying to be Others are two separate mental processes is that interesting it is impossible to concentrate on what on both you find that interesting it's impossible to focus on both of the two cooperating with yourself and others to create a positive has more rewards allow ample time you know when I'm in a crunch when I am stressed out what does that tend to do for me. It tends to increase that edge doesn't it so if I give myself ample ample time time pressure produced non-agreement be creased information exchanges and firm a negotiator demands perception available time facilitates what cooperation OK three share leadership you know if one person is not always in charge if you rotate the leadership not every scenario is able to do this but if you rotate the leadership then it makes it more feasible for. More cooperation and less competition OK. Number five reinforce team efforts rather than praising one person for a job utilize a team approach when the team does well the team is rewarded in this minimizes competition and maximizes cooperation right a number six exponentiate cooperation when people have witnessed. You do a co-operative Act This is true because it's happened to me when people see you do an act of kindness or you do an act of kindness to them Are they more likely to pay it forward yes or no I mean they've done studies on kids that when people are mean to kids that are maybe like seven or eight years old those seven or eight year olds are mean to the three and four year olds and then the three and four year olds will be mean to the one year olds right the same principle I mean I hate to say this but the same principle actually they've done these studies in sexual abuse when a kid eight nine ten years old is molested or sexually abused they tend to Den do it to the younger kids I mean it's sad so if it works in the negative does it work in the positive yes or no it does if you do that kind of an act it's more like that they will do what it competition originate where. And Heaven with whom Lucifer Right not going to read all these texts but those are the text that you know competition originated in heaven with Lucifer and Lucifer lose control of himself notice this when we lose control of our own lives we seek could control and dominate the lives of those around us if. You ever seen somebody that's trying to control everybody got a family member like that a mother in law or Usually it's because they don't have control of their own life but nobody knows that because they try to control everyone else everyone thinks they're in control but they have lost control of themselves this is the hidden lesson that competitive sports teaches. Is a loss of control rather than a gain of control when we refuse to deny ourselves for the good of others we naturally indulge ourselves to the harm of others just happens when our hearts are not connected to Christ desire for self will always rise to the crucifixion of Christ in our life and our decisions or anything the natural mind ever wants is reviewing Harold volume sixty three Number twenty one eighty six the natural mind leans towards pleasure and self gratification it is Satan's policy to manufacture an abundance of this has he done that in our society or do you think I mean is that the case in our society today have we haven't we have an abundance of pleasure to suffer gratification you don't have to look very far at all I mean you can sit in your own living room and you can have all the pleasure in all that you want but you can handle he seeks to fill the minds of men with a desire for worldly amusement that they may have no time to ask themselves the question how is it with my soul the love of pleasure is infectious given up to this the mind hurries from one point to another ever seeking for a some amusement how have you had that experience before in your life where nothing satisfies you go from one thing to you know you sit there and you flip the T.V. channels I mean my kids don't watch much T.V. so if they get in front of the T.V. it doesn't matter if it's Mr Rogers or you know like the most boring thing there are just like HALL But we get so stimulated that we'll sit there and the most action packed movies are on and we're just sitting there going because it's just we're over stimulated. Obedience the law of God contracts this inclination and builds beers against ungodliness I'm going to slip past this but I want to say that competition has crept into the church doesn't it people say well why didn't they ask me to do special music why don't they ask me to be deacon or they asked me to be an elder or they asked me to be the Sam school teacher. Why do they always ask the same people to delete song service when we go to when when someone says Hey why don't you go to this spiritual conference with me what do we say what's our first response who's speaking right and the reality is it shouldn't matter who's speaking the Bible is speaking Amen and we have this concept of admin a celebrity's the people we see on three B.N. The people we see on whatever you know amazing discoveries or whatever channels we're watching and we think those people are somehow more glorious than anyone else and I'm telling you they're not right with me and we need to get away from this element of competition in the church I mean Paul was concerned about it talks about strife and jealousy and disputes and disturbances the INS twelve twenty happening in the church in all rises from that same spirit talks about walking in the flesh and worse is walking in the spirit the question is this what is God's highest aim for you. Do you think that God's highest aim for you is to be a basketball star you think God's greatest aim for used to be the best sports fan of your favorite team what you think that is that your object in life is is God's highest regard for you to know every stat for the last thirty years for your favorite sport you know I'm talking about and there's people like who who have the most home runs in like one nine hundred seventy two for whatever team and so he's like oh yeah being I know that and they take pride in that it's like Big deal you know is it is it God's greatest desire for you to be us just pick on the best piano player the best piano player for yourself but not at the expense of everyone else that makes sense and so when God looks into your life today what do you think he wants to see he wants to see a son and daughter of God He wants to see someone who loves and who is pursuing righteousness not just. The things at this life are that are going to fade away into eternity and we have to ask ourself the question What should I do instead God has a calling on our life in this Texican in the one eight nine he talks about a holy calling that God has a plan your life a calling to live sold out for him a calling to live godly lives a calling that is into his labor and service for souls a calling that cause you to represent him wherever you go in the most and purest way the most powerful way and he wants you to be a light that shining in the darkness Amen arise and shine for your light is come now look I may not I don't have to be and I may not be the brightest light but I'm burning we want to be burning how you want to be burning today if anything should inspire enthusiasm let it be the cross of Christ and what he has done for us Amen. Let that be our greatest motivation let that be our greatest enthusiasm. You're going to make a just a quick appeal I like us to just all stand together. When I am prayer want to take a break. With a maybe somebody here today that says Lord I know I power in this thing hard maybe some of that says the Lord my life needs to change I've been driven by this stuff I've been I've been consumed by it it has eaten me up and stewed me up and down and Lord I need a revival in my life Lord I need an experience with you that's deeper than the one that I have I need maybe to lay certain things down in my life either permanently or at least for a time. And God's going to direct you and what that is and what level you need to lay it down or or etc Maybe we need a new experience in the Word of God. And the Lord says I'm inviting you to make that decision today to give me your life completely and fully and to allow my character to rest upon you to allow my character to be revealed through you not your own not someone else's but his and his alone. And maybe there's someone here today that was to make that decision you can just raise your hand wherever you are and it's not a general appeal where you say Lord I want this to be the reality of my life Let's pray together and you can make that decision to raise your hand as we pray Father in heaven we just lift our hands up to you this afternoon we want to be one with you Father we want your glory to be seen we want your power to be known in our lives and Lord there can be no rivalry with each other. And there concert will be no rivalry for the throne of our hearts today and we would ask today lord that your spirit would touch us that you would call us to the highest ideal that you have for us that she would speak to us Lord in every area of our lives the Bible says whatever we do with or eat or drink or anything less do all to the glory of God and may our lives in our hearts Lord be consumed with living for your glory because we see the beauty of what Jesus has done for us and his love for us we ask your spirit to come now and move upon us Lord to draw sweetly towards you and for those that have made any decisions today Lord I pray that you'll see all those decisions and have been scored room above and seal them Lord in their hearts give us the strength Lord to be faithful we pray and Jesus may and. This message was recorded at the G Y C twenty seventeen conference arrives in Phoenix Arizona. She Y.C. supporting ministry and the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so many Christians to download were purchased other resources like this visit us online at W.W.W. dot she Y.C. Web dot org.


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