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Dark, Dirty, Delivered

Ron Kelly

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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • December 28, 2019
    12:00 PM
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Father as we kneel or as we bow our heads here before you this afternoon we've come Lord already experiencing a blessing now Lord we're asking as we open the Bible that you would open our hearts that we would be available to be touched to be taught to be focused and I pray Lord meet our needs and compare us to meet the needs of others please send your spirit now bless us may we be encouraged through what you've done in the past and what you can do today in Jesus' name amen. You've been listening to the news you realize that there is a mental health crisis that's growing not only in America but around the world especially in Western societies it appears that having more and having it often being able to indulge in exercising a license is not enough to keep someone happy happiness is very different the joy of heaven is very different from the temporary pleasure and fun that we can have and while there's nothing wrong with pleasure or fun the smart thing I want to talk with you about mental health and mental well being the crisis of the end will be a mental health crisis the Bible tells us that men's hearts will be failing them for fear and I'm here to tell you today that God has a solution to make a strong in an age of increasing mental weakness so this morning I want to go on a journey with you listening to the radio this week I was cured into something that is an increasing problem I'm holding in my hands here a facsimile of the Wall Street Journal from October of this year says the youth suicide rate increase 56 percent in a decade. 56 percent thousands and thousands of people who have decided that not going forward is the best way to go there's a little town in Utah where they've had 6 people young people teenagers commit suicide in the last year and I'm looking at a picture here of a bridge across the river with some small mountains in the background from this city in Utah and someone has scrawled on the oxidized the rusted top metal piece the guardrail of the bridge he says when there's nowhere to go dot dot dot stay exclamation point with a big heart I don't know of some of jump from this bridge to their death or not but suicide is a terrible thing some of us have experienced it with a family member it's a sad end to something that could have a brighter future and this morning this time of year we recognize there is a certain heaviness that builds in short days in some places very very cloud covered absence of the sun thing bearing springs were not the only place the seasonal affective disorder affects a lot of people so how is it that God lays his hand on a mind and is a mind separate from the body we know the answer to the latter is Nay but what are we going to do to strengthen the mind and the hope the heart the faith to give us the courage to go on. Years ago Dr Philip Nelson told the story of a Chicago businessman who had decided that life wasn't worth living and as he walked down to the Chicago waterfront he was almost within sight of the icy cold waters of the river when he heard some crying from the street corner he looked over and saw a little girl who was there near a light post tears just streaming down her cheeks she didn't know what to do she had fled the home cold food lists sad empty almost and she was there on the Chicago street corner wondering herself what am I going to do what am I going to little girls are just breaking in the business man who was on the way to ending his own life heard the the suffering sounds of this little girl and said Honey what's wrong she cried out her story too. There was no coal for the furnace there was no food in the cover and mommy was sick laying in bed with a fever and she didn't know what to do he took the little girl by her hand walked over to the apartments went up the stairs entered the apartment and sure enough after opening all the doors in the cupboards there was nothing the frigid ness of the apartment met him immediately and yes there in lane one of the rooms was a mother trying to fight off death while the man thought to himself I have to do something about this he immediately got ahold of the grocery and filled the cupboards with food he got a hold of the supplier of coal and built a fire in the wood furnace and then he tended to the mother best he could and when he walked away he had in the back of his mind the sense of goodness about all that had just happened and it had flowed through him when he got back down to the street corner where the little girl was standing he said to himself Now where was I going. There's something about this little story that illustrates the power of a life that moves the focus off the whoa in the wheel of itself and onto a cause of alleviating the heartache of another human being the smarting I want to look at the lives of 3 people in the Scriptures who lived in some of the more depressing and discouraging dynamics of the human experience 3 people for whom Jesus related 3 different ways all receiving a touch upon the human mind take your Bibles if you would this morning the 1st that I'd like to look at is a woman of ill repute who becomes the most notable woman not related to Jesus in all of the New Testament Mark Chapter 16 Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene is a woman out of whom Jesus cast the demons 7 times. The question that we should ask ourselves is was this 7 it once or was the 7 different times and the white comedy on this makes it very clear that it was 7 distinct experiences when Jesus did this 7 times she writes that Mary had these demons cast out she heard his rebuke desire of ages 568 says of the demons that control her heart and mind she heard you strong cries to the father in her behalf and she knew how offensive is sin to his and soul and purity and in his strength she had overcome Mark Chapter 16 interesting story in Mark chapter 16 it says when the Sabbath was over Mary Magdalene Mary the Mother of Jesus and Salome brought spices so that they might come and annoy him very early on the 1st day of the week they came to the tomb. Where the sun had risen it was there at this to where they were asking themselves who will roll away the stone skip over to verse 9 Mark 16 verse 9 has now after he had risen early on the 1st day of the week he 1st appeared to Mary Magdalene from whom he had cast out 7 demons Mary Magdalene is the most prominent woman of the 4 Gospels who is not related to Jesus she traveled with him taking care of the Apostles needs some call her the apostle to the Apostles she is the 1st to announce Jesus in His death and burial at least with an acceptance and recognition with her own any perfume and she is the 1st to come to the tomb and see Jesus on the day of His resurrection she has a special privilege that grows from a special devotion Now I'm not going to try to prove this point although if you have confidence in the commentaries written by Ellen White I can do it very easily but this same Mary was the brother of Lazarus she was also the woman at Simon's feast she I cannot prove this 3rd point here although I think it likely based on the verbiage of some of these references speaking of Mary and daughters of God the author states that Jesus had pardoned her sins in the Bible echo in 1893 Paragraph 2 she speaks of one who pardoned Mary and in signs of the Times August 21002 she also mentions Jesus who pardoned Mary now that word pardon is used in the singular you could say it's an aggregate for her life or you can simply say it's a reference point to another story. It's my opinion and I won't go to make it more than that but I believe also this Mary is the same Mary of the 1st part of John chapter 8 who was caught in the sins that had ensnared her this Mary was one for whom her sins had been many and grevious writing the youth instructor July 12th 1900 paragraph or the author states many and grevious Now we know of the woman that was at Simon's house that Simon at least it's our understanding from the book desire of ages that Simon had actually been the one to lead her into sin the Bible's not explicit in this and yet Simon is aware of her past he says if he would know the king of Jesus he was touching or he wouldn't be let in or he's clearly not a prophet because of this this very same Mary who has the demons cast out of her 7 times is a woman whose past is very dark and very dirty and I want to suggest to you this morning that the same kind of experience the devil would like to foist on every child in this room in appropriately introduce 2 dynamics of life that are to be reserved for a mature loving committed relationship the idea of one's sexuality. Preyed upon and brought to life prematurely is what we call molestation and there's no doubt in my mind that this woman whether or not she is the woman of Johnny but this woman Mary Magdalene found herself in a situation where she doubted her self-worth and never could have the confidence to respect this command the respect of men consequentially she finds herself in a dark and dirty place the good news is she meets Jesus Jesus is introduced to Mary he's he is troubled by the the dirt and the darkness of her life but not put off by Jesus is a willing to allow the light of his light to intersect the darkness of her journey and he sets are free this woman is set free multiple times in the life of Christ her devotion to Jesus is unequalled in the Scriptures she can see beyond the eyes of the 12 men who follow Jesus because selfish ambition has clouded their view of the future but Mary is willing to accept the fact that Jesus' statement of self-sacrifice is indeed the journey that he's pursuing this Mary Magdalene is a woman that become so close to Jesus that upon his resurrection from the dead she is there looking for that moment to pay one type of honor and receiving another in which she can come back and announce to the apostles that he's alive of course they don't believe or it's important friends that you understand. That in an age where mental health is a pathology or in an increasing form of pathological measurement it's important for the understand that the world is offering to this age now more than ever a freedom to indulge in immorality in a way very few other generations have ever had that I almost use the word privilege but at least the opportunity. You see there's something about the human built in the nature of God that's destined in design for happiness for innocence for joy and when we allow these experiences to crowd into our mind and to take over especially issues of purity we rob ourselves of the freedom to love both giving and receiving Jesus understood this he gave Mary a chance to begin again and then he did it again and then he did it again and along all of these ways Mary had no misgivings about the fact that she was not a good woman but she was becoming like Jesus which was an amazing transformation because the love of Christ was flowing into her yes Mary it had chapters in her life which were embarrassing and awkward in which nobody talked about but Jesus had the ability to lay a healing hand upon Mary and the pure love of Jesus from which she wanted to extract no evil thing had a healing touch in her life Mary Magdalene is the 1st of those that Jesus or I should say perhaps one of the most preeminent of those that Jesus lays the touch on the mind the body and the soul Mary Magdalene is a woman that will find herself misunderstood by all but Jesus when she brought her perfume to the feast at Simon's house on the last Sabbath that Jesus will be eating a meal before he dies she hadn't thought about the fact that something that she was doing which only meant good could be twisted around and something bad Jesus rebukes Judas and the others at the table and called it a waste and white writing describes Mary had seen that Jesus was sad you know you don't really read about that. Mary saw that Jesus was sad Jesus knew the full spectrum of our emotional journey and his sadness was noted and she sought to alleviate it she hadn't thought about the fact that they were a group of poor travelling preachers and the money could have been spent a little bit different Judas thought about it though and said What a waste Jesus said it's not a waste leave her alone Mary Magdalene comes from a dark and dirty place but she's walking in the light of Christ and she is delivered you see friends for some for most especially when the darkness comes within the only deliverance is the presence of Jesus it is the draw indwelling Christ that dispels the darkness it is the love that cleanses him purifies the soul nothing else will do it as a safeguard against evil and the light will write in the book education the preoccupation of the mind with good is worth more than a number of barriers of law and discipline and what preoccupation could be better than the great lover of your soul Jesus this is why the devil has put out so many distractions in this day and age so many benign things which are designed to capture your hearts attention and keep you from Jesus but Jesus loved Mary in a way that would not let go and in the end Mary is the one who sits listening to the words of Jesus and Walmart that would rebuke or Jesus would rebuke Martha and tell her that Mary had sought to better things you see friends Christ has the ability to make a screen even though the world is made is dirty and I want to encourage you today yes we should flee from the things especially sexual sin we should flee from those things that's what the Scriptures say but when we've been tainted and touched maybe without our own volition there is still a wonderful healing touch from Jesus to set you free to make you whole no 2nd class citizen citizenry no doubt about one's worth those are all. Toured in the living name of Jesus and in this case the friendship and the personal closeness of Christ himself the 2nd person I want to talk about this morning can be found in the book of Luke turn back turn over to the book of Luke Luke Chapter 8 and Luke Chapter 8 we have the story of 2 men it's the story. Actually look Chapter 7 it's the story of 2 men some gospels only record one actually we're going to do Luke a person we're going to go to John the Baptist we'll do the others next the disciples of John we're going to talk about John the Baptist the disciples of John reported to him that is Jesus about all of these things they reported to John about Jesus and summoning 2 of his disciples John sent them to the Lord saying Are you the expected one or do we look for someone else when the men came to him they said John the Baptist to send us to you ask are you the expected one or do we look for someone else at the very time he cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits and he gave sight to many who are blind verse 22 and he answered a said to them go and report to John what you've seen and heard the blind receive sight the lame walk the lepers are cleansed and the dead here and the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them and blessed is the man who does not take offense at me. It's an interesting chapter of discouragement for one who had been so strong and so confident before John the Baptist had stood up to the Pharisees He decried their hypocrisy John was willing to stand alone for Jesus he was willing to baptize Christ even the Christ and said even though he knew each He really should be baptized by Christ instead John hears the words of God himself saying this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased and yet John is not beyond he's not immune to the ups and downs of our journey as human beings carrying doubt and dealing with depression and discouragement John is languishing in that dungeon he stood up to the governor and said You should have your brother's wife but now he can't stand up it doesn't appear very well to doubt and delay and discouragement and so he gathers his disciples I say go as Jesus are you really the one it's quite a u. turn from a man who said Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world it reveals the fact that John like the disciples had hopes of a messianic deliverance from more than sin. John was actually thinking I won't be in here very long and then the days tick by and they turn into weeks maybe months we don't know but John was in that valley of doubt despair maybe not complete despair he had given up all the way but to go from saying this is the one to argue the one is quite a reversal and he's there without the accommodations of modern income incarceration which aren't that great but they're better now than they were then John is wondering have I made a mistake did I hang my hopes to put my head on the wrong hook. And so he sends a messenger a deputation to Jesus and Jesus doesn't really answer the question right away it's a matter of fact Jesus doesn't answer the question at all Jesus simply sends back the evidence you've watched you've seen Make sure you report what you've seen and make sure he knows that the poor have the gospel preached to him preach to them make sure he understands and then Jesus as it were sticks a not so subtle challenge to John now this is an important component in regards to dealing with with discouragement of depression because the way you listen to a person has a lot to do with whether or not they get better or they get worse everybody should always listen listen long enough to understand listen long enough to care don't rush to answer the 1st question it may not be the most important question don't look to be the great fixer the great healer but in the end make sure that you don't lead the person to go round and round in a death spiral of doubt Jesus sends back the words and he says bless it is he who does not take offense at me it's not turning out the way you wanted you thought you're going to have this career or this spouse or this wonderful church actuary with your occupation it hasn't worked out that way it's a matter of fact you never intended to be sick you never intended to lose a loved one you had this idea that somehow it was going to be a lot different the truth of the matter is that for all of us as we thought what our future would look like he usually is different than what we thought but not quite as dark as the one that John's experiencing John not only was exceptionally popular and powerful. But John was left to a journey that was equally as dark and hurtful you could say hard and heavy Yes as He's languishing there in the dungeon John's thinking to himself did I make a mistake and Jesus sends back the evidence not the answer and with the evidence he sends a challenge bless it is he who does not take offense at me so it's not going the way you thought John it's not time to look at me as the problem John it's time to pray it's time to rethink what your expectations were it's time to surrender them to the truth it's time to accept that there is a loving heavenly Father and yes John that inner peace that Spokeo that sense of my presence the confirmation of the spirit the inner witness of your actions when you baptized me they were all true don't take offense at what's happening. When we're listening to people and they understand that we understand and they understand that we care there is in many situations a moment in which they should understand that there is a call to a a renewed faith a renewed prayer life a renewed sense of hope that even though it's not turning out like you thought it would where they thought it would God is still in charge this is probably one of the hardest things pastors are not immune their whole chapters of my life when I've I've been left and I thought to myself lord where are you sometimes God silent speaks louder than words God is there in the quiet. And it is in that quiet that we have a chance actually God is stretching and growing us there is no immediate rush for deliverance it is not abandon nor is Jesus peer appearing at the Palace of the governor to demand the release or sending angels like he would for for Paul and Silas and that Philip in jail no John is left there and left with the presence and the assurance that what was in the beginning is still true even though it's not what he thought and he was left there for all the myriad hundreds and thousands that would follow in the name of Christ who would suffer for Jesus but they would suffer with the assurance that Christ cared for John whom he called the greatest man who ever walked the planet the Christ cared for John and John's journey of trust in Jesus could be a journey for us too when we suffer on behalf of the Savior but some suffering seems to have no meaning this is a different kind of suffering and yet this is not a suffering that Christ is immune to understanding. Yes John the Baptist has a need for a touch but it's a touch to remind him of the confidence of the previous experience he's had with God It's a reminder that while God has not followed the plan that John thought God is still leading and John can still trust the 3rd group I'd like to look at this morning is the journey of 2 the demoniacs 2 men whose lives are uniquely troubled by the darkness that this world can provide Unfortunately it is a darkness that is beyond our hopefully ever experience seen Jesus was in an encounter in Luke Chapter 8. If you look at verse 26 and Luke Chapter 8 verse 26 he's about to encounter something that's more frightful than the water in the when the night before which had terrified the Apostles. It says in Luke Chapter 8 verse $26.00 then they sailed to the country of the guera scenes of the gatherings which is absent Galilee when he came out on to the land he was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons. But not put on any clothing for a long time it was not living in a house but in the Tombs and seen Jesus he cried out any fell before him and he said in a loud voice What business do we have with each other Jesus son of the most high God I beg you do not judge me you not torment me for it commanded the unclean spirits to come out of the man where did seized him many times and he was bound in change and shackles and kept under guard and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demons into the desert. Jesus asked him What is your name and he said Legion for many demons and entered in they were implored him not to command them to go into the abyss Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain in the demons implored him to admit them to enter the swine and he gave them permission and the demons came out of the man and they entered the swine and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned and when the herdsman saw what had happened they ran away and reported to the city and out into the country and the people went out to see what had happened and they came to Jesus and they found the man from whom the demons a go now sitting down at the feet of Jesus clothed and in his right mind and they became for. Those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon possessed had been made well and all the people of the country of the Gare scenes and the surrounding district asked him to leave for they were gripped with fear and they got into a boat and they returned. So the man from the demons a gun out was begging him that he might accompany him but he sent him away same return to your house and describe what great things got it done for you so you want to play proclaiming throughout the whole city with things Jesus had done for him now there are several clues to mental vitality in this passage that I don't want to pass by Number one nobody starts out plenty of end up this dark it's important for everybody to understand that temporary pleasure that forbidden pleasure that temporary relief from the waiting us of life that the devil offers you and is always a little little fun on the front side that temporary pleasure will be followed up with a deeper sense of self loathing Martin Luther in a speech before the diet of worms that is it's neither safe nor prudent to go against conscious of your conscience could be wrongly calibrated in which case go to the Scriptures and let it be rightly calibrated but if in your mind there's something that's wrong to do and you do it you're sinning against yourself until you properly calibrated what right and wrong is it's another reason why we should be in community with each other sometimes we run into people and they have to tell us something something we don't like but it puts us back on the path of life. This man had wounded his own conscience and started down a road that was going to leave him like no spectacle of humanity should ever be seen he Halse from the caves he screams amongst the Tombs he roams in the desert a feed. He gets so bad that his body is is pockmarked with self-inflicted wounds long before we talked about cutting cutting was going on he can't be still and he can't be quiet He's been changed but with demonic strength he's broken the chains. Jesus said When you clean your house out but you don't fill it with him the demons come back with their friends how many times have the demons found this man a willing participant to the darkness that would lead to the dirtiness that would lead to the nakedness that would lead to the absence of peace that's where this person was that's where the devil would like to take everybody this man these men howling through the night sleeping we don't know how often or how little find themselves with a group of at least 13 walking up to them but at their screams of intimidation all but one run away but there's Jesus left standing on the beach and he doesn't run in the face of evil praise God Jesus is standing there on the beach and these men wild eyed demon possessed and by the way friends it is a reality don't watch it on t.v. to be entertained don't give the devil access to your heart demons can't take you over and lets you give them permission but I tell you what to be intrigued with the dark side of power the metaphysical the supernatural whatever you want to call it the evil spirits is a terrible mistake don't find your don't find your sessions of relief and renewal watching things that are dark and deadly these men were there and when you stare into their faces somebody who's captured by evil it is a frightening experience. But Jesus speaks and directs peace to these men's lives who could not even ask for help themselves this is the glory of the power of Christ to redeem But I want you to see what happens those demons are so bent on self destruction it's a wonder that these men are still alive they're so bent on self destruction the 2000 swine can find themselves Bobbie as bloated carcasses in the Sea of Galilee as a witness all around that lake for the deliverance that would come to these 2 men they are dirty and filthy and living in a dark place but when all the city comes back out they are clean and they are closed these things represent the natural progression of Christ when he enters a life now we live through a lot of ages we live there a lot of exposure to a lot of things but you need to understand something there's nothing new under the sun and when Christ is looking to reinstitute order in the life of a mind he orders the circumstances around the person with the ordering of the mind what am I saying it is hard to have a mind that's at rest when you're living in a place that's dirty and cluttered and disordered. This is the perfect time of year for you to stop and take inventory of your life and say is my room clean is my house clean when we can read the book make your bed by the retired commander of the Navy SEALs the Special Forces and he can stand it one of those Texas universities and write a book make your bed even the Marines know that making a bed is part of creating a sense of dignity and self-respect the devil wants to take all that from you people who are struggling mentally often have disorder and disorganization and clutter all around them while this will suffice for a trip to see a counselor if you need one please go there are many of us that are fighting battles and we make them worse when we sit around and live by our feelings instead of acting on our circumstance instead a victim become the one who takes charge of a place even as simple as cleaning the kitchen or your closet or your garage or your room or your car or whatever it might be take charge of your circumstances follow the plan of Jesus the Bible doesn't say the man took a bath but you can be sure he did we don't know where the clothes came from but you can be sure he had them along with the healing of his mind came the healing of the body and the circumstances around him and when Jesus cleanses him inside he cleansed he directs him to be cleansed on the outside as well and the Inner peace is met with the outer peace of order this is not old traditional thinking although it is old and traditional It is living thinking it is the power of bringing peace in order to circumstances around us which is a harbinger or a 4 runner of the peace that can come within. The mind is at rest when things are ordered it might be your finances it might be your relationships all kinds of undone brokenness out there call the 1st person that God brings to mind and make it right go out of your way to re-establish the relationships that bring order chaos in the relational circle classic chaos in the financial circles chaos in the actual certain circumstances of one's physical presence of living these all breed a burden on the mind that God never intended to be there and when God does things whether it's being resurrected from the dead or driving out darkness from the heart of this man you can fold the grave CLOs and leave him behind if you're Jesus or you can wash a person and put clean clothes on them as you clean up their mind but cleanliness and order are part of the precursor and they come with if they're not prerequisites to a healing of the mind in a soul God is in the business of creating order out of disorder and these men become. Well they become a one prime spectacles of what God is willing to do but probably more importantly than this but not separated from it is the fact that these men who are now no longer appreciated by all their countryman are asking Jesus if they can go with and then Jesus says No How can Jesus say this to the darkest spectacles of humanity that have ever walked the globe at least recorded in Biblical history aside from Satan himself you can't have thousands of demon is in you and be demonically empowered you talk about supernatural power they had it ripping the chains from their very flesh and bones you can't be that dark and not need to be next to the light unless there's a better solution than being next to the line. Jesus takes these men and he says listen you can't come with me which means the solution Jesus is about to give them is going to be better than being in the boat Jesus says you go back and you tell everybody what I've done for you so there comes this cleansing power of being able there comes this renewing of mind in energy mental energy in talking about Jesus if they would have hung out with the Apostles they would have had a little bit of a chance to tell their story but everywhere they went on the eastern shore of Galilee they were telling what Jesus did for them now listen to me we are so sophisticated it's pathetic if ever there's an age when we know what's in and what's not in it's today. We're still media saturated about what's acceptable amongst the modern value system mores whatever you want to say of the modern media age we are so self-conscious about how we fit into society that many of us are being robbed of the vitality that would not only bless us but would bless others because in and none of these are automatically bad but our professionality our expertise our education. We don't want to be different. And it's hard for us to be simple especially in an age when there's so much calumny or so much criticism so much negativity focused on Christ in His church we're living in an age where talking about Jesus is what people need the most but it appears that the devil understands us and he's making it very difficult and hard for us to do I can remember sitting on an airplane once and returned from a mission trip and somebody else had met somebody that that was on a return to Christ they wanted me to talk to them. Well there are probably a couple things wrong with that scenario number one I'm a pastor but it doesn't make me any closer to Jesus than anybody else and anybody should be able to talk to the person and number 2. Just because I am a pastor doesn't mean that any given moment I'm the best person to talk to somebody about Jesus because I have my own ups and downs. But I can tell you this after a series of seeking the Holy Spirit in our church and experiencing a measure of refreshing there came a point in my experience where the naturally reserved me felt very free to talk about Christ and not be embarrassed or self-conscious about it and it was a very important moment in my life because the ability to talk about Jesus is the elemental witnessing dynamic of the gospel. Don't talk about God God means lots of things to lots of different people the song says let's talk about Jesus but there are a 1000 distractions and sometimes my life is only a thinly even eared version of Christianity and to go beyond the sound bites is to go into a discomfort zone Jesus said no you can't come with me brand new baby Christian from dark to light pendulum swing but this is what you can do you can go talk about me to everyone you me there are many Christians who are drinking from polluted wells even listening to songs with Christian words that still have the spirit of the world in them I want to tell you. There's a lot that this world is offering that is corrupted and there's a lot that the church the collective Protestant Church is offering that is corrupted especially in its music offerings and while you may identify with the feelings in the song they do not have the sweet gospel simplicity of the songs that can really speak about Jesus go back to your hymn book go to some of these songs that have lasted for generations and some for millennia maybe the freedom to talk about Jesus be the free flowing water of life that drives back the darkness in the dirt and by the way friends the load some things that these men were involved in would not be fit to discuss if we knew all of their dirty details but the fact of the matter is usually associated with these kind of demon possession is all kinds of moral impurity How do you get rid of that. It's not like you can just pull the vein pull the needle out of the vein it's not like you can just throw the white powder away it's not like you can burn the book. The problem is a lot of these things that have been almost had to do almost branded onto our minds they're not going away without going closer to Jesus and without letting his love flow more freely in Xpress and deepens impressions so this this journey to freedom is going to be a journey to knowing Jesus and being free to live different talk different entertain different eat different dress different we're so worried today about being legal list we make ourselves the liberated ones we're not legal list. When Jesus liberated that woman that was caught in adultery when everybody had left except her he looked at her and he said Where are the ones that condemn you. Are there anyone is there any would neither do I condemn me and then he made this interest the same he said Go and sin no more You were made to be obedient to the laws of life when in the name of legalism you go against what your parents have touch you you're going against the laws of life when you say to yourself I'm not bound by all that old fashioned stuff that's right you're going to be bound by something else eventually change you can even break you'll be beholden with the cords of your own bad habits we call that addiction the Bible calls it be set in sin you're right you're not bound by any of that stuff just get ready to be bound by something else I was thinking the other day about love you know when 2 people choose to not follow God's path they skip over that beautiful phase of falling in love which is really just about getting to know the other person. All of these things are set up by the devil as substitutes for the liberty and the life giving path of Christ yes these men were told You go tell the story and in the telling of the story not only would they become stronger not only would they become when they live in the cleansing flow of Christ but others who needed to hear the story straight from the horse's mouth would hear it and we're not going to know till we get to heaven how many people will be in heaven because they heard you can't get any worse than we are but Jesus can save even us which means he can save even you 7 demons out of Mary Magdalene thousands out of these friends there's nothing in your lives Jesus can't cleanse the question is will you give him permission will the healing touch of Christ be not only on mind and body and soul but may have beyond relationships with a whole hearted blessing as well. Stories told of a woman back in the day when we had the Dorcas Society she knew of a family down the road ahead 5 children. I don't know if she was praying or what she was doing but the Holy Spirit's book spoke to her and she said You go see those that woman with 5 children she walked down the street knocked on the door nobody answered. She turned away and made it to the sidewalk before the Lord said to her not verbal a but at least impress upon her no there's people in there you go back and knock again she went back she knocked on the door this time the woman came to the door and you could see that she had been crying. But Dorcas lady said to her sister something's wrong. The woman invited her in. Sitting there in the front room all the furniture then soul sitting there in the front room in a circle were her 5 children I don't know how many bottles of coke really there but this was going to be their last meal coke and white bread and it was in an age in which you could still purchase things that were not purchasable today in this case the lady had purchased I don't know how she had purchased some poison and she had dropped some into every bottle of coke so they had for taking of their bread and they were getting ready to drink their coke when the door was wrapped on. The mother said Wait don't drink. She didn't know that the woman on the porch had turned around to leave and God said Wait don't leave you the lady turned around came back and knocked on the door and that's when the mother showed up the Dorcas lady said there is a God he loves you the woman said I don't know if there is a God and the darkest lady said You are now part of my family she explained to her the story. And the next Sabbath in Sabbath school there were 6 people you see the woman's husband had left she had sold everything she could sell there was no future in her mind but God put love on the heart of another anough love to reach out and to care and God had won the heart to the spiritual sensitivity of a godly woman who followed her spiritual directives or spiritual instincts and persisted in Cary. How many people out there today are beyond the reach of hope because there is no Christian Christian in their life. How many people are we are walking through these quiet solitary journeys of of slow rolling depression it's no wonder that we have such an epidemic of of depression and discouragement it's no wonder of that the 6 percent increase in suicide. More money less meanie that's where society is right now but friends I want to tell you today from Mary Magdalene to John the Baptist to the 2 demoniacs Jesus has the power to heal it is sometimes strength to keep going it is sometimes deliverance from fear and by the way I want to say something about the year. You're in the worst religion you can be in if your fear motivated person 7th Day Adventists them is the worst religion you can be in Christian religion if fear is what's directing your life. Because you know with certainty that the worst chapters of Planet Earth are still in front of us mercy is right. If there's a religion to be and that's chew the lips of Jesus it's this one. But if you keep Jesus at an arm's length even while you come to church but fear is what's driving you I want to tell you the 2 forces of love and fear are coming down to a collision at the very end. One will be motivated by the ability to buy and sell and then eventually to live and one will be motivated only by the fact that you know you have a dear loving Savior who has delivered you from the from a life of meaninglessness he's forgiven your sins it has given you hope love and fear are going to come into collision with each other. And these 2 things. Are going to find themselves in a showdown the devil is going to use the lever of fear to pry your fingers off everything you've ever said was important everything you ever said that mattered there will be only one thing that will suffice to give you the strength to keep going in an Age of what cause people's hearts to fail them for fear and that will be a live enough knowledge that Jesus Christ. Is the author of your destiny as well as the cleanser of your past and the one who lives present in your heart. You see friends it's a terrible day to be living a lukewarm Laodicean experience there's something greatly incoherent about it. Were God is calling us to is God is calling us into a love relationship that will allow us to stand separate from the world and not be embarrassed that will allow us to know who we really are and not be ashamed. And when the world looks upon us with disdain when it despises us when the world thinks of us as the problem. We're going to have Jesus is the ultimate assurance of the solution but it's so absolutely important that fear is not allowed to run our lives you are loved like you've never been loved loved in the Heart loved in the mind loved in the hands loved in the side loving the thorn crown brow of Jesus nobody has ever loved you like Jesus but don't let fear run your life you can't save enough money you can't have enough food there aren't enough bullets there's not enough protective where your life is either hid in Christ and your days are numbered before they were ever experienced by you he's hems you in before in a battery has but you can't live by fear you cannot allow the things that are in the back of your mind that are under resolve put them in the heart of Jesus tell him I'm afraid. You won't be the 1st and you won't be the last but what time I am afraid I will trust in you fear is driving the love out of some people's hearts they don't understand the provision of Christ for salvation they think they've got to do something to earn it they don't understand it's a gift they don't understand it it's the love of Christ for the Get that actually opens up a cycle of motivation that's different this friends this kind of fear will rob you from the blasted relief of the presence of Jesus where are we. We are in an age in which we will see the continual snow by of the challenges to mental health but whether we've found ourselves in the wrong situation with nothing that has anything to do with us or decisions we've made ourselves Jesus is strong to save and there is no greater healing or none that there is no greater healing than that of healing of heart in mind the untouchable So what's in the future. I don't know but I know this. Jesus holds the future the years ago there was a young woman who was in aspiring artist and she went to an art show she had all are painted sound she didn't know but the author or i should say the artist who was her hero was to be at that barry show and wooden ill she had all of or pay needs out there and along came this person of great regard the established artist was looking over all the artwork and then she wanted up to the aspiring artists and she said which one is your best who with quite of plucky little response she look into the eyes of one of her he rose or heroines and she said i hadn't painted my best jen i don't know where you are right now i don't know a burden you came in here kerry i don't know what motivations lurk in the back of your mind but i do know this god can take you from the dark in the dirty into the posture of light in liberty with deliverance there are human hearts that should listen in care there are situations where professional help should be engaged but along with it make sure that on this journey we know that nobody understands like gees us on this journey make sure we understand that on our knees an in his presence even when we can't talk he discerns the struggles of the hearten make sure that on this journey we realize that every human emotion on the spectrum of the human experience has been felt by christ with an intensity the we do not understand and that there is absolute comfort an assurance that comes from the hands that were wounded in the heart that was broken for me in you you see friends Nobody is amused from the ups and downs. And some things or cycles that are built into your life from things you had no power over and some are long term journeys and some are dragons you're going to fight all your life don't stop fighting it's a battle in a March put a song on your lips and a song in your heart don't be afraid to talk to and about Jesus and the happiest best days are yet in front of you one more thing before I stop when Abraham Lincoln was a boy. He had a cousin a man by the name of hanks that was there when his mother was dying and she pulled able to closer to her and ran her fingers and tassel his thick black hair and he said basically Abe grow up to be a good boy a good man and he said a you're going to need to look for the laughter keep keep keep close be on the lookout is going to be hard to find sometimes Can you imagine being 89 years old whatever he was when he died. Sometimes Lincoln had to create Why am I bringing this up because there are some people who think that laughing and laughter is wrong mind you don't watch the television to get your laugh those last probably are wrong they're laughing at things that aren't funny but there is so much in life it's actually good that God put in the calls forth. A response of joy Solomon right there is a time to mourn and there is a time to laugh laughter as the editor of the Trans World Airlines with once right is the lubrication of life it's god's as my wife's grandmother had above or her sink laughter is the hand of God on the shoulder of a troubled world it's Ok As a matter of fact sometimes you have to cry if you didn't laugh friends. Being communion with God being in communion with each other take the courage that only God could give and make sure that his deliverance is for the low moments the hard moments the heavy moments I may Christ be in this age a ray of light through you for deliverance to a world where the world is ever darkening becoming more polluted and may we indeed be the hand in the touch of Christ in a world that needs to know they can talk to talk with and find hope in Jesus Father. Save us from the formal religion that would keep Jesus is an idea and God is a topic for theological conversation but not the personal friendship in the delivery and the deliverance that we need. I'm praying Lord for all that have gathered here this morning and for those that are watching online or will watch online may we pass Lord from rules into relationship may we go past the relationships given to us by our our spiritual caregivers our parents our teachers may we press into the inner sanctum of the discovery of a God who is still strong deceive and I'm praying Lord save us from the deepening darkness that surround us in this world with a simple childlike faith one that can live out a beautiful loving but convicted life of truth and do it in a gracious and kind way but not be embarrassed not be afraid knowing that we will suffer for our friendship with Jesus sometimes ostracized sometimes marginalized sometimes rejected but Lord. The darkness is becoming so intense in the press so powerful. That nothing else will work and we don't want to be conformed to the image of this world. So now Lord I pray if someone came heavy May they leave with hope if someone came joyful May they share with someone who needs help and I'm just praying where across the full spectrum of your ability to save take away our fear our bitterness. Take away the things where they would rather. They were the children of light walking in delivered in Jesus name I pray in this media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or you would like to listen to more sermons they visit w.w.w. audio verse or.

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