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Three Words That Kill the Christian

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Associate Director of HopeLives365 and World Evangelist for Adventist World Radio

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  • February 27, 2021
    11:30 AM
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So what would you say if I said there are 3 words that kill every Christian would you want to know what those words were. More importantly would you like to know how to overcome them let's pray Heavenly Father we are about to study your word and we know that your word is the discerner of the thoughts and intentions of our heart but we also know Lord that we cannot understand any of it without the power of your Holy Spirit working in our life we believe the spirit has been here and now Lord we pray that the spirit would be poured out and even more supply speak to us today Lord. And please don't let us leave this place the same way in which we came in this is our prayer in Jesus' name amen like for us to journey back in time back to the time of the kings of Israel and specifically back to the time where the kingdom had been divided under the poor leadership of the Bolam will pick up the story with the boy king Joel ash in 2nd Kings also referred to as Joe whole ash You'll remember him he's one of the good guys we refer to him as one of the good kings of Judah but his reign began with something that I had not noticed Intel a study of these kings that began a generational problem that plagued the kings of Israel for several generations this generational problem led Judah down a path of apostasy and from this generational apostasy we find 3 words 3 words that will be guaranteed to kill every Christian 3 words that are a key to understanding how to grow. To be truly like Jesus 3 words that teach us about the issue of surrender 3 words that should trouble you they should startle you and they should move us to action what are those 3 words let's look at a series of passages that will help us understand this generational problem if you have your Bibles and invite you to open a 2nd Kings Chapter 12 we're going to be moving fairly quickly through the Scriptures 2nd Kings Chapter 12 beginning in verse one I want you to take note of the Bible and what its council is in the 7th year of j. who. Joho ash also Joe ash became king and he reigned 40 years in Jerusalem his mother's name was Zuby of Beersheba Joho Ash did what was right in the side of the Lord all the days in which Joe Why does the priest instructed him but the high places were not taken away the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places all seems well and right he did what was right in the side of the Lord What else can you ask but did you notice something else about the passage if you didn't notice maybe you'll notice with his son so turned just a few pages to 2nd Kings Chapter 14. Now I don't want you to be confused because this is where Israel and Judah became very confusing because you had a jo ash in Israel and a Joe ash in Judah so in the 2nd year of Joe ash the son of Joho as king of Israel Amazigh of the son of Joe asked that's a different Joe as that's the Joe ash of Judah became king of Juda he was 25 years old when he became king and he rained 29 years in Jerusalem his mother's name was Joe whole addon of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord yet not like his father David he did everything as his father Joe Esha done however the high places were not taken away and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places now some of you might be saying to me Preacher Why are you getting so excited here he did what was right in the side of the Lord maybe his son will help us see what the problem is just turn probably just one page in your Bible to the 2nd Kings Chapter 15 in the 27th year of Jeroboam this is beginning in verse one in the 27th year of Jeroboam king of Israel as a riot the son of Amazon a king of Juda became king he was 16 years old when he became king that way just a pause there this is a series of kings that all began at very young ages could you imagine your daughter becoming president of the United States I want to ask you to answer that question publicly he ran 52 years in Jerusalem his mother's name was Jack Elia of Jerusalem and he did what was right in the side of the Lord according to all that his father Amazigh had done except the high places were not removed the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places once again you might be saying to yourself what's the big deal he did what was right in the sight of the Lord can we simply get on with the matter let's look at one more passage and maybe his son might help us to see it clearly same chapter 2nd Kings 15 beginning in verse 32. In the 2nd year of PPACA the son of a ram a lie a king of Israel Jotham the son of Zion the just had a pause here who Zaya and excuse me and Amazon are the same individuals. King of Juda begin to reign he was 25 years old when he became king and he ran 16 years in Jerusalem his mother's name was Jerusalem the daughter of say doc and he did what was right in the side of the Lord he did according to all that his father had done however the high places were not removed the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places he built the upper gate of the house of the Lord do you see it a generational problem 3 words 3 words which were the death knell of a society in the times of the kings of Juda and they are the death knell for Christians today 3 simple words were not removed and one place it says not taken away so many are saying what are you talking about 3 simple but yet very important words 3 words that lead to the demise then and will lead to yours and mine demise today in layman's terms these kings were willing to follow far enough to an extent but not willing go to go the complete distance high places they did not remove the high places what are high places if you read in the commentaries it's not necessarily a bad place high places were built to offer offerings to gov't worship of the One True God. However that's still problematic because they were not supposed to worship in high places they were supposed to come to the center in Jerusalem it was a partial obedience not complete obedience However these high places very well may have ben places of religious cult practices or using a technical term syncretistic religion what is syncretistic religion it is where you attempt to reconcile or put together 2 different opposing principles as in philosophy in religion what do I mean what's an example of syncretistic religion you'll remember when the children of Israel came out of Egypt what did they do while they were waiting upon Moses when he was on the mountain they built a golden calf and they worship God through the golden calf that is syncretistic they took an image of the worship in Egypt and utilized that to worship the One True God this is pagan worship or idol worship you see they were not willing to remove those things and this leads us by the way to answer a nother question what is worship if the dictionary definition is as follows to feel an adoring reverence or regard for any person or any thing you see high places were places of worship it's where people went to spend time to adore that which made them feel good one commentator re marking on Joe asked said the following listen carefully. These high places may have been regarded by Joe Ashe as relatively unimportant as they imperent Lee were considered by his predecessors just because someone else doesn't think something's important doesn't mean that it shouldn't be important to you in addition to this understanding is something very important in the Hebrew the expression were not taken away were not removed is in the passive voice it gives us the idea that it just simply happen and you see the failure of all of these kings is that they are allowed to continual practice that was detrimental to the lives of those in their Kingdom including themselves these high places served as distractions from the true worship of the One God and the worship of the true God of heaven and the way he's asked to be worship but we need to take it an actual step deeper because the Bible reveals a most sobering reality that brings an application to us in the 21st century that is frankly alarming to me as I was reading it myself now you remember just a moment ago we read about Amazon and just as a reminder 2nd Kings Chapter 14 this is what it says in the 2nd year of Joanne's son of Joho as king of Israel Amazigh of the son of Jo ash king of Juda became king You'll remember he was 25 years old when he became king and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem his mother's name was Joe whole addon of Jerusalem he did what was right in the sight of the Lord yet not like his father David he did everything as his father Joe as a done however the high places were not taken away. The high places were not taken away not taken away that's are 3 words not taken away or were not removed what does that mean I want you to notice the corresponding story as recorded by the Chronicle or in 2nd Chronicles 25 in 2nd Chronicles 25 it is the same story but the chronicler uses some different words 2nd Chronicles Chapter 25 beginning in verse one Amazigh it was 25 years old when he became king and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem his mother's name was Joe whole adn of Jerusalem and he did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the same right and then it says these words but not with a Loyal Heart the high places were not removed but the chronicler describes the same problem with the words but not with a loyal heart why would he choose these words is it possible that he is trying to give us deeper insight into what the motivation was in not taking away the high place. I believe as a matter of fact it does give us a deeper insight and as I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God There is no doubt in my mind that the chronicler under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit chose these specific words that we might learn a lesson today that we might understand what it means to not take away or not remove. The word loyal in the Hebrew is from the Hebrew word solemn Literally it means to be intact untouched complete perfect whole and undivided. The general meaning behind the root word is this idea of completion and fulfillment entering a state of wholeness unity and a resource relationship Amazon didn't have a restored relationship but even deeper than that the word Salleh in Hebrew is where we get the Hebrew word shalom which means peace if you would go to a synagogue on a Sabbath they would say Shabat Shalom peaceful Sabbath in fact literally the word shalom means to have the absence of strife because that's what the Sabbath does the Sabbath is a day for the absence of strife I want you to think about this now not with a Loyal Heart completeness harmony fulfillment peace you see by not taking away the high places Amazigh was left with a divided broken incomplete unfulfilled in harmonious heart how might we say that he had a void in his heart everything seemingly looked good on the outside he did what was right in the sight of the Lord yet there was something deep inside that was going on with Amazon that helped him refuse to remove the high places you see Amazigh it was broken on the inside very broken on the inside that void and broken miss was attempted to be filled with high places that void that show alone can only be met through one. And that is the power of God working in the life some 2911 says the Lord will give strength to his people the Lord will bless his people with peace shall loam the same word used in 2nd Chronicles $25.00 What's interesting is this word Solomon shall loam it's translated into Greek in the New Testament it's the Greek word play rock which is translated throughout the New Testament as to fill fulfill to be complete to be finished to be completely full and now we turn to the Apostle Paul and we make application what does it mean these 3 deadly words were not removed it's not a loyal heart not taken away if he's in Chapter 3 The apostle Paul the Apostle Paul writing to the church in f. asis a place that was steeped I have walked on the ruins of the street of f. assists altars to Hadrian altars to Athena altars to Apollo a place steeped in pagan worship and all kinds of distractions often we think of these places in our mind and we're like oh they must have been awful places and I'm sure most certainly they were However when you go to visit the ruins they are statically beautiful to the eye. What is Paul saying the fusion chapter 3 verse 14 he says these words for this reason I borrow my niece to the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named that he would grant you according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that you being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints What is the width and length and depth and height and here it is to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge that you may be was it say they're filled with all the fullness of God literally in the Greek that you may be filled with the filling of God It is the Greek word play rock oh the same word that translates the Hebrew word solemn. That you may have the peace of God through being filled with the peace of God all the fullness of God and how do we experience that feeling we've already read this morning any feel for verses 20 to 24 and now is where it all gets tied together but you have not so learned Christ if indeed you have heard him and have been taught by him as the truth is in Jesus that you What is it say there put off. Take away remove. Concerning your former conduct the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit of your mind that you put on the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness I want you to notice the progression we hear of him. We are then taught by him and then it says we put off we remove we take away those things of our former conduct and what does it say by the way those things based on the old man would grow more and more corrupt according to the deceitful lust What's that saying my dear friends when we do not remove those things of our old ways they actually grow worse he did right what was sinful he did what was right in the sight of the Lord but did not take down the high places he did what was right in the sight of the Lord but not with a loyal heart you may look fine on the outside but inside you have a brew that is brewing that is getting stronger and stronger every moment more deceitful worse and here is the fundamental problem self-centered lust deceitful lust says Paul outlines are deceitful because they promise a joy but fail to provide it the lusts of the flesh are deceitful because they promise happiness but give us sorrow they promise freedom but give us slavery they promise immunity from the results of wrong doing but they only bring destruction you see the implication of this text is about idolatry. We turn from God to an idol and that Idol is not a statue of Ashura it is not a statue of bay out that we have erected in our home it is a statue that we see every day when we look in the mirror we idolize our self we give ourselves to our self and end up controlled by our own desires and those desires deceive us by promising happiness but never provide satisfaction or fulfillment in fact what they do is they destroy us author Tom Wright writes writes these words idols demand sacrifices and you as an idol demands a sacrifice the cost is high to hold this and to relating with people the judgement of sin at least in part is that people are given over to their sins sin is in and of itself its own punishment human beings need a higher calling then following their desires and their passions and this is why Paul says in Romans 13 the night is far spent the day is at hand therefore let us what's the word cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of the lie it's active This is not a passive transaction where it just kind of happens Paul emphasizes once again in Colossians 3 and by the way Paul should be an authority on this a man who is killing Christians converted on the road of to Damascus and he writes about this in Romans 7 in Romans 8 Romans 7 Why do I do the things I don't want to do why do I do these things because between Romans 7 and between Romans 8 Paul cast off these things. Paul says in Colossians 3 verse 9 do not lie to one another since you have what is it say put off the old man with his deeds and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him James gets in on the action and he says in verse 21 of James one therefore lay aside all filthiness an overflow of wickedness and receive with weakness excuse me with meekness the implanted word which is able to see save your souls Hebrews 12 vs one into Therefore we also since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us what does it say there lay aside how many weights every weight in the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run the race within Durance the race that is set before us looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God You see because Jesus is the only man that has existed in all time that was 100 percent man and 100 percent God and Jesus had to make a decision and the decision he had to make as he stood in the garden of got so many and the portals of the to begin to close and he believed that he was going to die and die for good he had to make a choice to cast off his personal desire to survive or to go through with what God had called him to do which is why he said that his prayer not my will but value will be done and then Peter in 1st Peter chapter 2 says this therefore. Laying aside all malice all deceit hypocrisy envy and all evil speaking as newborn babies desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Listen to the words echoing in the New Testament that are identical to the words of the Old Testament cast off put it off lay aside lay aside lay aside. You see as we lay aside we are filled by Him We are renewed we put on the new man we put on the new woman and I will tell you in years past this is where I would have stopped the sermon and focused on filling being filled with Christ and I am invite you to come back again next week because next week I'm preaching again and next week I'm on preach on words that keep a Christian living. But 3 words that kill a Christian were not removed not take away not a loyal heart we often skip over this aspect and we often just say Fill yourself so there's no room left for the other stuff and I will tell you when I confessed before before you today that I've done that in the past and that is not Biblical because the Bible is clear we must cast off something there is an active role that we must take in removing taking away laying it aside there is a work that we are called to do and I'm not saying we are saved by our works or do not misunderstand but as Jesus saves us by His grace he calls upon us to take an active role not a passive role but an active role of removal it is a self-examination and we've used this illustration many times it's not enough to own a mirror. If I don't use the mare it's useless and once I look in the mirror you know I have I have my dear friend George he was the producer of Hope Lives 365 and when we start doing this he'll send a little message you know say Pastor you you have a hair that's out of place I have a job to do you see I have to do one of 2 things either I go in the back and Matt that down. Or I pluck it out I try not to pluck 2 men here because I'm losing you know fast you see it's a self-examination if you're a gardener if you're a gardener friends it's not enough to simply see that we. You have to remove the we needs to have success against them where we clearly see anything that is impeding our growth in Christ we are called then with a willing heart surrendering all to cast off put off lay aside and remove those things that hinder us from living the life that Jesus desires from us because the reality is that the devil has tricked us into believing that sin is fun and sin is not fun following the principles of God is fun because then you don't have to worry about the results of sin and so I'm going to call upon you moment right now what are those things in your life ask yourself with an honest heart what is it that is impeding your life your journey to heaven I imagine that the Lord is speaking to you are ready right now he's bringing something to your mind or something what is the Lord calling for you to cast off right now today though I want to address a certain area. It is not necessarily more evil than another but it's something that the Lord has laid on my heart my dear friends there is an enemy lurking. And it is gain access in a foothold in many of our lives and it is become an idol that has drawn our attention away from the fullness of God and the filling of our heart and while it is a tool that was designed for increase productivities it has gained a foothold as a pathway to demise and destruction so what might I be referring to may Lynn big wrote a piece in reaction to a book that she had just read. Listen to her words my smartphone is my shepherd I still want more. I stare at it in green pastures I text instead of looking at the still waters it drains my soul it leads me in the paths of unrighteousness for the app's ache Yeah a Though I walk through the valley of no likes I will not fear for my smartphone is with me snap chat an Instagram they comfort me my smartphone prepares a fake world for me in the presence of reality it annoyance my ad with secular humanism my discontent runs over surely laziness in comparison shall follow me all the days of my life and I will do well in the cyber world looking down at my smartphone for ever. She wrote that as a result of reading the book 12 ways your phone is changing you by a man by the name of Tony writing. In that book Tony Ranki a Christian writer addresses several items that are of particular importance for us today and by the way let me preface all of this by saying so you don't turn me off I'm not going to tell you you need to discard your phone but the question I'm going to ask this morning is are you in control of your phone or is your phone in control of you he asked the fundamental question on page 20 of his book What is the best use of my smartphone in the flourishing of my life and he contends if we don't ask that question our phones will control us and lead us to what he calls routines of nothingness Have you ever had that happen before just one You Tube video just one. And 3 hours later at 2 30 in the morning knowing you've got to get up at 6. The bitter taste of early morning begins to emerge in the back of your throat so what are his key takeaways 12 of them 1st we are addicted to distraction 95 percent of all Americans own a cell phone 75 percent of Americans own a smartphone the average number of pick ups by the average user is $81500.00 times per year you say well that's not that bad that's 15 times per hour or once every 4.3 minutes so that means in the context of this sermon you've picked up your phone probably at least 10 times while the smartphone is an effective tool taking the place of at least 10 different devices it has led us into a constant state of distraction and. Tony Ranki says 1st we use digital distractions to keep work away 2nd we use digital distractions to keep people away and 3rd we use digital distractions to keep thoughts of eternity of way because we don't like the stillness of the moment. And I get it I'm one of those people that I don't like silence too long and I need to talk because that makes me uncomfortable but in the context of being alone we don't like the silence because it's in that still moment that God speaks to us and sometimes frankly we don't like what God is telling us it is a phrase that I use we are no longer present in the present this distraction is an invented in created world where we're in control but the problem is we're not in control it's in control of us. Number 2 we ignore flesh and blood Ranki States the smartphone is causing a social reversal the desire to be alone in public and never alone in seclusion you see even though we are together we're not together we're merely in the same room each of us creating our own fantasy world for ourselves to live in and thus we don't have relationships Facebook and other social media outlets they tell us we have friends and followers. But we are more alone and more depressed than any generation in the history of the world the fundamental problem is we can create whoever we want to be behind the screen but more importantly we can hide from everyone else who we really are number 3 we crave immediate approval Ranki States the sad truth is that many of us are addicted to our phones because we crave immediate approval and affirmation everything is about the like everything is about the a Moji we are seeking for limitless approval and here's the problem it deceives us into believing that everything we do is likeable in the sight of God's eyes and it didn't our accountability to him Number 4 we lose our literacy rank he states digital reading is unnecessarily hurried and this habit believes into how we read our Bibles and then he goes on our joy in God is at stake in our vanity we feed on digital junk food and our palates are reprogrammed and our affections atrophy it's like in the world of eating let's be honest potato chips tastes good but they're not good for you if you eat celery instead. It will actually train your mouth it will train your taste buds that when you put in the words of a man from a documentary processed foods processed food processed people rather when we put something in our mouth it is a food like substance but not yet really threw down our mouths say wait a 2nd this is in food I want real food in the same way the digital world is fed as digital junk and so somehow someway when we feel depressed rather than going to the Psalms and reading a Psalm of David we go to youtube and say show me something funny it is difficult for us to read and linger over passages of Scripture that are no longer than 280 characters or can't be read in just a few moments number 5 we feed on the produce sed you see our lives are not produced our lives are to be lived but here is the reality there are corporations vying for your attention and will stop at nothing to achieve it they create a world that is fake and in creating this false world they make you a hero by the way this is why Marvel has gone through the roof over the last years because everybody is looking for a hero in the Christian life my dear friends we need one hero and that is the unselfish Savior Jesus Christ Superman Batman or any any other interation of them in the multitude of characters will not save you from your sin number 6 we become what we like. Rank you States the object of our worship is the object of our imitation number 7 we get lonely our smartphones rank the States our portable shields we wield in public in order to deter human conduct and interaction have you ever done that. Have you ever done that somebody is company like man I don't want to talk to them. By the way for those of you that say I don't I don't have a phone I have an i Pad friends we're talking about all screens. Memory we lose meaning friends we live in the real world we interact in the real world our screens have created a false world that somehow our minds find more interesting number 9 we fear missing out this was a new one to me there's even an abbreviation I did go look it up rank he states he it listen what he says he says when it comes to cultural foam Oh I was like What is foam fear of missing out when it comes to cultural fear of missing out we are eager to turn the tables and keep shame on others for not having yet in just did the movies television series or viral stories that we have already consumed FOLO is neither unique or modern foam 0 is the primeval human fear the 1st fear stoked in our hearts when a slithering serpent spoke softly of a one time opportunity that proved too good to be true he doesn't sit in a tree anymore with fruit he lurks in device number 10 we become harsh to one another it is very easy to be hyper critical of individuals while you hide behind a screen and not deal with real human relationships number 11 and I will say is a mature subject but I'm going to deal with it in a way that I think we're Ok in mixed company we get comfortable in secret device excuse me in secret vices. Right he states and the Nimitz he is where sin flourishes he goes on to say smartphones make sexual sin more discreet giving it space to fester behind the veil of privacy he goes on smartphones make free pornography easier to find than the weather forecast he continues smartphone vices capitalize on our endless curiosity and then he continues free porn accessed on a smartphone represents a spiritual epidemic of unprecedented gravity in the history of the church 12 percent of all websites and websites are counted in the billions 12 percent of them are pornographic more than 80 percent of those who are ages 18 to 49 have viewed some type of pornography 35 percent of all downloads on the Internet are pornographic material and just in case we think it's the men who have the problem one 3rd of all Internet porn users are women interestingly enough when you look at the days of the week and porn downloads Sunday is the highest day the highest day of the year Thanksgiving by the way pastors are not immune to this either 55 percent of all pastors have some sort of pornographic material on their computer right now Joe Rigney author of the book more than a battle. A new and recently released book said this on a recent interview with family life today listen to these words then today sexual sin sexual temptation is as old as dirt this is not a new struggle Paul had to deal with pagan prostitutes and temple prostitutes and stuff like that Victorians had their brothels but today we have brothels in our pocket. That's the new thing everybody has this unprecedented access and anonymity you don't have to keep your eyes down at a store clerk that you're buying the magazine from it's that unprecedented access and that anonymity that brings excuse me brings it to a different level then you add to that that there are corporations and people whose entire vocation is devoted to hooking you to swiping and all that stuff is designed to hook you not just on your social media your Facebook and Twitter and everything else but to this speaking of pornography there's people there's human beings devoted and making a concerted effort while I could say much more on this issue itself I would advise reading one of these books or listening to the programs men in particular we are in grave danger this issue leads to all sorts of problems self abuse disinterested in life laziness and a desensitized heart Joe Rigney believes that the key for help in this area is finding mentors who have victory this is quoting him now another element of this is my project has been recognizing the importance of mentors godly men who are a step removed who have had substantial victory in this area and can therefore provide that model and that hopefulness they can say hey you've you can come to where I'm at you don't have to stay in the pit you can get out of there by the grace of God. I don't know maybe there is a need for such groups like this here at Living Hope today if you're struggling in this area. You can contact me you can contact Pastor Martin we can discuss the possibility of mentors if you want to contact me privately I'll give you my personal e-mail right now it's very simple my 1st initial see my middle name Lee l. my last name Holland h o l l a n d at g. mail dot com This is a serious matter that is driving us driving us to a place of uncertainty in our spiritual lives the last point that Tony Ranki makes number 12 is that we lose our place in time quoting him we give our time to what is not explicitly sinful but also to what cannot give us joy or prepare us for self sacrifice everything on the phone is not a bad thing but is it removing us from where we should be in time does it consume us he goes on to state our personal freedom from the misuse of technology is measured by our ability to thoughtfully criticize it and to limit what we expected to do in our lives our bondage to technology is measured by our inability to thoughtfully criticize ourselves so what can we do the time is now my dear friends that we need to lay aside and remove these high places from our life whether it's a smartphone whether it's how we use the smartphone whatever it may be the time is now for us to remove these things from our lives not to simply be like Jo ash keep the high place in the background because nobody else thinks it's a really big deal Catherine Price wrote a groundbreaking book in the title of the book is how to break up with your phone she gives these simple steps. One ride out your cravings it's like when you're stopping smoking you must ride out your cravings and not give in to include others have somebody that you're accountable to 3 assess your current relationship take a self assessment of what's happening by the way this is a political beyond just a phone I have a number of young people here this is a political in your own personal relationships as well and number 4 after you assess that relationship you set boundaries boundaries that are actual boundaries number 5 she says stop she uses a phrase fobbing she has married the word Phone and snubbing What does she mean by that stop picking up your phone texting and looking at social media when in the middle of a conversation with someone or in a gathering. Some of you might be under conviction right now. She states this a good rule is to put your phone away during meals and parties so you can be present with family and friends if you're a medical doctor and someone's life depends on you I certainly understand your need for a phone but for most of us for most of us someone will not die if you do not text them back within 30 seconds and I will tell you this sermon is not a pointing the finger this is a process that I've been working through my own life in fact I've had to text some people and let them know because they got very panicked and thought something had happened to me. I said No I was actually just walking out in the woods in West Virginia and I'm going to tell you my dear friends there are times where I'm on a boat that I put my phone in my upper pocket in hopes that maybe when I lean over it might fall out and go to the bottom of the ocean. Are you following me. And then lastly the last point she says try a trial separation I'm going to tell you my dear friends it is going to be remarkable to you if you set your phone down you lock your phone away and you don't use it for a specified period of time you will go through withdrawal symptoms just like an alcoholic just like someone addicted to drugs your hands are going to be like I don't know what to do you to be sitting around people saying I don't know what to say and then what will happen is your mind as it starts rewiring itself will become so in tune with what's happening in reality that it will be almost overwhelming the things that you perceive that you had not perceived before and lastly her simple point is find other things to do i friends this world has many things to do many things to do other than checking out who's like your last post on Facebook I will not even get into this in there are going to be a number of young people that are not going to like me very much when I say what I'm about to say but there is factual proof in the medical literature that your young people who are being allowed to use devices at an early age in an early age being under the age of 20 are rewiring their brains that may lead them to failure throughout the rest of their life go read the literature the problem is we've hired Steve Jobs and his lackeys and I know he's dead so don't misunderstand what I'm saying and those who have imitated what he has done we've hired them to be our babysitter our entertainer go read the literature 10 years ago schools were switching to all screens and no textbook and there are districts of schools that have lost millions of dollars because they're going back to textbooks because comprehension fails behind a screen. And like I said Why talk that great deal about phones these principles apply universally to those other temptations and sins that so easily ensnare us and my telling you to get right to your phone no but maybe just maybe the Holy Spirit may be telling you that I don't speak for him because Jesus was pretty simple when it came to these things real simple Matthew 5 verse 27 you have heard that it was said of old you shall not commit adultery but I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery by the way the word for adultery is the Greek word poor nail it forms the basis of pornography Jesus knew more than the inventors of language. If you look at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart if your right eye causes you to sin pluck it out and cast it from you for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell and if your right hand causes you to sin cut it off and pass it off from you for is more profitable profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast in hell what is the point it's far better to go to heaven without an i Phone than to be standing in the lake of fire with one. The issue at hand is are we genuinely willing to surrender everything to Jesus 3 words were not removed not taken away a disloyal heart all synonyms 3 words that killed the question and the question I ask you this morning is what is the high place in your life is it a phone is it something else is it a relationship is it an addiction is it a substance is it intertainment is it other devices fill in the blank Jesus will speak to you. Because here is the reality without Jesus every heart has a void Ecclesiastes 311 says also he has put eternity into their hearts that's why when we don't have Jesus we feel empty and we try to fill it with all kinds of stuff and to the young people here I will save you time at 16 I went looking to fill my heart with all kinds of stuff and I spent 5 years I wasted 5 years of my life filling it with everything that didn't fill it and left me more empty afterwards and I'm going to tell you I have seen things with my eyes at 17 and I am 46 years old and those images are planted deep in the recesses of my brain that I still fight against don't waste time young people now is the time and to those of us that are older it's not too late what are you utilizing in your life to try to soothe your divided broken incomplete unfulfilled inharmonious heart there's only one answer some 3311 the Council of the Lord stands for ever it is the same word as eternity from Ecclesiastes these 311 the plans of his heart to all generations some 3718 the Lord knows the days of the upright and their inheritance shall be for ever and as I had to a close I want to read to you probably one of the more disturbing quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy that I've ever read from the story of redemption page 45 and 46 if you don't think this is a spiritual battle. Get in tune I was shown Satan as he once was a happy exalted angel then I was shown him as he is now. He still bears a kingly form it is features are still noble for he is an angel fallen but the expression of his countenance is full of anxiety care unhappiness malice hate mischief deceit and every evil that brow that forehead which was so noble I particularly noticed his forehead commenced from his eyes to reseed Let me pause there why is his forehead receding because the frontal lobe is the place of decision making his frontal lobe is atrophying I saw that he had so long bent himself to evil that every good quality was debased and every evil trait was developed and now listen his eyes were cunning sly and showed great penetration his frame was a law. But the flesh hung loosely about his hands and face as I be held him his chin was resting upon his left hand he appeared to be in deep thought a smile was upon his countenance which made me tremble it was so full of evil and say tannic slyness This smile is the one he wears just before he make sure of his victim and as he fastens the victim to his snare this smile grows horrible he sits watching you he know. What tempts you he know. What will make you fall and his every thought is how to make you sin and it makes him smile it's not it's well past time to be playing games I will and with Hebrews Chapter 12 make application and then pray Hebrews 12 says Therefore we also verse one since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us let's get the imagery if you've ever known anyone that was a competitive swimmer just prior to their competitive swimmer meet you will notice something that is absent from them the day of the meat competitive swimmers will shave every hair off of their body why do they do that. While yes it reduces the friction and drag in the water I learned this in my research for today it does something else it increases the sensitivity of the nerve endings throughout the body and it heightens the swimmer's awareness to feel the water why do we need to remove the high places in our life because those high places are doling our senses to the place where the like it's not that bad but when we remove it we become sensitive to God's leading hypersensitive to his leading and will follow him all the days of our lives the call of God is simple today what is it that he's called you to put off and lay aside and remove it's not a one time question by the way it's a question we need to ask every day. What are those things those thoughts the ideas that you think are making you complete but are actually making you feel disharmonious and unfulfilled what is preventing you from experiencing the show loam of Christ I leave you with the promise of Jesus he wants you to experience that peace and full life and he says these words in John 14 Peace I leave with you My peace I give to you not as the world gives Do I give to you let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid are you willing to surrender it all to him let's pray Heavenly Father we have gathered here Lord this was a tough message for me to prepare for is a tough message to preach and I imagine a tough message to hear but right now you have laid upon each and every heart that is in this building right now something or somethings Lord we're not strong enough to get rid of it we're not strong enough to cast it off on our own. So we ask you for the strength we want the peace we want to show loam in our life so Lord I pray right now through the power of your Holy Spirit you would identify the areas in our life where we need to yield and give it all up and then Father in heaven I pray that you would give us the strength the stamina and the courage not to wait until tomorrow or next week but immediately following this service service that we would go and lay it aside cast it off get rid of it whether it's an app whether it's the phone itself. Whether it's books whether it's magazines whether it's C.D.'s whether it's music whatever it is that is so easily be setting us and so easily ensnaring us Lord give us the courage and the strength pointed out to us and then Lord help us to do it that we might not be killed by those 3 words did not take away May the testimony of this congregation today be they have cast off they have laid aside and they have put off everything from the old man and today put on the new man in the new woman and experience the life giving blood of Jesus in their lives this is my prayer in Jesus' name. Amen. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w w w audio verse or.

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