Sunday Morning June 24, 2012

Posted by Sherry


WHAT HAS HANDCUFFED YOU?
(REGAINING OUR FREEDOM)
2 Cor. 12:9, Matt 6:13, 2 Cor 10:4-5, 2 Cor 10:13, Rom 7:24-25
What is it that we allow to rob us of our “Freedom”?
We live in America, “...land of the FREE & home of the brave...”
Some are citizens of heaven, “...been set FREE in our relationship with Christ...”
Why do we find ourself dragging a “ball and chain”?
  • WORLD PHILOSOPHY: Meet the hurdles of life with all your WILL POWER, overcome them, and move on....
    • Problem: Our WILL POWER is not enough to overcome all of life’s problems
      • Financial problems can become bigger than our capacity to pay
      • Relational issues make us aware that other people have “Free Choice”...
      • Root of Bitterness makes us unforgiving, envious, angry...@ the world...
      • Family failure & embarrassment lower our self-worth
      • Immorality causes us to live in the dark & the shadows
      • ADDICTION can side track us into a false hope & security, with temporary relief that gives way to a steadily increasing problem
Let’s discuss 5 common things we are subject to have a need to be RELEASED FROM:
  1. FROM WEAKNESS
2 Corinthians 12:9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [a]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may [b]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
  • Even the Apostle Paul had a “Weakness”
    • effected every aspect of his life
  • We all Experience some sort of “Weakness”
    • might originate from our own sin (self-inflicted) clogged artery, damaged lung, liver...
    • devil can lay “infirmities” on us (Job an example)
    • God allows “infirmities/weaknesses” to actually MAKE US BETTER
    • they may show up in any area (financial, health, esteem, business, education...)
  • Victory comes in ACCEPTING GOD’S WILL
    • Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities,...
      • “GLORY” - Rejoice
      • God’s power works best through us when we are “enduring” this infirmity
      • problem: more concern for “our will” than for “God’s will”
      • Heb. 11:39 And all of these, (beat to death w/ clubs, mocking, scourging, chains & imprisonment, stoned, sawn asunder, slaughtered by the sword, roaming over desolate places, living in caves...)though they won divine approval by [means of] their faith, did not receive the fulfillment of what was promised,
  • CAUTION: Our Strengths can become our Weaknesses
    • frank & candid can become tactless and cruel
    • confidence can become arrogance
  1. FROM TEMPTATION
Matthew 6:13 And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
  • Temptation - an experiment, attempt, trial, proving
    • fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy
    • from internal desires (our cravings) or outward circumstances
    • adversity, affliction, trouble, prosperity 
  • + Positive side of Temptation
    • it’s a “test”, it’s only a test
      • and it’s a test we can pass every time 
      • not tempted above that we are able, & a way of escape provided
    • test results: 
      • proof of our Character, Faith & Holiness
  • Survey SAYS...
    • 81% failed temptation when missing time alone with God
    • 57% failed when physically tired
    • 84% victory accomplished by prayer
    • 76% avoiding compromising situations
    • 66% Bible study
    • 52% accountable to someone
    • Greatest challenges of those surveyed position 9 to #1...Lying, Gluttony, Envy, Sexual Lust, Anger/Bitterness, Laziness, Self-centeredness, Pride, & the #1 Answer is......Materialism 
  1. FROM THOUGHTS
2 Cor. 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
5 [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
  • Any “action” must first be a “thought”...win the battle of the mind & win the war of actions!
    • Armory...Eph. 6:13-18
      • sword of Spirit - Bible
      • helmet of - Salvation
      • breastplate of - Righteousness (right acts)
      • belt of - Truth
      • foot & leg guards of readiness to share the - Good News of Peace
      • Prayer & Watchfulness
      • shield of - Faith
  1. FROM HABITS
1 Cor. 10:13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [a]adjusted and [b]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [c]a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
  • Way Out/Escape
    • Romans 13:14 But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).
    • Understand Sin is a PROCESS (interrupt the process & win the battle)
    • James 1:14 But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions, CRAVINGS).
    • 15 Then the evil desire, when it has (CRAVINGS) conceived, gives birth to (BABY) sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.
    • 16 Do not be misled, my beloved brethren.
    • 17 Every good gift and every perfect ([a]free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].
      • realize “everybody” is tempted (THAT’S YOU)
      • Step 1 “DRAWN AWAY” is to isolate you from the herd (safety)
      • Step 2 “ENTICED” by ur own cravings
      • Step 3 “CRAVINGS CONCEIVE” 
      • Step 4 “BABY SIN IS BORN” babies (puppies) grow up & cause problems...
      • Step 5 “GROWN SIN KILLS SOMETHING (DEATH) relationship, reputation, ur health, innocent people, you physically...
  1. FROM BONDAGE
ROMANS 7:24 O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?
25 O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
  • People are BORN IN BONDAGE to SIN
    • b/c we’re born in it, we tend to think that it’s NORMAL...IT’S NOT!
    • natural to think that we can dabble w/ sin & still be IN CONTROL...WE CAN’T!
    • Sin is a PROCESS & sometimes a SLOW process (how do you boil a live frog?...put him in the water while it’s cold and let it heat to a boil & the frog will not know he’s about to die....)
  • Jesus Christ is the only SAVIOR/RESCURER from BONDAGE
    • sets us free from “penalty of sin”
    • sets us free from “ignorance” of sin
    • sets us free from worrying about infirmities
    • sets us free from life shortening habits
    • sets us free from harmful thought patterns
    • sets us free from temptations & weakness
CONCLUSION:
  • Do you have a “personal” relationship with Jesus? (explain personal)
    • HE is the source of our “RELEASE”
    • What’s the status of the “Relationship”?
      • vibrant & alive?
      • irreconcilable differences?
      • incompatibility?
      • estranged?
      • FAKE?
      • occasional?

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