Posts Tagged ‘addiction’

  

“Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem.” (Luke‬ ‭13:22‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

It is an epidemic that has been spreading around the world. MILLIONS are caught in its clutches. It is costing people some $600k a day. It is creating health issues, loss of jobs, and even the UK has reportedly seen rehabilitation centers open up new wings to bring needed treatment to give people their lives back! What is this infernal presence that’s taking over the world and ruining lives?! It’s nothing other than that sinister ploy called… (spooky music intro inserted here)Candy Crush!

We’ve all seen people’s lives devastated because of life-controlling issues and addictions. While some seem worth the outrage, the simple or petty things, like social media or video games, still cause not only significant damage in personal lives, but spiritually too! Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.

Just as Jesus made sure He was moving towards His life purpose (crucifixion) while He lived among us, so we must do the same thing. Play time and hobbies are good stress relievers, but if it is keeping us from our life objectives (to know Him and make Him known), then the enjoyable has become an enemy. Live your purpose, not your pleasures! Eternities hang in the balance! You are loved! 

  

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“Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.” (Deuteronomy‬ ‭7‬:‭6‬ NLT)

As I sat at the Burger King restaurant last night after church, I was privileged to be hanging out with some special friends, the ladies from Teen Challenge in Russellville, AR. I sat listening to their stories, where they came from, the addictions and past scars they are seeking to overcome, and the scriptures that they are standing on to accomplish it. To me, I was sitting amongst the bravest heroes I had ever met: Those that will truly fight their personal demons!

One of them shared this verse with me and it immediately struck my heart. How many of us sit in our regrets, stained by sin and failure, cultivating and perfecting the hatred we feel for ourselves to the point that we could NEVER see ourselves as treasurable? I would dare say that it would be all of us and probably occurs everyday. 

So here is a word of hope for today! You are truly a treasure to God! Don’t focus on the failed opinions of others or even yourself. Get to know God’s loving thoughts towards you and grow in that beautiful relationship! You are free to be loved today! 

  

My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass. But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.” (Psalm‬ ‭102‬:‭11-13‬ NIV)

As we sat in the car, you could feel the agony in the atmosphere. “Robert” no longer cared what anyone, even God, thought about him. His addiction meant more to him that family or career. That abandonment moment would last for several years, leaving many scars. Yet, could he change?

The scripture paints a picture of a man in deep dejection, loneliness, despair. He feels his life is ebbing away like the evening shadows and there’s so little time left for him. He says, “I’m withering away like grass.” Have you ever felt like that? And what do you do if you ever feel like that? 

Robert’s life eventually turned around, but only after great prices were paid. Do what the psalmist did instead. He looked away from himself, his own situation, he lifted up his eyes to the Lord and he saw the Lord by faith, on His throne, and he realized that the Lord doesn’t change with our situations and circumstances. The Lord is always on His throne! He never abdicates; He’s always in total control! Rest in His care and control! You are loved! 

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Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (James‬ ‭1‬:‭8‬ NLT)

John was raised in a Christian home, felt called to the ministry, and had even earned a Master’s Degree in Ministry. But lacking a true faith, he walked away, chasing money and spiraling into a loose lifestyle and an addiction to alcohol. Ridden with guilt, he remained away from God.

But God had different plans for John! Having been invited to a church service, he heard a man speak of God’s incredible love and forgiveness, and His power to miraculously deliver from addiction. With nothing left to lose, John gave in and asked Jesus for a new chance at life. At that moment, John found what he had never truly know, even while attending seminary: a vibrant, real relationship with the Creator of his soul!

God’s desire for you is not religious action and thinking, but a deeply moving, daily growing relationship with Him. Come to Church today and find yourself in that place with Him. This Christmas could be your best one yet! You are truly loved today!