Specifically, I want to bring you the great news that: His GRACE delivers us from the grip of sin addiction, illness, and demonic influence.
Here is one Extraordinary Example of God’s Grace. Check out Jacinta’s story!
All across this congregation today we have people that are under a grip. Under the grasp. Under the hold or control of something. We have people struggling with addiction. We have people struggling with sickness, illness, disease. We have people stooped in depression, heartache and anxiety.
The Bible is quite clear about these issues. You can be bound or you can be free. Scripture uses clear language to define these scenarios. It uses the term slavery to describe someone that is out of control. In essence, we are submitted to or enslaved to whatever or whomever has power over us. That issue that we can not stop. Today, I am going to use the terms addiction and slavery interchangeably.
There are several myths about addiction:
Myth 1: When people hear the word addiction, most think that it does not describe themselves. We could probably give a name or even a list of names of others they know who are addicted to something (but not us). We never think WE are addicted. We think we could stop at any time. We think for some reason we still maintain control. There are some people in here today that know you have a problem. You want a change. You are not proud of the habits that keep you in chains.
Myth 2: We also think that the term addiction is reserved for people who can’t stop drinking or smoking, taking illegal drugs, or prescribed pain killers. However, the tenticles of addiction grow much more deeply into our lives.
Addiction – is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit forming. a giving over, surrender.
In reality, there are people addicted to nicotine, alcohol, other drugs where they must have these things or they will become extremely irritable, angry, physically weak, unable to sleep, unable to stay awake, in physical pain, All other activities and people have to take a back seat to this habit. If you don’t get it, you will be a bad person to be around. Basically, it controls you.
However, addiction goes beyond the “big” or “regular” ones. There is sexual addiction where people are will manipulate, abuse, ostracize, belittle, lie in order to find satisfaction. Some are addicted to making money. Or a slave to advancing in your career. Always needing the next level of notoriety, the next car, the next promotion, etc. Addictions are so important that you relentlessly pursue them or you are a rotten person to be around if any of these things are out of order.
There are some who are addicted to food. Which on the surface seems fairly mundane. Until you realize that more people die from sugar in America than illegal drugs.
Obesity, diabetes, hypoglycemia, depression, headaches, fatigue, acne, skin irritation, hypertension, aching limbs, stiffening of arteries.
Over the years, it has gotten worse and worse.
A 2012 study showed how Americans have changed their sugar consumption In 1822, Americans consumed about 2 spoons of sugar a day. In 2012, we consume around 38 spoons
Well, let’s just stop eating the wrong food or too much food… WE HAVE TRIED. WE ARE ADDICTED.
Brain scans show that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Sugar and junk food flood the brain with much more dopamine than we would get by eating real food, Junk foods and sugar flood the reward system of the brain with dopamine. Sugar also has some effects on opioid pathways within the brain, the same system manipulated by drugs like heroin and morphine. WE ARE ADDICTED.
When you are struggling with your life and you need relief, you may not smoke a cigarette or drink a case of beer. Instead, you eat a double cheese burger, large fries, 32oz coke, with a slice of cake. That food is actually relieving stress in your brain and at the same time slowly killing the rest of your body.
Beyond ADDICTION, there are others in the room that struggle with a diagnosis that you had nothing to do with. Chrones, Lupis, hereditary sickness, cancer, migraines. Sometimes we get sick just because we live in a broken world. We are victims of illness.
Others in the room are bound by generational slavery. Your dad was abusive and you are starting to see your anger get out of control. Your mom was a control freak and now you are stressed when things are out of order. Your dad was a slave to his job and getting ahead financially and now you can’t stop taking those overtime hours.
I BRING GOOD NEWS TO YOU ALL!
Isaiah 10: 27 In that day the lord will end the bondage of his people. He will break the yoke of slavery and lift it from their shoulders.
Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
1 Peter 5: 6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen.
1 Peter 2: 22 He (JESUS) never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. 24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. 25 Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
James 5: 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Romans 8:5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
By the Grace of God, I will not be an abuser.
By the Grace of God, I will not be bound by my past.
By the Grace of God, the grip of sin will be broken in my life.
By the Grace of God, the power of addiction will not control me.
By the Grace of God, I will live a healthy lifestyle. I will live a long life. I will support my kids, I will be a great parent, I will raise Godly kids, I will graduate from school, I will be responsible, I will not be a bitter person, I will not resent my parents,