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Message

Exposed - Part 4, The World of Addictions
Steve Goble - June 3, 2012

Message Recap

Exposed takes a close look at the “cult of personality” that occupies so much of pop-culture’s time and focus. We are quick to judge celebrities and be entertained by their downfall, while in reality our lives are often just as broken.

In our world today, we see addictions of every form: drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, internet, TV, food, video games, and the list goes on. Certainly various celebrities come to mind when we think of addictions, as their very names have addiction labels attached to them. How difficult it must be for these people to try and recover as the whole world watches their every mistake and their every breakdown! Do we relish their failure, watching in judgment, or look upon them with compassion and pray sincerely for their salvation and recovery?

God’s Word tells us that there is no place we can go to be separated from the love of God.

Beyond celebrity addiction, there are addictions much closer to home. It is likely you know a friend, family member, or co-worker that struggles with some type of addiction—or maybe you yourself have secret struggles.

It’s easy to fall into a knee-jerk reaction, “How could the person do that? I would never do that.” But this is not a biblical response. It is not the heart of Christ’s church for people to experience judgment when they have come to experience God. But how should we react?

1. How we react can push the individual further into addiction and farther from God.

Romans 2:1-5, 15:1-2, Philippians 2:3, Hebrews 2:18, Job 2:9

Do you approach that person out of anger or superiority? Maybe you can feel better about your own weaknesses if you can relish in someone else’s failures.

Do you enable the person to continue in their addictions? Maybe you think you love them too much to confront them or you don’t want them to feel offended.

Are you in denial because you don’t want to admit that someone you care about is struggling? It may feel easier to just not “rock the boat.”

Are you co-dependant? Do you need the person to continue to suffer so that you can feel needed and feel of value?

These reactions to the addictions of others are unhealthy, both for them and for us.

2. Our response to others needs to replicate how God responds to us.

2 Timothy 2:13, Galatians 6:1-2, Ephesians 4:32, Romans 8:38-39

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 38-39

God’s Word tells us that there is no place we can go to be separated from the love of God. He has a faithful and relentless love for each of us and will pursue us to the ends of the earth.

Jesus Himself confronted people in their sin, but He did so out of love and in a loving way, for their benefit. As believers, we must reach out to people enslaved by addiction and extend the love of God.

Or maybe you are one caught in addiction, enslaved to a habit you can’t break. Know that you are not alone – many, many people struggle with addictions of all kinds. There is help and hope for you. God still loves you and He is still pursuing you.

3. Our addiction issues reveal a desire we all have for satisfaction.

Proverbs 13:25, Philippians 3:18-19

We all long for satisfaction—in our jobs, our relationships, with our possessions, with food, etc. We want to feel fulfilled physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Christ is the only One that can really fulfill us.

For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. Philippians 3:18-19

Paul writes these words with heavy emotion. He sees what is happening in the lives of the church as they seek satisfaction in the wrong places. This can only destroy their lives, because Christ is the only One that can really fulfill us.

4. Freedom can only be experienced when we allow God to fight the battle.

2 Peter 2:19, Galatians 5:1, 2 Chronicles 20

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 2 Peter 2:19

Whatever consumes your mind, it is enslaving you. It dictates your time, spends your money, and runs your relationships. Living with handcuffs on is no way to live!

Maybe you are constantly battling with an addictive struggle. Aren’t you exhausted of being in chains? God promises in His Word that He is able to fight for us. God is reaching out for you – take the hand that He offers. Let go and surrender to experience His freedom!

Exposed

This 8-part series uses celebrity culture to display how Jesus models unconditional love. In Part 4, Pastor Steve challenges our perception of addiction, and reveals that freedom can only be experienced when we allow God to fight the battle.

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