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March 8, 2021 2:00 am
Jesus has a radical love for all people, including those who struggle with addiction. In the message "Jesus Loves Addicts," Skip shows you that Jesus has a special plan to help addicts—and, as the body of Christ, we can be part of that plan.
This teaching is from the series Jesus Loves People .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
As the addict learns of the love of Christ, and as the addict learns of the power of the Holy Spirit.
And as the addict is is surrounded with and interacts with healthy believers. They will discover a life you see effectiveness in recovery is more than just saying no to the menace saying yes to the make is the highest power addictions are women in a culture today with real lasting like can only happen through the power of the gospel today on connect with skip-Skip talks about God's redeeming plan for those battling addiction is a vital part you play in the plan would begin. Here's a resource of fresh insight on what Jesus resurrection needs for pretty obvious that this world is filled with imperfect people and that's on purpose God is into restoring human beings he could make perfect people in populated heaven with perfect people, but he doesn't do that. He takes people ordained up beat up bruise by time damaged by sin, and he does all resto job on complete restoration celebrate the joy and beauty of redemption with the morning. That changed everything with skip.
I think this DVD collection of six hope filled Easter weekend messages is our thanks to you when you get $35 or more today to help connect more people to God's word and the redeeming love of Jesus Christ.
Restoration is based on redemption and redemption is tied to resurrection to give call 800-922-1888, or get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer. Let's dive into today's teaching will be in Luke chapter 4 in Matthew chapter 11 Isaac begins the stuff outdoor gospel handwritings good notes and we as Christians need to remember that our message ought to be a message of good news.
Life a matter how we managed to do it, but some of us Christians managed to make good news. Sound like bad news euro to become a kosher nap you're like me and at peace and meaning in zip and Zynga in her life.
Not thanks, Max. It's good news. We need to give the gospel good news because you see the world has messages of bad news for these people you were born this way you'll never change that that identifies you, and that defines you and your addiction will always define you. We need to give them the good news. Good news is the gospel is the gospel, by the way, or the gospel according to Paul in first Corinthians 15 is very simple. It's that message that Jesus came that he died that he was buried, and that he rose again from the dead and that he did it for you. That's the gospel. Somebody asked Charles Spurgeon one time, could you take everything you believe in, or the Christians believe in, and sum it up in a few words, he said I give you four words.
Christ died for me that's the gospel that's the good news he loves you. He has a plan for you so notice it says that the Lord sent him the father sent him to proclaim liberty to the captives, there's that word, I just want to consider that word we talk about addictions captive. Did you know the word literally refers to prisoners of war. POWs I have come to proclaim liberty to prisoners of war. Jesus has a special message to those who have been barraged by the enemy Jesus as a special message for those who have been taken captive by Satan or in bondage of addiction. I was reading this week. The testimony of an X addict named Gary there's a story in a nutshell when he grew up. He said he was abused by his maternal grandmother that would tweak anybody by age 12 he was drinking alcoholic became addicted to 12 years of age by 16, he was already on drugs became addicted.
One day as a teenager is a mid to late teenagers in a car somebody in a car on exactly who it was but spoke to him a message.
He said Gary Underhill. I'm telling you this but I feel like I need to tell you, Jesus loves you because what Jesus Christ loves you. Gary said you know it irritated me, but that simple message was so profound, Jesus loves and addict. He said those words were a seed that began to break down like angry hardened so Jesus has good news for addicts. I've come to preach the good news or something else. Not only does he have good news for addicts. Jesus has a good plan for addicts.
I draw you back to verse 18 of Luke chapter 4, I want you to notice as you look at the text. The relationship between two phrases because art is an important relationship. Notice he says that he has been anointed. He is been said to proclaim liberty to the captives see that phrase but then notice a few phrases after that to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim liberty to set at liberty to proclaim liberty is to preach to Harold to make an announcement to say something with your mouth, but to set at liberty something vastly different in other words, I'm going to do for you what I proclaimed.
In other words, Jesus is saying I don't just have a nice sermon for addicts. I have a great strategy for them. I have a plan and my plan is to release them to give them freedom from their addictions to break the cycle that the gutter not as he do that. How can he do that. How can God do that well I think you will agree with this statement.
First of all he can do anything right. He can do anything so I does he do it. What I have seen him again this is rare to say that he can take away a desire instantly wanted was what is love. If you do that with all of our bed is our just is taken away does remove I have heard the testimony of those who have been addicted to a variety of things. Tell me they no longer have any trouble with that issue anymore. They're not even struggling a bit off a desire. I applaud that. I think it's wonderful. It's miraculous. It's not the norm.
Usually the way he does that is supernaturally naturally that his supernatural power that comes through natural processes.
It's the principle of cooperation if you're familiar with the Old Testament, you know, this principle. God tells the children of Israel going to conquer the land taken over.
I'm to give the land to you. I'm gonna deliver your enemies into your hand. Sounds easy right I'm in a do this on to do that, to deliver him to give, but he also says you need boots on the ground. You need to take your sword out you need to engage in battle you need to march to the land and as you cooperate with me. My power will give it to you and do it for you through a natural process.
So I want to give you what I think is a healthy process that God empowers from everything I've read and from those that I have spoken with who have in the past been addicted to a variety of substances we need to take and isolate that addiction so picture picture and addiction in front of you, however you want to picture whatever it is and we need now to quarantine. We need to isolate it. We need to draw a box around the box has four sides. The first side will get a call accurate assessment you need to make an accurate assessment of your addiction. In other words, don't underestimate your addiction. It's a big deal as were many people fail box out a big deal I can stop anytime I want. They never do.
It keeps going. The cycle continues. But they keep telling themselves. Not a big deal. No accurate assessment. Don't underestimate your addiction and addiction is not a typical challenge that everybody goes through, it is the struggle of a lifetime. In fact, there will probably never be a greater challenge in your entire life than that particular challenge. All other problems will pale in comparison. Accurate assessment one author who was once addicted wrote these words.
Early recovery is one big dramatic event in your emotional court is bouncing down the side of a mountain.
It's an emotional roller coaster. This same phenomenon can be observed when someone tries to quit smoking. The smoker will notice that every time they try to quit smoking. All this drama pops up in their life. Why is this happening. They wonder why does all this drama suddenly show up every time they try to quit. He answers it.
You have been fooled by your addiction. You have been fooled by your addiction withdrawal from nicotine or drugs or pornography or food turns up the intensity. He says on your life turns up the emotional intensity, so an accurate assessment is the first side of that box. But straw second side to quarantine addiction will call this overwhelming force use overwhelming force. If you want to capture a base of your enemies, the best way to do it is by using overwhelming force. So if it takes 200 soldiers to take over an enemy base bring 800 so there is no chance for failure. You will overwhelm the enemy with your force will make sure that the job gets done. One alcoholic, said that early on, he struggled with the idea that he was smarter than everybody is the I know there's people that are alcoholics, but I'm on the smart one and I'm I don't need the same kind of help they do not found this to be difficult, so he was telling himself things I guess I don't need a real long rehab and I don't need to go to weed meet meetings that many times a week, like other people do and so he kept failing and failing and failing in that cycle continued till somebody told him a friend of his said you don't need three weeks or three months.
You need a year rehab. He was so beat up by failure. He said you're right. And he went and he did it he said was the best thing I ever did over whelming force. I talked to a friend this week a friend of mine who struggled for years with addictions to heroin and other substances. And as I was telling him know what I found what I was and is a good yet yet yet because Skip is what I learned you had a change your playground and your playmates. You need to get as many people around you is you can on a new playground that are the right kind of people to hold you accountable and to help you through this overwhelming force. Nellis Ross third line on this box. Zero tolerance, zero tolerance EC recovery is pass or fail everything else in life will depend on your sobriety relationships will depend on it.
Your viability will depend on your effectiveness will depend on and so if this is an issue you need to make an agreement within yourself that says I can never use again. I can never take another drink. I can never watch that stuff ever again. No matter what zero-tolerance the problem with that is if you have an addictive personality. You said that a thousand times already and got back to back and back and back and back but that principle along with the first two principles, all working together will be of great strength and value and help. And now let's close this box in and quarantine it completely before side of that box we will call highest power highest power. If you're familiar with the language of recovery.
You have heard the term higher power. They say will you need a higher power in this and is very sort of innocuous and nondescript disorder pick a higher power and trust that men and though you the highest power and that comes only through one source and that is the Lord Jesus Christ and as the addict learns of the love of Christ, and as the addict learns of the power of the Holy Spirit. And as the addict is is surrounded with in interacts with healthy believers. They will discover a whole new life.
You see effectiveness in recovery is more than to say no to the menace it's saying yes to the maker is the highest power. If you have a scientific background you understand principle I'm to give you now that is that certain viruses die when you expose them to light certain bacteria will also die if they're exposed to the right kinds of light like ultraviolet light, so there In the dark as they grow and they flourish in the spread. Once you expose them to light. Sunlight in some cases, ultraviolet light, it will kill them. Addictions are like that. It's a virus that has to be exposed to the light to be cured. Listen to what Jesus said in John three. This is the verdict light has come into the world, but man of love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God member the leper who came to Jesus. I didn't say leopard but the leper men with leprosy, walked up to Jesus, probably at the very end of his rope and he said if you are willing, you can make me clean.
And Jesus said I am willing be clean every addict needs to come to Jesus and say if you are willing, make me clean and he will immediately I am willing and he might immediately remove the desire, but chances are you gonna have to go through this process and you can have to isolate that addiction by accurate assessment overwhelming force zero-tolerance highest power Jesus has good news for addicts.
Jesus has a good plan for addicts as a final thing I want you to notice as we close, that is, Jesus has a good reputation among addicts. Would you turn now will close with is Matthew chapter 11 just a couple verses. Matthew 11 I discovered over the years and talking to people who have struggled with addictions of various sorts that that even those who are really down and out okay with Jesus. Now, some aren't. But most part they just understand that Jesus is this compelling loving figure and are drawn to him, that they may not be too crazy about churches or church people but usually they aren't because of their past experiences with such when it comes to the person of Jesus. Jesus has a reputation now as he did then and I want you to notice it. Jesus is speaking here. Matthew 1116 to his detractors. Matthew 1116 but to what shall I liken this generation by children sitting in the marketplace and calling to their companions and saying we played the flute for you and you did not dance. We mourned to you and you did not lament for John.
Jesus says that's John the Baptist came neither drinking or eating.
And they say that he has a demon, the Son of Man came eating and drinking Jesus and they say will a glutton and a wine beverage or wind River's rights. A lush to an alcoholic. Can you imagine saying that of Jesus. This guy eats too much and he drinks too much notice. The next phrase off friend of tax collectors and sinners. But wisdom is justified by her children know they manage as a slur. Jesus accepted it as a badge of honor, friend of tax collectors and sinners and I heard exegete this entire text, I just want you to notice this label because by this time Jesus has already called a notorious tax collector name Matthew, Jesus has already gone to the house of Matthew and shared an evening meal with him and his buddies and according to one commentator John MacArthur. He said at that meeting. That would include robbers, murderers, drunkards, and prostitutes, and it was probably he said because of that encounter in Matthew's house that Jesus got this reputation that he mentions here a friend of tax collectors and sinners is what it says in Matthew nine.
Many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with him.
Luke 15 one. Tax collectors and notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach and then there's a story of Zacchaeus and Jericho members gives a short dialogue climbed up the trees.
We could see Jesus and Jesus almond get down at your house a luncheon. They hung out together. That's a paraphrase. By the way the text and the crowd was not excited about that. The Bible says the clouds were upset saying he is gone to be a guest of a notorious sinner you got understand that most religious Jews would never ever conceive of socializing with that group of people. But Jesus would. And Jesus did.
He sat down with them. He ate with them and he was known as the friend of sinners and in that group were drunkards, alcoholics in our group were prostitutes and probably the men who are addicted to sex from the prostitutes. There was Jesus among them and so they thought they all and I want to listen to him teach and they would often go to heritage. I just want to give this challenge to us. The body of Christ Bible calls the church, the body of Christ. I hope you understand what that means we are the representatives of Jesus Christ as if we were the physical body of Jesus, so he has no hands, no feet, no mouth, but hours so with our hands that reach out to people in his name.
It's our feet go out to people and walk toward people in his name. It's our mouths that bring a message of hope and love in the gospel of good news in his name were the body of Christ. Jesus said, as I have loved you. You must love we could do that, you know, it is possible we could actually become an army of love will I mention that Webster defined addiction as a surrender of oneself to something obsessively habitually. It is my prayer that more of us become addicted to Christ addicted to serving our Lord and it addicted to loving people in a transforming way in his name Jesus began his ministry with the text.
We started out with John Wesley began his ministry outside the church walls with the same text I thought it was only fitting to end this message."
A hymn written by the brother of John Wesley, Charles Wesley. About that same text to him was called over a thousand tongues to sing and here's the little phrase he breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the prisoner free his blood can make the foulest clean his blood availed for me that foulest clean the addict, the prostitute, the criminal, the murder all those that we have isolated in the series. He is blood can make the foulest clean his blood availed for me as we take communion. We realize that what Jesus said fits us poor broken hearted captive blind yet that's pretty much my testimony is blood can make the foulest clean.
If he can save you don't think you can save others through you. He loves then conclude Skip a text message from the series Jesus loves people. Now you Skip to tell you about. You can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way as you help connect others to God's love when Jesus walked the earth. He was known for loving the most unloved and marginalized people in society and he does the same today through you and me is people I want to ask you to consider partnering with this ministry, as we expand the reach of these Bible teachings to include folks who might not otherwise hear the life-changing message of the gospel. Here's how you can give right now you can give online connectwithskip.com/donate. That's connectwithskip.com/donate: 800-922-1888 922-1880 thank you tomorrow Skip Heitzigs it helps to understand why both the wrath and love of God are integral to his nature. Your salvation. Jesus was, but he doesn't want him to stay broken. He's come to heal the brokenhearted, to fix them in every case. In all cases. It's always about Shane's Jesus came to bring change. Skip presentation of connection communication changing truth