March 23, 2020 - Addiction

"To the weak, I became weak, that I might win the weak." 1 Corinthians 9:22

Good morning Grace family,  

 For the last few days I have been sharing with you what I felt God was placing on my heart. I have begun each of those short writings with, "When I woke up this morning!" Don't ask me why, but lately I have been persuaded to write it and send it out and may be it will be beneficial or a new beginning to someone. Just maybe it will fall into the hands of someone in need. No, the persuasion was not from my wife, but a higher power.

When I woke up this morning the word addiction was on my mind. I just happened to read the biography of the singer Etta James and it struck me as to how she had to fight the demon, drugs, throughout most of her adult life. I also thought of other drug related deaths of celebrities that allegedly died from their addictions. It struck me that they had died too soon. Some of those  were Prince, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Ike Turner, Len Bias, John Belushi, Elvis Presley, Bruce Lee, Billy Holiday to name a few. Drugs and addiction are demons that are out to destroy the rich and the poor, black and white, young and old, educated and the uneducated, etc. They do not preference one race over the other, for they do not discriminate.

Addiction goes far beyond just drug addiction. Persons can be addicted to alcohol, sex, cigarettes, coffee, laziness, criminal activity, persecution, lying, stealing, sodas, food, gambling, etc. When a person is addicted, they cannot control how they use a substance or partake in an activity, and they become dependent on it to cope with daily life. I write this to suggest to those  who are suffering from addiction, that God wants to clean you up and give you a sense of purpose and hope.

The definition I wish to use this morning is this. Addiction is psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.  

This may shock you, but I believe that Saul in the Bible was an addict before he became the apostle Paul. His gratification and desire in persecuting the church and killing believers gives the appearance and impression that he could not control himself. In an effort to keep this as short as possible, I suggest you read Acts 9. The reason I use Paul is to show how God can enter our lives and give us the strength to overcome our addictions. You see Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the disciples when on the road to Damascus. Scripture says a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me? Who are you lord? Saul asked. And the voice replied, "I am Jesus the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what to do." I suggest you continue reading verse 7 and thereafter. It implies to me that Saul had to go into rehabilitation for three days while in Damascus. The Bible says that he was there for three days and he did not eat or drink. Think about it, was this his period of withdrawal?

My point in all of this is simply, sometimes there are addictions we have and it takes the voice and intervention of Jesus to help us overcome. I suggest we allow Him to shine his light on us today.  We just do not have the power to overcome on our own in most cases. For it is said that Paul became an ardent follower of Jesus after his rehabilitation or therapy.                 

If you have an addiction, please seek help. Start by asking God to give you direction on how to receive treatment. I am deeply concerned recently about our young people vaping or jUULing. If you do not try it, you won't have to worry about it taking you down a dark and lonely path.  Whatever your addiction is, takes steps today to resist it.            

My prayer this morning is very simple: "Lord I pray for healing this morning for any person who may be suffering from an addiction. Allow them to start their road to recovery by first calling on the name of Jesus. Right now I pray for family members who have to deal with another family member who suffers from an addiction. It is my prayer God that this message might fall into the hands of at least one person that might benefit from it. I pray that it will not fall on deaf ears. Amen!

Not a Sermon, just a thought from on high!

Pastor Slade