A0337_Love Jesus and Do Right

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Date:      9th September 2007                                                               (Sunday PM)                                                                        Ref: A0337

Place:     Kambah P.S.

Title: Love Jesus and Do Right

Text:        & Psalm 139:23-24

Illust:     This morning we looked at the impact of fear on our physical bodies & tonight I want to look at what is a worldwide epidemic that many psychologists believe is the root of much mental illness, disorders such as alcoholism, eating disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia) and the rising incidences of self harm & suicide. The problem .... Self Hatred / Low Self Esteem

I.                   Self Hatred

A.               The Tragedy

i.                 Big problem in our society, our Western culture, people are struggling with low self esteem, or self hatred. – Outflow in depression, in many disorders

ii.               Major problem as Fortune magazine reported in November 2005:

      Nearly 150 million U.S. prescriptions were dispensed in 2004 for SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and similar antidepressants called SNRIs, according to IMS Health, a Fairfield, Conn., drug data and consulting company – more than for any other drug except codeine. Perhaps one out of 20 adult Americans are on them now, making brands like Zoloft, GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil, Forest Laboratories' Celexa, and Solvay Pharmaceuticals' Luvox household names. Though they don't work for everybody – they've done more than any other class of drugs to spur psychiatry's substitution of pills for couches. In fact, we're popping so many SSRIs that their breakdown products in urine, gushing into waterways, have accumulated in fish tissues, raising concerns that aquatic animals may be getting toxic doses, according to recent research at Baylor University.

iii.             You know that when we've gotten to the point of poisoning fish, that we're talking about a lot of drugs. – A lot of depressed people. – A lot of young people self harming, cutting themselves. – Self hatred

     What is most tragic about this, the Victorian Govt website[1] for where to get help lists

v     Your doctor

v     Psychologist

v     Lifeline Tel. 131 114

v     Suicide Help line Tel. 1300 651 251

v     Kids Help Line Tel. 1800 551 800

v     Mental Health Foundation of Australia (Victoria) Tel. (03) 9427 0406

B.               The Answer

i.                 Notice what/who is missing? – Church/Pastor – World has no understanding, is actually incapable of resolving the problems of the human heart yet refuses to accept that God can help. – Tragically many in the church brought into the lie that modern psychology/psychiatry (based on a humanistic, evolutionary foundation) has the answers.

ii.               God created you & I, God cares for you & I, God gave us His word, ~ Just maybe, there might be something in here that gets to the heart of the matter & wouldn’t you know it there is

II.                 Behaviour Determines Feelings

A.               Motivation & Feelings

i.                 The biggest problem is that we have fallen for the lie that your feelings are the most important thing. That how you feel determines your actions. – That it is acceptable and uncontrollable that your feelings are the motivation for the way you behave

ii.               Why do you do what you do? ~  How you answer this question of motivation will have very significant consequences in your life. There are many theories of motivation that are generally accepted in our culture, let’s look at a few.[2]

      Many believe that we are destined to act in certain ways because of the experiences we encountered in childhood.

      You are simply a machine & the input received will always result in certain corresponding ways of behaving.

      Many times habitual behaviors such as bulimia and anorexia are referred to as “diseases.”

      Eastern philosophies and mysticism hold the answers to motivation and healthy behavior. – Google search & every eastern mystic guru pops up to help you deal with your inner self.

      Besetting sins—behaviors that we seem to struggle with continually—are directly caused by spirits or demons.

      Another strongly influential explanation for undesirable behavior is low self-esteem. Adherents to this theory teach that the reason you don’t act appropriately is lack of self-love.

iii.             All of these interesting explanations are the reasons so much use of prescription drugs to treat emotional problems; so let’s look at this from a Biblical standpoint.

     One very pertinent passage is found in & Genesis 4:3–7.

     When God rejected Cain’s offering Cain became angry and upset, “and his face fell” (vs. 5). God then rhetorically asked Cain, “Why are you depressed?” and pointed the way toward overcoming it: “If you do right, will it [your face] not be lifted up?”

iv.             Here, God sets forth the important principle that behavior determines feelings.

B.               Your Behaviour

      Sometimes instead of speaking of mental illness, people talk about “emotional problems.” But this language is confusing. If you feel depressed or high, or anxious, or hostile, there really is no problem with your emotions. Your emotions are working only too well. It is true that these emotions are not pleasant, but the real problem is not emotional, it is behavioral.

i.                 Solutions aimed at relieving the emotions directly (as, e.g., chemical methods like pills or alcohol), therefore, must be considered to be nothing more than the relief of symptoms.

      People feel bad because of bad behavior; feelings flow from actions. This relationship between feelings and behavior is set forth very clearly in Scripture. [3]

         1 Peter 3:10 For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. (NKJV)

     Good living produces good feelings.

ii.               What do you notice about each of these explanations? Although they are all very different in their underlying principles, every single one places the responsibility for undesirable behavior on some outside force — your parents, your environment, an illness, your blocked energy flow, the devil, or even inability to love yourself (usually caused by your parents)! “You aren’t responsible for your behavior,” seems to be the manifesto of our society. But that is not what the Bible teaches

iii.             Furthermore, many of us like it that way. We like the idea that whatever is wrong with us is an organic disorder, that there's no sin, no weakness, no deficit of character on our part. Our egos love that, it comforts us.  – Problem is that the Bible makes clear

         Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (NKJV)

III.              Whole Living

A.               Examine Self & Repent

i.                 Firstly need a bit of self examination this is our & text  - If we would honestly come before God, ask the Holy Spirit to search out your heart, your ‘anxious thoughts’ what is it God, what have I done, what am I doing – Is there any ‘wicked way’, path that I am travelling?

ii.               He who searches the hearts & minds, will reveal to you what sinful behaviour is at the root cause of your anxiety – Understand

         Jeremiah 17:10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. (NKJV)

iii.             The answer is to repent. – Repentance simply means to acknowledge your sin, ask forgiveness, & importantly turn from your sin. Ask God to give you the grace to sin no more.

         1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV)

         John 8:11 Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (NKJV)

iv.             Next you need to recognise who you are in Christ, You are a child of God. Let this sink into your spirit, meditate on who God says you are, you have been regenerated by the Spirit of God, you are a member of the family of God, you are forgiven of all iniquity, counted as righteous as Jesus Christ through identification with Him, and destined for an eternal inheritance in the presence of God, that is identity enough for any man or woman!

         1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! (NKJV)

v.               Truth is this evening that God loves you and He is to be the light of your life, your fortress your rock. Trust in Him, rely upon Him

         Psalm 139:17-18 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; (NKJV)

B.               Christ-Confidence

i.                 In fact take your eyes off your self – Self absorption is the problem not low self esteem, Think of Paul, never a more confident sounding man, could stand before governors & kings & boldly proclaim the Gospel. – Yet when you read his letters he makes claims like:

         1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, (NKJV)

         Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, (NKJV)

         1 Corinthians 4:13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. (NKJV)

ii.               Paul’s confidence was not in himself, he had no self confidence he had Christ confidence.

iii.             As Christians we consider ourselves entirely unworthy apart from Christ and we do not seek self-worth as an end because we know that such a search is hopeless.

iv.             All personal gain, healthy spirit, emotions, body is a by-product:

         Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (NKJV)

v.               More directly speaking to the issue at hand, Christ declared:

         Matthew 10:39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (NKJV)

         Matthew 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (NKJV)

      Clearly the one who seeks his identity in himself or in his relationship to other men will never find that which he seeks. It may be found only by the abandonment of one’s own desires and a willingness to follow Christ. Identity is found in Him; in letting loose of all else for His sake. One finds a satisfying identity nowhere else.

      Love of self is not a biblically legitimate end. One is satisfied with himself only when he is in the proper relationship with Christ, having a clear conscience before God and men.

IV.             Altar Call


[1] http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Self_harm?Open

[2]Fitzpatrick, E. (1999). Love to eat, hate to eat (64). Eugene, Or.: Harvest House Publishers.

[3]Adams, J. E. (1986], c1970). Competent to counsel : Introduction to nouthetic counseling. Reprint. Originally published: Phillipsburg, N.J. : Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., c1970. (93). Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library.

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