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The Deathtrap of the World

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Text:  1 John 2:15-17


            It’s good to be alive in Christ!  Near death experience.

            Series: Remember Who You Are  (Last week – Al Eakin helped us with our struggle against sin.)  This morning that theme continues with our struggle with the World.  Again we need to remember who we are.

            (Why this story?)

  • 1 year ago bought a Kawasaki Vulcan Classic 1500cc motorcycle; 2 weeks later Jaremy bought one.
  • This April 13, after work, Winters, Berryessa, at the store turned south on Pleasants Valley Drive.
  • Halfway, sharp left & right, 30 mph, hit rear brake, slammed on left side, skidded to a stop.
  • Ended up at edge of road & a driveway, couldn’t get up, dogs barking, guy came out & helped me up.
  • Hurting bad, couldn’t straighten up.
  • “What do you want to do?” - upright my bike & check it out, straighten the rollbar.
  • Caught my breath, knew I needed medical help in a hurry (survival mode), help me get on, I lifted my left hand to handlebar, he followed me into town.
  • Parked on lawn, knocked on the door for Stephenie, hospital, long time in the waiting room, x-rays, couple of broken ribs, they were going to send me home with some pain medicine; I would have died.
  • Got worse, sick at stomach, sweat, nurse said to “insist” on CAT scan and get to UCD, the scan revealed a laceration on the spleen.
  • Ambulance to Sacramento, more x-rays & another CAT scan.
  • Their scan revealed acute fractures on ribs 3,4,5,6,7,8 in the back, separated ribs in the front, acute fracture of the left collarbone, 2 lacerations on the spleen, & had major exploratory surgery to remove spleen & any other damage.  I now have a 10” zipper (S – Superdad).
  • 11 days in the hospital, 3 times in & out of ICU, 7 weeks at home recuperating.
  • Lots of pain, lots of narcotic pain medication (later used them to sleep at night & almost got hooked on them – flushed them down the toilet).
  • In the hospital I decided to not ride anymore, laid there thinking, “How can I tell Jaremy to get rid of his?”  He sold it while I was still in the hospital w/out me having to say anything.
  • I really loved my bike, nice bike, added lots of things to it, went on lots of rides, called her Ruby…jokingly said she was my mistress…but she nearly killed me.   Gave me insights for today’s message.                        Read Text.

1.      Loving the world can kill you.  V. 17a
- Illus – Loving Ruby almost killed me.
- It doesn’t take much imagination to see how loving drugs or alcohol can kill you.
- But it may take a little more imagining the outcome of your soul if you love other things.
- Our hearts were created to love God, not things…not the world.

2.      The world has lots of ways to lure you into its deathtrap.  V. 16
- Illus – About 6 weeks after my accident, when I could move without hurting, I went out into my garage
   with all my woodworking tools and told God I didn’t want anything to stand in the way of my relationship
   with Him.  This shop was Yours to give, for me to use, or to take away, but don’t let it become another
   Ruby to me.
– It may not be a motorcycle for you.  It could be a myriad of worldly things.
- The lure of the world is unavoidable people.  It’s all around us.
- Sometimes Satan appears to have the advantage.  That’s when we need to wake up and realize that we are
   in his trap and we need to crawl on our hands and knees back to God.

3.      Be careful that you don’t replace one worldly thing for another.
 - Illus – First it was the bike…then it was the pain killers.

- When something is taken from us, there’s an emptiness inside us.  Naturally we try to fill it with something
- Getting the world out of you is a lot harder than getting you out of the world!
- Every one of those “things” will either rust, burn, or fade away.  Why not replace it with a relationship
   that is eternal?!

4.      Others watching you can follow you into the world.
 - Illus – I rode Robbie’s motorcycle – had to have one – Jaremy followed me 2 weeks later and bought one.
 - It would have devastated me if he had a bad accident, or even died because of my example.
 - Rob once told me, “I want to be a Dad just like you.”  I told him, “No…be better than I am!”
 - Do you embrace the world in some way?  How will you feel if others fall into the same trap because of
   your example?

5.      Do whatever you have to do to survive.
- Illus - I kicked into survival mode out there on Pleasants Valley Road and got back on my bike to get to
 - Once we wake up to seeing the trap the world has got you in, we need to kick into survival mode!
 - In Jesus’ name, find the strength to press on.  Don’t give in to its sparkly temptation!  Don’t give up!

6.      Someone else can give you insights that will save your soul.
- Illus – It was the insight of a nurse that kept me from dying. (Insist on a CAT scan & get to UCD.)
- Encourage one another.  It’s tough living in the world and staying unaffected by it.
- We weren’t meant to try to make it on our own.  Your encouragement can lift a fallen soul to press on!

7.      Our painful lessons can give inspiration to others to leave the world behind.
- Illus – When Jaremy saw what happened to me, he sold his bike without me having to say anything to him.
- That’s the grace of God folks!  A son or daughter that follows us into the world, who see our painful
   lessons and follow us out of the world……I’ll tell you, there’s nothing that makes my heart lighter!
- Share your painful lessons when you see others doing what you did.  Then pray for them to have the grace
   to not repeat your painful experience.

8.      Make decisions that will keep you alive in Christ.   V. 17b
- Illus – I decided to quit riding because I wanted to be around longer to minister for the Lord and to invest
   my life in my children and grandchildren.
- I pray the Holy Spirit has been speaking to your heart and that you will make decisions right now that will
   keep you alive in Christ.  I pray you have a long legacy of leading others closer to Christ!
 - Lord, stir up the hunger in each of us to live righteously.



            Scripture says we are God’s masterpiece.                     Sometimes I look in the mirror and I think I look like a Picasso more than a Kinkade! 

            But you know what folks?  God isn’t finished with us yet!  We are a masterpiece in progress!  And I’m counting on the promise of the Scriptures that says, “He who began a good work in you will complete it in the day of Christ Jesus!”

            We are all travelers through this world.  Let’s encourage one another to keep our focus Heavenward, and not on the distractions of this world!  Those distractions are a deathtrap disguised!

            Read – “Mercy Came A Running”

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