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07-03-25.01

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07-03-18.02              vv                           zz              07-03-25.02

07-03-18.01                                                      07-04-01.01

Title:           “Stuffocating…!”

FCF:            stuffocation

D-Theme:   stuffocating

M-Thrust:   We must divorce our STUFF!

App:           We must give ourselves wholly to the Lord because we are stuffocating!

Comment:  the only comment was Vickey out the door saying that it was a good sermon… no real comments @ Haviland—but there were moments when the sanctuary was very quiet—@ both places

Subject:     Weedy Soil

Date:          B2B84B6D2C2A4160947C62F77E4F8714

Text:           Luke 8:4-15

Focus:        Luke 8:14             Call to Worship: Mark 10:17-20

4And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: 5“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” 9Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” 10And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’ 11“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

• Introduction

•   The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, or a wife. The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.

•   Jesus said some people hear the Word of God and a desire for God is awakened in their hearts. But then “as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life.” In another place he said, “The desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” “The pleasures of this life” and “the desires for other things”—these are not evil in themselves. These are not vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God. [1]

•   What happens when we begin to substitute things for God…?

•   stuffocation—we begin stuffocating…

•   No, I’m not Sylvester the cat, unable to pronounce my S’s…

•   That’s not a misspelling in your bulletin (or on the screen)…

•   But the word for the morning is stuffocation / stuffocating…

•   What happens when we to substitute STUFF for God…?

•   …we begin stuffocating…!

•   The life born in us by the seed of the Word of God…

•   Is literally choked out so that it lives no more…

•   Bearing no fruit… which is the point of the parable…!

•   What is the thing which causes this stuffocation…?

•   It is the STUFF of life… the simple pleasures of earth…

•   What is the remedy for stuffolatry—for stuffocation…!

•   We must divorce our STUFF!

•    We must experience a complete and radical severance… [2]

•   …and give ourselves wholly to the Lord

•   I know that many of you have heard of Jeff Foxworthy…

•   The comedian who makes jokes about rednecks…

•   For example…

•   If your house still has the “WIDE LOAD” sign on the back…

•   …you just might be a redneck…

•   If you think Possum is “The Other White Meat…!”

•   …you just might be a redneck…

•   If you carried a fishing pole into Sea World…

•   …you just might be a redneck…

•   The point of all that is…

•   If worries consume you… you just might be stuffocating…

•   If riches overwhelm you… you just might be stuffocating…

•   If pleasures don’t content you… you just might be stuffocating…

• If worries consume you

•   Divorce your STUFF!

•   μέριμνα (merimna) 1. anxiety, worry, concern [3]

•   What do you think was the thing that caused anxiety…

•   For the man who came to Jesus and said…

•  “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

•   My guess is he was looking to make a deal…

•   Thinking he was in a position to help this Rabbi…

•   Underwrite his evangelistic campaign

•   Finance his expansion…

•   Perhaps he was thinking of expanding his own influence…

•   And in so doing expanding his power and possessions…

•   After all, it would be good to be associated…

•   With a man who could feed 5,000 from five loaves…

•   What were this young man’s cares…? Was he paranoid…?

•   Being one who had great possessions…

•   Maybe he thought that folks were out to get him…

•   In order to take his STUFF…

•   To figure out a way to seize his property…

•   Have you ever known folks who were more concerned…

•   About their STUFF than they were people…?

•   Coming unglued if one of their possessions…

•   Were damaged by a little child during horse play…?

•   Who go to great lengths to keep up appearances…

•   Who have to have the latest and greatest gadgets…

•   Who are compulsive about things…

•   …while being complacent about their families…

•   What were this young man’s cares…?

•   Well, clearly he was anxious about the state of his soul…

•   Not living in peace with the assurance of eternal life…

•   He was looking for the angle, the line…

•   On eternal life—what HE had to do to get what he wanted…

•   He had tried the self-help seminars and books…

•   He had done the religion thing…

•   What would it take for him to find peace of mind…?

•   To find salvation for his soul…

•   And what does Jesus tell him…? Divorce your STUFF!

•   …experience a complete and radical severance from things.[4]

•   …and give yourself wholly to the Lord…!

•   And what about you…? Are you consumed with worry…?

•   Are you stuffocating…? Are you experiencing stuffocation…?

•   It doesn’t have to be about your STUFF, per se…

•   But anything that takes the focus of your attention…

•   …off of the Lord Jesus Christ putting it onto yourself…

•   …and the cares of your life…

•   Maybe it’s your spouse, house, car, or your retirement…

•   Maybe it’s getting your fuel bill paid…

•   …or your prescriptions filled… or buying groceries…

•   The cares of this life…! Sources of worry, anxiety, & concern…

•   Divorce your STUFF!

•   …experience a complete and radical severance from things.[5]

•   …and give yourself wholly to the Lord…!

•   Don’t let the cares of this life choke the life of God in you…

•   Robbing you of the privilege to glorify God and bear fruit…

•   What if…

• If riches control you

•   That was the young man’s problem who came to Jesus…

•   He was spiritually sick and came to the One who could heal…

•   Jesus made his diagnosis and offered the remedy…

•   But because the young man had great possessions…

•   He refused treatment controlled by his possessions…

•  he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful…

•   Some of us wish riches were our problem…

•   Usually it is not having enough of the STUFF…

•   Rather than having too much…

•   Even those of modest means can be controlled by riches…

•   The pursuit of riches… the pursuit of…

•   πλοῦτος, an abundance of possessions exceeding the norm [6]

•   Now I don’t want to rail against our society…

•   As a nation we are very successful…

•   But take some time with a notepad in hand…

•   Making notes about commercials as you watch TV…

•   Especially during prime time from eight to eleven…

•   @ the top of the pad write down the following question…

•   What are they selling…? What are they using…

•   …to sell what they sell…?

•   Is it sex, power, prestige, fame, riches, possessions…?

•   Have any of you seen the Barrett-Jackson auto auctions on TV…!

•   They have these things several times a year…

•   Selling classic automobiles and hot-rods and collectors…

•   Most cars sell for more than $100,000…

•   And they sell them and they sell lots of them…

•   Been by an auto dealer – thought of new car pricing lately…!

•   Where most cars sell for 18k – 24k…

•   With many going for 30k +

•   I laugh @ television commercials that offer auto leases…

•   For $400 - $500 month – a figure I can’t imagine…

•   Been to the mall lately…? Seen the newest Wal-Mart going up…

•   Folks, we live in a society that is controlled by riches…

•   That is controlled by the pursuit of obtaining…

•   …an abundance of possessions exceeding the norm…

•   Jesus said…

Luke 12:15 NIV

15“…be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

•   But you would never know that by the way in which we live…

•   It seems that possessions are the STUFF life is made of…

•   And Jesus is telling us—Divorce your STUFF!

•   Comment on Cuba—the importance of mission trips

•   Where do we worship…? What do we worship…?

•   Most of us would say our local church and God…

•   If aliens were to come to our land today from outer space…

•   What impression would they get of where/what we worship…?

•   And that was the rich young ruler’s problem…

•   Which Jesus put his finger on…

•   He was controlled by his riches… they were his God…

•   They were the things that determined his destiny…

•   Not the call of God to a radical separation from things…

•   To divorce his STUFF…

•   How many of us in the pursuit of STUFF put it before God…?

•   Who allow riches to choke out the life of God in us…?

•   Controlled by the temporal rather than the eternal…?

•   Don’t let the pursuit of possessions choke God’s life in you…

•   Robbing you of the privilege to glorify God and bear fruit…

•   But heed God’s call to a radical separation from things…

• If pleasures don’t content you

•   ἡδονήa, ῆς f: that which someone is fond of doing, in that it produces enjoyment [7]

•   Divorce your STUFF!

•   Simple pleasures—not the pleasures of the flesh…

•   Not erotic or hedonistic pleasures…

•   If you can’t or don’t find contentment in the simple things…

•   So that you find you must pursue the other things…

•   If there is no rest in your soul—no happiness or satisfaction…

•   But rather there is wanderlust and a wandering eye…

•   Then perhaps you are stuffocating…

•   There’s a place in our heart that is satisfied only in God…

•   …that finds contentment, happiness, and satisfaction…

•   …only in the restored relationship with God…

•   …that comes to us through his Son Jesus Christ…

•   But until we come into that relationship then…

•   We attempt to satisfy that need in our heart…

•   With STUFF… whether riches, the pleasures of life…

•   Be it sex, or intoxication, or food, or whatever…

•   And the things God intended to be gifts for us…

•   Becomes STUFF upon which we stuffocate…

•   Which chokes the very life of God out of us…

•   And for the believer who makes that substitution…

•   the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.

•   And God’s good and perfect gifts…

•   …can become deadly substitutes for Him. [8]

• Conclusion

•   This morning our text is the parable of the soils…

•   And the focus is on the soil with weeds…

•   Where the life of God is choked out before fruit is borne…

•   Cares, riches, and the pleasures of life being the culprit…

•   But also an unwillingness to divorce those things…

•   To go away sad @ the call of Jesus…

•    So that the church of Jesus Christ is stuffocating…!

•   We must divorce our STUFF!

•   We must give ourselves wholly to the Lord because we are stuffocating!


----

[1]      Citation: John Piper, A Hunger for God (Crossway, 1997), p.14 & 15

[2]      di·vorce (dĭ-vôrsʹ, -vōrsʹ) noun

        2.    A complete or radical severance of closely connected things.

        Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

[3]      Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.) (GGK3533). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4]      di·vorce (dĭ-vôrsʹ, -vōrsʹ) noun

        2.    A complete or radical severance of closely connected things.

        Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

[5]      di·vorce (dĭ-vôrsʹ, -vōrsʹ) noun

        2.    A complete or radical severance of closely connected things.

        Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

[6]      Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996, c1989). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (LN 57.30). New York: United Bible societies.

[7]      Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996, c1989). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (LN 25.111). New York: United Bible societies.

[8]      Citation: John Piper, A Hunger for God (Crossway, 1997), p.14 & 15

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