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Flirting With Disaster-Envy

Week 2
Text: ; ; ;
Topic(s): Envy, Greed, Bait, Perception, Meditation, Conformity
Have you ever been fishing? Patience is a key virtue to good fishermen. 
It’s hard to be a good fisherman and have “fisherman’s ADD.” 
scuba/spear fishing
You also need to know what kind of bait to use for the fish you’re fishing for.
 Knowing your water, the time of day, the moon and tide effects, and so many other aspects go into being a good fisherman.
Local Jeff Buchanan was a professional fisherman before he married and had kids. 
15 yrs later people still buy his maps of the lake hotspots. Fishing well takes knowledge. 
 One universal truth I’ve found about  fishing: there must be a hook if you hope to snag a fish. 
The hook, hidden by the bait is what attaches to the mouth of the fish and causes its debilitation. So the bait just attracts it the hook which gets the fish from the water to the boat 
But the hook also what keeps control of the fish while it fights. 
There are numerous parallels between fishing and the Christian life. 
Like We are fishers of men ...and so on. 
Today’s parallel is this...the most patient fisherman in the universe. 
 Many of you would say that Christ is the most patient fisherman or God the Father  is the most patient fisherman however truth is 
The devil is the most patient fisherman there is.
Here’s my biblical proof 
(KJV 1900): 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
(NLT):  28  Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done
(NLT):  8  These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith
(NLT): 16  Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.
(LEB): 28 And just as they did not see fit ⌊to recognize God⌋, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do the things that are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greediness, malice, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malevolence. They are gossipers, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boasters, contrivers of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, faithless, unfeeling, unmerciful, 32 who, although they* know the requirements of God, that those who do such things are worthy of death, not only do they do the same things, but also they approve of those who do them
 The devil is willing to wait. He knows just the right bait to use based upon a person’s given struggles, and he always includes a hook to do the damage.
1. You Have a Bait 
If the devil were to go fishing for you, what bait would he use? 
Perhaps you’re one to struggle with envy. Envy is defined as “discontented or resentful longing aroused by another’s possessions, qualities, or luck” (Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2004), s.v. “envy”). 
What’s your bait 
Illustration of baits 
will you let these things send you to hell
All of these things relate back to envy 
Application Point: Focusing on what you don’t have, rather than on what you do, will always bring envy: and envy will always bring greed and disaster.
Envy is a sin that begins with wanting what you do not have—and wishing terrible things to those who have it. 
It is condemned by God because, like other things, it leaves people discontent and drives them to do things they ordinarily would not do.
 A decent person may even get to the point where they envy thieves and other wicked people because they are acquiring what he or she does not have. 
Someone can become a thief simply because of envy. 
It can also lead to people becoming depressed because of their perceived lack of good qualities, over someone else’s “outstanding” qualities.
2. The Underground  
 Envy can be displayed in what we are going to call the underground 
We will all walk above ground,  and envious person will get to a point where they look upon others and they feel like their entire being is under that persons feet or beneath them 
we can become envious of another’s perception of us ..or even our perception of them. 
 We can become the “underground” person looking upon a person that we deem important to others and a person of action and become so envious of what they have what they have built and who God has made them to be , that will sometimes do everything in our power  to tear them apart 
If we’re not rooted in the divine, in our spiritual identity in Christ,  knowing who we are, why we are , when we are,  where we are 
Then we can become the underground person , a prisoner to envy, 
as we compare ourselves  to others. 
We become an ultra- conscious person, who envies the person of action,....
 even if the unreflective person of action is engaged in self-defeating, or dangerous  actions. 
In the underground, the opinion of others becomes the ultimate” 
Envy can certainly be disastrous.
3. Safeguards from envy 
How does a person setup safeguards from envy? 
We must always look to Scripture first.
teaches us to be satisfied with what we have, or we’ll end up like the oppressors. 
teaches us that a healthy heart needs to be established so that envy is avoided. 
teaches us that fearing the Lord is a necessary means to avoid the sin of envy. 
teaches us that envy is worse than cruelty and anger put together. 
We need to avoid envy at all costs. 
God’s way is for us to keep our heart healthy by watching it closely. 
If one does not have a close watch on the heart, it is an easy tendency for a person to become envious. 
Fearing the Lord is a great cure to envy. 
Fear of The Lord means reverence for The Lord …Reverence means deep respect for
When the fear of the Lord is adopted into the life of a believer, then a right and godly perspective is also adopted. 
How does one fear the Lord? By getting to know him and by spending time with him.
4. Concentration Breeds Conformity. 
Have you ever heard that saying. 
 It means that what you focus on, you’ll eventually do. 
Have you ever concentrated on someone’s bad habit because you can’t stand it, but you ended up doing it yourself?  This notion has kicked in. 
Have you ever focused on an accent so much that you inadvertently started speaking in that accent?  That’s this notion kicking in too. 
Concentration has a biblical connotation too. 
The Bible calls it “meditation,” as in
(NLT): 8  Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
It is also translated as “plot” in  
Then plot or “weighs” in
“utter” in And  
“lament” in , and “moaned” in
Why does this matter? 
That’s what we’re supposed to be doing with the Word of God. 
When someone plots a crime, they meditate on their course of action—their plan.
Much like the word Lament. To lament is to mourn, repent etc. 
When someone laments, their mind is so captivated over the object of their lament that they think about it continuously. 
The more we allow it to become a part of us, the less we’ll be like our sinful selves. 
The best safety measure we can set, but one that is often overlooked because of its simplicity, is the meditative habit on God’s Word.
Our meditation on it will breed conformity to it. 
5.How do we flirt with disaster when it comes to being envious? 
This can happen when the latest tech gadget gets released. What typically happens? Pictures of people with it show up on your social media news feed. 
People at work flaunt its glories. If we’re not careful, we instantly think we need it. 
This craving grows as we focus on it, 
so much so 
that we sometimes jump at the opportunity, even if it means drowning ourselves in debt that can have short- and long-term implications, including a stressed-out life. 
How about when someone shows up to church in a new dress, shoes, suit, or sports coat? 
How about when a soloist sings at church and their God-given abilities make us envy? 
You mean we can envy in church?
If we’re not careful and our meditations aren’t on what is good, we can do it anywhere and anytime. 
With the ability to “click now” and “buy now,” many have been seduced by the power of an “I need it now” mentality.”
 We get an email with suggested purchases based on our purchase history, and we feel compelled to look at it. 
Envy has been combined with the power of the immediate and it can be a disastrous recipe.
Big Idea of the Message: Envy is a sly temptation that presents itself as normal in our Western culture; however, envy steals exactly what we’re looking for when we seek it out—true happiness.
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