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Summary: This is the first of six sermons dealing with general Christian principles. The idea for the message came from the keys of the computer keyboard; Escape, Control, End, just to name 3

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Introduction Several years ago, there was a slogan put out by one of the shoe manufactures, which simply said – LIFE IS DIFFICULT - PLAY HARD!

There was a lot of truth in that slogan – LIFE IS HARD…Every age group has its unique set of challenges.

From the teenager navigating high school to the senior citizens dealing with an ever-changing world. LIFE IS HARD!

A generation ago we say everything in Black and White – there were absolutes – The old westerns demonstrated this – Good Guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats. Today there are so many Gray Areas to deal with. Moral absolutes have given way to shifting sand. LIFE IS HARD!

Things today seemed to be out of control as we have thrown off the restraints of a previous generation and allowed a no hole bars in your face life! FRIENDS – LIFE IS HARD!

Over the next few weeks, we are going to look at God’s word in light of how to deal with LIFE!

Our first topic is that of control. Have you noticed how much the word control is in our vocabulary?

Control freaks

Remote controlled cars

Mission control

We speak of someone out of control.

And this being America, we have to mention REMOTE CONTROL TV

2000 years ago, our Lord was dealing with control issues.

The Pharisees tried to control Christ and yet they found that to be hopeless

The disciples tried to control certain events and found it pointless

Pilate tried to control the crowd by offering our savior or Barabbas, he found himself worthless

We all want to be in control do we not? One of my biggest fears is roller coasters at Amusement Parks – I love the food, the midway and the games, but I am terrified of roller coasters!

ONE REASON – I FEEL I AM OUT OF CONTROL! They strap you in and send you out into the wild blue yonder!

Question - Do you ever feel out of control?

Question - Do you feel like the world is out of control?

The Apostle Paul wrote to a group of Christians immersed in an evil culture. Pagans who lived for the moment, who rejected God and his revelation to them, surrounded the Ephesians believers.

Their whole world focused on satisfaction and pleasure. To keep these patterns of thinking from creeping into the hearts and minds of the believers, Paul urgently warned the Ephesians not to be controlled by the flesh but by the spirit.

READ TEXT EPHESIANS 5:15-21

Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

There is a challenge before us.

Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.

2 types of people in this world

Those who wake up and say – Good Morning Lord, and the other who wake up and Say Good Lord it is morning.

Seriously, the two types of people are those who live life on purpose and those who simply exist.

In Ephesus the pagans simply existed, they were driven by their passions and pleasures.

That is no different then today

2 Timothy 3:1-5, But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power.

The challenge before us is not to live that way

Paul told the Romans they were to be in the world not of the world.

Make the most of every opportunity to do Good.

Do we live that way?

Do we make the most of every opportunity?

Probably not –let me tell you how you can live making the most of every opportunity.

HAVE AN ETERNITY PERSPECTIVE!

Ask yourself, “what I am doing today which will it make a difference in eternity.

In the 1967, graduating class of the University of Southern California was a man with incredible drive. He had set his heart on being the Tennis Champion his senior year, and in spite of a grueling schedule of pre-med courses, he ended up as number one, he achieved his goal.

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