Summary: There is a great disconnect today between faith and a vital relationship with Jesus. You don't have to look far to see the results. Riots, rage, racial division. When our emotions control us we miss out on the freedom Jesus promised.
Passion: The Holy Spirits Power to Handle your Emotions
Intro: What do you think of to fill in the blank when I say, Emotions are out of __________ today.
In 2002 George Barna conducted various studies that showed how much Americans identified faith as a key factor in their life. Large majorities claimed their “religious faith is very important” in their life and described themselves as “deeply spiritual.”
However this same study showed that less than half of those that described themselves as Christians also described themselves as “completely committed to the Christian faith.”
Less than one out of every ten regular attenders of Christian churches give 10% or more of their income - a "tithe" - to their church. A majority of teenagers attend a Christian church today, but only one-third is likely to do so once they reach adulthood. The persecution delivered by the terrorist attacks has produced no increase in spiritual practices, such as attending worship services, reading the Bible, praying, or serving the needy. Giving levels have actually decreased this year. In fact, not even half of Americans indicated that their faith had been an important factor in helping them process the effects of the terrorist attacks.
Barna suggested that many Americans may have fallen in love with faith rather than the object of their faith. "It's much less demanding to be devoted to the idea of faith than to invest yourself in a true relationship with the living God. The data raise the question of just what people have become infatuated with: the idea of being a person of faith or the reality of having an intimate, growing relationship with Jesus Christ."
There is a disconnect today between faith and a vital relationship with Jesus which creates attenders, givers, goers, preachers etc. Did you can do everything that a believer is supposed to do and have no relationship with Jesus?
This might be an indication as to why there is such out of control emotions even in the church today.
What I want you to understand is that emotions are not evil. We are created in the image of God and the Bible talks about His anger, passion, sorrow and even pain. Emotions allow us rejoice over the birth of a baby or grandbaby, celebrate friendships, milestones and victories. Emotions allow us to be angry at the evil of abortion, praise at the faithfulness of God. Emotions allow us to demonstrate a response to the world around us.
Out of control emotions hurt people. Remember hurting people hurt people. Emotions in control or out of control come from the heart. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are desperately wicked and deceptive. The heart is a way of describing the inner man. When Jeremiah says the heart is desperately wicked and deceptive he is simply saying we can fool ourselves about the condition of our heart and the outflow of our emotions.
The great tragedy of this society is that nearly all people mature physically, and maybe almost half even mature mentally somewhat; but very few ever grow up emotionally or spiritually. Today, we even wonder about that because it seems like emotional immaturity is the norm, rather than the exception.
I pray that you are encouraged as we begin this study. Ephesians 3:19 gives us the goal of this series. Paul prays for the Ephesians this prayer and this is my prayer for you that you would, “know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
I. The return of Jesus
1 John 3:3 “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.”
What hope? 1 John 3:2 tells us that when Jesus appears we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. The word for hope carries the idea of anticipation, confidence and desire for the return of Jesus.
Those that desire and anticipate the return of Jesus with confidence are in the process of purification. The word for purification means to remove everything that disqualifies us from acceptable worship of God! It gives us the idea of our hearts being fully devoted to Jesus!!
Ephesians 3:16, 17 (read from Bible)
The problem of emotions is the problem of the inner man. Paul prayed that we would be strengthened in the inner man because that is the source of all our problems especially our emotional ones. We almost always try to tackle the problem from the wrong direction. We tackle it from the outside instead of the inside out.
In my back yard is a pear tree. Every year it bears more fruit than my family can use. Even when we invite others to pick the fruit we end up with fruit on the ground. That is ok until you walk out in the yard and carry pear mush in the house. When the yard is mowed our dog is attacked by pear missiles. So we invite more people and go out and pick more pears.