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Summary: Managing these inputs and outputs of your life determines the quality of your life. A very important book has been written on the subject. “Boundaries”, by Doctors and Authors Cloud and Townsend. This sermon has a giant footnote at the bottom with th

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How to take control of your life

Week 2, January 25, 2004

Intro: This series is about overcoming some of life’s greatest roadblocks.

Serenity Prayer:

GOD, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can

And The Wisdom to know the difference.

In this series we will be dealing with the main points in life that can really mess you up or bring your great happiness.

Managing these inputs and outputs of your life determines the quality of your life.

Spiritual Growth Definition = the unending process of replacing the lies with the truth.

A very important book has been written on the subject. “Boundaries”, by Doctors and Authors Cloud and Townsend. This sermon has a giant footnote at the bottom with their names.

The whole idea of the book and today’s sermon is taking back control of your life!

We will be only scratching the surface of this subject today. This message and the up coming Video teaching series starting Wednesday night February 4th will change your life. These will be like giving you the guns and ammo you need to take back your life.

The need for self-control is fundamental in the creation of mankind, according to the Bible. God created us to be free, and to act responsibly with our freedom. He was behind that idea all along.

But as we all know, we misused our freedom and as a result, lost it. And the big fruit of this loss of freedom was the loss of self-control.

We have felt the results of that ever since in a wide variety of misery. Consider a few of the alternatives to self-control:

• Relationships where people try to control each other

• Faith practiced out of guilt and drudgery instead of freedom and love

• The replacement of love as a motivator with guilt, anger and fear instead

• The inability to stop evil in significant relationships and cultures

• The inability to gain control of our own behavior and solve problems in our lives

• The loss of control to addictive processes

• Unable to break generational cycles of sin.

Text: Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Jesus died to set us free: from sin, from the devil, from the world around us. And that is the essence of what Boundaries teach—freedom. So, with that in mind, let’s look at some of the aspects of freedom that are important.

“Simply stated, it is this: people have a need to be in control of their own lives, and they have a need to know that God is behind that idea.” Henry Cloud, Ph.D.

The main issue is SELF-CONTROL!

God uses self-control:

- Revelation 3:20 NKJ “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

- Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

God wants us to have self-control:

- Galatians 5:22 “but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and SELF-CONTOL”

- Proverbs 4:23 NIV "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life"

So, lets begin by defining some things. First, this all about learning self-control, but in order to have control we need to understand the boundaries of what God wants us to control. In other words we need to mark off the boundary lines so that we know when our property ends and someone else begins.

Set up fence illustration

I. Freedom and Responsibility

a) Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. As it was in the Garden of Eden, God’s created order was that we were to be free moral agents, and to operate within the boundaries that He established for us. We wanted to use our freedom in any way that we chose, and as a result, we lost it.

b) Now, God has returned us to freedom, and like in the beginning, we are to use it responsibly, or we become slaves all over again.

c) So, with the freedom that Christ has given you, you have to be responsible for your life and existence. This means that in all areas of your life, you are accountable.

Here are some areas you are responsible for:

• Feelings • Attitudes • Behaviors • Choices • Limits

• Talents • Thoughts • Desires • Loves • Values

d) All of these things lie within the property of your own soul, within your boundaries. And God has given you stewardship over that domain.

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