Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God's love sets us free.

"That You May Know: II"

1 John 5:18-21

Bobby grew up in a dysfunctional home. He saw things take place in his home while he was growing up that no child should ever see. Because of the decisions of his parents, chaos filled every corner of the home and drained any hope of stability or sanity from the lives of those who lived in that little house on Flood Street. Bobby's brothers and sisters saw the path that their parents had trod and followed in the footsteps of mom and dad. Bobby, on the other hand, saw the path of his parents and knew in his heart that this was not the way to walk, so he left. Bobby packed up his stuff while he was still in high school and headed out into the big world all by himself.

After Bobby had moved out of his home and living on his own, he would often think of his family and cry himself to sleep at night. He thought about all of the things that he had seen, the things he had heard, and how badly he missed seeing his family. As messed up as they were they were still his family. The thoughts broke his heart. Bobby resolved in his mind that he would never do what he had seen done. He would make a life for himself that was better than his parents if it killed him.

Bobby found stability in the home of a friend who allowed him to stay with his family. He got a job making an honest living. Even though his earnings were meager he knew that the money was clean.

One day Bobby fell in love. He got married, had children, and was on his way to making a great life, certainly better than the one his family had offered to him. He didn't resort to the devilish schemes of hustling, stealing, conniving, and deceiving that he had seen his own parents use to make ends meet. He wasn't strung out, hung over, or laid low because of living life on the dark side.

Bobby began to feel really good about his life and the way he was living until the day came when God broke through and began to reveal Himself to Bobby. Bobby began to see that his nobility was not as noble as he once thought, his honor was less than honorable, and his gleaming armor was rusting from the inside out. The Lord showed Bobby that even though he wasn't slinging drugs, getting loaded, and robbing folks, he was still a sinner. Bobby was living life for himself, not for God. He harbored deep bitterness towards his father. He was jealous of other children who had grown up with a loving mom and dad. He would lie when it would help his cause. Bobby made quick judgments about folks, he was prejudiced. Worst of all, Bobby was robbing God of what was rightfully his...Bobby's life. He saw for the very first time that he was suffering from the same deadly disease that those who had gone before him had suffered from...sin.

The Apostle John once said, " the whole world is under the control of the evil one." Isn't it amazing how we as a society are so quick to see Satan's schemes in the life of a drug addict, alcoholic, prostitute, murderer, or thief, but we hardly even notice the more subtle schemes of Satan as he seeks to destroy our lives through gossip, bitterness, prejudice, deception, lying, rage, and much more.

There are many here this morning that Satan has convinced that we are all right. We are not bad people. We are not out robbing stores, we haven't killed anyone, we've never blown up a building or shot up a school, and we try to do what is right. Neither have we gone to the other extreme. We are not religious fanatics; we don't bother people with talking about Jesus all the time, and we make it to church whenever we can fit it into our schedule. We are living life right down the middle of the road. We are trying to do everything within our power to live a good life, tell the truth, and do what is right in living our lives.

My friend, I wish it were that clear-cut. I wish it were that easy. I wish that what we have deemed as living a "good life" was truly a good life, but the fact of the matter is this: One of Satan's greatest ploys is to get us to settle into believing that we are living a "good life."

Let's take a look at the "good life" for a moment so that none of us can miss this central truth of God's Word. When you think of living a "good life" what do you think about? Going to church? Being a "good" father or mother? Stopping at stop signs, driving the speed limit and signaling when you turn? Helping your neighbor when they are in need? Paying your taxes? Reading your Bible when you have the time? Praying at meals? Being kind to children? Is this what you think about when you think of someone who seeks to live a "good life?"

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