Summary: A sermon about letting go of the old in order to follow Christ.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine sent me a video clip from the t-v show “Ellen.”
And the background to this clip is about a lady named Gladdis.
You see, Gladdis got onto the Ellen Show because she wrote a letter to Ellen complaining about where the plants were placed on the set.
Apparently, this letter rather peaked Ellen’s interest in “just who” this Gladdis lady was and what she was up to.
So, during one of her shows, Ellen called Gladdis on the telephone.
And Ellen asked Gladdis, “Have you ever been on t-v before?”
And this is Gladdis’ response: She said, “Well, no.”
And then she said, “But I love Jesus, but I drink a little.”
I’m not sure why she answered that way.
Ellen hadn’t asked her a theological question at all.
“I love Jesus,” she said, “but I drink a little.”
So I started pondering, as most pastors do…
…we have some really deep thoughts about things sometimes, you know…
…and so I started pondering this phrase.
“I love Jesus, but I drink a little.”
And as I began to think about it—it started to dawn on me, “You know there is a lot of truth to this statement for a lot of people—including myself.”
Sometimes, in my own life there’s this “type of thing.”
“I love Jesus, but…”
How about you?
For some it may be, “I love Jesus, but I talk a little too much behind other peoples’ backs.”
Or “I love Jesus, but I use words that hurt people sometimes.”
Maybe it’s, “I love Jesus, but I work at a job and make a little too much money—of which I don’t give back to the church.”
Or, “I love Jesus, but my house is just a little bit too big.”
And it could go on and on and on.
We all have weaknesses in our own lives and oftentimes we allow those weaknesses to keep us from experiencing God’s transforming love and power.
So there is often this, “hanging however” in our faith.
What is your “hanging however?”
Is there anything getting in the way of your walk with Jesus?
In the Upper Room for this past Wednesday, a person named Tracy Jensen wrote about something called “Phantom pain.”
This happens to people who have had a limb amputated.
For instance, if it was the person’s arm that had been removed, the person’s brain still remembers the pain and sends out pain signals.
Doctors have to retrain people by having them face a mirror and tell their brain that their arm is no longer there.
Over time, the brain learns; the person gets better and is free of pain.
After accepting Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, our sin and its penalty was erased, or removed…amputated if you will.
Yet, we don’t always live as though we are free from the pain and bondage of sin.
Some of us have a hard time forgiving ourselves because of our past.