February 26 – Overcoming Addictions

Proverbs 23


Introduction:

This morning I conclude a long series about “Wising Up,” a series of wisdom instructions from the Proverbs.

This morning I look to Proverbs 23 for the talking point of my message this morning.

I use the term “talking point” rather than sermon today for a reason. I would prefer that we view this as a pastoral piece or pastoral talking point.

I begin with the reading of the scriptural passage and 3 stories.

Read Proverbs 23:29-35

Story # 1

– My upbringing and the effects of alcohol abuse by a very good man (dad).

Story # 2

– Me as a 12 or 13-year-old in San Antonio where I lost 3 days of my life.

Story # 3

– Me in high school having to deal with violence I began while under the influence.

Story # 4

– My close call by asphyxiation.

90% of those hooked on alcohol, tobacco, drugs starting using them before age 

18

, research shows. WEDNESDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) — A new study reveals that 90 percent of Americans who are addicted to tobacco, alcohol or other substances started smoking, drinking or using drugs before they were 

18 years old.


Brief History –

Humans have used drugs of one sort or another for thousands of years. Wine was used at least from the time of the early Egyptians; narcotics from 4000 B.C.; and medicinal use of marijuana has been dated to 2737 B.C. in China.

But not until the 19th cent. A.D. were the active substances in drugs extracted. There followed a time when some of these newly discovered substances—morphine, laudanum, cocaine—were completely unregulated and prescribed freely by physicians for a wide variety of ailments. They were available in patent medicines and sold by traveling tinkers, in drugstores, or through the mail. During the American Civil War, morphine was used freely, and wounded veterans returned home with their kits of morphine and hypodermic needles. Opium dens flourished. By the early 1900s there were an estimated 250,000 addicts in the United States.

Transition

: The issue of difficulty of substance abuse is not a new issue.

In the open book of the bible we find how alcohol was used and abused to destroy and desecrate God’s purposes between even daughters toward their fathers.

Application

: The only reason drug use is not mentioned in the scripture much if at all is because it is a more modern problem.

Transition

: So the question is posed, “why do people use and abuse alcohol and drugs?

Application

: In today’s modern time, and in our modern society, very few individuals are affected either directly or indirectly by the problem.

My Purpose today is not to:

If anything, I feel like the church and we as Christians need to be more gracious and helpful to those who struggle with and are being disconnected from God because of their standing with substance abuse.

IMPORTANT

: The Lord himself suffered and died that all people (regardless of their weaknesses and sin) might find hope, grace and courage to move in directions toward Him that are redemptive, life-giving and healthy.

I’m pretty sure that the Christian Community worldwide can and must do a better job on addressing and reconciling this substantial modern dilemma.

Question

: You will hear this a lot, “The bible tells us not to be drunk but it doesn’t say anything about drinking or have ‘a’ drink?

Transition

: So because my purpose is to


Reveal



and

Expose


and not

Criticize

or


Condemn


, I chose to refer to the warning about substance abuse this way?

Why Not?

Proverbs 23 text, “

anguish, sorrow, fighting, complaining, bruses,”

Illustration

:  It bites like a snake! You don’t approach a rattlesnake….ever!

Binge drinking and continued alcohol use in large amounts are associated with many health problems, including:

 

Conclusion

:  The Word of God is given to use to help direct, instruct and be a source of blessing to us. We cannot look at the wisdom literature and not see that it is one of the prevalent matters addressed.

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