Part 1 of the series, "Envy - Yesterday and Today." What are the dangers of envy and jealousy? Most of us understand that it is unhealthy to envy others, to be jealous or to spend our time desiring or "coveting" what others have. However, a close examination of Scripture and the biblical stories show us that envy is perhaps a far more serious sin than we've ever imagined. At the very least it can lead to dysfunction in our relationships, but it can sometimes lead even to violence and death. In the most common and practical sense, however, the problem with envy is that it distracts us from taking responsibility for our lives and it's often a red flag that we're not trusting in God's purpose and plan. Consider the power envy may have over your life. And then consider ways you can use it as an opportunity to trust in God's sovereign will and plan for you and your future.
Part 2 of the series, "Envy - Yesterday and Today." While the invention of social media has brought us many positives, it has also turned out to be one of the most effective distribution machines for a significant negative: the temptation to envy what others have, and the distraction that everyone else is living a better life than we are. But however we use social media, we should understand that God wants us to live our lives with "no filter": he wants us to be honest about our need and weaknesses, humble and grateful for his love and salvation, and intentional about presenting our lives in such a way as to build others up and lead them to him. How can we use social media in such away that we can minimize our envy and maximize our love and influence? Answering that is the objective of this message.
(Note: We're taking a break from the "Belonging to Him" series for the holiday season and will pick back up with Part 2 on January 17th. This week, you’ll be hearing one of the sermons John shared from a 4-part Christmas series while pastoring a church in the country of Honduras.) As children, the question, "What do you want for Christmas?" filled us with great joy and anticipation for the gifts we would receive come Christmas day. As adults, the question should point more to our spiritual expectations for the season, with a chief focus on receiving Christ as our greatest gift. So, what do you want for Christmas? The perfect gift? Family harmony? Hope and peace? This is only possible when Jesus is the reason for the season.