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Ministries

Congregational Development and Revitalization | Lent Week Two: Lust: I Want You to Want Me

Sermon 2/24/17 Lent 2

 

TITLE: Breaking Bad Habits- Lust: I Want You to Want Me

 

Opening: In his book The Science of Sin: The Psychology of the Seven Deadlies (and Why They Are So Good For You), social psychologist and university professor Simon Laham explains how lust can make us smarter and other possible benefits of indulging in the seven deadly sins.

 

Lust can make you smarter. Research shows that people with sex on the brain are better at solving ‘analytic thinking’ problems. Lust triggers us to become focused on the present and the details of satisfying a rather pressing current goal, namely sex.  He explains that it can help us see details and even score higher on the GRE.

 

Opening Point: Our culture is very different from that of the early church and Jesus in which “lust” was seen as a bad habit of the heart (deadly sin)  Our culture not only defends in, but has lifted it up as a virtue.

 

The church’s teaching hasn’t helped us on this issue.  The church has ignored sexuality for singe people and has gone so far away from culture that any thought of sex is bad.

 

Matthew 5:27-30

 

  1. The Greek word for “lust” is epithumia “strong desire for.” Jesus is saying when look at someone with a “strong desire for” in our heats we have committed adultery.

 

 

  1. What we imagine has a way of coming true.  We often believe what happens in our mind stays in our mind, but our actions have a way of following our mind.

 

  1. To really understand what Jesus is getting at, we have to understand lust as opposed to the intention of sex.  Sex was intended to connect us with someone and for the purpose of creative life.  Lust is really wanting the benefits of sex without investing in a relationship, thus it brings brokenness and death.

 

 

  1. Lust like breaking any bad habit is not always about succeeding.  Ultimately overcoming the bad habit of lust is a lifelong battle that we have to be intentional in.  The key is to invest in connected to God and to the person God has put into your life and allow our desires to bring us closer to both.

 

 

Possible Illustration: Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer

 

Possible Illustration: Adapted from Matt Walsh, "We're A Nation Of Porn Addicts. Why Are We Surprised By The Perverts In Our Midst?" Daily Wire (11-30-17)

 

In just one year (2016) we dedicated well over four and a half billion hours to watching porn on one porn site. On that single website humanity spent twice as much time viewing porn in a year as it has spent existing on planet Earth. The site had over 90 billion video views and 44,000 visitors every minute of every day. It all adds up to over 500 thousand years worth of porn consumed in the span of 12 months. Since 2015, human beings have spent one million years watching porn.

Porn seems to be America's favorite pastime. The porn industry is worth $97 billion, which is about 100 times higher than the $750 million it was worth 20 years ago. Today, porn grosses more in a year than Hollywood. It also brings in more money than the NFL, NBA, and MLB combined. And this is just "the porn industry," the legal, W-2 filing porn stuff. If we were to quantify amateur porn and figure out what it's all "worth" in dollars, who knows what the number would be.

 

Possible Illustration: Associated Press, "Library: Fines can't be Paid with Check E. Cheese Tokens," ABC7 News (9-2-17)

 

A Massachusetts library was forced to make a public statement recently when it noticed a growing trend of patrons trying to pay library fines and printing fees with tokens from the restaurant/arcade chain Chuck E. Cheese. The Peabody Institute Library posted on Facebook a reminder that the tokens, while perhaps worth something within the walls of Chuck E. Cheese, are not actually legal tender and therefore cannot be accepted as payment. The arcade restaurant has been phasing out the use of coin-like tokens in favor of digital credits, perhaps explaining the timing of the issue. The library's Facebook post also added at the end of their reminder, "Please note, we also cannot accept Canadian coins."

Read about Lent Week Two: Lust: I Want You to Want Me in this story from The Call

Annual Conference wrap-up: Shared love for Africa triumphs over divisions

ALCOA, Tenn. (June 18, 2018) The Holston Annual Conference gathered June 10-13 with Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor presiding at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Under the theme, “Jesus is Good,” 1,948 members represented Holston’s 877 congregations ...

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