Living Free - March 20, 2014

  

We Can’t Hide

Today's Scripture

"'Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?' says the Lord." - (Jeremiah 23:24 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Yesterday we discussed the first "20" group in the 20-60-20 ratio found in most churches. Today we will look at the 60 group and the second 20 group.

The middle 60 percent represents most of the congregation. They seem to be doing okay, but many are hiding their struggles. They put on their Sunday smiles but they are hurting inside. Some individuals in this group may not be aware that they have a life-controlling issue, but they are in pain. Many of these people may also be feeling the effects of someone else's problems.

The remaining 20 percent are those who struggle openly. Unfortunately, this is the group that is most often labeled "those kinds of people." These are probably the people who come to mind when you hear the words life-controlling problem or addiction. They are openly dealing with issues like substance abuse or behavioral or relationship problems. Much pastoral care in the church is directed toward these people. Many in this group were once part of the 60 percent majority.

Consider this …

When people begin a sinful habit, they never think the habit will master them, but it happens all the time. When we allow an area of sin to become part of how we live, we open the door to its control. Instead of looking to Jesus for help, we become distracted and focused on ourselves and on the sin entangling us. 

These struggles can be described as addictions, dependencies, controlling behaviors, or even just the normal challenges of life that sometimes overwhelm us.

We may think we are keeping these issues secret. Maybe other people don't suspect, but God knows. "Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?" Think about it. We can't hide from him. And he is the only real answer to our problem. We need to come out of hiding. We need to turn to him.

Prayer

Lord, forgive me for trying to hide this sin. Thank you for your unconditional love. I want to turn from this, and I know I can, but only with your help and your strength. In Jesus' name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

Living Free by Jimmy Ray Lee, D. Min. and Dan Strickland, M. Div. This updated version is presented in two parts. It offers information for anyone who either has a life-controlling problem or has a loved one with a life-controlling problem:

Part 1: Learning to Live Free

  • Defining Life-Controlling Problems
  • Mastered and Trapped by Issues
  • Walls of Protection
  • Family Influences
  • Helping or Harming?

Part 2: Helping Others to Live Free through Small Groups

  • The Small Group Strategy
  • Effective Facilitation and Communication

Launching a Living Free Ministry

 

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