March 26, 2016 Sermon

Years ago, food items were encouraged to say things on the packages like "Now with Vitamin C!" or "50% more Iron!". Now, the trend is that the food items tell us what they don't have: "No MSG!", "No High Fructose Corn Syrup!", or "No Fat!" The industry actually finds that customers say "yes" when the packages say "no". How about the warning labels? Coffee says "Caution! Hot!". Cans of almonds say "May contain nuts." Most labels have the safety of consumers in mind because the toxic ingredients may

Think about the toxic issues that affect people in the church. We need to limit our exposures in order to lead a long and healthy life. We need to consume spiritually healthy materials and environments.

Nothing is more tragic to the church than toxic division. We need a church that is likeminded. We may disagree about the coffee or the color of the carpet, but we must come together and unify for the Glory of The Lord.

Another tragedy of the church is toxic pride. Some church leaders get prideful when the attendance is up...or down. If The Lord calls us to be leaders, we need to know that He sets the tone, not us. We must lead when there's 2 or 20 or 200 or 2,000 or more.

Stay away from the toxicity of fault-finding. Sometimes Christians are the biggest complainers and whiners. The world has enough bad news. Jesus came to preach The Good News, so we need to do the same. If we spend our days spiritually vomiting on others, they would think that the church is filled with negative people like that. Is that what God wants? No!

Keep away from toxic legalism. The church in America makes rules and regulations so often that they work to control people and drive them into their way. This legalism turns people off and isn't Biblical is so many ways. When we place our legalism onto people, folks do not come to God and this hurts His Vision for all of us.

Be free from toxic control issues. If we are bent toward being a control freak, it doesn't work when we overlay that upon our church body. It's an illusion. It's not our church, it's His.

Toxic apathy can hurt the church. Life is hard and it's a spiritual street fight daily. We are always at war; there is a spiritual battle for our soul! If you're praying for good things, know that the enemy will look for a cracked door to enter with bad things. We must be passionate about fixing the apathy of the church.

Toxic envy, toxic unforgiveness, toxic gossip... See, the church has a lot of toxic stuff that we need to get rid of, yet we tend to hold on to it and even filter that into others. Why do we do this? We need to be actively aware of what we say and do in front of others and constantly work toward controlling what we say and do in order to show people the Glory of God over the problems of this world.

But, there is one disclaimer that comes in an eliminates all of this toxicity: Now filled with a double portion of the Holy Spirit! Just as toxic stuff overflows into others, so does a double portion of the spirit. Others recognize that and want to know how they can get a hold of the same. Be that spiritual leader throughout your daily life that leads people to His Kingdom!

God wants to transform us and set us free. We need to shake off the shackles of toxicity
and focus our attention and aid in the focus of the attention of others on Him!

Philippians 2:1-16

- Jon Bruney

Zion Missionary Church - Fremont, Indiana

Jon Bruney, Pastor

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