Sermon Series:

How to Hug a Vampire

Loving the People Who Suck the Life Out of Us



This week, we begin a new series: How to Hug A Vampire-Loving the People Who Suck the Life Out of Us.  All of us have relationships that have a tendency to drain our goodness, grace, and generosity.  Sometimes it is the people at work or that we randomly encounter, but it can even be within our families!  Certainly, one solution is to completely cut this person from our lives, but is this what Christ wants us to do?  Maybe…maybe not!  This is precisely the problem and confusion with these relationships.  Yet, if our spirit is filled with anger and we are drained of any goodness toward this person, it generally doesn’t end well!  How do we counter the toxic nature of the world?  We are not the first Christians to confront this problem! James the Apostle writes a letter to all of the Christians of his time because they had become so toxic in their behavior!  How he begins this letter gives us the title of the first sermon: Clarity.  James 1:1-8 is trying to create a clarity for these struggling Christians to help them find the strength to love others!   As you read these words, let the Holy Spirit show you the path to wholeness and fullness in your life to overcome the drain of our toxic world! James 1:1-8: James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (NIV)




We continue this week with How to Hug a Vampire-Loving the People Who Suck the Life out of Us with the sermon, Confession.  We determined last week that we cannot simply cut people out of our lives, except when we realize that we do not have the spiritual maturity to truly love the person who is sucking the life out of us!  We are called to be servants of a living God who asks us to share a genuine love for others.  This week, we turn to Psalm 139:1-14.  These verses are filled with realizations of God’s power that is at work from the moment we begin our lives.  King David’s words also, help us to realize that we are limited creatures. Despite our limitations, God’s strength and ability are available to help us find the abundant life that God wants for us. As you read Psalm 139:1-14, allow the Holy Spirit to fill your cup to overflowing with the goodness and greatness of God! Psalm 139:1-14 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (NIV)



We continue with our series, How to Hug a Vampire-Loving the People who Suck the Life Out of Us.   So far, we have learned that God wants us to love others (Clarity), but we cannot take God’s place (Confession)!  We need to follow God’s boundaries in our lives.  This week’s sermon is Commitments.  Managing our commitments is one of the great struggles in life.  All of us have to learn how to juggle various things and it can be exhausting!  Does God even care about all the things we have to do?  Trying to love others amid all the other things, just seems to drive us down rather than give us hope.  This week, we turn to Hebrews 13:8-16.  Some of these Christians were on the verge of giving up.  They were enduring persecution and wondering where would they find help.  This passage shares with them the path to find a fountain of strength, even in great adversity.  The secret is found in choosing the right commitments in our lives!  As you read Hebrews 13:8-16, realize that God is able to fill our hearts, even when all hope seems lost! Hebrews 13:8-16:  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. 15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise– the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (NIV)