MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF AMERICANS USE AND ABUSE LIFE-CONTROLLING SUBSTANCES
In the United States of America, the statistics concerning the use and abuse of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illicit drugs and pharmaceutical drugs (medications) are overwhelming. The following “Infographic” provides facts and figures concerning drug types and classification including the annual costs:
We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:
Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.
According to the American Heart Association, nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break, while the pharmacological and behavioral characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those determining addiction to heroin and cocaine.
Tobacco addiction, the second-leading cause of death in the world, is a culprit for approximately 5 million deaths each year or 1 in 10 adult deaths. Currently, about 1.3 billion smokers live in the world; most (84%) live in developing countries. With the present smoking trends, tobacco will kill 10 million people each year by 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in the United States, tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these smoking-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure). More Americans are killed by cigarettes than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs.
Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction) and contributes to the severity of colds and pneumonia. Tobacco has a damaging effect on women’s health and is associated with increased risk of miscarriage, pre-term delivery, stillbirth, and infant death, and is a cause of low birth weight in infants. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, 20 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.
My paternal grandfather was so addicted to cigarettes that even after he had a tracheostomy (a surgeon cut a hole through his neck directly into his trachea to improve his breathing), he would sneak cigarettes and inhale them through the surgical opening. My grandfather was over 6 feet tall and normally weighed about 185 pounds. The radiation treatments were so debilitating that by the time he died from lung cancer, he was emaciated down to 90 pounds. I do not want to see anyone have to suffer unnecessarily because of nicotine addiction as he did.
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Mark 8:46
Despite the health problems, lawsuits, and rising prices associated with cigarettes, there’s still something seductive about the tobacco industry – the profits! The tobacco industry sells about six trillion cigarettes each year. The industry is highly concentrated with a handful of firms controlling the majority of the global tobacco market. The tobacco market was worth about $614 billion in 2009.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10
There is a smoking ban for inmates who are incarcerated in Florida prisons but this restriction has been lifted for visitors and workers. The following is an excerpt from a letter that I received from an inmate at Apalachee Correctional Institution in Sneads Florida:
About all they did by stopping the selling of cigarettes was create a big black market for them. The staff is still allowed to bring in cigarettes but must go to designated areas to smoke. But because they can bring cigarettes into the prison that leaves an avenue open. Lots of guys have and are selling cigarettes for $2.50 each. Guys are buying them up and smoking them like Crackheads! Then they rob and steal from others to get more.
I noticed that there was a lot less violence before they “outlawed” cigarettes. I’d rather that there were no cigarettes but that is not going to happen since staff can bring them in. I’m sure $50 a pack of cigarettes is appealing to some of the staff. Usually there are 20 cigarettes in a pack. From the tobacco in a pack, 40 or 50 hand-rolled cigarettes can be made. You do the math! Anywhere from $100 to $125 can be generated from a single pack of cigarettes and it costs $10 for a lighter. But you really don’t need one because you can use batteries and a small piece of wire instead.
The back pages from all the Bibles in the Chapel are gone. They used those pages for rolling paper. When that supply ran out, they started using the wrapping paper from the toilet paper rolls! Pages from the dictionaries in the library are now gone too! I never thought that nicotine would have such control over the guys, but it does. What’s going to happen to these guys when they get out? If they can’t control their urge to smoke, what happens when they are exposed to addictive drugs and alcohol? Scary!
If I offered a group of 100 people each a cigarette laced with arsenic and told them that before they finished smoking their cigarette that they would die a horribly painful death, do you think that even one person would try it? Why then are people so willing to smoke cigarettes knowing full well that eventually they will develop a painful and potentially fatal smoking related ailment such as lung cancer or emphysema?
Are smokers simply self-destructive, in denial or incapable of making rational decisions? Perhaps they were tempted by advertising or gave in to peer-pressure when they were susceptible youths or took up their parent’s bad habit and now are addicted. Many smokers do not want to stop smoking regardless of the consequences. Those who want to quit, find it nearly impossible to do so on their own because nicotine addiction is not just a chemical problem it is a spiritual stronghold!
Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse including nicotine and caffeine addictions, like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. Exodus 9:1
When the Hebrew slaves were in bondage in Egypt they cried out to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for a deliverer. Passover recalls the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. Passover is both a historical account and a prophetic picture. Moses “The Deliverer” is a type of the Messiah (Christ). The bondage of slavery in Egypt is a type of the bondage of sin in the world. Pharaoh typifies Satan. The Passover, when the firstborn male child passed from death to life by the blood of the lamb, is a picture of our passing from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son by the shed blood of the Lamb of God.
Persons who are addicted need to break the demonic strongholds in their lives by repenting of their sins and placing their trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross. They need to be born again and receive the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Many people wonder why God does not help them when they cry out to Him to be set free from their addictions. The reason that they remain in bondage is that they want to be set free – but are unwilling to surrender their lives to Jesus. The “KEY” that will set a person free is to understand that the Almighty’s purpose in setting a person free is to “SERVE HIM.” Jesus must not only be your Savior but your Lord! When you cry out, “Dear Jesus, forgive me of my sins and deliver me from my addiction and I will serve you the rest of my life!”– Not only will you be set free, and have a healthier lifestyle, you will inherit eternal life, know true joy and receive God’s blessings!
You can be set free from smoker’s cough. You can be free from the horrible smoke smell that permeates your clothes and your home and from the cigarette butts and dirty ash trays. You can save thousands of dollars a year that literally goes up in smoke. You can benefit from whiter teeth and pinker lungs. You can add years to your life span and enjoy a better quality of life!
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:8-10
If you have never made a confession of faith then say the following prayer aloud:
“Lord Jesus Christ,
I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.
Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN
Then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins.
You have been born again. As a new-born, you need to be nourished.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:
- Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
- Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
- Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
- Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
- Share with someone what God has done for you.
Please contact us. We want to rejoice with you!
The Medicine of God’s Word
31 Healing Scriptures
Daily Meditation on the Promises of God
Proverbs 4:20 – 22 says, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart; for they are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” The Hebrew word for “health” in verse 22 is “medicine.” God’s Word is medicine to all our flesh. Isaac Leeser’s translation of Exodus 15:26 reads, “…I the Lord am thy physician.” The medicine He prescribes is His Word.
Many make the mistake of substituting belief in healing for the actual taking of God’s medicine – His Word. They say, “I believe in healing” without actually taking the medicine. What good would it do you to believe in food if you didn’t eat it? You would starve. What good would it do you to believe in water if you didn’t actually drink any? You would die of thirst.
God’s Word is His medicine. There are several parallels between God’s medicine and natural medicine. First, God’s Word is a healing agent just as natural medicine is a healing agent or catalyst. In other words, the medicine itself contains the capacity to produce healing. God’s Word contains inherent within it the capacity, the energy, the ability, the nature to effect healing in your body. Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Fenton says, “He sent out His word, and it healed, and from their corruptions it freed!” Proverbs 4:22 Says, “For they (His Words) are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Isaiah 55:10, 11 says the Word of God will accomplish what it was sent out to do.
The Word itself contains the power to produce what it says, just as when God said, “Let there be light … and there was light.” Healing Scriptures contain within them the capacity to produce healing. Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…” Weymouth says, “God’s Message is full of life and power…” Jordan says, “God’s Word is alive with energy…” Knox says, “God’s word to us is something alive, full of energy…” The key to partaking of the life and healing energy in the Word is feeding on it until it penetrates your spirit where it deposits that life and energy.
Secondly, we might say that medicine is no respecter of persons. It will work for anyone who takes it. It is not a matter of God willing or not willing the healing of any individual, but whether or not the individual will receive healing by taking the medicine that produces it.
Thirdly, and most importantly, medicine must be taken according to directions to be effective. Some medicine labels read, “Take internally;” others say “Take externally.” To rub it on your body externally when the directions say to take it internally will not work. To take it after meals when the directions say take it before meals will reduce its effectiveness. To take it once in a while when the directions say three times every day will mean limited results, if any. No matter how good the medicine is, it must be taken according to directions, or it won’t work. So it is with God’s medicine. It must be taken according to directions to work.
The directions for taking God’s medicine are found in Proverbs 4:20, 21. Attend to them, incline your ear to them, don’t let them depart from before your eyes, and keep them in the midst of your heart. We might say that attending to them, inclining your ear to them, and keeping them before your eyes causes them to get into the midst of your heart. Notice this – it is only as they get in the midst of your heart and stay there that they produce healing in your body. Head knowledge won’t do. They are going to have to penetrate to your spirit through meditation – attending, hearing, looking, muttering, musing, and pondering – to produce healing in your body. But once they do penetrate, they will surely bring health to all your flesh. The Living Bible says, “…let them penetrate deep within your heart.” You can see again that God’s way of healing is spiritual. Power is ministered first to your spirit and then distributed to your body. God’s medicine must be taken internally.
Listen, instead of wondering whether you have enough faith to be healed, just take the medicine. Here is a list of healing Scriptures – feed on them several times a day, repeating them over and over again to yourself. The medicine itself will work if you will get it inside you.
Fourthly, remember that it takes time for medicine to work. Most people give natural medicine a lot of time and patience and money to work. They take the prescription back for refills and more refills. They are diligent about it. They don’t just take one dose and expect a miracle. Keep taking God’s medicine. Give it time to work.
Take your medicine. Say these Scriptures to yourself. Think on what you’re saying in your heart. Use them in praise to the Father. His Word is medicine to all your flesh.
Day 1: Exodus 15:26
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
Day 2: Exodus 23:25-26
And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.
Day 3: Deuteronomy 7:15
And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
Day 4: Psalm 91:9-10
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
Day 5: Psalm 103:1-5
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Day 6: Psalm 107:19-20
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Day 7: Proverbs 4:20-23
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart; For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Day 8: Isaiah 41:10
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Day 9: Isaiah 53:4-5
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Day 10: Isaiah 55:9-11
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Day 11: Isaiah 58:6-11
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Day 12: Jeremiah 30:17
For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, “This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.”
Day 13: Malachi 3:6
“For I am the Lord, I change not”
Day 14: Malachi 4:2-3
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.
Day 15: Matthew 7:7-11
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Day 16: Matthew 8:16-17
When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Day 17: Matthew 9:35
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Day 18: Matthew 15:30-31
And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
Day 19: Mark 11:22-24
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Day 20: Mark 16:17-18
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Day 21: Luke 4:17-19
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Day 22: Luke 9:1-2
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
Day 23: Luke 10:8-9
And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Day 24: Luke 13:16
And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?
Day 25: Acts 4:29-30
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
Day 26: Acts 5:15-16
Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
Day 27: Acts 10:38
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Day 28: Galatians 3:13
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
Day 29: James 5:13-16
Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Day 30: 1 John 5:14-15
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
Day 31: 3 John 2
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
Submitted By Encourager Linda Flagg, LM, CS