- Sun May 11, 2014
Sexual impurity is not a "sickness" or "imbalance" for most men. Our eyes love the sexual, and our bad habits arise from our maleness. We have the bad habit of seeking cheap thrills from any dark corner we stumble into. We've habitually chosen the wrong way, and now we must habitually choose the right way.
Impurity not only lives like a habit, it also works like a habit. The same is also true for purity; it works like a habit.
Once we set a habit in concrete, we can forget about it. The habit will take care of business with little conscious thought, enabling us to focus our attention on other things. For example, we all have a habitual way of getting up in the morning. Many of us slowly climb out of bed, brush our teeth, take a shower, get dressed, and eat Wheaties with the kids at 7:10 a.m. We don't even have to think about it. We could do our morning routine in our sleep, and we usually do! While sexual impurity works like a bad habit, sexual purity works like a good habit.
- Sat May 10, 2014
Why do we find it so easy to mix our standards of sexual sin and so difficult to firmly commit to true purity?
Because we're used to it. We easily tolerate mixed standards of sexual purity because we tolerate mixed standards in most other areas of life.
Question: What's your aim in life--excellence or obedience?
What's the difference? To aim for obedience is to aim for perfection, not for "excellence," which is actually something less.
"Wait a minute!" you reply. "I thought excellence and perfection were the same thing."
Sometimes they appear to be. But mere excellence allows room for a mixture. In most arenas, excellence is not a fixed standard at all. It's a mixed standard.
Will you choose excellence or obedience?
- Fri May 9, 2014
We men have some weird ways of proving our manhood, but that's because we have some strange ideas of what it means to be a man. Many of us did not have fathers who took us by the hand, and later stood shoulder to shoulder, to show us the way of the world. Many of us never had a dad acknowledge our manhood, which means we have been locked in a desperate search for someone, or something, that would acknowledge it.
Therein lies the problem. We spend our lives doing stupid stuff to try to fit in, prove ourselves in the heat of battle, or show off our abilities. Our focus is on what other guys think, whoever they are. But we are playing to the wrong audience. God Almighty is the only audience we need. When we play for God, we become God's men. It's His jersey, His team we're playing for.
And He has our number.
- Thu May 8, 2014
Loving God means resisting the world moment by moment. It's putting forceful, compelling feelings aside in order to remain obedient. It's placing another person's need above our need to do something or be somewhere. It's choosing purity of mind and body and exercising spiritual discipline that honors God. It's saying no to impulses that place a higher priority on material things than on people. It's being real and honest rather than just preserving an image. It's giving away encouragement and praise rather than taking over the spotlight. It's staying childlike in our trust of God's way versus the world's way. It's caring more about God's opinion than man's opinion.
To gain Christ in our lives, we must lose the world. These's no such thing as peaceful coexistence on this battlefield. To lose the world, we must move against our fears, choose faith over feelings, and be convinced of Jesus's proposition that when we lose the world we gain Him: "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (Luke 9:24-25).
- Wed May 7, 2014
Have we gone blind? What can we expect from our across-the-board commitment to the middle ground? Don't we realize that our recent converts to Christianity will become just like us? Will it be a comfort to see them just as lazy regarding their personal devotion to Jesus as we are?
And don't we realize what our slack standards are costing us in our witness to the world?
In Revival Praying, author Leonard Ravenhill writes,
This present day is like an arena whose terraces are filled with the militant godless, the brilliant and belligerent skeptics, plus the blank-face heathen millions, all looking into the empty ring to see what the Church of the living God can do. How I burn at this point! What are we Christians doing? To use a very tattered phrase, are we just "playing church"?