- Sat May 24, 2014
Your goal is sexual purity. Here's a good working definition of it--good because of its simplicity:
You are sexually pure when no sexual gratification comes from anyone or anything but your wife.
Purity means stopping sexual gratification that comes to us from outside our marriage. But how do we stop it?
We're able to draw outside sexual gratification from only two places: the eyes and the mind. Therefore, to be successful in the battle for our sexual perimeter, we must blockade the "shipping lanes" of the eyes and mind. Beyond that, we also want to make sure that we have healthy, positive affections and attitudes in our relationships with our wives. In other words, we want our hearts to be right.
That means your objective in the war against lust is to build three perimeters of defense into your life:
- With your eyes.
- In your mind.
- In your heart.
- Fri May 23, 2014
If the first bottom line about my mind is that I am what I think, then the second and more obvious conclusion is that I do what I think.
There is no such thing as an irresistible temptation.
The reality is that most men who fail do so because they construct scenarios in their minds long before actually acting on one of them. The temptation itself is not intrinsically irresistible. The dazzling number of mental machinations ahead of time, however, weakens our wills to the point of total vulnerability.
The old saying, "You can do anything if you put your mind to it" is true-- and for God's man, absolutely critical.
For as he thinks within himself, so he is. (PROVERBS 23:7, NASB)
- Thu May 22, 2014
Our sin hurts everyone around us. From a servant's mind-set, the only questions that matter are questions like these: Is the power of sin still working in my life? Am I still angry? Am I still bitter? Do I still have that critical spirit, where everything always seems wrong? Are there areas in my life I won't allow my wife to talk to me about?
And when the power of sin is working in us, what is Christ's advice for us? Tell our wives to shut up? Cross our arms defiantly over our hardened hearts to protect them anytime someone comes near? Tell our wives to get used to it and to join us in covering it all up for the sake of the kids?
Hardly. Here's God's advice: "Be earnest, and repent" (Revelation 3:19).
Many Christian men feel that their wives should't confront their sin but instead pray for them silently. But that's God's plan for dealing with the hard hearts of unsaved husbands!
Let's be men about this. Are our hearts supposed to be no softer toward our sin--or toward our wives-- than an unbeliever's heart? Surely we can do better than that!
- Wed May 21, 2014
Jesus was wounded plenty but knew that while it's okay to be wounded, it's not okay to stay wounded.
Christ refused to stay wounded, and He didn't dwell on how He'd been mistreated (as we're so prone to do). Instead Jesus chose to be His brother's brother. He focused His woundedness at the problems around Him. By turning those wounds toward God's glory, through His pain He helped the whole world. In the end, He could pray, "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do" (JOHN 17:4).
You, too, can bring God glory on earth by completing the work He gave you to do. You, too, can refuse to stay wounded, fixing your gaze upon the Cross, the Word, and the regenerative power of the Holy Spirit. You won't change the whole world like Jesus did, but you'll surely change that smaller world around you and the relationships that God has placed in your hands.
- Tue May 20, 2014
Sexual impurity has become rampant in the church because we've ignored the costly work of obedience to God's standards as individuals, asking too often, "How far can I go and still be called a Christian?" We've crafted an image and may even seem sexually pure while permitting our eyes to play freely when no one is around, avoiding the hard work of being sexually pure.
A search for mere excellence is an inadequate approach to God, leaving us vulnerable to snare after snare. Our only hope is obedience.
If we don't kill every hint of immorality, we'll be captured by our tendency as males to draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes. But we can't deal with our maleness until we first reject our right to mix standards. As we ask "How holy can I be?" we must pray and commit to a new relationship with God, fully aligned with His call to obedience.