- Sun May 25, 2014
Character is carved our rather than instantly created. God's deal goes like this" "Reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground" (Hosea 10:12). To God, our lives are like fields that need to be worked. Once we have worked one Field of Change, we move on to the next plot, where He bids us to get back to work on other character flaws by tilling weed-infested soil. Sometimes this takes more time than we'd like, but we have to keep driving that tractor back and forth across the fertile earth.
Change will happen, and the Bible gives us insight into how it happens. Think of Joseph in an Egyptian jail. Moses in the desert. David's fugitive years. Jonah in the whale. Gideon in a cave. Job's catastrophes,. Elijah's encounter with the widow. King Nebuchadnezzar's riches-to-rags-to revelation. The apostle Paul's' blinding encounter with God. These stories, and many like them, recount God's relationship with men, and we need to look at those stories as forerunners of our own personal journeys. As history has shown, God will give a man a desert experience to prepare him for the future.
- 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.