Sexual Purity

August 27, 2012

The church plant that I pastor is part of the LifeChurch.tv network of churches and Craig Groeschel spoke yesterday about “Staying Pure.”  He shared how we should stay pure whether we are married or not.  (Even if we’re not married, we should strive to be the type of person that we want to marry.)

Scripture is very clear on the issue of sexual purity:

“But among you there must not be even a HINT of immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”   -Ephesians 5:3

Craig talked about how he has put safeguards in his life that close the door to any possibility of slipping up.  He doesn’t ride alone in a car with a lady other than his wife, he has accountability partners, and he has put internet safety programs onto all of his computers and his mobile phone.

Did he do all of this because he is prone to fall?  Craig explained that on most days he is strong but just in case he came upon a weak day, he wanted the door to opportunity SHUT in those areas.  That makes really good sense.

Here are a few internet safety websites that will help you “shut the door” to unsafe areas on your computer in a moment of weakness:

For Mobile Devices for Internet Safety and Accountability:

Other info websites:

I encourage everyone to do 3 things:

  1. Get an accountability partner or partners to walk with you and speak into your life
  2. Shut down the possibility of going to the wrong sites by installing internet safety software, which will send any questionable sites that you visited to your accountability partners.  (I use x3Watch)
  3. Stay out of situations that could encourage you to begin thinking and  “walking” down the wrong road.

Satan is out to destroy all of us.  He roams about as a roaring lion, looking to DEVOUR those who follow Christ.  It’s important to take any opportunities away from him that would give him a foothold in your life.

 

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Ever feel like your passion for God isn’t as strong as it used to be?  Maybe you’ve walked with God for many years, you want it back, but you can’t kid yourself.  The passion is gone.

Romans 12:11 tells us to “never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor.”  If this verse is telling us to keep our zeal, then it is acknowledging that we can loose our passion.

I’ve been there.  My heart is for God.  I would NEVER decide to commit some terrible sin or make a conscious decision to move God to the backseat.  I just looked up from life one day and realized that my passion wasn’t what it used to be.

If our passion isn’t as strong as it used to be, what do we do to keep it or get it back?

If we continue doing what we’re doing, we’ll continue to get what we’ve been getting. 

When our passion fades, it’s time for some pretty major changes.  God is worth it.

5 Suggestions:

1.  Get Rid of Any Sin:  Sin can cause you loose your passion for God.  It could be something you are doing that you never meant to be involved in.  It could also be something that you aren’t doing that He told you to do.  Have you felt like God wants you to serve in your church but you reason it away?  That’s sin too.

It could be the sin of busy-ness.  Be brutal in examining your life.  Ask God to show you any wicked way in you.  (Psalm 139:23-24)

2.  Shake Up The Place of Your Quiet Time:  You have to make time for God if you find you’ve squeezed Him out of your life. If you don’t have time to have a quiet time with Him or to serve in your church, you’re too busy.  Jesus met with God “very early while it was still dark.”  (Mark 1:35)

About once a week or so, I like to change the atmosphere of where I meet with God.  Sometimes I’ll go to the park.  I’ve been known to go to a cemetery and pray.  (It helps you get things into perspective real quick.)  I even stopped at a winery once and sat there for over an hour, seeking God.  Shake up the atmosphere!

3.  Set the Tone of Your Quiet Time: Find a couple of praise songs that really move you and start your time listening and singing to God.  One that does it for me is “What a Savior” by Laura Story.  Another good one is “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redmon.  Raise your hands and really speak your heart as you sing along, whatever the song.  (Just pick a private place or people may stare.  Lol)  Read your Bible.

4.  Go to Church EVERY WEEK:  We shouldn’t have the mindset that we’ll decide on Saturday night what we’re doing on Sunday.  Going to church should be the default for our lives.  It’s just what we do.  There really shouldn’t be any discussion or staying home once or twice a month because “we’re tired.”  It’s an hour!  If you need more “me time,” stay home on Saturday from the ballgame or whatever.  Get your butt to church EVERY Sunday.

5.  Begin to Serve in Your Passion:  If you feel God’s presence when you serve the homeless, do that.  If you love it when a child lights up when you show them love, volunteer in your church’s children’s ministry.  God has never called us to be “Pew Potatoes”.  He doesn’t want us to just come to church every week and “soak up the Word.”  We have to put it into action and for most of us, we’re called to serve in the local church.

James 2:17 says that “faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.”

What are some other things that a person can do to reignite their passion for Christ?

Want a Life That Sucks?

August 10, 2012

I’ve learned in life is that if things aren’t going smooth and you ignore God’s instructions in the Bible, life will get worse.  The Bible is our instruction manual from our creator.  Want to know how it’s supposed to work?  Read and LIVE the Bible.

Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers and the flower fades but the Word of our God stands forever.”

Want a life that sucks?  Then ignore God’s instructions.

God has given us a roadmap to life in the Bible.  It is chalk full of wisdom and it doesn’t change.  The same God that said that marriage is for life 2,000 years ago is the same God that I talk to today.  He hasn’t changed.  It’s our choice as to whether or not we will walk according to God’s will.

Sometimes we like to make “Grey” areas out of areas that God was really clear about.

So.. our wife doesn’t make us “happy” anymore…..  Is it ok to leave and go find another one?

If our husband doesn’t fill our needs is it ok to have an affair?

God hasn’t “laxed” his law just because society and culture have changed.  It seems like many today interpret God’s Word through what the culture says.  If culture says it’s about how a person “feels” that matters, they will “tweak” God’s Word to make everything ok.

God calls us  to look at and interpret culture through God’s Word.  If culture disagrees with what God said in His Word, then culture is WRONG.  (I realize culture says it’s wrong to say anyone else’s life style is wrong.  Guilty as charged!)

In the words of Rick Warren:

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

God calls us to live a holy lifestyle.  He wants us to read and LIVE His Word.  That means loving others before ourselves, staying in a marriage that we’re not thrilled about (we can work on it and make it better), caring for the poor, being involved in a church, and working hard like we’re working for God.

God’s Word tells us how to live our life and it shows how to follow Christ.  If you aren’t following Christ, you aren’t a Christ follower.  It’s that simple.

It’s not about YOU!