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Monday, June 26, 2006

"Staying Pure"

"For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality" (I Thessalonians 4:3).

Sexual immorality has rarely been as prevalent or acceptable than it is in our generation.  With numerous Hollywood-type tabloids staring you in the face as you await your turn in the retail check-out lane, you're continually exposed to sordid Hollywood immorality.   Many were married only months earlier but now are carrying a different partner's child.  The sexual escapades are unending and yet people are fascinated with what "star" is presently living with another. 

For men particularly, sexual immorality usually begins with the visual, known as lust.  Visual images leading to lust abound but really they've been around a long time.  Three thousand years ago David observed a woman bathing from the roof of his palace, leading to lust and then to his eventual well-known moral fall.

Chuck Swindoll shares a tip I have found very helpful and effective in this regard.  Essentially he advises when confronted with a lustful thought or image to quote Scripture.  "You cannot quote Scripture and lust simultaneously." I have sure found that to be the truth!  It's like trying to mix oil and water – they do not have the same properties and thus are incompatible. 

Today's Scripture passage is a straightforward command. There may be some issues in life in which the will of God is a bit uncertain but today we read two that are very clear.  I place it in the first person, "It is God's will that I should be sanctified and that I should abstain from sexual immorality."

This command is among the clearest of God's commands, found abundantly throughout all of Scripture.  Yet the world's "system" screams at us to violate it.  This "system" diligently seeks to obscure the consequences of disobedience.  Biblical standards are mocked by many as being restrictive and outdated.

Probably one of the most familiar phrases to our young people is "safe sex".  They may not have the slightest notion about balancing a checkbook, but they know the various methods of contraception and how to be immoral.  The "system" is no less relentless in the attack on adults and the scores of broken marriages, shipwrecked lives, abandoned children, and ruined ministries bear ample witness to this. 

But earnest followers of Jesus Christ desire to do the will of God. "It is God's will that you should be sanctified."  Sanctify means to be "set apart, holy."

The Scripture goes on to specify one area of how our sanctification is demonstrated: "That you should abstain from sexual immorality."

Today, I encourage all readers to heed the Scriptures in this regard particularly. The attacks will continue as the old adversary continues his quest to steal and kill and destroy.

Let us, armed with God's Spirit and His Word, "resist him, standing firm in the faith" (1 Peter 5:9).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, may Your counsel always be my guide as I face the enemy's assault on my personal holiness.  As Hollywood and much of the world continues to trivialize and ridicule Biblical Christianity the horrendous consequences are evident as generations of people ignore Your principles established from the beginning of time. I desire to live a holy life that is a direct consequence of following Your statutes. I reject those personalities and influences that confuse my thinking which gradually erode my commitment to purity of mind and holy living.  I ask for discernment to recognize worldliness and discipline to embrace that which leads to holiness.

Brooksyne's Note:  Due to Ester's influences in the school setting she's become quite taken with the glamour and personalities of Hollywood.  Because she's very visual in her interests colorful tabloids always grab her attention.  Needless to say this is a frustration to me when I see decadence glamorized through pretty faces, handsome bodies and talented personalities. May God help us to be discerning and recognize the cunning attempts by Satan to be lured into acceptance of worldly lifestyles that contradict the sanctity of marriage established by God in the beginning.

A song of consecration is called "Holiness" and expresses an aspiration to please the Lord. This mp3 audio clip is from a live worship service at the Covenant Community Church in Lake Mary, Florida.

I took today's photo of a baby butterfly just emerging from the cocoon on a box elder bush in front of my home this Saturday. It could not yet fly or fully spread it's wings.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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