The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Colorful Michigan Autumn Scene
Our photo today was taken by Ellen, a reader from Michigan, who shares the fall colors she sees out her windows. It's raining today, then some windy weather to follow, which will surely hasten our foliage demise!
"The Case For Sexual Purity"
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"Flee from sexual immorality" (1 Corinthians 6:18). "For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (1 Thessalonian 4:3-5).
We were recently visiting with a man in his mid-thirties. In the course of talking to him I said, "Brooksyne and I have been married long enough to be your parents." Now if you're our age or older you probably know what we meant but increasingly such a statement would illicit a "Duh". Sadly, to many now "old enough to be parents" just means being old enough to reproduce, not how many years one has been married.
So we will explain. We grew up with an understanding of the Biblical standard for sexual morality, that sexual intimacy was reserved for a marriage union. Of course we still believe that is the standard! We are also pleased that there are still those in the younger generations who hold to this standard. The other night we had fellowship with a young couple who had made a commitment to chasteness before their marriage to the point of reserving their first kiss for their wedding pronouncement of husband and wife.
Their commitment is a stark contrast to current generations who have no knowledge or acceptance of God's standard of purity. Unless their church and parents teach this they will very likely not hear it. In fact they are being flooded with the opposite message through media, entertainment, the public school systems and our government. The moral cesspool is getting worse and worse while the call to sexual purity is needed more and more.
Of course all throughout history this standard has been violated. The difference is that the standard itself has been forsaken and forgotten. Actually now it's mocked. A friend was telling me about watching a recent popular morning show where a guest was defending the traditional, Biblical view of sexual purity and was mocked and scorned by others on the panel.
A helpful teaching website I periodically use is gotquestions.org, which makes this point "God gave man and woman the joy and pleasure of sexual relations within the bounds of marriage, and the Bible is clear about the importance of maintaining sexual purity within the boundaries of that union between man and wife (Ephesians 5:31). Humans are well aware of the pleasing effect of this gift from God but have expanded it well beyond marriage and into virtually any circumstance. The secular world’s philosophy of “if it feels good, do it” pervades cultures, especially in the West, to the point where sexual purity is seen as archaic and unnecessary."
But there remains a strong case for sexual purity and a restoration of the Biblical standard. Certainly God's way is always best and obedience brings blessing! But we can also observe the rotten fruits of our sexually permissive culture; abortion (murder of preborn children), incurable diseases (STD's), financial struggles, emotional heartache, fractured trust in relationships and on and on the list goes. In addition, when children result from these sexual unions the legalities of both parties fighting over custody, child support, visitation, and other matters is unending financially and emotionally, not just for the couple but for the grandparents and other family members. We hear from them often, asking for prayer, as the custody battles tear them apart emotionally and financially.
Joseph didn't stop to justify breaking God's commands but fled from a sexually immoral proposition from Potiphar's lustful wife. Likewise we call for God's people today to "flee from sexual immorality".
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we know that Satan is a thief who "comes only to steal and kill and destroy" and millions fall victim to his enticements. You created us to have an emotional desire for physical and sexual intimacy and in Your perfect plan it is to be fulfilled in a marriage covenant. Knowing our inclination to sin, help us to carefully lay boundary lines to keep us from feeding lust since it can spread like gangrene. Forgive us where we have resented, ignored, or disobeyed Your truths in this area of our lives and help us in dealing with the consequences of our disobedience. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Notes: The Biblical standard for sexual purity is waiting until marriage to have sexual relations (avoiding fornication) and then sexual relationship exclusivity between a husband and wife in marriage (avoiding adultery). Of course there have always been violations of these standards. People don't wait and sadly there is cheating in marriage. But up to the "sexual revolution" in the sixties the Biblical standard was still seen as good. Now that the standard has been forsaken by so many we see a downward progression.
When we were younger and certainly all through history some of our peers "messed up". When that happens the societal expectation was that you needed to marry your partner. Certainly more than a few marriages start out this way. Certainly, some fail but we know many that got on the right path including many couples who were faithful parishioners in the churches we pastored. Now, all these years later, they continue to have a solid marriage with children are all grown up and now enjoy a quiver of grandchildren.
Now many couples think, "Why marry?" Many just "shack up" as we used to say. It's not uncommon to hear this line of reason these days as we often have in our chaplaincy role: "I'll have a child with him (her) but I'd never consider marrying him (her)". Consider the kind of home this child is being raised in. Of course in most all of these situations the "home" is very short-lived before the break-up.
Now we see many cases of multiple children by different partners and it's not rare to see men who have no sense of responsibility in caring for and providing for their family, in great part because of the government's role in supplying funds for the children. Of course in many cases now (and I do mean many, far more than a few) men have no idea what children they have fathered and women are uncertain of who the father of their child is due to extreme promiscuity.
Of course the slide continues with more and more bizarre arrangements often deemed as "good" by the world and a sign of diversity (which is one of the gods of this age) with utter perversions such as men "marrying" men, women "marrying" women, transvestites, polygamy, polyandry, social "science" determining that children having two mothers or two fathers is a valid replacement for having a father and mother. It's just hard to keep up with the craziness! I suppose the latest was an article I read (and I don't think it was a parody) of a man pretending to be a woman marrying a woman pretending to be man. Well it seems the woman pretending to be a man is pregnant. It's about enough to make your head explode.
Now a word to those who have "ears to hear and a heart to obey":
If you have forsaken God's standard regarding sexuality repent and do the right thing.
We are working with a young man who has a child out of wedlock. He has made the decision to marry his child's mother and seek to be a good husband and father.
The longer one delays in getting it right and back to God's pattern the greater the long term consequences will be. But it's never too late to do the right thing and live God's way.
We all had our annual dental checkups and cleaning this week. Here's Ester with Dr. Dinse and Wendy, his office manager. Dr. Dinse is a very caring dentist with a friendly staff. He told me a dentist's joke. A monk came in for a dental procedure but refused a Novocain injection. The dentist asked "Why?" and the monk said he wanted to transcend dental medication!
Wendy was our pastor's wife when we first moved to this area nearly 15 years ago. She and hubby, Jim, remain good friends!
Last night we had our friends Chris and Gena over. I passed on a remote helicopter to Sonny since I'm not too good at keeping it up in the air. The Berts are a newly blended family seeking to live for God as friends and family uphold them in prayer for this new chapter in their lives.
You never know what you might see on our country road from our front porch. You could hear this Amish hay wagon coming from a mile away with the bare steel wheels. Not sure how good this is for our road though!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
For married couples striving for a better marriage: Our Texan friends, David and Sabra Penley, post regularly to their marriage enrichment blog "Simply One In Marriage" which we commend to our readers. It provides hope and help from God's Word to strengthen your marriage. We are blessed by their writings and creative ways to build each other up. For instance this recent post "A Trip Down Memory Lane" challenges readers to consider significant events and places in their relationship and David and Sabra illustrate from their own lives. It will likely stir some memories for you as it did for us.
"Pledge to Purity" Video Al Denson A song for young couples
"Why Is Sexual Purity So Important?" The study from the Gotquestions ministry quoted today.
"5 Lies That Make Sexual Purity More Difficult" Focus On The Family
Guidelines for Sexual Purity Randy Alcorn who I have always found to be a thoughtful writer.
"Sexual Purity Is The Standard" Lifeway
"Sexual Sin" Video A compilation of teachings by John Piper (6 minutes)
"What Children Believe" Video Gold City While preparing our message today we heard the words of this song that speaks of "truth when it was in style" in the eyes of a child. The chorus reads:
Love Lasts forever.
Mom and Daddies stay together.
The cheaters never win
And a promise is something you keep.
It’s bad to lie, but it’s ok to cry.
Dreams never die
And faith is all you need.
Ain’t it crazy what children believe.
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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