The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Wild mountain rhododendron blooms
"The Call To Moral Purity"
Message summary: Today, we encourage all readers to heed the Scriptures in living a life of purity. 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).
Note: Due to travel a podcast was not prepared for this message
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality" (I Thessalonians 4:3).
Last week I was speaking to a friend who shared a sad story. A man in his church was dealing with a break-up in his marriage. Although he was still willing to talk to church leadership he was unrepentent in dealing with immorality. What I found interesting is that at one time he had been in group leadership in the church seeking to help men abstain from immorality.
Prior to the print media, especially photos, video and the internet in what ways was pornography a source of temptation and yet it surely was. We recall the words to an old hymn that remains relevant, "But still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe".
Years ago we passed a huge billboard near Reading, Pennsylvania advertising some type of "men's club". It featured an enlarged photo of one of the women, printed out her name, and described her as, "really, really wicked". At least I will give them credit for truth in advertising for indeed this is really, really wicked. Such is what so many in the world hunger and thirst after but we, as followers of Christ, are called to overcome such worldly temptation. I like a bumper sticker that says, "Real Men Don't Do Porn".
Sexual immorality is increasingly seen as the norm in our day. Recently Brooksyne conversed with a young man considering proposal to his girlfriend. The conversation went something like this: Brooksyne: So you're getting serious, are you! Young man: Yeah (with a big smile and stars in his eyes). Brooksyne: You're wanting to get married, great! YM: Well, not really. Her parents are a little old-fashioned and I'd like her to live at my place. Maybe if we're engaged they'll let her move in with me.
That young man sure wouldn't have wanted to deal with Brooksyne's parents who were "old fashioned" enough to believe that she would be allowed to move in with me only when we said "I do" in a sacred wedding ceremony.
In the course of our ministry we have seen the truly destructive effects of sexual immorality. We are regularly exposed to heartbreaking stories of rebellion against God and His long established standards. The consequence affects not just our generation but those before we arrived and those who come after us.
For men particularly, sexual immorality usually begins with the visual stimulation, 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. The result of his actions brought grave consequences to the family, his own children, the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of God. It wasn't just for a short season but affected future generations.
Bible teacher 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. He states, "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. It's a good verse to quote when facing temptation in regard to sexual immorality. 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. The "system" is no less relentless in the attack on adults and the scores of broken marriages, shipwrecked lives, and abandoned children. 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." A helpful definition I recall from my Bible College days is, "Sanctification is separation from that which is evil and dedication to that which is of God." The Westminster catechism defines sanctification as "the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness."
The Scripture text goes on to specify one area of how our sanctification is demonstrated: "That you should abstain from sexual immorality."
Today, we encourage all readers to heed the Scriptures in living a life of purity. 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 & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Loving Father, we want Your counsel to be our guide as we face the enemy's assault on our 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. We desire to live holy lives which are a direct consequence of following Your statutes. We reject those personalities and influences that confuse our thinking and gradually erode our commitment to purity of mind, body, and spirit. We ask for discernment to recognize worldliness and discipline to embrace that which leads to holiness. Amen.
Today we are in north central Pennsylvania and today plan to hike the Falls Trail at Rickett's Glen State Park. From the website: "Ricketts Glen harbors Glens Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark. Hike the Falls Trail System and explore the Glens, which boasts a series of wild, free-flowing waterfalls, each cascading through rock-strewn clefts in this ancient hillside. The 94-foot Ganoga Falls is the highest of 22 named waterfalls. Old growth timber and diverse wildlife add to the beauty. Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania."
Along the way to our destination yesterday we stopped and and walked a long trail leading to a secluded waterfall I had read about in Schuylkill County.
We found it - Swatara Falls, a hidden treasure!
Later in the afternoon we rode on a rail to trail bike trail near Bloomsburg, PA.
The bike trail ran along an abandoned rail line along Fishing Creek.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Take Time To Be Holy" Video Collingsworth Family
"Holiness Is What I Long For" Video Scott Underwood
"Take My Life And Let It Be" Video Christ For The Nations Worship
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 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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