A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Gold Finch on Sunflower, Mount Joy, PA
(Photo taken by our next door neighbor, Doug Maxwell, in his backyard)
"Purify My Heart"
Message summary: Today we encourage you to again consider God's call to purity and holiness, to make a renewed commitment that, "I will be careful to lead a blameless life".
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Since they no longer have any sense of shame, they have become promiscuous. They practice every kind of sexual perversion with a constant desire for more" (Ephesians 4:19). "I will be careful to lead a blameless life Ö I will set before my eyes no vile thing" (Psalm 101:2a,3a) "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl" (Job 31:1). "Keep yourself pure" (1 Timothy 5:22).
The internet streaming service Netflix has been in the news lately due to a vile program they are now airing concerning children, specifically young girls. The almost always insightful satire site "Babylon Bee" has this headline, "Awesome: Netflix Will Now Just Pump Septic Waste Straight Into Your Living Room".
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a former Democratic presidential primary candidate tweeted: "@netflix child porn 'Cuties' will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children. It happened to my friend's 13 year old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit. #CancelNetflix". Sadly though, and somewhat predictably, there are many voices on the left who defend the show!
In our chaplain ministry a troublesome matter that employees share with us is their struggle with pornography. In fact we both have had this issue come up regardless of gender or age, although certainly men are more prone to this sinful allure. This is always sad since pornography has so many dimensions of destructiveness. I (Stephen) recall a tearful conversation with a man who was close to losing his marriage over it. Thankfully they worked things out and he, in periodic follow-ups, reports to me that he is staying on the right track. In fact he leads a ministry in his church for men and has taught on this subject.
Today we want to challenge our readers to moral purity.
Many years ago I used a rather graphic illustration that is admittedly quite distasteful. I have used many illustrations in my ministry, some better than others, but some were quite memorable. I am sure there are those who will remember this one:
I was speaking to a group of men at a retreat in the central Pennsylvania mountains. It was very rustic and there was one outhouse for the 40 or so men and boys who attended the camp. As the weekend progressed the odor got worse. Prior to speaking I asked one of the boys to collect a substance that looks like it might have come from an outhouse from the muddy creek. He did so and placed it in a big styrofoam cup.
Later, in my message I held up the styrofoam cup, showed them the contents and told the men that the contents were taken from the outhouse but that it was mostly pure water. I asked them if any would like to have a drink. Now I know that's disgusting! Not surprisingly, no volunteers stepped forward. (Of course I disclosed to them afterwards it was just muddy creek water.)
I went on to challenge them to file this illustration in their memory bank so that it might help to deter them from viewing pornography or engaging in sexual immorality. Partaking of pornography and sexual immorality is spiritually far more disgusting, destructive and devastating than even drinking the disgusting contents from a styrofoam cup!
The first daily verse is a description of human depravity corrected only by spiritual regeneration: "Since they no longer have any sense of shame, they have become promiscuous. They practice every kind of sexual perversion with a constant desire for more." That so describes fallen man and the progression of sin.
The second daily verse is a passage from the Psalmist David. He expresses his heart's desire: "I will be careful to lead a blameless life." Leading a blameless life does indeed require diligent, persistent care (and Scripture candidly records David's moral failure at one point in his life when he ignored his own spiritual conscious).
The expression "I will set before my eyes no vile thing" is a powerful commitment for all ages but especially in our own, with vile images abounding on many platforms. Job states, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl" (Job 31:1). These two verses provide a powerful deterrent to what is normally the first step into any sexual immorality; visual lust. In fact David's greatest recorded sin began when "he saw a woman bathing" (2 Samuel 11:2). Had he walked away from that initial sighting his life and that of his family would have been spared many, many heartaches in the years that followed.
Today we encourage you to again consider God's call to purity and holiness and make a renewed commitment that, "I will be careful to lead a blameless life".
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, You are the pure and blameless Lamb of God. Though you were tempted in every way, just as we are, You stood the test and were without sin. While fasting in the wilderness each time Satan tried to lure You into his trap, You stood firm as You quoted the Word of God. Increase my desire to read, memorize and meditate upon the Scriptures that I might not sin against You. Help me not to set anything vile before my eyes, Lord. May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, and my seeking to live a pure life please You and be a testimony of Your saving grace in my life. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Purify My Heart" Video Brian Doerksen
"Democrat Tulsi Gabbard Says Netflix is Complicit in Child Sex Trafficking for 'Child Porn' Film 'Cuties'" Article referred to in message.
Babylon Bee satire articles:
Coming up for those who may be interested: We are joining a group from our area going down to Washington DC on Saturday, September 26 for a prayer march called "The Return, National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance". See here for info. America is in deep trouble so letís call on Godís power and a movement of the Holy Spirit to bring Repentance and Revival to our land!
This last Sunday after our church service we headed over to the Old Windmill Farm to bring the Lapp family over to our home for dinner since two of the children had birthdays.
Brooksyne with the newest member of the Old Windmill Farm team, a miniature horse the younger girls saved their money to purchase and have named Darling.
Petey, like most goats is incurably curious and just had to check our our van seats before we loaded the family for our trip across the county to join us for lunch.
Late in the afternoon we took the entire family to their oldest son's youth group on Mount Pleasant Road here in the Mount Joy area. We didn't stay but ten years ago I went to an Amish youth group and wrote this message, "Lessons From An Amish Youth Meeting"
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, 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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