Ravi Zacharias – Marching to a Different Drummer

Temptation surrounds us. Turn on the tv, open a book, listen to the radio or just sitting in a park can find enticements at every turn. So how do we protect ourselves? This week on Let My People Think Ravi Zacharias shares insights from Daniel on how to remain committed to God even in a hostile environment

VIDEO by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

Sexual Sin: Every Sinful Heart is Prone to Struggle by David Platt

via http://crossmap.christianpost.com
david platt

In a recent sermon on sexual sin, Pastor David Platt touched on the belief that all humans – not only homosexuals – are prone to struggle with different types of sexual sin.

„This is something that every sinful heart is prone to struggle with in some way or another,” Platt said in the sermon.

„If [Christians] roll our eyes and shake our heads when we see the Supreme Court ruling on this case, yet we turn the channels on our TVs to watch the trivialization of sex on shows and advertisements, to surf the Internet to find images in order to satisfy our lusts, to go to movies that glamorize sex … and entertain sexual thoughts and desires outside of our own marriage, then we have missed the entire point.”

Platt also reiterated his belief that biblical marriage consists of a union between one man and one woman.

„All throughout the Bible from cover to cover, sex is only celebrated … in the context of exclusive covenant relationship between a husband and wife,” Platt shared. “Period. There are no exceptions to that.”

In the midst of highlighting highlighting hyper-sexualized American culture, the pastor went on to express the thought that humans tend to set their minds on the flesh as opposed to God.

„According to [secular culture], we’re not human if we can’t please our bodies however we desire, so any attempts to limit sexual expression are seen as oppressive and inhumane,” Platt said. „We set our minds on the things of the flesh, which is hostile to God, and we exchange God’s Word for our experience.”

In a call for sexual purity, Platt asked Christians to be honest about their sexual sins and to pursue Godly accountability partners.

„So much of the power of sin is found in its secrecy,” Platt said. „Guard yourself with godly friendships and Gospel accountability.”

Read the story in its entirety here – http://crossmap.christianpost.com

When Temptation Comes

Photo via pihtoday.blogspot.com

by Greg Laurie for the christianpost.com.

No temptation has come your way that is too hard for flesh and blood to bear. But God can be trusted not to allow you to suffer any temptation beyond your powers of endurance. He will see to it that every temptation has a way out, so that it will never be impossible for you to bear it.
– 1 Corinthians 10:13

In the New Testament, we have the account of Jesus saying to Peter, „Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31–32).

Put yourself in Peter’s sandals. You’re sitting near the Lord when He turns to you, looks you in the eyes, calls you by name, and says, „Satan has been asking excessively that you be taken out of the care and protection of God. The devil has been asking for you by name.” I don’t know about you, but if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said that to me, it would be cause for great concern.

Peter was such a big fish that Satan himself went after him. I wonder if the Lord paused for effect: „Satan has been asking for you. . .by name. . ..But I have good news, Peter. I have prayed for you.”

It’s a good reminder to us that when the devil comes knocking at our door, we should say, „Lord, would You mind getting that?” We are no match for the devil. But even though he is a powerful foe, he is still a created being, and certainly not as powerful as God. Even so, we don’t want to tangle with him-or any of his servants. We want to stand behind God’s protection.

In spite of the devil’s power and wicked agenda, he must first ask permission when it comes to attacking the children of God, because of the hedge of protection that God has placed around us.

God knows what you are ready for. And He won’t give you more than you can handle. We have His word on that!

Read more at christianpost.com

God’s design for sex

Al Jackson – Red Hot Monogamy: God’s Design for Sex – Proverbs 5:1-23  Message at 

Preaching from Proverbs 5:1-23, Jackson says that God’s design for sex is that a husband be captivated by the love of his wife and a wife be captivated by the love of her husband.

2 principles from this text:

 Principle #1 – Beware the deadly danger of adultery (vv 1-14).

Solomon is saying to his son, and God is speaking to us today, through Solomon’s writings: Beware of the deadly danger of adultery. It will destroy you.  Professor Garret os Southern Seminary says of verse 3 (For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,) that „the man is drawn to the adulteress because she inflates his ego with hollow praise, in ways his wife will not”.

Verse 5 – Solomon says,  „Her feet go down to death „, her steps lead directly to the grave; she has a pathway  and it’s the pathway of traveling toward sexual immorality. It’s not progress, it’s regress. It’s not upward, but it’s downward. Adultery is a dead end road and it leads always, always, always to pain, grief and sorrow and deep regret. Verse 6 – „She gives no thought to the way of life, her paths are crooked but she knows it not”. She’s an airhead, she doesn’t know about real life. She doesn’t know about joy, about real fulfillment; she’s trying to gratify the desires of her flesh.

In verse 7 –   Solomon is saying: „Listen up, go on the straight and narrow”. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7? „Narrow is the road that leads to life and few there be that find it. And, broad is the road that leads to destruction and many there be that walk on the broad road that leads to destruction„. In verse 8, Solomon is saying, „Keep your distance from her. Stay away”. Surely, you know, before someone commits adultery they think about it. That’s why Jesus said, „You heard that it was said ‘thou shalt not commit adultery, but, I say to you that a man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart„. First, it’s in the head before it’s in the bed. First, it’s an emotional attachment before it’s a physical relationship.

Let me give you some early warning signs. Someof you need them right now because you’ve already been tempted.

  1. A growing fascination with that other person. Things are not good at home. The romance has kind of settled down and there’s an emotional distance between you and your spouse. If the devil hasn’t already put old ‘honey lips’ in your path, he will; he wants to bring you down.
  2. A heightened sense of anticipation when you have the opportunity to be with this person. Be careful.
  3. A growing desire to confide in him or her, especially about how bad your marriage is. And when you get there, you’re just about ready to lose it.
  4. Emotional adultery opens the door to physical expressions of adultery. You will pay a high price. See Proverbs 1:9-10 „lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless, 10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
    and your labors go to the house of a foreigner”
    There’s a price to pay for sexual immorality- it might be an unwanted pregnancy, a sexually transited disease, or it might be something financial. There’s a high price to pay for a few minutes of sexual gratification

Look at verses 12-14 „and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. 14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”  I didn’t want somebody to tell me what I could or couldn’t do. I didn’t want that narrow minded, legalistic preacher from Alabama to tell me I couldn’t do these things.  Now, you may cover it up for a while, but, it will be disclosed.

The testimony of the word of God is absolutely sure, „Be sure your sin will find you out„. „Do not be deceived, God is not mocked”. „A man reaps what he sows. He who sows to the sinful nature will reap destruction”.

Please hear my heart this day: Beware, beware the deadly danger of adultery. You are a candidate for adultery, I am a candidate for adultery. Beware! Always keep your guard up. Never, never, never let your guard down. That’s all negative, but, there’s good news. It gets better.

Principle #2 – Rejoice in the delightful pleasure of monogamy

Here I am talking about married monogamy. Solomon is saying here to his son: Beware of adultery, but, rejoice in the delightful pleasure of a monogamous relationship.

Verses 15-16 15 Drink water from your own cistern,  flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? This is a metaphor- cisterns and spring for sexual intercourse. Quoting from Dwayne Garret: The best interpretation is that sprains and streams of water refers to the husband’s sexual affections, as the cistern refers to the sexual affections of his wife. The man should not take his love and desire to anyone else, by going out into the street. The analogy implies that a husband and wife will fill and refresh each other- the one like a flowing stream, the other like a peaceful well. Sexual anarchy results when people cross over the bounds of fidelity.

We live in a society that is characterized by sexual anarchy. And, the Lord’s speaking to us through Solomon today and saying, „Be faithful to your mate”. Drink water from your own cistern, not some other cistern. Verse 17- „Let them be yours alone„. Not someone else’s, yours alone.. „never to be shared with strangers„. First he says it positively „yours alone”, then he says it negatively, „never to be shared with strangers”. The sexual relationship, the sexual expression, God’s intention is that it be expressed between a husband and a wife, and only there. Whenever God says, „Thou shalt not…” it means: Don’t hurt yourself. And when God says, „Thou shalt”, He’s saying, „Let Me bless you”.

Verse 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. He’s saying, „Be satisfied with the one you’re married to from when you were a young man or a young woman”. Take joy in each other, not in someone else.

Verse 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love  Captivated is the key word here, by the love of our wife. Not somebody else’s wife, our own wife. Focus on her. Focus on your marriage. Give attention to your sexual expression with your spouse. Make it red hot monogamy.

If you’ll water the grass on your side of the fence, it will be greener than the other side of the fence and the grass on the other side of the fence will not be nearly the temptation it would be if you don’t water the grass on your side of the fence.  Don’t just neglect each other.

Verse 20-21 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. You know God sees everything? I don’t have to be anxious that someone sees me because I know I am under the all seeing eye of God. Always! Always!

Verses 22-23 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. How sad. Die for lack of discipline.

It’s real. Sexual temptation is real. The allure of internet pornography is just a few clicks away. It’s a deadly path. Well, you say, „Brother Al, what can I do? All these women are coming on to me all the time”. Well, what kind of signals are you sending? They don’t come on to me. I have never had a woman come on to me, except for my wife. Be careful what kind of signals you are sending.

Some of you may say, „I’m in an accountability group and I get asked the hard questions week after week, so I’m safe”. I’m all for accountability groups, but that’s no guarantee that you’re safe. Hear my heart on this. I don’t want to seem disrespectful, I have all kinds of groups that I meet with. But, a man who’s in adultery won’t think twice about lying about it. Lying is small stuff compared to adultery.

You say, „What can I do to ensure I won’t have a moral failure?” I don’t know there’s anything you can do to guarantee, but you can certainly do some things that you can make it very very unlikely. I just want to leave you the 2 primary ones that I try to implement in my life and marriage:

  1. Keep the fire of romance burning hot with your spouse. Men, never flirt with another man’s wife and never fail to flirt with your own.
  2. Pursue your love relationship with God with all your heart.

I believe if we are passionately in love with the bride of our youth and cultivate that relationship and fall deeply in love with God and cultivate a deep love relationship with our Savior, it’s not likely we’re gonna succumb. Scripture says, „Be holy as I am holy”. God is a holy God. It’s a high price to pay, to lose the smile of God for a few moments of sexual pleasure. Men, be holy. Be holy. Jesus said, „Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God”. Do you wanna see Him? I wanna see Him. I wanna know Him, I wanna experience Him, I wanna walk with Him, I want His favor. I wanna experience they unless of His power.

God honors personal, practical holiness.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Scottish preacher, died at the age of 29) – „Remember you are God’s swordHis instrument—I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.

Guard your heart, cultivate your marriage. Stay in love with Jesus. Our reward is not here, it’s in glory.

 

Al Jackson – Red Hot Monogamy: God’s Design for Sex – Proverbs 5:1-23 from Southeastern Seminary on Vimeo.

The Battle with Sin

Tim Conway:

Over the last 4 years or so we have seen a number of young people, same age as you folks that are visiting with us tonight. A lot of people say, „God has been doing things among the young people 18 – 30 year olds across the country, it seems. It’s been no different here, in San Antonio. We have seen the Lord working and one of the things that has become apparent to me, that some of these new converts, some of these new Christians, they are all of a sudden coming into a measure of spiritual warfare, that I think when they were first saved, they never anticipated.And I’ve heard veteran Christians that they talked about when they came into the kingdom and they just thought that it was going to be, you know, eternal fillings of the Spirit and joy, and flowery beds of ease.

The Christian life is a battle. And the text, the springboard text that we’ve been dealing with, probably the last two months or so comes out of 1 Peter 2:11 and I wanna hit that text just as  we get started this evening, „Beloved I urge you as sojourners and exiles  to abstain from the passions of the flesh which wage war against your soul „.(reading from the ESV) .

There are passions of the flesh that wage war. That means there are passions that would seek to wage war and destroy your soul. We have dealt with pride, we have dealt with worldliness and this, tonight we are gonna start, probably three messages (this being the first) on sexual sin. I’ll tell you this. The very nature of this subject that I wanna start dealing with tonight; I don’t know the background of the visitors tonight. I know what you folks are accustomed to hearing, that are part of the church. I don’t have any intention tonight to try and awe you with provocative language. But I wanna just tell you this: I wanna be dead honest with you and to do that, I don’t know what kind of churches you go to, what kind of pastors you have, but, sexual sin is a real deal.

Sexual immorality, sexual temptation; it is huge in our day! And it’s not a subject we wanna stay quiet about. It wages war. In fact,  among young people, this one takes people down. These passions wage war against your soul and they mean to undo you. I know I’m personifying them, I’m making them out like an enemy that actually has arms and legs and thinks. But, that’s the way the Bible speaks about them.

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Part 2 here –

The Battle in Your Mind to Abstain from Sexual Sin – Tim Conway

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