How many times have you looked at a picture of a woman or a girl with lust in your heart or your mind? In our world today with the Internet making pornography so easy to obtain and keep as a “hidden sin” there are many more who fall into this practice than most people would think. The really sad fact is that most of those who do fall “victim” to engaging in watching pornography on the web or looking at pictures from these sites are supposed to be leaders in our churches. Youth ministers and Lead pastors of churches which keep their habits on personal laptops and hopefully not on the church computer.
Why do I bring this up? Because I read an article about it in the AFA Journal that I get each month. It is a very disturbing statistic and it actually funds sex trafficking in a big way as well. This type of sin, which is exactly what it is, is known in the Bible as fornication. This word in the Bible encompasses just a glance, to a touch or anything beyond that but the Bible makes it clear that “fornicators will not inherit eternal life”. The Bible uses the words “sexually immoral” in place of fornicators but it means the same thing.
We are supposed to be better than this! Jesus didn’t call you into any ministry to fall victim to Satan’s temptations to sin! But…in the news, we hear of pastors committing adultery and bishops molesting children. Why aren’t we taking our calling from God more seriously? What has happened to our being a dedicated disciple of Jesus and a servant of God? These are good questions and they deserve answers but I don’t have any answers. God’s Word gives us the answers and it tells us to run from even the idea of these sins, yet there are still people in the church who are being caught in these sins and casting a dark stain on the church as a whole.
Prayer is needed because the statistics are staggering in their implications of how many may be involved in these practices. Much prayer is needed in the church as a whole, not just one denomination but the entire body of the church, the Body of Christ here to serve those who believe. Pastors, ministers, and teachers in the church are supposed to be dedicated to their service to God and to those who look to them for guidance. We are not supposed to exploit anyone, regardless of their age, sex, or in any way which could be looked at as predatory in its nature. If there is anyone who is doing this in any way, they should be prayed for and confronted about it and at the very least try to get them some professional help!
This type of sin is easy to fall into but, if it continues long enough, it is very hard to get out of. Without therapy and professional help and much prayer, I don’t think that anyone could get out of it. It would take a person to be convicted spiritually and personally to know that their sin had been noticed and it needs to be expunged from their lives. I pray that anyone who reads this might use any of these suggestions to either get help or provide help to someone who really needs this.
Thank you for your attention and may God bless the outcome of any good that might come from this. Amen
John 3:16-18 says: 16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Our job, as Christians, is to tell others about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! It is not a glamorous job nor is it one which pays big money. The benefit is eternal because there are so many who need to hear this small message which has eternal benefits! God loves each of you who are reading this and it is a message which has made a difference in millions of lives over the past two thousand years. This message is not about how to get rich, although as heirs with Christ we already are.
God has given us the opportunity to be a part of His family in Heaven, why would you turn that down? Give your heart to Jesus and take your place in God’s home for eternity, because He has plans which go beyond our imagination!
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6:34 KJV
Sometimes we look at our lives and wonder, “Why am I going through all of this?”. Most of the time we can’t truly find an answer to that question, at least not one which makes sense anyway. The pain of a lost loved one or of a child taking a step toward a life of addiction or crime will be ongoing and in most cases may never go away entirely. So what are we supposed to do with this kind of pain?
The solution may sound simple and uncaring but it is this: give the problem to God. There are too many people who will read this and say “Are you serious?”; my answer is “Yes, I am!”.
Just how are we supposed to give our problem to God is the answer which many people have sought for centuries and unfortunately there are few who have found the best way to do this. We will walk down the aisle and place a token which represents our problems on the altar but when we leave the church we pick it up spiritually and take it with us. We never REALLY leave it in God’s hands until we have come to the point where we can truly see that there is nothing which we can do to fix this problem.
We use God as the last best hope for solving our problem when He should be the first Person that we leave the problem with, no matter what the problem may be! Remember, God created the entire cosmos, so since He did that your problems and mine are easy for Him to handle if we will give them to Him. Why do we try to keep our problems until we finally realize that we can’t do anything about them? Because we are prideful and we think that we can handle the problems in our lives regardless of how involved or how big those problems might be.
God never intended for us to do everything in our lives alone or by our own strength. He had intended for our existence to be a cooperative life between Himself and us. But we know that Satan crept into the scene and changed that, but God already had a plan in mind before that happened.
Jesus, the Son of God, was going to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem and He would take the sins of the world on Himself and be sacrificed on the cross to pay our penalty so that we wouldn’t have to. Then, on the third day, Jesus came out of the tomb and taught His disciples for another forty days and then ascended to the right side of the Father. He conquered death and the grave and gave us a way to be saved from hell if we will believe in Him and His sacrifice.
Give your life and your heart to Jesus and give your problems to God so that you can serve Him and be His representative until He comes again. Because He said He was coming again and God can’t lie!
Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Proverbs 27:5-6 KJV
and all the time, God is good!
Have you ever thought about the Middle Eastern practice of washing someone’s feet as they come into your house? It is a respectful and refreshing idea although many people would not like it in a worship setting today. But really why would you feel this way toward a practice which is meant to show humility and the attitude of servanthood?
People are embarrassed to show their feet in public especially during religious services, but we wear sandals and other shoes during the summer which shows our feet to the public. But, that’s different, isn’t it? With those shoes or sandals on, you are not placing your feet in someone’s hands to be washed and dried in public. Our feet today don’t get dirty like the feet of Jesus and His disciples did because we wear shoes or boots and socks and all they had to wear was sandals. On the dusty roads which they walked on their feet would get dirty every day, all day long.
The shepherds who came to see the baby which the angels had told them about had dirty feet. We get dirty in our world by being a part of it. Maybe we don’t get dirt on our hands or feet but we are still part of this world. The anger and fear and frustration and many other emotions build up and cause us to think and feel things, sometimes, which are not the thoughts or the feelings which followers of Jesus should have. But…we do have them.
The only way to be clean in this world of 24/7 news, and most of it is bad news, is to read God’s Word and pray over it while we read it. Why? So that the Living Water of God’s Word can cleanse us! Will it make us holy or sinless? No, but it will give us the wisdom and a word of hope from God to carry us through the problems of the day, each day so that we can carry His message to those who need it.
God gave us this magnificent and wonderful resource and many people who claim to be Christians only read it once or twice a week and even then only during a Bible study or church service. We should be drinking from this Living Water every day, washing our minds and our hearts with it so that we can take it to a world that is hurting. Because they need to hear it as well and if we don’t take it to them…who will?
Life is hard enough without the Hope which comes from knowing Jesus but with that Hope, each one of us can make a difference. Even if we only make a difference in one person’s life, then maybe they will make a difference in someone else’s life or maybe in two people’s lives and if it keeps multiplying like that eventually everyone will at least hear the gospel of Jesus, whether they act on it or not.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Isaiah 40:29 KJV
What frustrates you? It actually sounds like a question of your pet peeves and it could be. Does frustration cause you to get upset or angry, some days my frustration meter is set very low. Then there are other days when I can get a lot done and frustration never even enters the picture at all.
So, why am I concentrating on this emotion of frustration? Well, it could be that there are many more people in our everyday lives who are frustrated and either they don’t recognize it or they just refer to it another way like “I’m pissed off!!!!”.
It manifests itself as many things do in our lives. By hiding or disguising itself as something else. But, why am I bringing this up on this site? Because Jesus was frustrated too. It frustrated Him to find the priests and the scribes who knew the Scriptures intimately and yet they didn’t recognize Him. They didn’t pay attention to the signs which pointed to His birth or that He knew so much about Scripture when He was only 12 years old. They were amazed by His knowledge but they never investigated the particulars of His birth or His family.
They weren’t looking for a Messiah from a family who wasn’t connected or wealthy, so even if they heard and saw the signs they just ignored them. Don’t you think He would’ve been frustrated about this? I do. This is probably why He ran the money changers and those selling animals out of the Temple, not only were they using God’s house as a market but they were doing it without honoring God in reverence.
Frustration can be the spark which lights the fire of anger and then anger turns to rage which can lead to some very nasty consequences today. Even deadly ones if you can’t get control of it. But…what can we do about it? That’s where this gets tricky. Most of us just ignore our frustrations or at least try to, but sometimes the feelings which are brought to the surface with them don’t go away so easily.
That is why we need to keep our minds and our hearts focused on Jesus and His Word. I know this is asking a lot since most of us have a lot on our plates with work and bills and family and school and….the list could go on and on. My point is this: focus on Jesus and your relationship with Him first every day, then much of what comes up during the day both of you can handle it together!
I am not saying that this will end our anger and frustration issues immediately, but having Jesus and His Word present in your daily life every day will give you strength and mostly His strength to get through whatever comes. Whether it is good or bad, it won’t matter because you are walking with Jesus through your day with its trouble and with its triumphs as well.
Do this for a week and see how your week progressed, then do it again and again until walking through life’s ups and downs with Jesus will be second nature and the downs will be fewer than the ups I imagine. Give it a try. I have tried my best to do this ever since I was called to be a preacher, some days I succeed and some I don’t. But it has gotten easier and in the last seven years, it gets easier every day. I don’t mean that I can perfectly do this every day, all the time but I do work at it and I am getting better at it. But…it is a job. As Jesus said: “Then Jesus said His to disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”