Daily Light – June 30, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Continued:   God’s Will   (Continuing the 4 point article by Pastor Steven Cole)

Thessalonians 4:3-8 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:  that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.  The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

Final Point, 4:  To be sexually pure, you must know God and walk by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.

More could be added for a comprehensive strategy against sexual sin, but here Paul mentions these two things:

  1. To be sexually pure, you must know God.

Paul contrasts Christian sexual purity with “the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thess. 4:5). To be a true Christian means that you have come to know God through Jesus Christ (John 17:3; Gal. 4:9). In 2 Thessalonians 1:8, Paul says that when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven, He will deal “out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” In Romans 1, those whom God gives over to suffer the consequences of their sin knew about God, since His attributes are evident through creation, but they suppress the truth in unrighteousness and do not honor God as God or give thanks. He goes on to add (Rom. 3:18), “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” If we truly know God, we fear Him, hate evil, and turn away from sin (Job 28:28; Ps. 97:10; Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10).

  1. To be sexually pure, you must walk by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.

Paul mentions (v. 8) in passing (indicating that he also taught them this truth) that God “gives His Holy Spirit to you.” He uses a Greek construction that emphasizes “Holy” (literally, “His Spirit, the Holy One”). In Galatians 5:16, Paul writes, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” He goes on to enumerate some of those sinful desires, which include immorality, impurity, and sensuality. He adds that one fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control. So a daily step-by-step walk of dependence on the indwelling Holy Spirit is the key to resisting sexual temptation and developing sexual purity.

There are several aspects of this to keep in mind: First, the Holy Spirit is a gracious, undeserved gift. When you think about the fact that you deserved God’s judgment, but He chose you and called you to salvation and gave you His Holy Spirit to live in you, it will make you hate your sin and turn from it.

Second, the Holy Spirit is holy! As the eternal third person of the trinity, He is the one of whom the angels cover their faces in His presence as they say (Isa. 6:3), “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” He is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). His eyes are too pure to approve evil (Hab. 1:13). Peter exhorts (1 Pet. 1:14-16), “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

Third, this Holy Spirit dwells in you. If you think about that when you’re tempted to click on that porn site or entertain lustful thoughts about a woman, you would immediately cut off your hand or pluck out your eye (Matt. 5:27-30). As David Powlison wrote (Sex and the Supremacy of Christ [Crossway], ed. by John Piper & Justin Taylor, p. 105), “The only way you ever sin is by suppressing God, by forgetting, by tuning out his voice, switching channels, and listening to other voices.”

Fourth, remember that your sin grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30). “Grieve” is an emotional love-word. When you sin against someone who loves you, that person grieves. To sin against the Holy Spirit who sealed you for the day of redemption is to grieve the God who gave His Son to save you.

Conclusion

So if you know the Lord, His clearly stated will is for you to be sexually pure by the power of His Holy Spirit. If you are defeated by sexual sin, take whatever radical measures are necessary to get on the path to sexual purity. As John Owen put it (The Works of John Owen, Vol. 6, “Temptation and Sin” [Banner of Truth], p. 9), “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation

Related Topics: Christian LifeSexual PuritySexuality

Steven J. Cole

Steve has been the pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship since May, 1992. From 1977-1992 he pastored Lake Gregory Community Church in Crestline, California. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition) and California State University, Long Beach (B.A., philosoph… More

 

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Daily Light – June 29, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Continued:   God’s Will   (Continuing the 4 point article by Pastor Steven Cole)

Thessalonians 4:3-8 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:  that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.  The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

Point 3 God will bring judgment on those who are sexually impure.

Paul adds (1 Thess. 4:6), “because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.” Then in verse 8, he adds the warning, “So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.” This reminds me of the severe warning in Hebrews 10:26-31:

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 13:4 also warns, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Perhaps you’re wondering, “I thought that Christians were totally forgiven. I thought that we were under grace. But that doesn’t sound very gracious!”

If a genuine Christian falls into these sins and repents, God will forgive his sin, but He may not remove the consequences (as with David’s sin). But if someone professes to be a Christian, but habitually engages in sexual immorality, he may be deceived in calling himself a Christian. The Bible repeatedly warns that the sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-6). These strong warnings show that true Christians are susceptible to sexual immorality. But, true Christians will be miserable when they sin and cannot continue in sin (1 John 3:9). To reject God’s clear warnings indicates that the person does not truly know Him. So, how, then can a Christian be sexually pure?

    

(Point 4, tomorrow, is the final of this article by Pastor Cole.)

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Daily Light – June 28, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Continued:   God’s Will   (Continuing the 4 point article by Pastor Steven Cole)

Thessalonians 4:3-8 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:  that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.  The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

  1. This type of Sin in God’s people always causes damage.
  2. It hurts God’s name.

God is holy and He is identified with His people. When pro­fessing Christians engage in sexual immorality, it drags God’s holy name through the mud in the eyes of the watching world. This is especially true when Christian leaders are caught in sin. The world mocks and shrugs off the claims of the gospel as a joke. It gives occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme (2 Sam. 12:14).

  1. Sexual sin hurts the sinner himself.

Contrary to what is often said, all sin is not the same. Paul says that the immoral man sins against his own body (1 Cor. 6:18). Those who engage in homosexual sin, whether men or women, dishonor their bodies and “receive in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Rom. 1:24-27). God’s moral laws are like the traffic laws: you can disobey them for a while and perhaps get where you want to go faster. But sooner or later, you’ll come around a curve too fast, hit a pole, and suffer the consequences. God’s laws are designed by the wise Creator to protect us.

  1. Sexual sin hurts many others.

This is probably what Paul means when he says (1 Thess. 4:6), “and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter….” To have sexual relations with another man’s wife or another woman’s husband is to transgress against the innocent spouse and defraud him or her. To violate an unmarried woman is to hurt her and to defraud her future husband of her virginity. Implicit in the word “defraud” (related to the word for “greed”) is that sexual sin is inherently selfish. You’re taking advantage of the other person for your own pleasure or benefit. You may rationalize it by saying that it was by mutual agreement and for mutual pleasure. But you’re deceiving yourself. If you have children or grandchildren, your sexual sin hurts them by robbing them of your godly example. It hurts other church members by damaging the reputation of Christians in the community. As David’s sin with Bathsheba shows, he paid an awful price with his family and with his kingdom for a night of sinful pleasure. But Paul ups the ante:

(Con’t tomorrow)

Daily Light – June 27, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Continued:   God’s Will   (Continuing the 4 point article by Pastor Steven Cole)       

#1:   God’s will is for His people to be sexually pure or holy.

Thessalonians 4:3-8 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:  that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.  The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

We saw in verses 1 & 2 that as believers, we are under obligation to walk and please God by obeying His commandments. Now, Paul specifically zeroes in on the need for sexual purity or holiness:

  1. Holiness means to be set apart unto God, who called us out of darkness into His light.

“Sanctification” (NASB) means “holiness.” To be holy is to be set apart from this evil world unto God. Paul repeats the word three times in our text for emphasis (verses 3, 4, & 7). In verse 7, Paul links sanctification with our salvation: “For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.” God’s calling refers to His effectual call to salvation. He took the initiative to rescue us from His judgment and wrath by sending His own Son to bear the penalty that we deserve. But now, having been bought by the precious blood of Jesus, God commands us to be holy, even as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:14-16).

The Bible uses “sanctification” or “sanctify” in three senses: First, there is positional sanctification. Every believer is set apart in Christ (1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11;Heb. 10:14). Second, there is progressive sanctification, the process by which we become holy in all our behavior (1 Pet. 1:14-15). Third, someday we all will achieve perfect sanctification, when Jesus returns and we will be like Him, with all traces of sin removed (1 John 3:1-3).

Dr. Ryrie used to illustrate this by a little girl with a lollipop. She wants it all for herself, but she sees her friend coming and is afraid that she will have to give it to her. So, she licks it all over. Now it is “positionally sanctified.” It belongs totally to her. Then she begins appropriating that lollipop for herself as she progressively licks it. Finally, it will be totally “conformed” to her, when she finishes it. In our text, verse 7 may be referring to our positional sanctification. God has called us in the sphere of sanctification, or holiness. But in verses 3 & 4, Paul is referring to our growth in holiness, which as we saw last time, comes from walking daily with the Lord. Specifically, here Paul focuses on sexual purity:

  1. Holiness means abstaining from sexual immorality.

The Greek word (porneia) refers to any kind of sexual relation outside of heterosexual marriage. This includes sex before marriage, adultery, homosexuality, incest, prostitution, or bestiality (Green, p. 190; cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:9-11). Paul is not calling us to moderation of our sexual impulses, but to total abstinence outside of the marriage bond. As he wrote (Eph. 5:3-5):

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

As Jesus made clear, sexual immorality begins on the heart or thought level. To look on a woman with lust is to commit adultery with her in your heart (Matt. 5:27). He also said (Mark 7:21-23),

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.

So to win the battle for sexual purity, you must control your thought life, which requires controlling what goes into your mind. You cannot look at sensuous movies or TV shows or internet content and be morally pure. You can’t avoid looking at all the sensuously dressed women who parade around in our culture, but you can avoid the second look. And, you can immediately redirect your thoughts by following Romans 13:14: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” But, to do that requires control:

  1. Holiness in the sexual realm requires self-control.

In verses 4 & 5, Paul explains what he means by abstaining 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.” The problem is, Paul’s explanation is not exactly clear! There are two main views:

Some argue that “possess his own vessel” should be translated, “acquire his own vessel,” where “vessel” refers to a wife. Many godly Bible scholars hold to this view. The Greek verb as used elsewhere in the New Testament means “to acquire,” not to “possess” or “control.” This would line up with 1 Corinthians 7:9, where Paul teaches that if you lack self-control, you should marry rather than burn with lust. When Paul says that a Christian should “possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion,” he means that rather than basing marriage primarily on sexual attraction, as we often see in the Hollywood crowd, there should be a sanctity about the married relationship. It portrays the exclusive love that exists between Christ and His church (Eph. 5:22-33). Thus marriage should be held in honor and the marriage bed should be undefiled (Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:7).

The second view is that “vessel” refers to a person’s body and that “possess” has the meaning of “controlling, gaining mastery over, or keeping.” The verb can have that nuance (G. K. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians [IVP Academic], p. 117). Paul’s other uses of “vessel” refer to persons or their bodies (e.g.Rom. 9:21-22; 2 Cor. 4:7; 2 Tim. 2:21). So Paul was exhorting not only the men (as the first view would imply), but both men and women to control their bodies by restricting sexual activity to one’s marriage partner (1 Cor. 6:15-7:9). I lean toward this view.

But both views require self-control in the sexual realm and Paul taught both views elsewhere. God gave heterosexual marriage as the legitimate place for sexual relations. And, whether single or married, both men and women need to control sexual lust, beginning on the thought level. We must guard our thought life and put a huge fence around our marriages as sacred. You may think that no one knows what you’re thinking or looking at, and that as long as you don’t get physically involved with a woman or man who is not your spouse, no one will get hurt. But that’s fallacious on two counts: First, God knows your heart and you can’t be close to Him while you’re entertaining sinful lust. Second, looking at porn or looking lustfully at women is like tolerating cracks in a dam beneath the water level. No one can see them but if they’re not fixed, eventually the dam will collapse and there will be a lot of damage. That leads to the second point: (Point 2 tomorrow)

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Daily Light – June 26, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Continued:  God’s Will

Friends:   This week, M-F, we will use Daily Light to share a truly wonderful article written by Stephen Cole.  SC is a pastor of many years and has counseled hundreds of people.  He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary.   Please pray as to who you can share the light and truth of this series.  Blessings in this week and my God’s light shine in and out of you! 😊

Sexual Purity (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)

Introduction

October 9, 2016

Most of us have had trouble at times discerning the will of God. At those times, we’ve wished that God would just speak audibly, “My will is that you take the job that you’ve been offered.” Or, “My will is that you marry Suzy.” “Okay, God, I’ve got it!”

In our text, God plainly states His will for each of us in one important matter (1 Thess. 4:3): “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.” There is no ambiguity in that: God wants you to be morally pure. He doesn’t command moral purity to deprive you of fun, but rather to increase your ultimate pleasure in Him. At His right hand are pleasures forever (Ps. 16:11). He designed the sexual relationship in marriage for our pleasure in Him. So, any violation of moral purity goes against God’s good and perfect will for your life. Any form of sexual immorality will hurt God’s name, hurt you, and hurt others. As the one who created sex, God tells us in His word both how sex can bless us and how it can harm us. His clearly stated will is that we abstain from sexual immorality.

But it’s safe to say that we live in a world where sexual temptation is more readily accessible than at any other time in history. When I was a young man, it wasn’t nearly as easy to view pornography as it is now. Then, you had to deliberately search it out, often in sleazy stores where you wouldn’t want to be caught dead. Now, it just takes a few clicks on your smartphone.

In 1988, before the internet or smartphones existed, Leadership journal (Winter, 1988, p. 24) did a survey on sex and the American clergy. Of the pastors responding to the survey, 20 percent said that they looked at sexually oriented print, video, or movies at least once a month! And 38 percent of these pastors said they find themselves fantasizing about sex with someone other than their spouse at least once a month.

The same survey found that 12 percent of pastors admitted to committing adultery since entering local church ministry! Leadership asked the same questions of readers of Christianity Today magazine who were not pastors. The incidences of immorality were nearly double, with 23 percent admitting to extramarital sex (p. 12)!

More than a decade ago, Al Mohler wrote (cited without reference by Ligon Duncan in a sermon on Eph. 5:3, June 4, 2006, at: fpcjackson.org/resources/sermons/Ephesians):

The statistics are truly frightening. According to industry studies, 70% percent of 18-24 year old men visit pornographic sites in a typical month. These young men represent something like one-fourth of all visitors to pornographic sites on the internet. The next largest group of users are young men in their 20’s and 30’s, 66% of whom report being regular users of pornography….

Today the average teenage boy is likely to have seen thousands of explicit sexual images, ranging across the spectrum of sexualities and perversions. Many of these boys and young men are driven by sexual fantasies that previous generations of young men would not have even known existed…. Today Americans rent more than 800 million pornographic videos and DVD’s every year. About 20% of all video rentals are pornographic. At least 11,000 pornographic videos are produced annually, amounting to revenue for the adult film industry estimated at between 5 and 10 billion dollars a year.

Of course, with the invention of the smartphone, those statistics are probably not nearly as high as they would be now. And if you think that Christian men are exempt from this temptation, you’re not in touch with reality. It is a huge problem in the evangelical church! And I’ve read that the problem exists among Christian women, also. So, as the Apollo 13 astronauts famously said, “Houston, we’ve got a problem!”

But, so did the Thessalonians. Granted, they didn’t have cell phones and the internet to tempt them. But they did live in a sexually promiscuous culture, where the goddess Aphrodite, who was among the most popular deities in Thessalonica, was the symbol of sexual license and the patroness of prostitutes (Gene L. Green, The Letters to the Thessalonians [Eerdmans/Apollos], p. 35). Men could go to pagan temples and commit immorality with priestesses as an act of religious devotion. Various forms of extramarital sex were tolerated and even encouraged. F. F. Bruce (Word Biblical Commentary, 1 & 2 Thessalonians [Thomas Nelson], p. 82) writes,

A man might have a mistress who could provide him also with intellectual companionship; the institution of slavery made it easy for him to have a concubine, while casual gratification was readily available from a harlot. The function of his wife was to manage his household and be the mother of his legitimate children and heirs.

So Paul’s commandments for sexual purity were as countercultural in that day as they are in ours. His message is crystal clear:

God’s will is for His people to be sexually pure by knowing Him and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tomorrow (Part 1)

     

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Daily Light – June 23, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Continued:  God’s Will

John 6:40  Jesus said “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

1 Thessalonians 5 (verses from chapter 5) Paul wrote

Therefore…encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 

 

Warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 

Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Colossians 1:9-12  Paul wrote “For this reason, since the day we have heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.   And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way:  bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience and joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.  For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Great and Wonderful Father…here we are…another day.. and we come to you with praise and thanksgiving that you have rescued us from darkness and brought us into the Glorious light of Your Son, our Wonderful Jesus.  Amazing…amazing..is your free gift of ‘grace’.  We are so, so thankful that you chose us to have eternal life ‘so that’ we can know you and have a relationship with you.   Help us this day to do ‘Your Will’…give us strength…because we can get so busy and distracted with the things and cares in the world around us.  Help us to share light and love with those that we see today…help us live a life worthy of Your holiness and glory…to bear fruit…to grow in our relationship with you ‘so that’ we live a life that brings You honor and glory.

        


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Daily Light – June 22, 2017

Continuing… God’s will:
Romans 12:2…. Paul tells us to transform our minds…the way of what we think…the way of what we see…transform ‘by’ renewing our minds…installing new spiritual-mind operating software…because our sin nature software is corrupt and has a virus in it.   He tells us to renew our minds…’so that’ we will not be conformed to the way of what the world thinks and sees…. so that…. “then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –  his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
 
12:14-21 
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice;
Mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.
Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.   
Do not take revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath,
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Father…  I ask that, today, each of us will see that by meditating on your word, on your eternal principles, that we can transform the way of what we think and the way of what we see… so that…we will not simply be a boat going down the main stream of the way of what the world thinks and sees…so that…we can do your good and pleasing and perfect will.  Your will is the way of love and good and harmony with our internal self and with the external world of people around us.   Help us to shine the light of this truth to the lost world around us.  Give us your strength to continually work on transforming into the image of your Son ‘so that’ we can do Your will.

Daily Light – June 19, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Romans 7:21-24, Paul wrote “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work in my members.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord?  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”        
The ‘sin nature’ that lives inside our body…has one primary job…and that job is to distort our view of any and all things ‘God’.   It uses whatever power it has on our mind to install ‘its’ mind in us to interfere with our coming to see-and-be ALL we are and ALL we have in Christ Jesus.  The ‘sin nature’ will come at you/me at the level where it has learned how to best keep us distracted and ineffective…it seeks to keep us busy with temporary-non-eternal things…to keep us frustrated…keep us distracted….keep us content….keep us in any mindset and state of busy-ness of mind and body ‘so that’ we are not full effective or fully focused on the eternal things.
This is why we must spend time in God’s word, in fellowship with other believers, and in time in prayer.   We must ‘walk’ in and around ‘God’s truth and God’s light’ ‘so that’ we have sufficient light and truth always coming in to our mind to keep us focused and in balance and motivated to do the eternal things and not just spin our wheels in the ideas and activities that are not eternally productive.   We must learn to spend time in the spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation, and the reading of God’s word ‘so that’ we can have ‘light’ to make sure we don’t get stuck in the world’s mold and way of thinking.   God’s light is the only light that has the power to penetrate through the darkness of the ideas that come from the ‘sin nature’ and show us the truth and the eternal way.
Romans 12:2, Paul goes on to say “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mindThen you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –  his good, pleasing and perfect will
Father…this week…may we spend more time with YOU… ‘so that’ we will continue the work of being transformed into the image of Christ… ‘so that’ we will have YOUR constant source of light shining YOUR truth and way into our minds ‘so that’ we can see and taste of YOUR good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Daily Light – June 16, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Genesis 1:1  “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.”

I don’t know if you saw the movie ‘The Matrix’.   The movie theme is that of an alien computer generated software program has the power to install a false realm of life where people living on the planet have no clue that the physical and social system that is created around them is a delusional and pre programmed system that creates a desired outcome that serves the interest of the alien software.  This false reality is called the ‘matrix’.  The truth of existence and the reason for life are replaced with a total delusional and false reality.   And yet…the mass of humans that populate the earth…are seemingly clueless as to they are living in a computer generated false reality…they just go on living day to day in the false reality.

The tension and central plot is that living outside of this computer generated false reality  is a small group of humans who know the ‘truth’.  And they are working to ‘liberate’ the masses from the prison of the false reality of the ‘matrix’.   The central figure, the hero that comes to save the day, is a character called ‘Neo’.  Neo is referred to as the ‘One’.   Over the movie Neo is transformed into this super powered ‘savior’ who becomes the  liberator for planet earth.   And so much of the intrigue in the movie is the ongoing fight between the dark side bad guys who run and work for the ‘matrix’..and the good guys who know the ‘truth’ and want to free the blind and deluded people of the world who have been blinded by the power of the matrix.

I think the movie replicates the central idea and truth of the reality of ‘life’ on planet earth.  God created a perfect world…a great ‘fall’ occurred.  Evil and powers of darkness entered onto the world stage.  The dark side, the evil empire, gained access to the operating software inside our bodies/minds and from birth it rewrites its own operating code and creates a false reality of life…and thus we grow-up inside a ‘matrix’…a world system that is under the influence and power of evil with the ultimate intention of keeping us ‘blind’ to the truth of who we are and why we were made and for what we were made.

(I will write more on this ‘view/idea’ that I am laying out for you…will write more on it next week…I don’t want this to be too long a piece today…or it would not be daily light..it would be all-day light 😊. )

1 John 3: 7-8  John wrote “Dear children, do no let anyone lead you astray.  He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.  He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.   The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

John 3:16-21   John wrote ” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God di not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict:  Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.’

We live in a physical world that God created.  We know that God is Creator, Lord, and that He is absolutely sovereign in all things.  We also know, that God’s word says that darkness and evil entered this beautiful physical world that He created…and it ‘fell’…and that we also ‘fell’ with it.   We all came under the power and influence of the mind of darkness.  We became blind to the truth.  But our Great God..in His sovereign plan…sent us the true One…Jesus…to be our super hero and savior.  And in God’s eternal plot for the ages…when we believe and put our faith in Jesus as our Savior…God installs His spirit inside our being…inside our human spirit… to begin a transforming/renewing process ‘so that’ we can see the truth and recognize the power and influence of the ‘matrix’ around us…and ‘more so that’ we can know the truth ‘so that’ we can join the battle against the forces of the matrix and help liberate those that are blind and lost and living in the delusional and false reality of the matrix.

Lord…I pray today that we all see that the reason that you bring us into the light is not simply to ‘save’ us.   But ‘ohhh’..we are so grateful that you did save us.  But help us to see that we have been ‘saved’ from the darkness and brought into the light ‘so that’ we can see and know the truth ‘so that’ we can be liberators to those that are lost in darkness.  Help us to shine the light of your love out into the world around us.

Daily Light – June 15, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

1 John 2:15-17 John wrote “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 

2:24 “See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you.  If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.  And this is what he promised us – eternal life.”

1 John 5:18-19  John wrote “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one“. 

2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul wrote “The god (Satan) of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, ‘so that’ they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Romans 12:2, Paul wrote “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

The ‘world’, the unredeemed world, the fallen world, is under the power of the evil one.  This ‘world’ system is the realm and sphere of darkness wherein evil operates.  The ruler of this fallen world system has the power to ‘blind’ the minds of those that are not redeemed.

But ‘we’ who are redeemed, do not legally belong to this fallen world system…we are children of God and belong to the Kingdom of God.   The king of this temporary present age is not our king and his time of illusion and darkness will come to a sure end.   We belong to a King and a Kingdom that are eternal, imperishable, unshakeable, and there will be no end of our Kings eternal kingdom.

Father….thank you for choosing us to be yours and for the gift of eternal life.   I pray that through the eyes of your Spirit…we can more clearly see the temporary world system and its influence and power on us.   I am aware of the desire I have for comfort and for things and so much of the ideas and view I have on ‘that’ come from the worlds view of having and consuming.  I thank you that I do not desire the obvious bad stuff and things from the dark side, but I am aware of how I ‘too-much’ like my comfort and my ‘stuff’ and I realize that even those these ‘things’ are not evil in themselves…that they can distract me from the eternal things that are Yours.   The world system causes us to ‘desire-to-acquire’.  I am soo guilty of liking my toys too much.   I pray for balance in how to negotiate living in this temporary world system as a child of an eternal kingdom.   Help me to not show love for my stuff more than I show love for You and what you love.  And as Jesus prayed in what we call the Lord’s Prayer…. ‘And deliver us from evil’.

Addendum:  At this time in my life, I find that God is retooling my understanding, thinking, and view as relates to my imbalance in my love for God and my love for the world.   I am reading a lot these days and I ask you to read the article in the link below written by John Piper.   Then, if you are so motivated, pick another day and time and go to his website and in the ‘search’ box, type in ‘Love Not the World’.

http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/do-not-be-conformed-to-this-world