Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lust Part 3

We live in a SEX-SATURATED SOCIETY $12 billion in revenue is generated by the sex industries in the U.S. each year. 25% of all searches done online are pornographic in nature. The average age of first internet exposure to porn is 11 years of age. Estimated that over half of all homes have no guards against pornographic access. 25% of visitors to pornographic sites are women. About 24 million U.S. adults have pornographic addictions (out of 260 million Americans). 3 suggestions for battling lust:

The way of Jesus offers us an alternative to momentary pleasure, empty and fruitless seeking and a life’s pathway strewn with discarded people and things. The way of Jesus offers us an alternative to this life of instant gratification and endless pleasure seeking. The way of Jesus offers us relationship with the living God that slowly but surely transforms us into humans who can glimpse, even faintly, the deep love God has for this world. And we can live our lives reflecting that love.
Love is the alternative that sticks around when life is not so pleasurable but, in the end yields returns that give life real, substantive meaning—and not just for me . . . God, you remember, loves the whole world.
And remember it began with the look. I am reminded of the man shopping w/ his wife at the mall. A beautiful young lady passed by wearing a provocative form fitting dress catching the eyes of the man who nonchalantly watched the girl walk out of view to which the wife responded w/out looking up – “Was she worth the trouble you in?” You have to choose whether you are going to make a habit of looking and how you look at the opposite sex. I remember a friend of mine told me he was out running his usual mile or so, when he saw in the distance a pretty young woman coming his way, and he thought to himself, my she is pretty. But as the young woman got closer he realized she was his teenage daughter, it was a wake up call for him. In chapter 31:1 Job said he had made a covenant with his eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman. Be like Job, make a covenant with yourself to not look with lust upon the opposite sex.

One tool is confession. Have someone in your life that will hold you accountable to your Christian walk. Be sure that is someone you can trust to tell your struggles to, to share with, and that will pray with you and for you. Be willing to be honest. I have made it a habit to be honest with Bob about any one whom I have found myself attracted to our who I felt was trying to get my attention in an impure way. But maybe you don’t feel comfortable with your spouse, find a friend, a mentor, your Pastor, or counselor. Lust is a deadly sin to you, your marriage, your family and your other relationships.

The third tool is love. Self-serving lust can be dethroned only by a stronger love which seeks the welfare of others (See Matthew 12:43-45). Lust is not love. Lust wants it, the thing itself; love wants the beloved. The thing is a sensory pleasure that occurs within one's own body. It has often been said that a lustful man wants a woman. But that is not what he wants. What he really wants is a pleasure for which the woman happens to be a convenient piece of apparatus. Lust is what makes people want sex even when they have no desire to be with each other.
Thoughts are an alarm. And if you are thinking alot about someone or something lustfully let it be an alarm for you that Lust is enticing you and you are about to bite the hook. Go get help.
2. Recognize you are vulnerable.
3. Watch your input.
5. Watch your circumstances.
6. Think consequences.
7. Satisfy each other in marriage.
10. Rely on God’s Spirit.
I counseled a couple in which the husband, a Pastor was spending an inordinate amount of time on the internet, time spent in X rated sites. The computer was the church’s and he had been found out. All the while he had been covering it up. The church was gracious and offered him time off to get help, to overcome this that had over come him. He instead chose to continue his internet habit. He did not take my counsel, did not get any help. He kept trying to cover it up. The marriage ended. His job as the Pastor of the church ended, in fact the denomination asked for his ordination credentials.
We need to end the cover up and let God truly cover over your sin and forgive it. There’s no sin that God won’t forgive, no sin the blood of Jesus isn’t powerful enough to cleanse but you must end the cover-up. Come to God in confession. That’s how we become a Christian and that’s what it means to live as a Christian. Being a Christian is all about ending the cover-up. We don’t just come to the cross for forgiveness, you come to the cross for a changed life as well. We’re not people who cover-up sin anymore. We’re glad it’s out in the open because Jesus has paid for it. Now we’ve got to keep it out in the open, for God to work on it.

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