Tag Archives: lust

Looking’s Not Necessarily OK

Good morning, Father. Thank You for the solid night’s sleep. I would ask for Your presence as the day unfolds. May I help Karen get set for the morning in that I will be gone for a few hours – may I love her as You do. May You be a palpable presence in our services today. May we all be attentive to what You would have to say to each of us individually and may we be compelled to act upon Your word. Amen.

Matthew 5:27-30 (<<click the green)

Several years ago I worked with another believer and on more than one occasion, he was married by the way, I heard him say in regards to admiring beautiful women, “It’s OK to look, just don’t touch.” It bothered me then and it bothers me now.

Sex is one of the most rewarding, yet at the same time, most difficult things with which to deal. It is most assuredly a gift from God. When we act on it in a proper setting it brings us great joy. But outside of that proper setting, it brings way more grief than it will bring satisfaction. And not just for the parties involved – so many others are impacted when lines are crossed.

So, as long as we don’t physically act, it’s alright to have an active fantasy life, right? Uh…no. Lord, we cannot twist Your words as recorded by Matthew any way in which to justify doing so.

“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” v28

To say that our world is full of temptation is a great understatement! We can’t walk past a magazine rack or turn on a TV without being bombarded by lasciviousness (showing a desire for, or unseemly interest in, sex)! Lord, help us!

The only way we can stand, Lord Jesus, is to stand with You. Only You can help us be what You call us to be. On our own, we are weak and fallible. I fall into You mighty arms. Help me to be the man that You need me to be in this fallen world. Amen.

Nov 12th, Sun, 6:34 am

Levels of “Badness”?

Father, beyond any shadow of a doubt I know I am cherished and loved. But I also realize that I have done nothing to earn that from You. You first loved me before I even knew to love You back. My sin separated me from You but because of the sacrifice of Your only beloved Son and because I accept Your forgiveness, I can come into Your presence and I can live a life of victory over sin and death! Praise Your holy Name!

James 2:10-11 (<<click here)

Why is it, Lord, that we have this bad habit of labeling sins, putting them on levels of “badness”? We have this tendency to think, My sins are not as bad as your sins!” Sin is sin. And as this passage proclaims, if you’ve broken one law it’s the same as breaking them all. There are not degrees of wickedness.

Jesus, You even said this while you lived amongst us. Matthew 5:21-22 tells us, “You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment. But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment.” Later in verses 27 and 28, You equate looking at someone with lust with adultery. If we break one law we’ve broken them all.

Now we’re not to just throw up our hands and give up. Through You, we can be victorious! But, as I said earlier, we have got to stop comparing ourselves to others. Someone else’s sin, no matter how heinous, is in no way worse than mine. Sin is sin. There is no such thing as little sins and big sins. Hating others because they are really bad sinners makes us guilty of sin as well (hate as an expression of our anger = murder).

Lord Jesus, help me to deal with my sin. Help me not to condemn others but, instead, to pray for them that they may turn to you as well.

Aug 24th, Wed, 7:18 am

Fidelity

Father, the next several days are going to be a challenge. We are so excited that Massey is home for a few days! But because we want to stay up and talk and do things together it makes getting up more of a challenge. My time with You is of the utmost importance to me so I am determined to be here. Please help me to be wise in what I do when awake so that I will sleep well. Help me to be safe in my travels and to do my best at Kohl’s and in getting ready for worship. Thank You for Your active presence in my life.

I don’t know if the tacos from supper were a contributing factor, Lord, but I sure dreamed last night. I know many times You used dreams in the Bible to communicate messages. My dream was surely disturbing and it may just be a wild, taco induced thing in my brain but I do want to use it as means of staying true to You and the ones I love.

It’s disturbing in that it was sexual in nature. It was not sordid and there are no graphic details to pass along. In my dream I was not married but even then it was like I was looking at myself doing and thinking things and feeling mortified because I am married. For the most part the dream was flirtatious in nature and though I was tempted to pursue things best left alone, I did not yield. The only physical contact was I rubbed the young woman’s back. It was in a group setting and that’s all I did but just that simple contact evoked “feelings.” Later she was in the shower and a clear but subtle invitation had been extended to me but I saw nothing and did nothing for I did not yield. I didn’t even go near her location.

Yuck! I don’t even like writing it down but, Lord, I want it to be an anchor point in our relationship that will shore up another extremely important relationship in my life – my marriage!

The world is replete with sexual promiscuity. Our culture’s mentality is to meet our own needs regardless of how it impacts others. And no matter how much our society glamourizes it, it always impacts others – and many times in hurtful, scarring ways.

I am wholly committed to Karen! Jesus, You are very clear on this topic.

“You have heard the commandment that says, “You must not commit adultery! But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

I pray every day for the strength and wisdom to abide by Your words, Lord. I do my best to not even linger on pictures of women I see. I strive to avert my eyes while interacting with the public when on many occasions low cut tops and skin tight bottoms want to lure me in.

Lord, help me! Only in You can I stand strong. I am totally dependent on You to get me through and want nothing else than to be utterly faithful to my wife. Amen – so be it!

Mar 11th, Fri, 5:37 am

I Am a Cup

It’s hard to believe that what caused me to wake up several times this morning for fear I would miss is something I wasn’t even thinking of doing a year ago! But Father I do not want to miss our special time together. Granted at this point the compulsive part of my personality may be making a contribution but it’s all good! Father, You made me and whatever it takes to get me up and at it with You is fine by me! Bless our time together; speak to me for I am listening…

I’m not exactly sure what he said, but a radio preacher got my mind going down a certain track. Then end result was – I am a cup. (Profound, huh?) At the beginning of each day I get to fill it with whatever I want. It is a choice but it is also possible to relinquish that choice and to just let the day fill it with whatever it will. A big problem, though with going that route is that all kinds of junk can be dumped in my cup – anger…apathy…bitterness…envy…lust…revenge…need I go on? And more often than not these things will leave a residue in my cup.

In the past when I’ve made chocolate milk, sometimes the chocolate syrup sticks to the side of my cup even with lots of stirring and scraping. Now what was in my cup was very good but if it is not cleaned properly the residue that was left will still be there the next day when I go to use my cup again. So unless I take care to clean my cup, each day’s residue will continue to accumulate and before too long things begin to taste funny. If I’m not careful it can even begin to affect my health.

That’s one way I can go about being a cup but is not the only way. I am a cup who knows its Maker! Those individuals who make things usually know a great deal about their care. God made me and who better to help me care for myself?

Each morning now, I start off clean – no accumulating residue to mess things up. And each day God fills me. He fills me with himself and all the good things that make Him who He is…love….patience…forgiveness…purity…devotion…joy…and boy, could I go on! And He doesn’t just fill me a little, His fill is to overflowing! It is clean and pure and whole and it fills my every need. And my overflow can’t help but splash those around me – some get a little sprinkle but if they get close enough they might just get drenched! What could be better than that!?

There’s a song that comes to mind that communicates these thoughts so clearly – “Fill My Cup, Lord.”

Like the woman at the well, I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy.
And then I heard my Savior speaking—
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”

     Fill my cup, Lord; I lift it up Lord;
     Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
     Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
     Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasures earthly things afford.
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

So my brother if the things that this world gave you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you
If you kneel to Him and humbly pray—

Words & Music by Richard Blanchard

Lord, fill me this day. Use me as You will. Help me drench those around me with all that You are! Amen!

Feb 6th, Sat, 5:11 am

Thou Shalt Not Quench!

Father, I am sorry it has taken me a while to get here this morning. I do enjoy our time together and I greatly benefit from it. By no means am I in tip-top shape spiritually and I surely need these morning “spiritual” calisthenics. Thank You, Father, for Your patience. Help me to be more disciplined and diligent.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (<<click here)

The New Living Translation translates this verse to read “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.” Many other translations use the word “quench” instead of stifle. At least in my mind, Lord, “quench” helps me think further down the line.

Holy Spirit, You often associated with fire in the Bible (i.e. Pentecost) and although You are inextinguishable I can put up barriers that interfere with my perception of Your will. I can (and do) obscure Your light.

Mathew Henry’s concise commentary puts it quite clearly; The Holy Spirit works as fire, “by enlightening, enlivening and purifying the souls of men. As fire is put out by taking away fuel, and as it is quenched by pouring water, or putting a great deal of earth upon it; so we must be careful not to quench the Holy Spirit by indulging carnal lusts and affections, minding only earthly things.”

This short passage and Henry’s commentary in it speaks volumes but Lord help me to see some of the big issues in my life that should be addressed.

“taking away fuel”– if I miss our time together each morning I am missing an opportunity to add more fuel to the fire – good solid “hard wood” that will burn for hours – keeping me focused on You.

“pouring water”“indulging carnal lusts and affections” – I quench Your influence and work in my life by obstructing my contact with You. You are always ready and willing to help me and interact with me. I am the one who does things that separates us. I “pour water” on our relationship when I do other things contrary to your will.

By “minding only earthly things” I am “putting a great deal of earth” upon what you are trying to do in my life – once again quenching You.

“Earthly things”, many out of necessity control my life – work, taking care of home and body, maintaining vehicles. But many things are non-essentials, that are fine in moderation but can take too much time if I’m not careful – TV, games on my phone, Facebook, to name a few.

Lord, help me to fuel the fire. Help me to do the things to expose myself to the things that keep the warmth of Your love radiating into my life. Holy Spirit, purify me with the fire of Your presence. Amen

August 5th, Wed, 6:43 am

Since entering the pastorate in the United Methodist Church I have come to really appreciate the hymn “Nothing Between” – it fits well here. I discovered this rendition on YouTube – Neville Peter does a wonderful job!

♪♫♪ Nothing Between / I Surrender All ♫♪♫

Nothing between my soul and the Savior,
Naught of this world’s or my fondest dream;
I have renounced sin and all of its pleasure;
Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between.

Nothing between my soul and the Savior,
All my habits of life, though harmless they seem;
Must not my heart from Him ever sever;
He is my all, there’s nothing between.

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

Nothing between, not even my trials,
Though this old world against me convene;
Watching with prayer and much self denial,
Triumph at last, with nothing between.

I surrender all…

“Nothing Between” – Words & Music: Charles A. Tindley, 1905
“I Surrender All” – Words: Judson W. Van DeVenter, 1896
 Music: Winfield S. Weeden, 1896