I usually share sermon notes in my blog. This topic and rating required a separate entry.
|Every Monday or Tuesday, I share the notes I took in church - sermon notes - in my blog. My blog is rated 13+. The topic of Sunday, June 3, 2007 might require a higher rating than that. Rather than changing my blog to reflect this sermon, I decided to create a separate item.
As I have explained in my blog, there are two kinds of notes on the page in front of me. There are notes in the margin and fill-in-the-blank notes. Our pastor prints out sheets for us to use as we listen to his sermon. He makes an outline of his sermon and leaves places where we can write in the the blank spaces he has provided. Writing something down is usually a good way of remembering.
But while he is speaking, I often make additional notes in the margins. I try to include both kinds of notes when I'm sharing what I wrote about my pastor's sermon.
This is a continuation of a sermon series called: Bulding Character. To see other notes about this sermon series, check out my blog and look for entries on Mondays or Tuesdays. This is part 8 in the series./size}
Purity Amidst Temptation
Means of Protection
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 TLB
For God wants you to be holy and pure and to keep clear of all sexual sin. For God has not called us to be dirty-minded and full of lust but to be holy and clean.
God's plan is NOT isolation, NOT imitation, but it is insulation.
God doesn't want us to isolate ourselves from the world.
Think about this. Today, everyone wants pure water. They want pure water so badly that they buy bottled water or put purifiers in their homes.
But what about moral purity? What about keeping our minds pure? There is little effort going into that.
Because we are not teaching moral purity, our children are suffering. Yes, there is an absurdly high abortion rate in the United States. Did you also realize that in each 24 hour period 12,000 teens will contract an STD?
I must stick to God's standard.
Psalms 119:9 TLB
How can a young man stay pure? By reading your Word and following its rules.
Sex is good and it is holy, if it is experienced in marriage. God made it that way.
The Bible - God's instruction manual for our lives - says a lot that we don't like or understand. Still, it is His word. He invented sex and He knows what is best for our lives, even (or perhaps especially) our sexual lives. Sex between a married couple - a man and woman - is what God designed. And the experience is beautiful and wonderful. It is also emotional, social, physical and spiritual - all these things together. God knows more about sex than Dr. Ruth or Playboy Magazine.
I must manage my mind.
Proverbs 4:23 NCV
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.
2 Timothy 2:22 TLB
Run from anything that gives you evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts.
Key: resisting vs. refocusing.
What starts in the mind ends in action. It is not a sin to be tempted. Even Jesus was tempted. The sin is submitting to the temptation.
I must monitor my media intake.
Proverbs 13:14 NLT
The fool feeds on trash.
Remember the old saying, "Garbage in, garbage out"?
Can man really remain pure in the world? Well, sure. There are fish in the ocean amidst all that saltwater. When they are placed on your plate in a restaurant, they are not saturated with salt. They remain salt-free even though the waters around them are full of salt. God made them that way. He also made us able to remain pure in the world - with His help and guidance.
TV is like a Twinkie. Full of fluff inside that isn't good for you. Sweet on the outside, but without any real value as a food item. And so it is with TV... Sure there are good shows and even Christian shows. But even they can keep us from doing what we were designed to do and being what we were designed to be.
In the average American home, the TV is on for 7.5 hours a day. By the time a child is through school, he/she will have watched 18,000 hours of television programs and will have been in school 12,000 hours.
In a year, a person will watch 14,300 sexual scenes and hear 23,000 uses of profanity on TV.
}91% of sex shown on the TV is about sex outside of marriage. Somehow, the writers and producers and advertisers have decided that sex in marriage is boring and sex outside of marriage is what sells. As long as everyone is watching, they are right. But their portrayal of the world around us isn't like most of us know. Do you think 91% of your friends or family are having sex outside of marriage???
Protection in a sin stained world:
Be alert to the temptation.
1 Corinthians 10:12 TLB
So be careful. If you are thinking, "Oh, I would never behave like that" -- let this be a warning to you. For you too may fall into sin.
Pick your allies carefully.
1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV
Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
Give attention to your relationship.
1 Corinthians 7:3-4 MSG
The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality - the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to "stand up for your rights." Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.
Here our pastor explained why many wives complain that their husbands are nothing like they were when they were dating or courting. He explained that men are instinctively hunters and when they're dating, they are hunting for a wife. They do what it takes to be successful in their hunt. Then, once they have gotten a wife, they go on building a home for her and for the future kids. That requires long hours at work, another way to be a hunter. He needs to remember to give attention to his marriage relationship.
And then our pastor - whose wife had a birthday this past weekend - explained that he and his wife have been married for about 26 years. He has never cheated on her, nor will he ever cheat on her. He explained that their marriage will not end until they die.
And then he explained his three reasons for being faithful to his wife:
1) He loves Jesus.
2) He loves his wife and kids and would not harm or shame them by cheating.
3) He is too much of a coward and doesn't want God's punishment. Because there is punishment for going against God's will. Yes, God forgives. But there are consequences to doing the wrong thing.
Note: For those who have asked, our pastor is Rev. John C. Larsen. The name of our church is Salem Community Church, in Cincinnati, Ohio.