Tuesday, March 12, 2013

seek purity in your relationships

NOTE: today’s post is taken from week 4 of our FROM THIS DAY FORWARD series at The Community Fellowship.

No body gets married and plans to divorce.  No one getting married and plans to have a physical or emotional affair.  Statistics say that well over half or even up to 75% of people will do one of those things in their married life.  You might not plan to do those things that destroy or damage your marriage.  But the majority of people do it.

If you don’t plan to succeed or to stay pure, you probably won’t stay pure or even stay married.  The old saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is a fact in relationships, in business and in every area of life.  I believe that God gave us the Bible and great Christian friends to help us succeed in life.

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.  God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

Purity matters to God. Did you read that right?  Better yet did you see what God said in that verse?  Give honor to marriage.  Be faithful to one another.  He will judge those who are immoral.  God will honor what we honor, and God will destroy what we let fall in to disrepair. 

90% of Americans say that adultery is wrong.  More people than ever are saying that it is wrong, but more people than ever are doing these things.  A University in California did a study, and here is what they found --- between 1998 and 2008 the percentage of people committing adultery more than doubled. 

Why is impurity increases in marriage?  There are more temptations today than in the past.  There are more ways than ever to get in trouble.  Many people are meeting an old flame on Facebook or connecting online.  This is happening all the time.  There are websites that are devoted to helping you secretly cheat. 

Technology makes all kinds of trash available all around us.  You can get anything you want in just a few clicks.  Your home computer or your mobile device, your phone can take you places that you never even thought of just a few years ago.  When I was young, you had too know someone who had a stash of porn.  Now you can get it in seconds.

Another reason why wrong relationships are rampant is because people are getting married later in life.  People are seeking a career first.  Lots of people are simply changing their priorities.  It is more common than ever to find people who are living together before they get married.  By getting together and not committing to each other in marriage we find couples playing like they are married before they get married.  It starts with what seems innocent, and then you have a toothbrush at their place or more.

We are bombarded by the culture and by the media.  We are being taught that the lines are not the lines we used to have.  What used to be black and white is now gray, or 50 shades of gray if you know what I mean.

God has called us to be pure and to seek Him above everything else.  When we love our mates, we will do things differently.  But wait, love is different when defined by God.  It is unconditional.  But the world tells us that love ought to be conditional.  The bible tells us that love is selfless.  The world tells us that love really is about getting my needs met.  Here is the premise we will go from:

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

The issue at hand is not what we do with our bodies or what we do with other people.  The issue is our heart.  Think about your heart.  That verse says that the heart determines the path of your life, of all your life.

But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.

The heart is seen in more places than just inside our bodies.  It is seen in what we say and in what we do.  What we spend time with and what we spend our money on speaks volumes to what holds our hearts, and that is why we have to guard our hearts.

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Deal with anything that that will cause you to sin.  What are some things you can do to help you stay pure?  Here are some ideas: don’t be alone with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse; be accountable to people that care about you and will ask me the hard questions.

When you are weak, do you have the door to temptation closed and locked?  When we try in our best effort to outwardly be pure, we are going to fail.  We have to have extra help.  With God we have a much better chance of staying pure and of letting God set the standard.

I have tried hard to find you—don’t let me wander from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  I praise you, O Lord; teach me your decrees.

Let’s make this much more personal.  In those verses we find David praying.  I must go to the same place… God, I want to seek you in your word and in prayer.  The more I seek God the more I am transformed.  What used to attract me will now repulse me.  That is only true as God’s word, the Bible, transforms our lives.  Why would I want anything that would delude my relationship with God or poison my life and marriage?

We are being changed from the inside out.  The heart does matter.  The line of sin has been placed in the wrong place.  That is why we have to rely on God heavily.  There is no replacement for God in our life.  Our flesh is weak.  We can try to have successful relationships and to stay pure, but we will fail without God’s help!

Let the power of Christ transform our hearts through His word.  You can achieve a state of purity that you didn’t think was possible.  Our culture is aggressive with getting our attention or telling us that sex anywhere is good.  So we ought to be aggressive in planning to win with purity.  Our marriages are worth fighting for.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

If we confess it, God forgives it.  Confession brings healing.  Be honest.  God gives purity as we get honest with God.  Plus you will help others see and get real with God!

Create in me a clean heart, O God.  Renew a loyal spirit within me.

(Thanks again to Craig Groeschel and Lifechurch.tv for allowing our church and others to use the FROM THIS DAY FORWARD series and much more.)

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