Tag Archives: LUST

I SEE GRACE!

When he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad… —Acts 11:23

    Barnabas saw something at Antioch that made him glad. What did he see? He saw “the grace of God” in the lives of people who recently turned to the Lord! When a person experiences the grace of God that brings salvation, it will be observable in their life (see Titus 2:11-12).

    I “see” the grace of God every time I attend our church. I “see” the grace of God in a mother who was recently in bondage to drugs, but now disciples others for the Lord Jesus Christ. I “see” the grace of God in the life of a young man who lived like a wild animal, but now is a manager of successful a business in our city.  I “see” the grace of God in a man who was controlled by an angry and violent spirit, but now is one of the kindest gentlemen you could ever know. I “see” the grace of God in women who once had an abortion, but now live in forgiveness. I “see” the grace of God in the lives of people who were blinded by heretical doctrines but now walk in the truth of the gospel. I “see” the grace of God every time I look in the mirror.

As one song says:

I see grace, in every life, on every face.
On the faithful who gather each week in this place.
I see grace.

    What do you “see” when you come to church. I hope you see “the grace of God” in the lives of those who attend. It will make you glad, like Barnabas. Do people “see” God’s grace in YOU?

The Principle of “Delayed Gratification”

The Principle of “Delayed Gratification”

Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. —Hebrews 12:16

Esau had been out hunting all day and worked up a big appetite. He smells something cooking and finds his brother Jacob brewing a pot of chili. He pleads with Jacob to give him a bowl of that chili because he is starving from hunger.  Jacob offers Esau a bowl for a price— “Sell me this day thy birthright” (Gen. 25:31). The family birthright was priceless, but Esau agreed and sold Jacob his birthright for a bowl of chili.  He later regretted it, but it was too late. He could never get it back. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said, “Do not sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.” Never sacrifice the ultimate for the expendable.

Most young people live with the attitude, “Why wait, when I can have it now.” Instead of getting what we want now, we need to learn to the principle of “delayed gratification.”

Craig Groeschel teaches this principle to his children by playing the Oreo Game. He sits his five year old at a table and places one Oreo cookie in front of them.  When the child reaches for the cookie, Craig stops them and gives them this option: “You can eat that one cookie now. It’s all yours and you don’t have to do anything for it. But that’s all you get, one cookie.” Then he slides two additional cookies on the table and says, “But if you wait one hour, instead of just that one cookie, you can have all three.” If the child takes the cookie immediately, it only take a few more times playing the Oreo Game, until he learns the value of “delayed gratification.”

The Bible calls this principle of “delayed gratification” temperance and patience.  Temperance is the character quality to say “no” to something you want in order to get something better later. That requires patience. Temperance and patience go hand-in-hand. The Bible says, add to our faith temperance and to temperance patience (2 Peter 1:5-9).

Instead of gratifying some momentary compulsion that won’t last, learn to WAIT on God.  God’s best is always worth waiting for.

Have you added temperance and patience to your faith?

What bowl of chili are you trading God’s eternal blessings for?

SIN’S FALL OUT

Sin’s Fall Out

“The thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” —2 Samuel 11:27

    The scandalous sin of David and Bathsheba recorded in 2 Samuel 11 has received more attention than any other sin in the Bible, with the possible exception of the sin of Adam and Eve.

Sexual affairs have landed numerous Christian men who were at the top of their game on the casualty list of fallen heroes.  David’s affair is a warning to all of us lest our name be added to that casualty list.

Remember, David was a man after God’s own heart, but still fell into sin.  The lesson is obvious—No one is immune to sin. Anyone of us could fall into deep sin.  The Bible warns, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Do not think that because you’ve never committed adultery, this warning does not pertain to you.  The principles that lead to David’s fall apply to all kinds of sin, not just sexual sin.

David did not fall suddenly. He did not get up one morning and say, “My, what a beautiful day. I think I will commit adultery today!”

David was at the top of his game and strung a series of unbroken successes through the first ten chapters of 2 Samuel. In 2 Samuel he let his guard down and began to relax. Idleness does not promote holiness.  “This was the iniquity of…Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness…” (Ezek. 16:49).

Our most dangerous times spiritually, are not the hard times of life, but when things are going well and we begin to relax and let down our guard (cf. Jer. 5:7-8).  Just when we think we are the safest and let down our guard—temptation will come.

David was unfocused on God’s will for His life—Leading his men on the battlefield.  Instead, David was focused on another man’s wife.  David was in the wrong place at the wrong time—He was not where he was supposed to be.  David would have been safer on the battlefield in his armor than on his balcony without his armor!

Satan diverted David’s focus away from God.  David was not thinking about God. He was not thinking about being a man of God.  He was not thinking about his position as the leader of Israel. He was not thinking about the consequences of sin.  He was only thinking about gratifying his lust.  This is one of Satan’s most effective tactics to set us up for temptation—Take our mind off of God. Satan doesn’t seek to make us hate God—Just forget God.

The fall out of David’s sin was extensive.  His family suffered, the glow of his reign diminished significantly, unrest of war increased.  But, as bad as David’s sin was, the most tragic part is found in the closing words of 2 Samuel 11—“The thing that David had done displeased the Lord.”  Sin’s casualty list is a long one.  Sin will not only hurt you, your family, and your church,  it also brings reproach and inflicts pain on the God who loves you and died for you.

Everyone loses when we sin (except Satan!).

To watch the video of the entire sermon this devotion is based on, please CLICK HERE.