Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

Posts tagged ‘relationship with Christ’

Sexual Sin: Be Cautious & Active

SOURCE:  David Longacre/Living Free

“All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 AMP

Are you immune to the temptation of sexual sin?

The truth is, we all have boundaries that, if crossed, can result in the loss of self-control.

The sin of proximity happens when we allow ourselves to be enticed to sin by not avoiding events, people, places, objects or anything else that we know will likely stir up lustful thoughts in our minds. Some would describe the sin of proximity as allowing ourselves to come into contact with the occasion for sin.

When we commit a sin of proximity, what we are doing is setting the stage for overt sin to occur. We are prone to lie to ourselves that what we are doing will not have consequences. We think we can play around the edges of sin without actually acting it out. This thinking is self-deceptive because sin has great power and, if entertained, can overwhelm us.

Avoiding the people or events or things that may tempt us to sexual sin is vital to overcoming sexual addiction or to avoid entering into any kind of sexual sin. We must remember, however, that there is no “formula for success” in this path—otherwise we would trust the formula and not God.

The rules are only tools to enable us to better love Jesus. The real key is to stay in fellowship with Him—to “give strict attention, be cautious and active … and watch and pray.”

Father, I know that only as I stay in close fellowship with you—through prayer and through your Word—will I be able to resist the temptations that come my way. I thank you for your love. Please give me the wisdom and strength to avoid situations and relationships that may entice me to sin. In Jesus’ name …

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These thoughts were drawn from …

Crossroads: Choosing the Road to Sexual Purity by David E. Longacre. Crossroads deals with choosing the road to sexual purity.

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Being Formed Into The Likeness Of Christ

SOURCE:  Bill Bellican

The spiritual journey of nurturing an intimate relationship with God encompassing heart, soul, and mind is known as spiritual formation.  God takes us on this journey that we might be more and more conformed to the likeness of his Son (Rom 8:29).  To do this, the Word of God mandates various truths about God which we are to embrace:  (1) The triune God is Truth (Jn 14:6; 14:17; Heb 5:6; 6:18);  (2) We are called to worship God based on the truth (Jn 4:24);  (3) God wills that we should be sanctified (1 Th 4:13) and set apart as holy in his presence (1 Th 3:13).

In light of this mandate, what follows are the thoughts of various theologians and Biblical scholars to give us food for thought along this journey:

Did I reach a (spiritual) destination but miss the journey?  Christ and being like Him is the destination, but what happens to us along the way is important, too.  Getting to heaven is a by-product.  The important thing is being changed (more like Christ) along the way.

The destination is toward Christ with Christ.  He is with me as I move toward Him.  As I move toward Christ, I get closer to others also moving toward Christ regardless of where they are coming from.

God’s goal for us is not to help us to act different; His goal is to help us be different.

Church membership is not (spiritual) maturity.  Maturity is more about how much one has changed more than how much one knows.

As followers of Christ, we hold the hand of Christ looking for someone else’s hand to grasp.  We provide this connection to put the individual’s hands in the hands of Christ.

Christ will help us with the pain that impedes our journey, but He will not help us with the pain that enhances our journey . . . only He knows the difference.

We must learn to cherish the suffering that conforms us into the image of Christ.

Make up your mind to the prospect of sustaining a certain measure of pain and trouble in your passage through life.  Trouble and perplexity drive us to prayer, and prayer drives away trouble and perplexity.

I still understand so little, but then we are not called to understand everything about God, only to attend Him by drawing near to Him.

We don’t have anything but the moment.  The task is to be present with the Lord in the moment.  We must surrender second by second.

Christians are not to be so much quitters as starters. I need to quit quitting. Our focus needs to be on hungering after what God wants rather than merely quitting what he doesn’t want.

Jesus Christ didn’t save us to lollygag in His love for the rest of our lives.  He has a lost world out there that needs saving.  We have forgotten that God didn’t call us merely to enjoy Him but to serve Him.

I suspect that the difference between a person of seasoned prayer and one of smaller prayer experience is the amount of time they spend talking rather than listening to God.  Silent togetherness is better conversation than chatty concord.

Praise is our gift to the Almighty.  For all He has given us, gratitude is the only gift we can give back.  His sacrifice was the cross; our sacrifice is the sacrifice of praise.

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