Tag Archives: adultery

Got my grace. Which way now?

It’s time to conclude yesterday’s story about the freedom & grace Jesus Christ gave us through His death.  His death fulfilled the law and removed the bondage of sin.  He won the victory for us!  However, Paul warns that we shouldn’t use the freedom we’ve been given as an opportunity to live in the flesh…in other words, we can’t just live any ol’ way we want.  We aren’t called to serve our flesh, but to walk in the Spirit.

It is when we are led by the Spirit of the Lord that we are no longer under the law because the Spirit proves it through us.  When we are led only by the flesh, we want things that are in direct opposition to the Spirit.  Here are some examples that Paul gives of things that the flesh wants:  adultery, impatience, drunkenness, fornication, envy, prostitution, idolatry, hatred, jealousy, selfish ambitions, anger, and others.  Can we be forgiven of these things?  Absolutely!  But if we simply live a lifestyle of these things then we are not being led by the Spirit, because these things are in opposition to His desires.

When we are led by the Spirit, it shows up in our lives in ways like this: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  We will bear one another’s burdens, not bite and devour one another with our words and actions, and we will love our neighbor as ourselves.

Paul said if we sow to the flesh we will reap corruption, but if we sow to the Spirit we will reap everlasting life.  In other words, after we have accepted the grace of God, it isn’t about the customs and traditions that we perform; but if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, the evidence will come through in our lives in ways like kindness, goodness, love, self-control, etc. Every day we will have a choice to make, “Will I walk by the flesh, or by the Spirit?”  One will corrupt us, and one will point us and those around us to the Father.

I, for one, want to be led by the Spirit.  Those times when I’ve been led by my flesh have never turned out so well, and I’ve lost many an opportunity to be a witness for the Lord.  It’s time to let Him be in control.  Not only will we be able to show more love and be able to witness more, but it will take the pressure off of us, as well.  Let Him take control and lead the way.  We already know where it leads.  🙂

walking there alongside you,

jamie

What’s that in your eye?

Mt. 7:3-4: “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?”

Have you ever wondered if the speck we are seeing in someone else’s eye is really a reflection of the plank in our own eye?  Perhaps the shadow of our plank is reflecting off the surface of their life.

It is so easy for us to notice the imperfections in others.  Sometimes I think we even create issues that aren’t truly there, as a result of our own guilty consciences or our own inner feelings.

A simple example of this is a tired child who cries over the unfairness of everything.  The real issue isn’t that everything everyone else is doing is actually unfair.  The real issue is their own plank:  they are tired and need to rest.  The specks they are seeing in everyone else are only a reflection of their own plank.

The examples of planks grow more serious as we grow older:  jealousy, insecurity, dishonesty, adultery, deception, addiction, two-facedness, etc.  All can result in an hypocrisy in our lives…we have these things within us, but harshly project them onto others or judge them in error, when what we “think” we see in them is really the reflection of our own internal issues.

Has anyone else noticed this?  This morning I read John 8 about the adulteress that was caught in the act and brought to Jesus for stoning. Certainly she had sinned and broken the law, but what Jesus asked her accusers was, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

It is so easy for us to see the sins in the lives of others, and sometimes, perhaps the sin we see is real, but we really need to worry more about our own issues.

When we notice specks in the lives of those around us more often than we notice them in ourselves, it is likely that we are actually carrying around a plank.  Our plank is probably reflecting off of them and showing something that isn’t even there.

If that is the case, we need to seek the Lord’s counsel and help for our own sins and issues, and pray that the Lord would help us see others through His eyes of love.  When we submit to the Lord and allow Him to change us, the Word says that we will see clearly to remove the speck from our brother’s eye.  (If it’s our place to do so…and if there truly is one)

I hope that today, like me, you will bear with the specks on those around you, and ask God to remove the planks from your own life.  What a happier environment we will create as we do so.

Trying not to leave splinters,

jamie

Don’t allow your labors and wealth to go to another

Pr. 5:10:  “Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner.”

I recall a particular sleepover my daughter had with her friend when she was a young girl.  The next night, as I tucked her in to bed, she was cuddling a stuffed animal I had never seen.  When I asked her where she got it, she told me that her friend’s mom had taken them to Wal-mart and bought it for her.  How sweet.

I asked her if I could look at the toy, and when I got a better look, I could see scratches on the eyes of the animal and raggedy fur.  I realized instantly that this was a well-worn toy, not a brand new toy from the shelf of the store.  With her elaborate story, it was clear that she had taken the toy from her friend’s house with every intention of claiming it as her own.

Because she had not only stolen the toy, but had taken the time to think up such a cover-up story to hide her deeds, we knew we had to punish her in a way that she would remember.  For stealing, she had to give the toy back in person, and give away 3 of her very own toys to people who did not have as many as her; and because of the lie, she was grounded from playing with the toys she had left.

Reading this verse about the consequences of adultery reminded me of the consequences she faced.  A marriage is an investment.  We do labor in a marriage.  We give hours, months, and years of our time to our spouse.  We build our houses together, and spend our money on new counter tops or lighting fixtures.  As a couple, we have friendships with other couples.  Maybe we even have a ministry within the church.

We risk losing all that we’ve built when we commit adultery.  Like my daughter, who had to give away some of her own things when she stole from someone.  When we take something that is not ours, in adultery, we risk losing what we have built within our marriage.  All the time we’ve invested into our spouses is now hard to remember, or now seems like a lie.  The houses and “nests” we’ve built with our spouse may be lost to us, given to another, or just sold to settle accounts.

Stealing from her friend, my daughter also risked losing that friendship, due to lack of trust.  The same can happen with our friendships if we risk adultery.  We may even lose our ministries.

The warning in this verse is very clear and very real.  Why allow someone else to gain what you’ve invested in?  We don’t need to invest in or claim things that don’t belong to us.  We must treasure what we have, care for it, invest more into it, and allow the rewards to multiply.  The gain we experience will be exponential and eternal.  🙂

Investing,

jamie

Lovingly forewarned

Pr. 5:12:  “And say, “How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised correction.””

There are some lessons we need to grab hold of before it’s too late.  In this verse, Solomon is teaching his son the peril of adultery.   (Although this could be applied to any sin that lays hold)  He lists the consequences that come from giving into that sin.  The man’s honor was given to others, his years given to the cruel one, others got his wealth and workers, and realizing too late that he should have listened to instruction and correction, he finally mourned while being completely consumed.

If we don’t have solid long-term thinking in place, we are prone to making poor decisions in the heat of the moment.  This is why we must prepare ourselves beforehand.  Why do you believe what you believe?  Why is it important for you to not engage in certain activities?  Why do you choose to live as a child of God?  You need to know who you are in Christ, and why you are His.  This will help you not to be “caught up” in smooth words, alluring appearances, and bitter lies.

Don’t hate the instruction of the Lord.  Embrace it.  It is freely given.

Don’t despise His correction, or the correction of godly men and women around you.  Children are corrected because they are loved.  Embrace it as something that may, in fact, save your life.

Thank you, Lord, for Your words of wisdom that protect us and bring life to our lives.  Truly You are a Father who loves and cherishes His own.  I am grateful to be called Your child.  Help us, Lord, not to depart from Your perfect words. 

Gratefully,

jamie

Hide yourself

Pr. 27:12:  “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.”

Prudent:  careful, cautious, discreet, sober.  the ability to govern & discipline oneself by the use of reason.  acting with or showing care & thought for the future.

Understanding that Jesus came to save us from eternal death and torment, (Thank you, Pastor) it is wise for us to hide ourselves from evil.  You may think of evil as some hidden force around us, over which we have no control.  However, there are many evils that we can foresee and from which we can hide ourselves.

We understand that drugs are an evil that can eventually rule us, therefore it is prudent to keep ourselves away from those who would persuade us that doing drugs is no big deal, from those who would like to make money by selling us drugs, and from situations where drugs are readily available and given a place of prominence.

Likewise, we understand that committing adultery or having sex before we are married are things that can be prevented.  Foreseeing the evil, we can take measures to prevent ourselves from creating the opportunity for such things.  Instead of thinking “simply” and allowing ourselves to be alone with someone we’re attracted to, allowing ourselves to have private conversations with someone other than our spouse, or allowing ourselves to push the bounds with someone physically, we can prudently place boundaries around us to prevent those situations.

Not only do we have authority over evil, through Jesus, but God gives us much wisdom.  We are not at the mercy of satan or the evil that is around us.  We are able to perceive evil situations and prevent ourselves from being overtaken by them.  By placing wise boundaries in our lives, carefully and cautiously governing ourselves, or acting with thought for the future, we can hide ourselves from the evil that would seek to lead us to ultimate punishment.

Perhaps you need to end a relationship, find a new job, take a different route to the gym, join a new gym, shop at another store, find a whole new set of friends, or find accountability partners.  Whatever you have to do to hide yourself from evil…do it!  Don’t be simple and continue “flirting” with the evil situations that loom around you.  Don’t think that you just need to be stronger.  With your future in mind, hide yourself, remove yourself, protect yourself.

We cannot allow satan to distract us or lead us down paths that will lead to the punishment from which Jesus saves.  Our God died so that we can live.  Be prudent.  Be cautious.  Be careful.  With our minds on our future…meaning eternal life…we must keep ourselves from evil.  Our salvation was bought at a high price, let’s not treat it as something worthless.

Soberly,

jamie

Continuing with God

You’ve heard that pride comes before the fall.  In my reading today I saw more than one example of this.  In Ps. 73, Asaph is confessing how he began envying sinners.  “Pride served as their necklace,” he said.  They were successful, prosperous, glamorous.  He was thinking that if they have it so easy and have such abundance, then surely he had cleansed his heart in vain, giving His life over to God.

Then, however, he went into the sanctuary of God and understood their end.  God’s Word is true, and those who trust in the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life are trusting in the world and not in the Father.  “This world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  1 John 2:17.  Surely they will receive their reward.

Likewise, in Pr. 9:13-18 there is a foolish and prideful woman who is so bold in her pride that she sits at the highest place of the city calling out to those who pass, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”  Isn’t this just was sin and lust do?  They are bold, crying out to us that they are pleasant…just as they did to Asaph.

Asaph questioned if it would just be better to give in, act like the world, turn His back on His suffering for Christ.   For every man who gave into the clamorous woman; however, we are told, “he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.”  That is the truth of giving in to sin.  It may seem pleasant, it may sound delightful, it may even promise wonderful things, but the truth is that it leads to hell.

Asaph, upon realizing this same truth, said, “For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.  But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.”

Serving and trusting in the Lord means we are submitting our lives to the One about which Asaph said, “You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”  We have a great reward awaiting us.  Lusts and pride of this world tempts us to give in, but we must remember that its end is death.

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Asaph.  “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.  If what you heard abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.  And this is the promise that He has promised us–eternal life.”  1 John 2:24-25

Keep trusting in God,

jamie

Today’s exhortation

Pr. 5:8:  “Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.”

This chapter is labeled, ‘The Peril of Adultery.’  Solomon is warning about keeping away from an immoral woman.  He doesn’t offer the smoothest come backs or correct excuses to give.  He doesn’t talk about how you should interact properly with her.  He says remove your way far from her, and don’t even go near the door of her house.  Just stay as far away as you can…indefinitely.

This same caution can be used for any sin or temptation.  If you’re tempted to steal, do not even go to the stores where you are tempted.  Since you may still have to shop for your family, and you must enter a tempting store, you need someone with you at all times to watch over and keep you accountable.  Let it even be your kids, who can watch your example of not giving in to temptation.  The temptation is not a sin!

Just fill your temptation in the blank.  The same rules apply.  This morning, I read in Hebrews 3:13 that says we should exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  We are supposed to urgently appeal to and strongly encourage one another in the area of temptation and sin.

Temptations offer a fantasy that never comes true.  We’re continually lured by the delusion that giving in to our temptations will bring us the peace, joy, and satisfaction that we seek.  The sad truth is that the damage of sin is always evident after the temptation has been given into.  The more we sin, the easier satan has it in trying to keep us in that sin.

I exhort you today to remove your way far from sin.  Do not even go near to the temptations you know you have.  When you are faced with a new temptation, turn and flee.  Don’t even question it.  God will honor your obedience and will work the details out for your good.  He will show Himself strong on your behalf as you have shown yourself loyal to Him.

Ask for help from another if you need to.  Let someone else watch how you plan Not to sin.  Perhaps that will encourage them to do the same.  Remember that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  If the you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then the Holy Spirit lives within you and love, joy, and peace are His fruit that will grow in your life.

If you need those things, then the Lord is where you find them.  If you need to be loved unconditionally, look to the cross, to the One who gave His life for YOU!  If you need exhilaration, look no further.  When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, it brings pure joy!  Remember how David danced before the Lord with all his might in 2 Samuel 6:14?  That was pure, untainted joy.  Find your joy, peace, satisfaction, and love in the Lord today.  He has all that and more just for you.

Joyfully fleeing,

jamie