Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Essential Ingredient

What one word describes the one essential ingredient of a good, Godly, healthy, perseverant marriage? I’ll bet you won’t get it in 30 guesses.

According to Paul Tripp, noted Christian author and lecturer, the essential ingredient is worship. He contends “a marriage of unity, understanding and love is not rooted in romance but in worship. (For) worship is first your identity before it is ever your activity…We are inescapably worshippers… We all worship something. The worship that shapes your life does not take place on Sunday but on Monday through Saturday.” 

He goes on to say “We live in little moments. If God doesn’t rule us in little moments God is not in your life. The character of your life is set by 10,000 little moments, not by four or five huge events. God is a God of little moments; He enters them with truth and grace.”

Luke 6:43 states “…each tree is recognized by its own fruit…out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Thus the heart is the causal core of our personhood. Our words and behaviors are caused by what is inside of us, not what is on the outside of us. When we think the source of our problem is outside of us, we stop seeking God’s help. The source of our motivations thoughts, emotions, and will is the heart.

Unfortunately this is getting a little clearer and a little personal. So anything that influences my response or my behavior, particularly in one of life’s small moments, is what I am worshipping at that time. And if I am worshiping anyone or anything more than I am worshipping God then my response will most likely not be loving, kind and other centered. So if I ignore my wife when the ball game is on, or I lose my cool because the computer is malfunctioning, or I forget to take out the trash though I have been asked umpteen times, I am worshipping at the altar of me.

Conversely if I am worshipping God my wife would come before the ball game, I would approach the computer malfunction as a problem to be solved and the trash would be out the door without my wife having to remind me. So it is in the mundane that I show my allegiance to God. It is during those times when I put my needs ahead of someone else’s that I am worshiping me; when I give a few dollars a week in the collection plate I am making a statement about what is important to me, when I work long hours and neglect my family I am telling everyone what is most important to me.

Was this posting supposed to be comforting?

Monday, 8 November 2010

Sexual Sin

With each succeeding generation it seems as though we experience gains in medicine and technology. One only needs to witness the iPad and the breakthroughs in cancer treatment to realize that things will never be the same. Sometimes these advancements come at a cost. At one time men would have to go out of their way to have access to pornography. They would have to visit the seamier areas of town and run the risk of being seen, today they just need a smart phone to have instant access to the crudest of visuals. And now it is not just men who are the voyeurs.

The problem for those of us who consider ourselves to be Christian is that we know when we are doing something that would not bring glory to God and yet we continue our destructive behavior. So it is with pornography. The following video clip features Winston Smith, who is on faculty with the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. He advises how we might approach someone who has this addiction and is refusing to give it up.

Unless we feel convicted about our sinful behavior and turn toward God and repent we will be unable to shake free from the bondage that we are in. The person caught up in this sin must take aggressive measures, not dissimilar from one who is trying to lick their addiction to alcohol. After taking it to the Lord they must tell at least one close friend, someone who will hold them accountable. They should seek counseling or a support group. They should have filters put on their computers ( or ) or check out . We must remember we are in a battle “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 6:12