Without Books, My Growth is Stunted

In November 2013, I pointed out that without a [Bible-reading] plan, I’m not in the word of God. I wrote that because I know reading the Bible isn’t an option for the Christian, and I also know how my flesh likes to operate. It’s not that I would fail to read altogether without a plan, but using one aids me greatly in studying more effectively. There’s another side to that coin however, which I wish to tackle now for your admonishment: without books, my [spiritual] growth is stunted.

books

Read a good book lately?

The previous comment does not mean I allow books to replace the Bible. I won’t by the grace of God and neither should you. No amount of wisdom available in the books our Christian brothers and sisters publish, as wonderful as it can certainly be, will ever come close to working in our lives as does the inspired work of our almighty, all-wise God. Human words are mere human words, a reflection if anything of the God that gave us the ability to communicate; they are not divine, not able to pierce to the division of soul and spirit, or discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). If we ever wonder what book will help us grow, to become more like Jesus Christ in this way or that, I hope our first inclination is to peer into the Bible and study what God says. God’s all-powerful words change hearts, nothing else. You and I must never forget that.

Nonetheless… well-written, relatable, well-thought-out, biblically-sound books are one of our heavenly Father’s many grace gifts to us His children. As the limited beings we humans are, God does not nor has He ever expected us [individually] to understand, let alone apply, His Scriptures completely on our own. Otherwise there’d be no point to listening to sermons or attending any kind of Bible study. It would be silly for the all-knowing, loving, eternal God to burden broken, finite people with such an impossible task. But that’s why God’s given us books too, tools that enable the believers that use them effectively to understand Him, the teachings of Scripture, and themselves, better. Such books often cause me to think, “Wow, how have I missed this in the Scriptures for so long?!”, or, “No fair! How was [the author] able to pull that truth out of those verses?!..” The problem is, you won’t have such thoughts if you aren’t reading.

“But I hate reading!”, you might ironically respond. Yeah, it wasn’t long ago that I too hated the thought of reading a book. I could never get into the classic novels in high school, though we were required to write reports about them, and I allowed those sour experiences to bring any possible future reading I might do to a grinding halt. Thankfully that years-long cycle ended in 2009, though developing a solid habit puttered even still until just last year. In 2013,  I determined to read at least a chapter or ten pages in a book every single day. I praise the Lord for success in pursuing that goal, and I refuse to ever look back. The spiritual dividends are too precious to me, and so I’m not really tempted to ever hesitate again along these lines. And I’ve written this article to encourage you to read books and benefit similarly.

What are the benefits, you ask? There are many, but I think the list of three below boils them down fairly well.

  1. You see the truths of Scripture through the author’s eyes. God teaches us through other people, not ourselves.
  2. You learn from what God has taught an author through their experiences. After all, through many trials  do we enter the kingdom of God…and it’s great to learn how others handled theirs! (Acts 14:22)
  3. You are discipled by the author. Has it ever occurred to you that [Christian] book-reading is a form of discipleship? The author doesn’t need participate in your local fellowship; you can learn from what they write!

Now I’m not about to frighten you with the insistence that you do exactly as I, but if book-reading hasn’t characterized your life lately, I want to challenge you to go through at least one in 2014. It doesn’t have to be something difficult, or 300-pages long. Anything that seems like it may help you or at least be interesting will do. The key, as I’ve learned, is simply doing it. Why don’t you just do it too? You might be surprised how your attitude changes about reading after the fact.

I’m happy to recommend a book if you’re not sure what’s out there. By all means comment below or contact me on Twitter or Facebook (available on the right-hand side!). Regardless fellow Christian, I hope you are or will become motivated to help yourself grow, to increase in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18). And you can do so by reading a book!

Advertisements

A Brief Response to Ken Ham & Bill Nye Debate

Yesterday, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” joined Answers in Genesis president and co-founder Ken Ham on-stage at the wonderful Creation Museum to debate the concept, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?” If you didn’t watch the live online stream and still wish to see it, the archive recording is available below. Bill Nye participated to support the theory of evolution, while Ken Ham defended the biblical [Genesis] account of creation as pertains to the origins of life and material. I enjoyed watching the debate, and below is a brief list of my personal reactions.

Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution Debate

1) Alleluia! Praise God, millions have heard the good news!
I laud brother Ken Ham for his many instances of sharing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ so boldly, clearly, and necessarily…with bits of personal testimony. I was touched and full of praise to our almighty God when Ken made such comments, because he couldn’t have had a more perfect opportunity to offer them to such a wide audience. Many now have heard the good news of Jesus Christ come to earth as the Son of God to die for filthy sinners such as I!

I do wish that Ken would have asserted from the get-go when Mr. Nye started making his “Ken Ham’s model” and “Ken Ham’s flood” comments that creation and the flood, etc, are God’s doing and responsibility. Bill’s real issue is with the Bible and its Author, not Ken Ham and/or AiG. Ken did clarify that towards the end of the evening, but it would have been helpful to do so earlier. Alas, no debater is ever perfect.

2) Bill Nye clearly knows nothing about the Bible.
I thought it was very interesting, given that this was a debate, that Mr. Nye couldn’t demonstrate knowing much of anything about what the Bible actually says or teaches. Ken Ham obviously knows plenty about evolution and associated ideas. Bill’s most ardent comments to refer to God’s word came in the form of “That ancient book written 30 centuries ago translated into American English.”, as if that gives evolution any credence. He even tried to accuse Ken Ham of cherry-picking verses and passages that only he liked in order to support creationism. I thought this was very sad, and it’s really indicative of the atheist community at large. Most that deny the existence of God seem to know nothing about the Bible, or argue against it based on things they’ve merely heard, or cherry-pick verses themselves that the majority of the time are taken out of context in order to support their claims.

3) Brother Ken and Bill Nye both demonstrated that man will never come to know everything.

Then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.
Ecclesiastes 8:17

Ken Ham is perfectly content knowing man won’t discover the majority of the universe’s facts. It’s just the way it is; God intended it that way, as you read from Ecclesiastes above. Sadly, the self-proclaimed reasonable man, Mr. Nye, declared that all his joy comes from the endless pursuit of this knowledge. And for what? Sure, many discoveries are wonderful to come upon and do well to benefit society, but if Bill is correct in that there’s nothing left after this life…what’s the point? Ken asked that as well. Thankfully there is an eternity of indescribable joy awaiting believers in Jesus Christ as we fellowship in Heaven, and I sincerely hope that The Science Guy will come to know Jesus as his Savior and thus join us for it!

4) Believers must be courteous and gracious, no matter how much unbelievers scoff and mock.
I was encouraged that neither Bill Nye nor Ken Ham ever resorted to character assassination during the 2.5 hours or so of speaking. I wasn’t encouraged by Mr. Nye’s arrogant and ignorant scoffing at the Bible, and belittling of Ken and “his followers” by basically suggesting that young earth creationists are loopy whacko-birds. This is a great reminder for Christians. I really wouldn’t be surprised if there were chat-rooms across the internet filled with Christians and non-Christians engaged in bitter slandering, being altogether cantankerous to one another during the debate. But the Ham/Nye forum serves as a needed reminder that Jesus Christ commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39) and to show perfect courtesy to all (Titus 3:2). Scoffing right back at scoffers does not please God. Mocking mockers right back dishonors the name of our Savior. Truly born-again Christians will do well to remember this.

5) The absolute truth of God’s word will never change no matter how many debates take place here on earth.
It’s so comforting that Jesus Christ [and the truth of His word] is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). That means we never have to worry about debates, and whether the Christian involved manages to win or not, or if they looked good. We can leave the silly mainstream media outlets to analyze that nonsense. Yet the truth of the Bible will never waver; its contents will always be the truth, even if only one Christian were to be living on earth at some point. So though Ken Ham is a gifted apologist and was unlikely to falter in presenting his arguments, I hope no follower of Christ actually worried about the reputation of God by the time all was said and done last night.

Altogether, I’m so thankful that Ken Ham reached out to Bill Nye “The Science Guy” to do this, knowing full well that there would very likely be no change of heart on Bill’s part. That wasn’t Ken’s responsibility anyway, nor is it his ability. That’s the Spirit’s job, and God’s decision whether or not Mr. Nye ever repents and believes in Jesus Christ. For now, Nye will continue in his God-given days convinced that he’s the reasonable one and the authority on all things scientific. But let us Christians pray that this man will humble himself before the God he’s rejecting and put his trust in Jesus Christ. Let us also continue to intercede for brother Ken and AiG as they press on to share the truth of God’s word as it relates to both observational and historical science. Last night was all about authority, which lies clearly and only with God’s word.

Recommended book: The Lie: Evolution/Millions of Years (Ken Ham)

Book Review: Just Do Something (Kevin DeYoung)

Most Christians ask, “What is God’s will for me?” at some point in their lives. It certainly isn’t wrong to ask that question; Christians should care about God’s will, but it is wrong when pondering it and/or looking for it causes the believer to take eons to make what really should be simple decisions. The millennial generation especially has seemed to master the art of agonizing over the litany of life’s questions, significant or small, and Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach To Finding God’s Will is an excellent tool that can help you get back on the proper decision-making track.

It’s impressive how, with such an intimidating subject matter that can be very difficult to dissect, Kevin manages to present a great number of effective illustrations and straightforward trains of thought to help us understand God’s will better and think more biblically about it. Kevin suggests that Christians waste immeasurable, unrecoverable amounts of time waiting for God to show them the way, and spend sadly little time actually doing anything. I tend to agree with that. Kevin makes it clear that God has a plan for each of us, but that it isn’t God’s plan for us to know that plan in its every detail. And it shouldn’t surprise us that because Christians want to know, we’re driving ourselves nuts choosing what to have for breakfast, or where to live.

DeYoung covers a variety of topics in Just Do Something, beginning with how the realities of God and His character actually shape the carrying out of His will (ch.2). He moves on to emphasizing reasons why believers want to know God’s will (ch.3), why some reasons are wrong (ch.4) how we should handle following God’s will (ch.5), the ways Christians manage to make decision-making such an arduous process (ch.6), suggestions for practical actions to take and avoid in disseminating God’s will (ch.7), how to apply biblical wisdom (Scripture, counsel, and prayer) to decision-making (ch.8), and much more. And I knew Kevin wouldn’t fail to nail me in my struggle of being a timid, analytic second-guesser with tainted emotions. Thanks for that brother.

Don’t misunderstand though. Kevin’s goal is never to encourage doing whatever comes to mind at any time regardless of the potential consequences, and he doesn’t do that. He absolutely does advocate, as he should, for Christians to apply Scriptural truth and principles when making certain decisions. The key there is certain. When it comes to non-moral matters such as where to live or attend college, what career path to take, whether to buy or rent, whether to serve your church in this way or that way, etc, God is never going to write in the sky what He ultimately determined for you. Almighty God did, after all, give mankind a fully functional brain to make choices.

Yet reality is that Christians in general don’t make decisions well, myself included. We want our ducks all in a row. We don’t want to take risks. We simply like to know if it’s what God really wants, and what the long-term ramifications will be. The problem is if that was reality, we wouldn’t depend on God at all, let alone fully. We would lean on our own understanding, not that of the God who knows past, present, and future, and predestined what He knows is best for each of us. Kevin pounds this home in each chapter, and I appreciate the necessary reminders. And of course he never fails to supplement the book’s great content with his trademark humor, and personal anecdotes. Apparently Kevin’s grandfather has influenced him much in this area, because you’ll encounter him several times throughout JDS.

In the end, while some of Kevin’s claims are perhaps debatable, overall I think he’s spot-on with his theology about what God’s will is, and how Christians ought to be walking in it. So, if you’ve wanted to understand better what in fairness is a difficult concept, Just Do Something is a very good resource that sheds further light on the teachings of Scripture. Is it God’s will that you read it? Well, that’s for you to decide.

A Response to “5 Questions to Ask Before Posting To Social Media”

I’m often pondering how I can use social media in a godly way. It’s not that I’m clueless; I simply want to please God when I post. But it never hurts to have some of the holes in your understanding filled by others. And I’m thankful that Cara Joyner has helped save me from my usual mental over-complicating of such things in her recent blog article “5 Questions to Ask Before Posting To Social Media.” Cara’s brief thoughts in response to her own questions are thought-provoking. Every [millennial] Christian should consider carefully what she says, as ours is a society where more and more of individuals’ lives are becoming public, and not necessarily for the greater good or glory of God. The purpose of this article is to both briefly respond to Cara, while adding questions of my own. And of course I know Cara isn’t the first to bring the issue to light, but her material is a great springboard for further discussion.

facebook

A great tool that can be used in ungodly ways

I’ve been on the wrong side of all Cara’s questions at some point or another, no doubt. Certainly I’ve posted content to Facebook (i.e. what I thought were clever comments, Bible verses, links to articles I’d just read or videos I’d just watched) in the hopes that a mere minute later, someone…anyone on my friends list would at least click that stinkin’ “Like” link and notice me!

Certainly I’ve posted about something I just received, watched, or experienced… wishing that someone would think along-side me, “Wow, that’s so great/cool/wonderful!” You know, that ol’ pat on the back.

Certainly I’ve posted to Facebook for the sole purpose of expressing bitterness about the weather, or disappointment about the outcome of an event I was looking forward to, etc. Surely someone would shake their fist with me at what God had ordained!

Certainly I’ve posted to Facebook because something took place or was said while spending time with family and/or friends that was simply too wonderful or epic to not share! We don’t have to consider the need for it, or care if the other party might at all be opposed to the sharing of such information.

And Cara’s last question, “Is it kind?”, is sadly I think a huge area of concern for Christians. And though I’ve tried to be exceedingly careful on this issue, I know I could dig back through the years recorded on my timeline and find something that would make me blush in shame. Kindness should never be a rare commodity in the online Christian community.

The bottom line is none of the aforementioned points to Jesus Christ. None of it reflects Him. I’m thankful for Cara’s encouraging us to consider these things more biblically. And it’s not as though we simply ought to. We must. Sure, none of us are capable of damaging God’s reputation beyond repair, but we Christians mustn’t be careless either! We are, after all, His ambassadors…and those with whom we interact are led to God by knowing us first. Our online life is just as meaningful to others and impactful as our lives are offline.

And now for my two cents. I know that in my meager realm of 200+ friends, I haven’t seen a fraction of what’s been published overall to Facebook (or any other social media), nor do I know anyone’s heart (as Cara also makes clear)…but I can just as well spot completely un-Christlike content. I want to ask a few questions in the hopes of stirring up this “thinking pot” even more.

1) How is your participation in social media productive for eternity? Do you encourage others to be more like Jesus Christ? Or is social media primarily a vehicle for you to talk about things that don’t ultimately matter, to only discuss the trivial matters of life? There’s room and time for play, but God always comes first. (Matthew 22:37-40)

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

2) Does what you say in online conversations criticize, mock, or outright slander others? Well, that’s what the Pharisees, Sanhedrin, and Romans did to our Christ! What happened to showing perfect courtesy to everyone at all times regardless of deserving or circumstances? (Titus 3:2)

to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

3) Are your posts possibly corrupting others? Indecent comments and pictures are a dime a dozen already online. Christians needn’t be adding to the mess. (Ephesians 4:29-30)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

4) Are you complaining with your posts? We see it every day, but complaining clearly violates Scripture. Paul wrote Philippians from prison, but yet was rejoicing in the Lord!  (I Thessalonians 5:16, Philippians 4:4)

Rejoice always,

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

5) Do you participate in online debates to dominate others? Debating need not end with the inflating of your ego and the hurt of another. Quarreling doesn’t require much thought or effort, but choosing to not insist on the final word or to “be right” will go a long way for God’s kingdom. (Titus 3:9, II Timothy 2:23) 

But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.

Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

Surely you could think of other ungodly uses of Facebook, Twitter, etc, but I won’t go off the deep end. Social media really is just an extension of who you are. You use it either for self-serving purposes, or for others and God’s glory. It will either expose an idol in your heart, or demonstrate how the Lord has worked in your life. Let’s hope the pattern in both cases is the latter for all of us. And in general, don’t be afraid to ask yourself why you use social media. Why… in the moment that you are? The answer is important! Regardless of what we do [with social media] though (I Corinthians 10:31), let it all be for God’s glory.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Not Even A “Hint”

Do you like eggnog? I love it. If you answered yes, how do you like it? Plain Jane? Super sweet? Whipped cream on top? With a caramel twist perhaps? Regardless, I think there’s consensus that no eggnog is quite eggnog without a touch, or as some would say a hint, of the classic spice nutmeg. And it doesn’t take much. A hint is but a mere sprinkling of the brown powdery goodness, and somehow it has the power to transform what’s by default a good consuming experience, to one that’s fantastic.

Goodness!

Now, I hate to do this after introducing a topic that’s so much fun to think about. My apologies. I was trying to soften your smack into the following brick wall. God’s word has something to say about a hint, and for believers, consuming what it’s tied to is anything but fantastic.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3, NIV)

This issue hits very close to home for me. That’s because I’m fortunate to be a follower of Jesus Christ who by His grace alone, administered through members of His body, managed to recently escape the clutches of pornography. I was sadly addicted to the junk for 15 years, and only in mid-2009 did the Lord enable me to break free of its iron grip. It didn’t just happen though; I had to choose freedom. Clearly gifted fellow Christian Nick Vitellaro agrees with me on that point as well in his barely longer than 7-minute video on YouTube, Sincerely Freedom (also below), where he offers another sorely needed testimony that’s factual, transparent, and full of hope. I don’t know him and have never talked with him, and I know he’s one of many to speak about immorality, but I appreciate his video very much and usually watch it once a week. I further hope God will also use the remainder of my thoughts to add to the transparency that the body of Christ needs so badly, and challenge you fellow believers to fight this war with much more gusto.

The fact is ladies and gentleman… all manifestations of sexual immorality (immodesty, pornography, crude joking, immoral thinking, etc.) are a terrible danger to the church. This sin is destroying lives, testimonies, marriages, and families every single day. (Not that others don’t, but I’m focusing on immorality.) Are we capable of stopping it? No. Sure, we can be thankful that organizations like the Pink CrossXXX ChurchOne Million Men, Covenant Eyes, etc, exist to rescue sex workers, help those addicted to the industry’s products, and spread the gospel… but Christians will never be able to rid the world of this sin. Only God can destroy sin and change lives, but we can keep the reality of this sin and our battle with it at the forefront of the church’s attention. There’s a reason Ephesians 5:3 is in the Bible. God knew that sexual depravity would be rampant in every generation, because it exists anywhere that humans beings exist.

What is the bottom-line teaching of Ephesians 5:3? What does that phrase, not even a hint, even mean? Well, I assume you at least know of the Peanuts character Pigpen? I reference the dirty fellow to suggest that Ephesians 5:3 commands all Christians to be the exact opposite of him at all times when it comes to stinking of immorality (i.e. not having even a hint). Why? Because sexual sin is rebellion against the God who created sexuality, and it costs the offender and the offended dearly. There’s a reason sexuality is spoken of so much in Scripture! Because cheap sexual thrills deliver only victims, brokenness, and despair. You need to understand this, or else the issue just won’t grab your heart like the apostle Paul intended. To not have even a hint of immorality, you must consider everything you dosay, and think. So, those comments laden with innuendo and double meanings? Those jokes about anything pertaining to sexuality? Provocative name-calling? God says all that is unacceptable. Expressing yourself sexually in a physical way that isn’t tied to the marriage bed? God says that is unacceptable. Wearing clothing that exposes just a little extra chest and thigh? Listening to music with sexual rhythms and lyrics? Flirting with someone not your spouse? The Bible says that all is unacceptable. And perhaps the most overwhelming of all… all that mentally undressing of people you consider “hot”, or those thoughts of the sexual gymnastics you’d like to make that “hot” person perform for you? The Bible says all that is completely unacceptable. Believers must be [sexually] holy because God is holy! How have you fared in all this?

Does God actually believe that His elect will never be guilty of this? Did God ever expect us to never be guilty? No, but that doesn’t cause Him to diminish His perfectly holy standard in any way. If He did, there’s no telling how much worse the problem would be in society. It’s bad enough as it is! We don’t need any reason to think less of our sinfulness.


Not the idea for believers!

Wow, could we get any more depressing around here?

Thankfully, there is of course hope in the grace of Jesus Christ, Who died to crush sin’s dominion over us. As a believer, sexual sin need not have dominion over you, and to have regular victory over it is possible because of the cross. Notice how I said regular though, because permanent victory will only occur when a believer goes to glory. Until then, I challenge you to consider what I believe is the best way to act upon the grace of our Savior if you’re desperate to break free from some sort of sexual sin. You won’t like it, and you’ve likely heard/seen it from many other Christians, but really… you must choose to be helped by someone in the body of Christ! You must allow Christ to use someone to help change you, to place you on the path to rebuilding your relationship with the Lord! It’s just impossible to do this alone, because the flesh is weak. It is incapable. We often don’t do the right thing, even if we want to. (Romans 7) This is why you need to go to someone, because God uses people to snatch them (i.e. especially Christians struggling with [sexual] sin) out of the fire (Jude 23).

Wildly promising God every day that you’ll never do it again is a losing strategy. Clearing your website history only removes the bread crumb trail, and your activities are probably infecting your device of choice with a ton of spyware. Setting up blocks to various websites is a dud, because you’ll always find more. No amount of reading the Bible for the sake of reading it will rescue you. Anything else that you’ve tried, or are trying now, is a losing strategy. This is why you need help. Your mind is damaged, altered even, as is your heart and soul. And the sooner you realize that most members of Christ’s body would be more than happy, truly eager, to guide you on the path to healing…rather than judgmental and condescending, the quicker you’ll get on that path. All you have to do is open your mouth. I did that with the assistant pastor of my church, who at the time I didn’t know for longer than five minutes or five sentences. Who could be the one Christ is directing you toward?

Realistically, I don’t expect the moment you’re done reading that you’ll suddenly contact someone and spill your guts. I understand the sinful nature with respect to immorality too well to know that’s not typically how it works. I’m not stupid. You will want to continue hiding. Despite how miserable it is, you love your sin. You don’t want to give up how good immorality feels in spite of the guilt that tears at your heart, mind, and soul. You think it’s fun to watch those “hot” sex acts that the unfortunate women in porn are made to do, despite they’re being very unhealthy and abused. How do I know all this? Because I hid, loved the sin, loved how good it felt, was racked with guilt for 15 years, and thought most of the acts I saw were “hot”. Am I perfect in this area now? Absolutely not. Sometimes I still lose as far as what goes on in my head. This is a daily battle, and I’m fighting right along-side you! (II Corinthians 10:3-6)

Quit playing the hiding game!
Quit playing the hiding game!

You need help, as I did. You need to return to Christ from your sinful addiction, as I did. I pray often that millennials who are still eyeballs deep in their lustful indulgences will take advantage of the obvious tools God has placed in their lives. Most are too scared (read: prideful) to take the initial steps toward being restored to their Savior. I don’t say these things to criticize, or to put myself on a pedestal. What I actually do is ache for every one of you who are in this boat. I hurt so much, and cry on occasion, because I know now first-hand the joy of what it means to express oneself sexually in the way God intended, and I hate that so many are missing out on that. The devil’s lies have convinced millions that unbiblical sexual acts are good, and that there’s no consequences to engaging in them. He is very skilled at making sin look perfectly harmless. It’s been in his playbook since Genesis 3. Yet the truth is that the devil isn’t trying to promote God’s reality, but twist it so that millions are dragged into eternal torment with him. If you’ve bought the lie, just as I did, it’s tearing you apart.

Like my friend Nick V. says, “Freedom is a choice”. It won’t just happen. You can’t be “smart enough” to gain freedom because sanctification isn’t an intellectual exercise. You can’t be “regretful” enough and/or “punish” yourself enough to break free because repentance is taking God’s side against your own and making your decisions based on that. You must choose to allow Jesus Christ back to the throne of your heart and let Him stay there. And no individual Christian is strong enough to do that on his/her own. That’s why you need someone else’s help! God works through His people. Noticed the idea yet? It’s probably hard for you to see and understand if your addiction is severe enough, but if you make the right choice in the future, it will become more apparent. Sin blinds and confuses, but thankfully the hope we have in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross is more powerful than anything along these lines.

I conclude with one simple, earnest plea. Fellow believer, trapped in sexual sin… please, get yourself help. Believers that are not, please pray for those that are. And hopefully I also didn’t ruin the next time you have some delicious eggnog.

Recommended books: sex isn’t the problem, lust is (Joshua Harris)Finally Free (Heath Lambert)The Hole In Our Holiness (Kevin DeYoung)every man’s battle