Minister needed

Gary and Terry Davenport have moved  Durant, Oklahoma.

We wish them well and know this move will let them be closer to many of their family members.

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The Sunset Avenue Church of Christ, Madera California, is seeking a person for the position of preacher/evangelist. Madera is in the Central San Joaquin Valley, 20 miles north of Fresno.

The congregation numbers 150, and is organized with elders and deacons. We hold to the doctrine commonly held among churches of Christ.

The person selected will work in concert with the leadership of the congregation and the mission of the church. His work will include preaching, teaching Bible classes, working with youth, and other assignments as appropriate.

The congregation supports an active Spanish language program locally as well as in part missions in Ethiopia, Nicaragua and the World Bible school.

Salary and fringe benefits are negotiable.

Contact: Grady Billington, Sunset Ave., Church of Christ, 600 Orchard Avenue Madera, CA 93637.
fairmeadfossils@gmail.com
559-674-8098

The Promises of God

  1. 2f90ed3e3c7cefd3459ae723c2e6884b Age of promises vs. the age of God’s kingdom. Luke 7:28
  2. Threefold. Romans 9:4
  3. Promises to the believer.
  4. The promises are based upon and rooted in Christ. 2 Cor. 1:20;  2 Tim. 1:1
  5. The promises concerning the Holy Spirit.
  6. His guidance. John 16:13
  7. His presence. John 14:16-17
  8. His teaching. John 14:26
  9. The promise of provision and care.
  10. Abundance of life. John 10:10;  1 Peter 3:10
  11. All things will be worked out for good. Romans 8:28;  2 Cor. 4:17;  2 Cor. 12:9
  12. Matthew 9:22;  John 14:18;  2 Cor. 1:3-4
  13. Daily provisions. If we seek God first. Matthew 6:33
  14. Deliverance from temptation. 1 Cor. 10:13;  2 Peter 2:9
  15. John 14:27;  John 16:33
  16. Power to witness. Acts 1:8;  2 Tim. 1:7
  17. Protection and deliverance from every evil work. Matthew 10:30-31;  John 17:11;  2 Tim. 4:18
  18. Spiritual blessings and gifts. Luke 11:13
  19. Spiritual rest. Matthew 11:28
  20. 2 Cor. 12:9;  Ephes. 1:18-19;  Ephes. 3:20;  Col. 1:11
  21. To the persecuted believer. 1 Peter 3:13-14
  22. Luke 21:15;  James 1:5
  23. The promise of rewards.
  24. The promise of salvation and eternal life.
  • Must believe. John 5:24-25;  John 11:25-27
  • Must endure to the end. Matthew 10:22
  • Forgiveness and spiritual cleansing. Matthew 6:14;  Acts 5:31;   1:7;  Hebrews 9:14;  1 John 1:7;  1 John 1:9
  • Made a partaker of God’s divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4
  • Open to all men everywhere. 3:6
  • Protection and deliverance from death. 2 Cor. 1:10;  Hebrews 2:14-15
  • The Lord’s return. John 14:1-3
  • Are always fulfilled on time. Acts 7:17;  Galatians 4:4-7
  • Guaranteed and assured. Romans 4:20-21;  2 Cor. 1:20;  Hebrews 6:16-18
  • Is confirmed by Christ. Romans 15:8
  • Never voided or broken. Romans 3:3-4
  • Not broken by Israel’s rejection. Romans 9:6
  • List of. Mark 16:7
  • To whom God makes promises.
  • To believers.
  • To children. 2 Tim. 3:15-16
  • To families. Acts 2:39;  Acts 16:31;   6:1-3;  1 Tim. 2:9-15
  • To Israel. Romans 9:4
  • To laborers. Will do great works and greater than Christ. John 14:12
  • To the afflicted. 2 Cor. 4:17
  • To the humble. Luke 14:11;  James 4:6;  1 Peter 5:5-6
  • To the meek. Matthew 5:5;  James 1:21
  • To the merciful. Matthew 5:7
  • To the obedient. Luke 11:28;  Luke 14:23;  Luke 15:10Are God’s Promises Too Good To Be True?
  • To the peacemakers. Matthew 5:9
  • To the pure in heart. Matthew 5:8
  • To the troubled. John 14:1-3
  • To the weak. 2 Cor. 12:9
  • To the younger son. Why God usually chose the younger son over the oldest to receive the promises of God. Romans 9:13
  • To those persecuted for righteousness. Matthew 5:10-12
  • To those who forgive others. Matthew 6:14
  • To those who give consistently. Luke 6:38;  2 Cor. 9:7
  • To those who hunger after righteousness. Matthew 5:6
  • To those who minister. Matthew 25:31-40
  • To those who mourn. Matthew 5:4
  • To those who repent. Acts 2:38;  Acts 3:19
  • To those who sorrow over the dead. 1 Thes. 4:13-18;   21:4

Three Misconceptions of Man” 1 John 1:5-2:2

Every form of life has its enemies. Insects have to watch out for hungry
birds, and birds must keep an eye on hungry cats and cats watch for dogs.
Even human beings have to dodge automobiles and fight off disease and
germs.

The life that is real also has an enemy, and we read about it in this
section. This enemy is sin. Nine times in these verses John mentions sin,
so the subject is obviously not unimportant. John illustrates his theme
by using the contrast between light and darkness: God is light; sin is
darkness.

But there is another contrast here too—the contrast between saying and
doing. Four times John writes, “If we say” (1 John 1:6, 8, 10; 2:4).

It is clear that our Christian life is to amount to more than mere
“talk”; we must also “walk,” or live, what we believe.

If we are in fellowship with God (if we are “walking in the light”), our
lives will back up what our lips are saying. But if we are living in sin
(“walking in darkness”), then our lives will contradict what our lips are
saying, making us hypocrites.

The New Testament calls the Christian life a “walk.” This walk begins
with a step of faith at our baptism. But salvation is not the end—it’s
only the beginning—of spiritual life.

“Walking” involves progress, and Christians are supposed to advance in
the spiritual life. Just as a child must learn to walk and must overcome
many difficulties in doing so, a Christian must learn to “walk in the
light.” And the fundamental difficulty involved here is this matter of
sin.

Of course, sin is not simply outward disobedience; sin is also inner
rebellion or desire. For example, we are warned about the desires of the
flesh, and the eyes and about the pride of life (1 John 2:16), all of
which are sinful.

Sin is also transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4), or literally,
“lawlessness.” Sin is refusal to submit to the Law of God. Lawlessness,
or independence of the Law, is the very essence of sin.

Sin is a terrible thing! We see it on the news and blazed across the
newspapers every day…it is so corrupt and common that it is so much a
part of human life…it’s everywhere.

Some people claim fellowship with God today and feel safe and secure in
their beliefs. They act as if they don’t need someone else to show them
how to become acceptable to God…some think they can reach God on their
own.

Christ came to reveal some things to us about God and about ourselves. He
wants us to have true fellowship with God.

Misconception #1: We can fellowship with God and walk in darkness. The
text says this is a lie and not the truth. Walking in the light gives us
true fellowship with God and cleanses our sin.

The world is “in the dark” about God. Some feel that they can do what God
wants them to do “part of the time” and that it puts God in their debt!

God is light
“God is light by nature and character. Light is what God is within
Himself, within His being, essence, nature, and character. Wherever He
is, the splendor, glory, and brilliance of light shines out of His being.
In fact, there is not even a need for the sun when God’s glory is
present. The glory of His presence just beams forth the most brilliant
light imaginable, so brilliant and glorious that it would consume human
flesh.”

“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither
light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall
reign for ever and ever” (Rev.22:5).

“God is light in that He reveals the light of all things, the truth of
all things. Jesus, the Light, tells us that God is holy, righteous, and
pure. Light is the symbol of purity and holiness. Light means the absence
of darkness and blindness; it has no spots of darkness and blackness, of
sin and shame.

The light of Jesus Christ shows the truth about the world and man and
God. The light of Christ reveals that God loves and cares for man and
wants man to love and care for Him.”

Jesus, the Light, guides. His light allows a man to walk out of darkness.
Man no longer has to grope, grasp, and stumble about trying to find his
way through life. The path of life can now be clearly seen.

Jesus, the Light, does away with darkness and with chaos. His light
routs, wipes out, strips away and erases the darkness. The empty chaos of
creation was routed by the light given by God.”

Misconception #2: We can reach the point of no sin in our life. We are
deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

“Man objects to the idea that Jesus had to die for their sins….we’re
not that sinful…we can change our behavior and act responsibly…we can
do good and be good enough to make ourselves acceptable to God.” This is
the reason many refuse baptism and Christ.

Thoughts to consider:
· we’re not responsible for sin in our life…it’s the fault of our
upbringing, parents, society, environment, or our associates. Those
things can and do affect us but we are not robots…we’re free moral
agents with the ability to choose not to sin or to choose that we will
sin.
· the person who thinks he can control sin enough to be acceptable to God
has a low view of God and too high a view of himself. Think how weak man
really is…look at the flesh and its desires that we within us…mankind
lived upon this earth only a short time before sin came…all have
sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
When we confess our sin and God forgives us:
· he forgives the guilt of the sin, too.
· we’re cleansed of the dirt, filth, pollution, and contamination of sin
· God no longer sees the sin…He sees the blood of Christ instead!

Misconception #3: Man can become righteous and sinless on his own. We are
sinful and should not sin, but provisions are made because we will sin.
Jesus Christ is there speaking on our behalf; He’s the perfect sacrifice
for our sins.

Advocate: [parakleton] “one who is called in to stand by the side of
another…” The same word is used to also describe the Holy Spirit.
Christ is the righteous One and secured righteousness for a baptized
believer…He’s the only One who has the right to stand before God.

He does not:
· plead the reputation or good works of the Christian
· does not plead “not guilty” or the personal righteousness of the
Christian
· He does not plead that the Christian has been as good as he can be
· What does Christ plead? He pleads His own righteousness!

Propitiation: “to be a sacrifice, a covering, a payment, an appeasement
for sin.” It means to turn away anger or to make reconciliation between
God and man.

In the O.T., when a man sinned he brought a sacrifice to God…the idea
was that the sacrifice would appease or pacify God…that He would be
gracious and place the punishment upon the animal. It’s true the God told
Israel to sacrifice, but it was to teach them that something had to be
offered greater than an animal sacrifice.

God is holy and just and represents perfect love…but He must also
execute justice against the sinner. He must judge and condemn sin. The
only way His justice can be satisfied is to lay it down alongside the
perfect sacrifice…the Perfect Man can step forward and bear the
punishment for sin and satisfy the justice of God.

CONCLUSION
Never does the Bible whitewash the sins of the saints. Moses, David,
Solomon, Peter….all sinned and suffered consequences…but they also
repented and God forgave them.

The fact that Christians sin bothers some people—especially new
Christians. They forget that we all are human and struggle with the power
of Satan in our life….no amount of self-discipline can fully control
sin’s desire that is within us.

Only the Holy Spirit of God can enable us to “put to death” the flesh
(Rom. 8:12-13) and produce the Spirit’s fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).

Sinning saints are not mentioned in the Bible to discourage us, but to
warn us.

“Why do you keep preaching to us Christians about sin?” an angry church
member said to her minister. “After all, sin in the life of a Christian
is different from sin in the life of an unsaved person!” “Yes,” he
replied, “it is different. It’s much worse! Christians ought to know
better!”

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Seven Kinds of Pharisees

  1. The first group William Barclay calls “shoulder Pharisees,” so named because of their custom of displaying accounts of their good deeds on their shoulders for other people to see and admire. When they prayed, they put ashes on their heads as an act of humility and wore sad expressions on their faces to suggest piousness.leaven-of-the-pharisees
  2. The second group he calls “wait a little,” due to their cleaver ability to come up with a fabricated spiritual reason for putting off doing something good. Pious excuses were their stock in trade.
  3. The third group were the “bruised and bleeding.” In order not to commit the sin of looking at a woman lustfully those Pharisees closed their eyes whenever women were around. Understandably they received many bruises and abrasions from bumping into walls, posts, and other objects. They measured their piousness by the number and severity of their injuries.
  4. The fourth group were the “humpback tumbling.” In order to show off their supposed humility they slouched over with bent backs and shuffled their feet instead of taking normal steps, leading to frequent stumbles and tumbles.
  5. The fifth group were the “ever-seeking,” named because of the meticulous record keeping of their good deeds in order to determine how much reward God owed them.
  6. The sixth group were the “fearing” Pharisees, whose terror over the prospect of hell motivated everything they did.
  7. The seventh and last group were the “God-fearing,” those whose lives were motivated out of genuine love for God and a desire to please Him. The Pharisee Nicodemus (see John 3:1; 19:39) would doubtlessly have been classed in this group. But Nicodemus and the few other Pharisees who believed in Jesus were very much the exceptions. For the most part, the Pharisees were the Lord’s most strident critics and implacable enemies.

 

She Was an “8 Cow” Woman

05f9b931527fa2e80dc9c1e34f8c98c4Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Johnny Lingo, a man who lived in the South Pacific. The islanders all spoke highly of him. He was strong, good-looking, and very intelligent. But when it came time for him to find a wife, people shook their heads in disbelief.

The woman Johnny chose was plain, skinny, and walked with her shoulders hunched and her head down. She was very hesitant and shy. She was also a bit older than the other married women in the village, which did nothing for her value.

 But this man loved her. What surprised everyone most was Johnny’s offer. In order to obtain a wife, you paid for her by giving her father cows. Four to six cows was considered a high price. The other villagers thought he might pay two or even three cows at the most. But he gave eight cows for her!!

 Everyone chuckled about it, since they believed his father-in-law put one over on him. Some thought it was a mistake.

 Several months after the wedding, a visitor from the United States came to the Islands to trade, and heard the story of Johnny Lingo and his eight-cow wife. Upon meeting Johnny and his wife the visitor was totally taken aback, since this wasn’t a shy, plain, and hesitant woman, but one who was beautiful, poised, and confident.

 The visitor asked about this transformation, and Johnny Lingo’s response was very simple. “I wanted an eight-cow woman, and when I paid that for her and treated her in that fashion, she began to believe that she was an eight-cow woman. She discovered she was worth more than any other woman in the islands. And what matters most is what a woman thinks of herself.”

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We can imagine the effect on the village, the scandal of the thing! We can also imagine what it did to the young lady of character when a man chose her so certainly and with such finality, and in doing so making her the only eight-cow wife in the history of the community!

Men, generally speaking, I believe that we have the wife of our choosing. Some of them are more hurt and timid and more comfortable at hiding than others, but the effect of a MAN who chooses her and pursues her and proclaims her has a huge effect on her. Much of this is true of wives in regards to husbands as well – maybe most of it, but I was talking to the men.

I am not saying that women are passive members of a marriage… much less powerless ones … but I have just seen too many times when men are missing their opportunity to communicate such a Godly message to their wives … so, husbands…

What have you done recently to communicate to your wife that you see her as a treasure of great value?

The Ministry of the Encouragers Acts 4:36-37; 9:26-30; 15:1-41

In biblical times names did more than simply distinguish one person from another. They had meaning, they stood for something—sometimes for the very essence of the people who wore them.

Take the name “Barnabas” for example. His original name was “Joseph,” but because of a certain graciousness about him the apostles gave him the nickname of “Barnabas.” It means “son of encouragement.” What a great name! Barnabas was known for his willingness to seek out those who were struggling and encourage them along in the work of the Lord. In what ways can the ministry of the encouragers bless the church today?

Getting People into the Church

  1. Barnabas helped Paul find acceptance by the church in Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-30).

The newly converted Saul of Tarsus was, at first, denied fellowship by the church in Jerusalem. But Barnabas believed in his conversion story and helped him find a home with the believers.        All that Paul was later to do and write might have been lost had Barnabas not been there to help him find a home in the church.

  1. Barnabas helped the Gentiles find equal acceptance with the Jews in the first century church (Acts 15:1-35). Some Jews were refusing to admit the Gentiles as equal members. They were insisting that they become Jews before they could become Christians. Barnabas, along with Paul, stood up for the Gentile believers and helped them have equal access to the gospel and its blessings.
  2. The church still needs sons and daughters of encouragement to stand at her open doors today. How many “Pauls” never make it into the church because of its fear of outsiders? How many people of other races and classes never make it into the church because of its slowness to accept those who are “different”?

Keeping People in the Church

  1. Barnabas encouraged John Mark in a way that may have saved him for meaningful service (Acts 9:36-40). John Mark had failed Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, and Paul was not willing to give him another chance. But Barnabas believed in Mark and took him along with him on his own separate journey in order to encourage Mark in the Lord’s service. All that John Mark was later to do for the Lord might have been lost had Barnabas not been there for him in that difficult time.

B  Such encouragement can keep people in the church today. People are still failing and growing discouraged in their efforts to live for Christ. Some of them even leave the fellowship of the church. Such people can be saved and restored to meaningful service through the ministry of encouragement.

The church needs the ministry of evangelists, of elders, of deacons, of teachers and a host of other functions. But perhaps what it needs most is the ministry of the encouragers—people who will be quick to catch the faltering and call home the lost.

Try praising your wife/husband even if it does frighten her/him at first.

A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, but is miles ahead in results.

No problem is ever as dark when you have a friend to face it with you.

Martin Luther once was so depressed over a prolonged period that one day his wife came downstairs wearing all black. Martin Luther said, “Who died?” She said, “God has.” He said, “God hasn’t died.” And she said, “Well, live like it and act like it.”

Researchers have discovered some interesting truths about geese as follows:

  1. They fly in a “V” formation because it takes 71% less energy compared to flying solo. So, church people need to stick together!
  2. The lead goose has the difficult job of breaking the wind barrier, so they rotate leadership. So, let’s share the hard jobs at church!
  3.   Geese honk as they fly. If one drops out and breaks the efficiency equation, the others honk encouragement to the leader. In church, let’s honk some encouraging words!
  4. If a goose is hurt in flight, two others accompany it to the ground and give help. In church, let’s take care of each other!

1 Corinthians #8 – The Single Adult Christian and Sexuality

Up to this point, Paul had been dealing with the sins reported to be known in the Corinthian congregation. Now he takes up the questions about which they had written to him.

Some liberal critics have accused Paul of being against both marriage and women. These accusations are not true, of course.

Nor is it true that in 1 Corinthians 7:6, 10, 12, and 25 Paul is disclaiming divine inspiration for what he wrote. Rather, he is referring to what Jesus taught when He was on earth (Matt. 5:31-32; 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12; Luke 16:18).

Paul had to answer some questions that Jesus never discussed; but when a question arose that the Lord had dealt with, Paul referred to His words. Instead of disclaiming inspiration, Paul claimed that what he wrote was equal in authority to what Christ taught.

Christians Married to Christians (1 Cor. 7:1-11)

Apparently one of the questions the church asked was, “Is celibacy [remaining unmarried] more spiritual than marriage?” Paul replied that it is good for a man or a woman to have the gift of celibacy, but the celibate state is not better than marriage, nor is it the best state for everybody. Dr. Kenneth Wuest translates Paul’s reply, “It is perfectly proper, honorable, morally befitting for a man to live in strict celibacy.”

1 First Corinthians 7:6 makes it clear that celibacy is permitted, but it is not commanded; and 1 Corinthians 7:7 informs us that not everybody has the gift of remaining celibate. This ties in with our Lord’s teaching in Matthew 19:10-12, where “eunuchs” refers to those who abstain from marriage. “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18) is generally true for most people; but some have been called to a life of singleness for one reason or another.

One purpose for marriage is “to avoid fornication.” First Corinthians 7:2 makes it clear that God does not approve either of polygamy or homosexual “marriages.” One man married to one woman has been God’s pattern from the first. However, the husband and wife must not abuse the privilege of sexual love that is a normal part of marriage.

The wife’s body belongs to the husband, and the husband’s body to the wife; and each must be considerate of the other. Sexual love is a beautiful tool to build with, not a weapon to fight with. To refuse each other is to commit robbery (see 1 Thes. 4:6) and to invite Satan to tempt the partners to seek their satisfaction elsewhere.

As in all things, the spiritual must govern the physical; for our bodies are God’s temples. The husband and wife may abstain in order to devote their full interest to prayer and fasting (1 Cor. 7:5); but they must not use this as an excuse for prolonged separation. Paul is encouraging Christian partners to be “in tune” with each other in matters both spiritual and physical.

In 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, Paul applied the principle stated in 1 Corinthians 7:1 to single believers and widows: If you cannot control yourself, then marry.

The Responsibilities of Marriage Partners (7:2-6)

Because of fornication it is better for every man to have a wife.”

Sexual drive is God given; but must be fulfilled within the bounds of marriage. Love is something which is expressed by seeking the best for another even when the emotional enthusiasm has diminished.

Paul’s inspired judgment is that man has the right of choice in the question of marriage.

Obligations in marriage.

Sexual intercourse in marriage is not just permitted; it is commanded. The husband and wife belong to each other. Deprive not one another except by mutual consent. Could relate to temporary separation during a time of religious involvement. Without the consent, separation should not take place. Agreement based on a time of prayer. Such prayer was not commanded.

Generally thought of during specific needs and times.

The necessity is there to come back together to avoid Satan’s temptation which is ever present. The idea of separation between husband and wife is a concession, not a command.

 Paul’s Personal Example (7:7-8)

Paul possessed self control with regard to sexual desires. He credited his self control in sexual desire to a gift from God. Paul wished everyone possessed that gift as he did 1 Corinthians 7:9. 

Better to marry than to burn.”

“Burn” – Has to do with present sexual feelings or desire. Does not mean burn in torment. Paul stresses the need for marriage as the means of controlling sexual desires. Marriage should be exercised before sex; not as a result of having sexual encounters. Sexual desire is God given and therefore, not impure if placed in the context of marriage (Hebrews 13:4). In spite of the distress, marriage is better than being overtaken by temptation.

All covenants with God have a visible sign.

Sex is the Marriage Covenant’s Visible Sign

And sex is a sign of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman and God. Sex is a visible sign that makes visible the invisible reality of the union of the two people. The sign of the marriage covenant is sex.

According to the Bible, every other woman in the world a man relates to as a sister or a mother, but only one does he relate to as a wife. The sign between you and that only other person who you relate to as your spouse is sex.

It is designed to be a sign of permanence, safety, security, faithfulness.

Implicit in having sex is the promise of faithfulness. Sex communicates to the other person’s heart and to God the father: “I am touching you because I promise never to leave you nor forsake you. The exchange of our most intimate gifts communicates permanence. That is why sex belongs in marriage.

In this context, we are able to see why sex as a single adult is so damaging. When you have sex with someone as a single adult you are doing two things:

1) you are making permanent promises to the other person’s soul while you have temporary intentions. This creates confusion, anxiety, and insecurity.

2) Sex as a single adult makes a mockery out of the covenant between a man and a woman before the Lord and brings you into a state of spiritual disconnection. It doesn’t matter how brief the hookup or how strictly physical it is, sex outside of marriage leaves devastation emotional and spiritual devastation in its wake.

1 Corinthians 6:18: Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

The way we typically see things is as commitment increases so does physical intimacy. We basically earn the right to be more intimate as we stay with the person longer. If you haven’t been allowed to have a kiss after three dates then you might get a little upset because you have the right to have a kiss. That’s what dating people do. “We are dating, come on. I’m going to go find someone else.”

However, what the Bible indicates is that if there are only two types of relationships, those you relate to as brothers/sisters/fathers/mothers or husbands/wives, then there are only two levels of sexual intimacy. No sexual intimacy or total sexual intimacy. Please don’t tune this out because it’s some preacher guy who is out of touch. There is no middle ground. No “friends with benefits”. No “hook-up buddies”. No dating and doing everything but intercourse. Because sex includes more than the act of intercourse.

I am not trying to draw a new set of rules for you. I am trying to get you to think about your sexuality in a new way. The way you relate to the opposite sex. Relating sexually as if you were married to that person you are dating brings incredible relational, emotional, physical, and spiritual confusion.

And you are setting yourself up for failure.

Sex as not a birthright or a mile-marker needed after so many days in a relationship. The damage from sex as a single adult comes not because you don’t have the right person, but because it is in the wrong context. The truth

is that the only place where sex is going to be satisfying to your soul is when it is the visible sign of the invisible covenant you have made with that one person of the opposite sex. It is the way we demonstrate our commitment to the covenant to that one person for the rest of our lives.

Managing your Sexuality as a Single Adult

So how does a single person resist the temptation? Sometimes the sex drive seems almost overwhelming especially for those single adults who are single again after being in a marriage relationship where they enjoyed sex in its rightful context.

Here are some practical steps to managing your sexuality as a single adult:

Do not seek sexual satisfaction through touching or being touched by another person, even if you stop short of sexual intercourse.

A lot of single adults will draw a line at not having intercourse but will do everything else. They call it messing around. For married people, “messing around” is the onramp onto the freeway.

Single adults consistently operate in this realm of “messing around” doing everything but the final act and then they wonder why they cannot manage their sexuality.

Do not seek sexual gratification through self stimulation.

Self stimulation does not solve sexual pressure. Many Christians believe that it is a healthy way to deal with their sexual desires. But it is not. Not only can self gratification become habitual, but it produces guilt, is accompanied by lust, and, most importantly, contradicts the God-given design of sexuality.

The sexual act is not designed to be done alone for selfish gratification. Sex is created for relationship with the opposite sex in a marriage covenant. When you gratify yourself, you are training yourself to not need another person physically, emotionally, and mentally, to satisfy yourself. It is pseudo sex.

The more you train yourself to satisfy yourself physically before marriage, the more likely you are to satisfy yourself physically after you are married. Because it’s not really about sex. It is about our lazy, self-centered desire, to satisfy ourselves rather than give ourselves to and for another person. The answer to your pent up  sexual desires is not gratifying yourself, but resisting temptationResist and avoid sexual stimulation.

James 4:6a-7 6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil  desires…7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

It is a no-brainer that pornography is destructive and works against you in your quest to be sexually pure. But the real test is what you do with the more common sources of sexual stimulation. R-rated movies, Men’s Health magazine, the newspaper, television, music videos.

In our society you cannot escape sexual stimulation, but you can refuse to seek it. And you can avoid it often when you see it coming. This will tell you whether you are enslaved or free. Can we say no to our bodies that want us to keep looking?

This becomes easier the more we focus on Christ and pure things. There is no better way to overcome a bad desire than to push it out with a new one. It is in prayer that we summon the divine help to produce in us that new desire for God. Fill your mind in God’s Word.

There is nothing that renews the mind like regular meditation on the Scriptures.

Embrace Christian Community

Hebrews 10:24: Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

The struggle to resist temptation and manage your sexuality must be done in with the help of others seeking the same goals. For some of you the odds are not in your favor of having a lot of success with this because you are surrounded by people who do not believe the same things as you. Every conversation and outing is focused on sex and hooking up. Christian community gives you strength and support. Others will join to help you get to where you want to go instead of trying to rip you off course. You can pray for each other and hold each other accountable.

Make Spiritual Compatibly the Highest Requirement for Romantic Relationships

2 Corinthians 6:14 (Holman Christian Standard Bible): Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and  awlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?

The Bible clearly teaches that it is not appropriate for Christians to be in a relationship where an unbeliever has control over their life. This is especially true for dating relationships. It is hard enough to stay sexually pure as a dating couple when you are both spiritually aligned  with Christ as the center of the relationship. But when the  people is not in agreement and one is trying to remain sexually pure and the other does not have the same goal, guess which one will eventually win? You must make spiritual compatibility your highest priority.

Don’t get Desperate.

Desperate people make poor choices. Desperation begins when faith in God’s future and the enjoyment of the present disappears. When you believe that it will never happen unless you begin to take steps to make it happen yourself because you are just sick and tired of waiting.

When you get desperate you make mistakes. You will make compromises you never intended, date people you should never have dated, marry someone that is not a good fit.

As a single adult, the Bible teaches in 1 Corinthians 7 that it is a special time in life where you can pour yourself into ministry and serving others more than at any other time in life. It is a time to live for God boldly, to grow close to him and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Do not become desperate. Desperate people make desperate decisions and pay drastic consequences.

Conclusion

Many want that sexual experience because we believe that that is the pinnacle of feeling loved by someone as a human. But we can learn to replace that with the love that can only be found in the total abandonment to Jesus then we can begin to be loved completely by him and him  alone.

There is going to come a day that even though you are  in a great marriage that there are areas that your spouse can never satisfy.

Inside the covenant of marriage sex is like a great meal, satisfying and nourishing. Outside of marriage it is more like candy. It might give you a short rush, but is full of empty calories with no nourishment. And a steady diet of it will make you sick. It will make you sick in your relationships with the opposite sex and it will make you sick in your relationship with God. Jesus has given us a choice. Now what are you going to do with it?

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