We live in a sex saturated society. From television shows, to movies, to songs to clothing. Everywhere you turn, sex is being used to sell. And, the guidelines or principals that have providence guidance in the sexual realm are being cast aside. Today, it seems the only principal regarding sex is, “if it feels good, do it.
Christians have to be careful because Satan would love to trip a Christian up. And, in today’s world, opportunities to mess up are everywhere. But, it all starts with the eyes. If you see a beautiful woman or if a lady sees a handsome man, there is nothing wrong if your thought process registers, “that lady is pretty or that man is handsome.” What is wrong, is if we look the second time and our thoughts go farther.
Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman” (31;1). That’s a good covenant for all of us to make. Today, guard your eyes. And yes, I know it can be tough but, it has to be done. Not doing so could lead someone to make a mistake they will regret the rest of their lives.
Everyone wants peace of mind. I don’t know think anyone wants to be burdened and troubled mentally. But, peace of mind can, at times, be hard to come by. In II Corinthians 12:13, the apostle Paul said, “But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn’t arrived with a report from you.”
Notice Paul said “I had no peace of mind…” Paul was a great Christian. He wrote 13 books of our New Testament. He went on 3 missionary journeys and started lots of churches. It has been said that outside of our Lord Jesus, the apostle Paul may be the most influential person in Christian history. Yet, even he, struggled with not having peace of mind at times.
So, how do we get peace of mind? First, we pray. We pray and ask God for direction. We ask God for peace of mind. Second, we obey Scripture. Third, we accept what we cannot change. It may be that you do not have peace of mind about a situation. You have prayed and prayed and read and read but you are getting no word from God. There are times when God doesn’t change things but instead, changes us or gives us the patience to deal with something that’s not going to change.
You’ve probably heard of the serenity prayer…
“Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Today, God wants you to have peace of mind. Peace of mind does not necessarily mean the absence of troubles but that God will help us with our troubles.
Back in the 80’s, I was Pastor of Bluff Springs Baptist Church in Magnolia, Ms. Holli taught at Parklane Academy in McComb, Ms then. She became friends with a lady who lost a son in a tragic accident.
Most of the night, this lady sat in a hall just off the emergency room with her head buried in her hands. Lots of people came through and told her they were praying for her, but her hands never moved. Then, later in the night, a man named Dunk Wallace came through. Dunk is my sister-in-law, Gale Knighton’s Dad. Dunk knelt in front of this lady and said, “I lost a son tool.” Hearing that, the lady pulled her hands down from covering her face and listened to Dunk. It was as if she was saying, “I know you understand. You’ve been where I am.”
II Corinthians 1:4 says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” It may be that you are going through a difficult time. In the future, God may use you to comfort someone else who is going through something similar. Today, be aware of what others are facing. Someone may be dealing with something you have dealt with in the past. God may have comforted you so that you can comfort someone else.
Country musician Hank Williams Jr. has a song that goes, “Mind your own business, And you won’t be minding mine.”
Have you ever told someone, “Mind your own business?” Very likely you have. People have a tendency at times to feel like they need to play God and judge our lives. They point out some flaw in our lives… something we are doing that they think we shoudn’t be and they take it on themselves to keep us straight.
The book of Job is about the suffering a man experienced. He had three friends who were supposed to be “encouraging” him but instead, they told him that something must be wrong in his life if he was suffering that much. So, in one exchange, Job says, “Even if I have sinned, that is my concern, not yours” (Job 19:4).
Now, someone will say, “But, if someone is living in sin, God wants us to correct them.” Yeah but don’t let that become your occupation. Most of us have enough flaws of our own that we don’t have time to point out the flaws someone else has.
“Even if I have sinned… that is my concern, not yours…” I llike that verse. Job is saying, “Hey guys, mind your own business.” Stop trying to figure out how I have sinned and take care of your own life.
Today, don’t be judgmental. Don’t point fingers at someone else. Mind your own business.
“Ok, what’s the plan?”
“Plan your work and work your plan.”
Ever heard those statements? You probably have. You may have said those things to someone. Or, maybe you have asked someone, “Ok, what’s the plan?”
Planning is critical. When people start a business they normally have a “business plan;” ie…. a guide for how they intend to grow their business. Coaches prepare for games with a “game plan;” ie… a plan for how they will attack the opponent. Churches may do long-range planning; ie.. a guide for how they intend to reach their communities.
Planning is very important but… especially in the church, planning is not everything. For instance, a Minister of Music or Pastor may plan a worship service but, if the Holy Spirit prompts them to change, they need to break away from the plan. Failing to do so may prevent them from experiencing something the Holy Spirit wants to do.
Proverbs 20:30-31 says, “No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” This verse is not teaching that we shouldn’t plan but that, we can make all the plans we want but, God is in control of the plan. If God leads you to break away from the plan, you need to be sensitive to that.
I really like the last part of that verse… “the horse is prepared for the day of battle but victory belongs to the Lord.” In other words, you can have the best plan… the best sound equipment… you can rent jump houses… you can have the best musical group… or the best video clip… or the best soloist… or the best preacher… and still not experience the blessing of the Lord. Ultimately, it’s all dependant on the sovereignty of God. You can draw up a great plan, but if God isn’t in it, it won’t work.
So, yes, we should plan. Someone has said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” But, know that our plans are all in God’s hands. If God doesn’t bless the plan, the plan won’t work. We need to put our plans in God’s hands.
Recently, country musician Lynn Anderson passed away. She was best known for her hit song, “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden.”
That song is true of life and particularly true for the Christian life. God never told us living for Christ would be easy. But, He did promise He would be with us.
The Psalmist said, “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the Godly abandoned or their children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25). The Lord isn’t saying we won’t have tough times but, the Lord promises to be with us.
Are you going through a rough patch? You feel like God has forgotten you? He hasn’t; He will not abandon us. He never promised us a rose garden.
Many of you remember the song from the 60’s that went;
“What the world needs now, Is love, sweet love…”
That song is just as relevant today because the world still needs love. Unfortunately, we live in a world of hate, a world of violence, a world of people yelling at one another and pointing fingers at one another. We live in a world where innocent people are killed. We live in a world that wants to point fingers instead of taking responsibility. We live in a world that desperatelly needs love.
In the thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians, the apostle Paul penned what many believe is the greatest piece of literature on love. It’s known as the “love chapter.”
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 1But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[ All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
Faith, hope and love; but the greatest is love. Today, rest in God’s love for you. Today express love to someone by helping them. Today, don’t be critical or judgmental… instead, let’s follow the example of our Lord and love one another.