By Randy Alcorn
Realize the clarity and importance of the call to purity:
"It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God." (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).
"You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body" (I Corinthians 6:20).
"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. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place." (Ephesians 5:3-4)
Realize you've been targeted for immorality:
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" (1 Corinthians 10:12)
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
Call on your resources in Christ:
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." (2 Peter 1:3-4)
"The grace of God teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" (Titus 2:12).
Guard your heart and mind:
"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).
"For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality..." (Matthew 15:19-20).
"Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart." (Psalm 24:3-4)
"If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." (Psalm 66:18)
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
You will inevitably adopt the morality of the programs, movies, books, magazines, music, Internet sites and conversations you participate in. GIGO-Garbage in, garbage out; Godliness in, godliness out. The cognitive is basic to the behavioral-you become what you choose to feed your mind on.
Sow a thought, reap an action;
Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny.
"Above all else, guard your heart [mind, inner being], for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23).
If someone wants to pollute water, he pollutes it at its source. If he wants to purify water, he purifies it at its source. Our thoughts are the source of our lives. All our lives flow from our mind, and through the choices we make every day we program our minds, either for godliness or ungodliness.
"Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'" (I Corinthians 15:28)
"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." (Proverbs 13:20)
If your companion is the television, most often your companion is a fool.
"Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word" (Psalm 119:37)
What television service you choose, how often you watch, how quickly you change the channel and how quickly you turn your eyes away all indicate and impact your character, as well as your ability to lead your family spiritually.
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure...think about such things" (Philippians 4:8).
"I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11).
Take radical steps to avoid temptation:
"Flee from sexual immorality." (1 Corinthians 6:18)
"Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22)
"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." (Matthew 5:27-30)
Remember God is always watching:
"My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes." (Jeremiah 16:17)
"I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind." (Jeremiah 17:10)
"Does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?" (Proverbs 24:12)
Remember you and your family will live with the rewards of pure choices and the consequences of impure ones:
"God will give to each person according to what he has done." (Romans 2:6)
"Because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does." (Ephesians 6:8)
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:7-9)
"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19).
"I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. For what is man's lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong? Does he not see my ways and count my every step? If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit-let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless-if my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my hands have been defiled, then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted. If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbor's door, then may my wife grind another man's grain, and may other men sleep with her. For that would have been shameful, a sin to be judged. It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest." (Job 31:1-12)
By Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, 39085 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 200, Sandy, OR 97055, 503-668-5200, www.epm.org
©2006 Eternal Perspective Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
The Purity Principle
Sex Is Not the Problem, Lust Is
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