Tag: Christian

Chocolate Vent’s Quote of the Week: “ENTER THE CHURCH TO WORSHIP & DEPART TO SERVE.”

But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” {1 Samuel 12:24}

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Sex Doesn’t Produce Intimacy, Otherwise Prostitutes Would Be Out Of Business.

When Cindy met Rob, she knew that even though he attended church, he didn’t share her convictions about premarital sex. Rob thought it was OK—and even good for dating couples to engage in—and Cindy believed it was wrong from a Christian perspective.

As their friendship progressed, Cindy and Rob’s opposing viewpoints caused some hot debates. It also forced them both to take a second look at their convictions. As a result, Cindy developed a deeper understanding of truth, and Rob was forced to face the lies he’d always believed.

If you’re like Cindy or Rob, and you’ve taken a stand for (or against) premarital sex, but you’re not sure why, here are some things to consider.

Scripture is Outdated, Right?

Like many singles, Rob thinks the Scriptures on sexual purity are outdated and archaic. “Those parts of the Bible aren’t relevant to today,” he told Cindy. “After all, when the Scriptures were written, the people during that time got married when they were teens; so they didn’t have to struggle with sexual temptation like we do now.”

In response to Rob’s argument, Cindy found Scriptures about sexual purity and showed them to him. When Cindy read 1 Corinthians 6:9, 2 Corinthians 12:21, Galatians 5:19, Hebrews 13:4 and Deuteronomy 22:13-28, all which condemn sex before marriage, she asked Rob, “Are these Scriptures relevant to today?” “Nope,” Rob responded.

“Do you have a pair of scissors?” Cindy asked.

“Why?

“Because I think we should cut those Scriptures out. After all, if they’re not true because people can’t control their desires, why not completely eliminate them? After all, we can just pick and choose the parts of Scripture that we want to believe on sexual purity, right? Give me your scissors,” she said.

“You’re crazy,” Rob responded.

Crazy or not, Cindy had made her point—there are holes in Rob’s it’s-not-true-because-people-can’t-control-their-desires theology. Why? Because, if his beliefs were based on truth, they would stand up in every circumstance, but they don’t.

For example, if sex before marriage is okay because people supposedly can’t control themselves, then it must be okay to engage in pornography, too, right? After all, the temptation to watch and participate in porn abounds like it didn’t in Bible times.

Not surprisingly, when Cindy asked Rob if it was OK to engage in pornography, his theology changed. “Pornography isn’t okay because it’s damaging to the people who are doing it, and it’s not very Christian.”

Why does Rob have a schizophrenic view of purity and of the Bible’s commandments?

Additionally, if scriptures in the Bible became untrue because people can’t control their desires, then we’d also have to cut out the commandments on stealing, lying, cheating and having affairs.

Sure enough, there are holes in Rob’s sex-before-marriage theology, just like there would be holes in his Bible if Cindy cut it up.

Doesn’t Sex Produce Intimacy?

During their discussions about premarital sex, Rob insisted that it was good to engage in sex with a dating partner because “it brings you closer.”

Cindy believes that this is true, and not true. On one hand, the Bible says that sex causes “two people to become one.” Therefore, it’s more than just a physical act, it’s also a spiritual encounter (Mark 10:6-9).

Additionally, Dr. Patricia Love, the author of The Truth About Love, writes that a feeling of intimacy is created by a “chemical cocktail” that is produced in the brain during sex and stays with each person for up to 24 hours after intercourse. Perhaps this physiological bonding is what Rob was referring to.

On the flip side, having sex is no guarantee that the deep emotional intimacy that everyone longs for will develop.

Alice Fryling, in an article titled, “Why Wait for Sex?” writes:

“Genital sex is an expression of intimacy, not the means to intimacy. True intimacy springs from verbal and emotional communion. True intimacy is built on a commitment to honesty, love and freedom. True intimacy is not primarily a sexual encounter. Intimacy, in fact, has almost nothing to do with our sex organs. A prostitute may expose her body, but her relationships are hardly intimate.”

Some experts even report that premarital sex short circuits the emotional bonding process. Donald Joy, a writer for Christianity Today, cited a study of 100,000 women that linked “early sexual experience with dissatisfaction in their present marriages, unhappiness with the level of sexual intimacy and the prevalence of low self-esteem.”

So what does this mean? If Rob tries to convince Cindy, or any woman, that sex will actually help their relationship, she might want to think again before consenting. While premarital sex does produce a short-lived chemical cocktail in the brain, there is no guarantee that it will produce long-term emotional closeness or relational satisfaction.

Can’t Sex Help You Determine Compatibility?

Rob told Cindy he felt it was unreasonable to expect him to abstain from sex before marriage because no one would buy a car without test driving it; so he couldn’t imagine committing to marriage without taking a “sex test drive.”

When Cindy suggested to Rob that his “test drive” mentality could lead him to compare his wife’s sexual performance with his other partners, he denied it. “No, I wouldn’t,” he adamantly said.

However, his logic is faulty. Here’s why: If it was true that Rob wouldn’t struggle with comparison, why would he need to “test drive” anything? After all, if he’d never had multiple partners, he would automatically think his wife the best. For example, the man who hasn’t ever seen or driven more than one car doesn’t know what other cars are like; therefore he would be satisfied with his automobile.

Partners can also feel threatened if they think their mate could be comparing them with previous partners.

When Cindy randomly asked 10 women at work if they would be worried that their husband was comparing them if he’d had intercourse with multiple women before marriage, 80 percent of them said yes.

This provides a strong argument to abstain from sex before marriage to protect the emotional safety that your spouse will need to feel in marriage.

Hope and Restoration After Premarital Sex

Perhaps you’re asking, “What if, like Rob, I’m guilty of sexual sin?”

The first thing to remember is that no sexual sin is beyond God’s forgiveness. Thankfully, He doesn’t withhold forgiveness or grace from those who ask for it.
1 John 1:9 promises that if you confess your sins, that He is faithful to forgive and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Note: This includes all sin, and does not exclude sexual sin. Psalm 103: 12 also promises, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions [sins] from us.”

In addition to forgiveness, God wants you to embrace His grace that will help you move forward in life and embrace the promises He has for you with joy. In spite of your choices, God wants to bring you relational fulfillment.

*Originally published on Focus on the Family.

After This

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“And after this it came to pass that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them…” (2 Samuel 8:1, KJV)

TODAY’S WORD

Your life is not over because you had a setback. God has an “after this” in your future. He has another victory planned. He wants to take you further than you ever dreamed possible!

When you go through tough times, don’t be surprised if the enemy whispers in your ear, “You’ll never be as happy as you used to be. You’ve seen your best days. This setback is the end of you.” No, let that go in one ear and out the other. God is saying to you, “After the bad break, after the disappointment, after the pain, there is still a full life.”

Know today that you have not danced your best dance. You have not laughed your best laugh. You have not dreamed your best dream. If you will stay in faith and not get bitter, God has an “after this” in your future. He’s not only going to bring you out, He is going to bring you out better than you were before!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for victory in store for my future. Thank you that “after this,” I’m rising higher. I’m coming out stronger. I’m more prepared for my future. I’m better equipped and empowered to fulfill the destiny You have prepared for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Who Are You?!

You may or may not have heard uplifting words spoken over you while growing up. You may not have been told you’re beautiful, or worthy enough to step into your preordained greatness.
You may have been one who spent lots of her time comparing herself to others while feeling as though you don’t quite measure up to the next person. You may have only been told you’re beautiful by a man only when he wanted sex from you. Though this may have been your past experience, it doesn’t have to be your present and most definitely doesn’t have to dictate your future. More important than what man says about you is what God says about you.

God says you’re beautiful and that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made.  Psalm 139:14
God says you’re more than a conqueror made in His image and likeness – which means when He created  you, He created a carbon copy of Himself.  Romans 8:37; Genesis 1:26

God says you are His workmanship created unto good works and that you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood and a holy nation to show forth the praises of Him who called YOU out of darkness into His marvelous light.  Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 2:9

God says you are worth waiting for, and the man He has for you is worth the wait, if that’s what you desire, but while you wait God wants you to be reminded that right now, that He’s all the man you would ever need.  Philippians 4:19

Speak over yourself, every day out loud if you have to.  Don’t allow the enemy’s thoughts which creep into your mind that go against what God says about you determine who you become – let God determine who you become. No, you’re not a victim, you are victorious In Jesus Name!

You’re victorious because you are in Him, and in Him you live, move and have your being. Acts 17:28. Don’t let situations or circumstances shut you up or cause you to no longer believe you are who God says you are. You are who God says you are simply because you’re His.  Speak the Word over your life and watch, you’ll see, eventually you’ll BECOME all God ALREADY predestined you to be.

*Originally published on Kim on the Web.

Growing in the Waiting

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (Hebrews 6:12 NIV)

If God made everything happen right away, or whenever we wanted it to happen, it wouldn’t require anything of us. We would miss the opportunity to grow because we grow in the difficult times. We grow when our faith is being stretched, when we have to believe when we don’t see any reason to believe, when we stay in faith when our mind is telling us we’re wasting our time, when we give God praise but we really feel like complaining. That’s passing the test. When you do that every day, your faith is not only increasing, your character is not only being developed, but you are one day closer to seeing the promise come to pass.

Today, don’t give up on a promise just because you’ve been waiting a long time. Dig your heels in. Put on a new attitude. God is saying, “Every promise I’ve spoken over you, every dream I’ve placed in your spirit, even the secret petitions of your heart, the dreams you haven’t told anyone about, I still have every intention of bringing them to pass.” Stay close to Him. Obey His Word and move forward in the blessing and victory He has prepared for you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, today I bless and praise You for Your faithfulness. I choose to trust even when things aren’t happening on my timetable. Thank You for working in me as I stand in faith to see every promise fulfilled in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen

God Will Find You

Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe], who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. —Psalm 33:18

I remember a time when I was trying so hard to hear from God and was so afraid I would make a mistake. At the time, I was just beginning to learn to hear God’s voice. Being led by the Spirit was new to me, and I was afraid because I didn’t have enough experience hearing from God to know whether I was truly hearing or not. I didn’t understand that God redeems our mistakes if our hearts are right.

He was speaking to me and trying to get me to step out in faith and do something, but I kept saying, “Lord, what if I miss You? What if I’m not really hearing You and I do the wrong thing? I’m scared I will miss You, God!”

He spoke to me and said simply, “Joyce, don’t worry. If you miss Me, I will find you.” Those words gave me the courage to do what God was calling me to do and brought great peace to my heart. They have encouraged me to step out in faith many, many times since I first heard them. I share them with you today to encourage you, too, to take the steps of faith you need to take in response to what God is saying to you right now.

If you want God’s will in your life more than anything else and if you’ve done everything you know to do to hear from God, then you have to take a chance, step out, and believe. Even if you do make a mistake, God will fix it and work it out for your good.

God’s word for you today: Take a chance on what you believe you’ve heard from God and don’t be afraid of missing Him.

-Joyce Meyer

Lack No Good Thing

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.(Psalm 34:10, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD

It’s easy to think, “If I had more money, I could accomplish my dreams. If I had this or that, or knew the right people, then I could do something great.” But as long as you feel like you’re lacking or that you were shortchanged, then you’ll make excuses to be less than your best.

Today, get a new perspective. God has given you exactly what you need for the season that you’re in. You have the talent, the friends, the connections, the resources, the experience you need for right now. It doesn’t mean that’s all you’re ever going to have. You may need more next month or next year. When that time comes, God will make sure that you have what you need. Because your trust is in the Lord, you don’t have to worry. You lack no good thing.

Remember, you are equipped, empowered and anointed for this moment. You are not lacking. You have what it takes. Rejoice because increase is coming. Promotion is coming. New opportunities are coming. You are ready for whatever may come because you put your faith and trust in Him.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for Your provision in my life. Today I declare that I trust You! You give me everything that I need as I rest and hope in You in Jesus’ name. Amen!

— Joel & Victoria Osteen