LifeLink Devotions (Click here for Apple podcast)
Friday, March 18, 2022
Remember the target talk from yesterday? It’s time to talk specifics. The Scriptures describe the True Target. However, when we read it, we may tend to rationalize what it says so we can justify our preferred choices. We tend to justify missing the Target with rationalizations like “I was close,” or “One miss won’t really matter.” By such excuses we reveal our choice to value self over the holiness of God.
This is serious business. The Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes that we are to be imitators of God. He then proceeds to describe specific areas where that imitation is most quickly lost. He begins in the arena of sex.
Ephesians 5:3a “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality…“
The abuse of God’s splendid gift of sex is a serious issue – especially among Christians. The followers of Jesus Christ are becoming more indistinct from the pagan world in their attitudes towards sex. According to the Barna Research Group, the percentage of Christian teens involved in premarital sex is the same as for non-Christians. Born-again Christian adults showed no difference from their unsaved counterparts when it comes to viewing adult-only content on the Internet. 36% of born-again Christians said co-habitation is morally acceptable. It is so bad that Barna titled one of his research papers “Practical Outcomes Replace Biblical Principles As the Moral Standard.”
I want to believe that most of you reading this devotional are as shocked as I am. I want to believe that the percentage of people who still hold to Biblical morality is much higher than the national average. But I do not know what goes on behind the closed doors of your lives. I do not know what you are justifying as acceptable behavior to satisfy your personal desires and needs. I do know that we have collectively left out a very important word from Paul’s description of the True Target – the word “hint”. The original Greek says, “Don’t let it be mentioned among you even once.” Unfortunately, we have moved beyond hinting to allowing our conversation and our lifestyle choices to be influenced by immorality. There is only one proper format for the expression of the sexual experience, and that is between a man and a woman – a husband and a wife – within the context of marriage. When we talk about, read about, view, or participate in anything else, we have chosen sexual immorality rather than the holiness of God.
There are some behaviors we have allowed to exist that are small and subtle steps away from the holiness of God. We are allowing a hint of sexual immorality in our lives and in our churches. For example, what happened to modesty? Do we use our physical appearance to get others to notice us and build our self-worth? Are we justifying behavior that falls short of the glory of God’s holiness?
Every word of Scripture is important. Is there even a hint of sexual immorality in your life. Then address it. We who are filled with the Holy Spirit must not place our personal pleasure ahead of the holiness of God. Not even one little hint of it. We are to be imitators of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit to have victory over the world. Maybe then the world will take notice that God is real and that Jesus truly transforms lives.