Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Do you get sex or does it get you?

Probing Proverbs 7:11-12 She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home. She is often in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner. 

As we continue in Proverbs, lets keep before us that the wisdom that is being shared is using the example of sexual immorality and a seductive woman, but let us not miss the universal principles concerning how sin works. The specific issue may differ, but the entrance to our lives remains the same. We have watched how this young man has placed himself near sin and how sin is attractive and proactive in its desire for us. The woman pictured here is the very opposite of the woman found in Proverbs 31. Notice 3 characteristics: “brash”, “rebellious” and “never content”. Brash means hasty, aggressive and loud; Rebellious means disobedient and never content is someone that always wants more. This is a very good picture of sin. Sin does what it needs to, to get our attention. It will be as aggressive and loud as necessary to attract our attention. Sin does not like authority or accountability; it wants to do what it wants to do! Lastly, sin can never get enough! What we should also understand from this passage is, like this woman, we do not have to go far looking for sin. Sin is right around the corner...waiting for us. It has been this way since the beginning. God tried to warn Cain before he murdered his brother: 

Genesis 4:6–7 “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”  

It is essential that we heed wisdom’s warnings and learn from this great example of a silly young man that wants to flirt around with a very dangerous woman. He thinks he will get her body and she will get what is the harm? Remember... “never content” ... she will give him her body, but that is the price she will pay for his soul! 

Sin will allow us to enjoy some pleasure, whether it be sexual, mental or emotional highs, ego builders, materialism, fame and power. They all have some pleasure, and all are offered by God, but always in His context. When these are offered by sin, the context is outside of what God had attended, and the goal is not to have us be fulfilled, it is to lull us asleep with a little pleasure while things far more valuable are being destroyed and stolen. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Does God make the decision or do I? The answer is YES!

Scripture Read: Judges 7:4-8 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.” 6 Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water. 7 The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.” 8 So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands. And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

Application: As stated earlier about this section, it shows how God’s sovereignty works in coordination with man’s choices and responsibilities. God let’s Gideon know he has too many men for God to deliver Israel. First God sends home the ones with weak faith, leaving 10,000 men. Now God tells Gideon He wants to make the army even smaller. This time though God uses man’s abilities to choose who remains for the battle. The requirement God uses actually brings to light the men in the army that are the best soldiers. The ones that get down on all fours to drink from the river do not show the mind of a true warrior. In that position they are easy prey for the enemy. A soldier never goes off his guard. The men that bend a knee and draw water into their hand and sip can still keep watch and be ready if a surprise attack would happen. God is sovereignly choosing 300 men, but He is using their participation and skills as part of his ultimate plan. This is important for us to understand because too many seem not to. No matter where we stand on how much control God exerts in our circumstances, His sovereignty includes what we do as part of the outcome. A great example is found in Acts 27:

Acts 27:21–32  When they had gone a long time without food, then Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete and incurred this damage and loss. “Yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. “For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ “Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. “But we must run aground on a certain island.” But when the fourteenth night came, as we were being driven about in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors began to surmise that they were approaching some land. They took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and a little farther on they took another sounding and found it to be fifteen fathoms. Fearing that we might run aground somewhere on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern and wished for daybreak. But as the sailors were trying to escape from the ship and had let down the ship’s boat into the sea, on the pretense of intending to lay out anchors from the bow, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, “Unless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved.” Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it fall away.

Notice, Paul had been promised that he and the entire crew would be saved. However, in that plan God was going to lead the ship to be grounded on the shore. When it appeared the ship would be dashed on the rocks, the sailors on the ship planned to escape and leave the others on the ship. Paul understood God’s promise, yet also understood that he and the soldiers were not skilled in grounding a ship. The professional sailors were the ones that God intended to use to bring the ship to the shore in a way that all on board could live, even though the ship would be lost. We must NEVER underestimate our part in events. 
Only God knows how much is Him and how much is us…we do not possess that knowledge. The wise thing to do is, do all that you know you should and can, leaving the rest to Him. Remain focused on His faithfulness; He will use all events and actions to the ends He desires. Even our missteps can be turned into valuable steps of growth in our maturity. Do not be trapped by man-made theories; Calvinism or Arminianism, we are not just pawns that God plays with, nor is God rubbing His hands in anguish because we are “doing our own thing” and He is helpless. Stop thinking you can figure it out…that is arrogance! God is sovereign and you have choices…let God worry how that works…you focus on the choices you have and seek the Spirit’s wisdom for what to do! 

Meditation Questions: Where do you stand on the balance between God’s Sovereignty and your free choices? Why? How does affect the way you live? Why? Have you ever tried asking yourself if a different view may be right? How would that affect the way you live? How much do you rely on things just working themselves out? How is that working out? How much effort do you give to make things work out? How is that working out? What’s the difference between being responsible and trying to control?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dressed to Sin!

☛ Probing Proverbs 7:9-10 It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell. The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart. 

The young man that is being discussed in this passage is showing his lack of wisdom as he places himself near sin. Interestingly, we also see the approach sin takes in these following passages. Considering them slowly will give the Holy Spirit the time needed to help us engraft these warnings. 
First, notice it is at twilight. The part of the day when our commitments are done, we are more relaxed and it seems more open to suggestion. There is the danger, isnt it? We can take that down time and enjoy the Lord, our family and life...but often it is at that moment we get near to sin and before we know it we have trapped ourselves! Obviously, the issue is not the time of day, because some do work 3rd shift, hence their work hours are reversed. The issue is, what do we do, with the most relaxed part of our conscious day? If we are not careful, our spiritual guard will be let down. I know from my own struggle with pornography that I was in great danger anytime after 8 pm. From 6 am to 8 pm I was very focused and disciplined, but when evening came, if I was not guarded spiritually I could easily fall. We fail to heed the counsel of Paul in: 

Ephesians 5:15–16 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 

Why do I keep saying spiritually? God does want us to have down time and times of rest and relaxation...physically, mentally and emotionally. However, we should never disengage from the Holy Spirits control over us, He keeps an ever present watch against the enemy. We need to remain connected no matter how much leisure we are enjoying. 
We also see that sin is proactive in its approach. Seductive and sly gives us a clear understanding that sin does not just happen. It will be attractive and will "work an angle" that will, at the very least, manipulate you into believing you can play but not get burned, or convince you this sin is worth anything..."at that moment". Remember “at that moment” never consciously counts the cost of possible consequences so it is easy to deceive yourself.  Be alert! No matter how good it looks and how cleverly it approaches you; Sin is always dressed to do what it was made to do...SIN.