“Love, Sex & Self-Examination” (free printable) September 1

 

Love, Sex & Self-Examination - Someone told my husband once about self-examination, "Why would anyone want that?!" But, self examination is an important part of our walk with God and can, actually, breathe life into our relationships with God and others and protect us from God's judgment and discipline. Paul warned us of  the consequences when we don't ... sickness, problems, even early death. But how can we examine ourselves when our tendency is to justify our own actions and responses? What's the standard? And how, living in our sin-cursed world, can we re-inform our consciences biblically so we are more sensitive to the lack of love and other sins in our lives? And in so doing, grow and change? Also, what does God think about sex? Does He say anything about it in Scripture?Someone told my husband once about self-examination, “Why would anyone want that?!” But, self examination is an important part of our walk with God and can, actually, breathe life into our relationships with God and others and protect us from God’s judgment and discipline.

Paul warned us of  the consequences when we don’t … sickness, problems, even early death. But how can we examine ourselves when our tendency is to justify our own actions and responses? What’s the standard?

And how, living in our sin-cursed world, can we re-inform our consciences biblically so we are more sensitive to the lack of love and other sins in our lives? And in so doing, grow and change?

Also, what does God think about sex? Does He say anything about it in Scripture?

 

Today’s Readings:
Song of Solomon 1 & 2
Psalm 104.1-9
Proverbs 24.15-16
1 Corinthians 11.17-34

 

Love, Sex & Self-Examination

 

1 Corinthians 11.17-34:

Examining Ourselves

 

prayer trusting GodIn verses 27-32 Paul gives instructions for how we should approach the taking of the Lord’s Supper. He says that we should use it as an opportunity to examine ourselves to see if there is any unconfessed sin or unreconciled relationships in our lives.

If so, we should confess them to the Lord and repent. Repentance is more than regret or feeling sorry, it carries with it the idea of a turning from our way and going God’s way. Paul said that because we fail to examine ourselves, many in the body of Christ are sick and some sleep (have died prematurely).

Of course, communion isn’t the only time we should examine ourselves. It should be a regular part of our walk with the Lord. How can we do that?

When asked about the most important commandment, Jesus said the whole law and the prophets can be summed up in two commands: Love God and love others. If we’re loving God as we should, we won’t look for loopholes for disobedience and obeying Him won’t be a burden, but a delight. That doesn’t mean our flesh will always like it, but our hearts will desire to please Him.

 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (Jn. 14.15).

Part of loving God is loving others.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 Jn. 4.20).

A good way to examine how well we are loving others is to study and meditate on 1 Corinthians 13.4-7 and ask, “How am I doing in each of these areas (remember our standard is Christ, not how we’re doing compared to someone else)?”

If you’re struggling in some relationship, it may be helpful to be specific. How did I do today or yesterday? How am I doing with my spouse, my children, my co-workers, strangers I meet, other drivers …  Continue reading

“Are We to Forget When Others Sin Against Us?” August 2

 

Are We to Forget When Others Sin Against Us? - Are We to Forget When Others Sin Against Us?What does it mean that God “remembers our sins no more”? Does it means He forgets? Does He expect us to forget what others have done to us?

Also, have you ever wondered “Where is God?” Why doesn’t He seem to be answering my prayers? Why is he allowing this?

 

Today’s Readings:
Esther 5 & 6
Psalm 90.1-6
Proverbs 22.9
Romans 4.1-25

 

Are We to Forget When Others Sin Against Us?

 

Psalm 90.1-6:

Remembering Our Sins No More

 

Did you notice the title of this Psalm? “A Prayer of Moses the Man of God.” I love the way God remembers the good and not the bad. A few days ago in Nehemiah, David was called “the man of God.” Did God forget about David’s adultery? Did He forget that Moses struck the rock when he was told to speak to it?

He didn’t “forget,” He chose to “not remember”!

Lori Wilhite and Brandi Wilson, in their book Leading and Loving It, have this to say about “not remembering”:

We love this anecdote that author Linda Dillow shares [in her book Calm My Anxious Heart], about Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross. Clara was reminded of a vicious deed someone had done to her years before.

“Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Clara’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.” She had made a conscious choice to forgive a vicious deed, a conscious choice to continue forgiving when reminded of the deed. By replying, “I distinctly remember forgetting it,” Clara Barton was saying, “I remember choosing to forgive, and I still choose to forgive.”

Forgiveness is both a decision and a process. The decision is choosing to “not remember” and the process includes reminding ourselves of that and leaving the situation in God’s hands.

paidAs believers, all our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. God chooses to “not remember” them against us(Is. 43.25) and He asks us to imitate Him (Eph. 5.1) and to choose to forgive just as He has forgiven us (Eph. 4.32).

In reality, “not remembering” is different from “forgetting.” God doesn’t have amnesia and neither do we. When we sin, that sin is a debt we owe to God and others (Matt. 18.21-35). God chooses to not charge that debt to our account, but to charge it to Jesus’ account and that account was paid in full on the cross.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Esther 5 & 6:

Where is God?

 

Where is God? - Have you ever wondered "Where is God?" Why doesn't He seem to be answering my prayers? Why is he allowing this?

God is always at work, on behalf of His people, even when we can’t see what He is doing. In the book of Esther, there is no prophet, no direct words from God. God’s activities are not, at first, apparent.

But He causes a pagan king to suffer a sleepless night and to ask his servant to read to him—from a government record. What an unlikely “bedtime story.” Then God has the reader go to something that happened five years previously, concerning one of His servants, Mordecai, and his loyalty to the King! As you will remember from yesterday’s reading, Mordecai is in wicked Haman’s crosshairs.  Continue reading

“Intimate Issues: 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex” + LINKUP

 

Intimate Issues: 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex by Linda Dillow & Lorraine PintusWelcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival. Each week I feature a book that I consider a valuable resource. This week’s selection is Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex by Linda Dillow & Lorraine Pintus.

 

SEX … it’s everywhere! It’s in commercials, situation comedies, on billboards, even subtly injected into children’s movies.

And yet … the questions we most want to ask, we find too embarrassing, especially as Christian women.

Intimate Issues tackles that problem in an open, honest, sensitive way. Linda and Lorraine are two godly, mature Christian wives. I attended one of their conferences years ago and also had the privilege of hosting Linda in my home. She is just as real and honest in person. She loves the Lord and seeks to honor Him even in this delicate topic. I know Lorraine has the same heart.

In their own words: Continue reading

“Gift-Wrapped by God: Why Wait?” + LINKUP

 

Gift Wrapped by God + LINKUPWelcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival. Each week I’ll feature a book that I consider a valuable resource. This week’s selection is Gift-Wrapped by God: Secret Answers to the Question “Why Wait?” by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus.

I’m out of town because of a death in the family, so I’m going to let Linda and Lorraine speak for themselves. From their introduction:

This book is about God’s plan for sexual purity and His heart for you, His daughter. It’s the book we wish we’d had when we were single, because we believe it would have saved us much heartache.

As you read, may your eyes be lifted to the beauty of God’s Gift of sex. May you discover emotional and spiritual reasons why sex is worth the wait. If you have already given away the Gift, may you receive hope of a new beginning sexually.

Thousands of women have shared with us their deep regret concerning their wrong sexual choices. Repeatedly we hear, “I wish someone had told me to say no, told me why to say no, and helped me develop my own plan to say no.” We pray that Gift-Wrapped by God will do this for you.

Continue reading