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Rev. Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: ￼Too many Christians for too long have hung around in a pit of despair and retreat than have seen and displayed the power of God in their lives. Lusts have become so common among some believers that it is considered normal. Not!
The Lord shows us how we must overcome such lusts in order to live out the Christ-like life of devotion to God and love toward one another. Lusts, after all, is just another form of selfism. This lesson on 'Embracing God's Love, Overcoming Lust' is the seventh in a series on "Reaching Beyond Mediocrity."
Lusts have destroyed the integrity of many people. They are willing to bypass normal social protocols in order to get money, a gift, free food or sex. Just recently people were so hungry for the cheap items of a Christmas sale that they actually pressed a door open and trampled upon a person killing him. Sensual, violent and ads regularly flash enticing scenes further whetting the appetites of millions through more more devices than one can imagine.
The modern world defends their right to live by their lusts. Not too distant in the past, gambling and immorality were considered illegal. Now the government participates and propagates such activities to gain more revenues. Gone are the support of life-long commitment of marriage pledges.
By engorging their lusts people are convinced that they are obtaining the best for their lives when in fact they are stepping deeper and deeper into personal problems. They believe they are gaining freedoms (Did you ever hear the overused phrase, 'the right to ….'?) when they are actually being dominated by their lusts. Many are so ensnared in their lusts that they think it is wrong not to be able to satisfy their surging desires at will.
Lusts have so totally deceived the people that they are willing to do most anything or pass any law to gain and protect what they so deeply desire. This entrenchment of lust in our society makes things much more difficult to exercise self-control and be content with less.
Want rules! Desires win!
Living by one's desires have become so commonplace that many people, including believers, think that it is normal. Think of the Christian couple who tries to spark up their marriage by watching erotic movies or the man who sneak peeks at seductively dressed or undressed individuals. Such sensuality is expected on hotel television sets. ￼Women desperate for attention are willing to gain the attention of a man by seductive clothing and spending private times with him.
One thing is clear. People are lost in lust. They have no way out unless they find the power of Christ. But why is it that so many believers are ensnared in affairs, pornography and lustful novels? Does not the Gospel save them from such sins? The apostle is clear about those who live out such lives.
"But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 5:3-6).
"Dear Lord, our society is sleeping with the Great Harlot. We regularly are being seduced into thinking that living for our desires is better than living by the power of your love. Oh Lord, please save us! Please let our hearts not turn cold to you. Many around us have deserted your love for their lusts. Please Lord forgive us where we have stained our own hands with greed, indulgence and covetousness. Please Lord, open our eyes and bring a spirit of repentance upon our hearts that we might fully turn to You. In the great Name of Jesus we pray, Amen."
Continue on to get a secret look at the inside look of lust.