A Lesson on Lust: Part 1

Guest Author: Ben Puthukeril

My son, keep my words And treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your intimate friend; That they may keep you from an adulteress, From the foreigner who flatters with her words. For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths A young man lacking sense, Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner. So she seizes him and kisses him And with a brazen face she says to him: “I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows. “Therefore I have come out to meet you, To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

Proverbs 7:1-15

Solomon, who was counted as the wisest man to have ever lived, wrote Proverbs 7 as a word of advice to young people to beware the adulterous men/women who can entice you and lead you astray. The irony behind this is that Solomon himself had over 700 wives and 300 concubines who were at his disposal, with whom he had the authority to do as he pleased. Though he knew what was right and wrong, he didn’t take his own advice. He faced the consequences and realized his mistakes only by the end of his life. He actually became subject to many of his wives’ wishes by building them temples for their gods and worshipping their idols. Regardless of this, we can still apply the advice that he gives to our personal lives. If we read Proverbs 7 closely we can see more and more how it relates to us. We may not have a firsthand problem with adultery as Solomon did, but we do struggle as youth with the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh.

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Are You Addicted to Social Media?

Social media has taken over our lives. Any second we have that doesn’t require our undivided attention is usually spent scrolling through news-feeds, catching up on the latest life-changing events of all of our high school friends who we don’t keep in touch with, posting pictures of the amazing food we just ate and commenting on our frenemies statuses to share our opinion. And even beyond the constant need for our minds to be stimulated by another world, think about how much time we waste scrolling and liking our lives away. We spend a countless number of minutes on social media. This is what our lives have come to. We don’t just live on earth. We live on cyber-earth. How can we regain control and come back down to earth? How can we learn to use social media soberly? Here are 7 steps to help you recover from social media abuse.

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Move That Bus!

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:9-11

As Easter draws closer, my mind can’t help but gravitate to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross and His resurrection. Because He did that, I have so much to be thankful, and one of those many things includes this new life I get to enjoy. Continue reading

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Love to Serve

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  – Matthew 20:28

Christ’s short time on this Earth is a true picture of how Christians should live out their life.  Jesus Christ could have spent His time only preaching/teaching, but He came to serve, not to be served.  We live in a world that is suffering from hurt, anger, depression, abuse, etc.  and we as Christians are called to love and serve those who are in need.  Jesus Christ gave up so much to pour into the lives of the broken, and He calls us to do the same.

Jesus Christ came to serve and did it with humility and no regrets. The religious leaders and Pharisees during the time of Christ were not really focused on love, but more so on being served rather that serving those in need. They failed to see the picture of who God really is and put an emphasis on works rather than true faith and love. Out of love, Christ not only told them what true faith was, He lived it out! In Mark 9 we see the disciples discussing who would be the greatest, while right before their eyes Jesus Christ was showing them greatness is achieved through humbly serving the poor, healing the sick, and feeding the hungry. Jesus Christ was living out His command to them:  “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9: 35).

As believers, God’s love for us should drive us to action. We should be on fire to serve others not only because we love them, but because we want to show them Christ’s love. We should not be known for how righteous we are or  how often we go to church, but should be known for our serving heart and for our  humility. Through our acts of service, we can profess to the world that not only do we know God but our love for Him is what drives us to care for those in need. 1 John 3:18, reminds us not to just love with our words to but to also act on that love in truth.

I encourage you to examine your hearts today and ask yourself and God what service looks like in your life. Jesus met the needs of the people that He came across. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry, cast out demons, etc., and He taught the Word. Who has God placed in your life that has a need waiting to be met? At times it may be difficult or challenging, but we are called to live as Christ did. We are called to serve those who are in need and to show them Christ love in everything we do. I would like for you to join me as I challenge myself to be intentional in my daily interactions, and recognize the needs of those that God has placed in my life for specific reasons. Ask yourself, “how can I serve ____ today?” Maybe it can just be a simple act of giving a co worker a glass of water or helping them on a project, or spending time with a friend who may feel alone, or visiting a sick family member. If God has placed someone on your heart to serve, pray and act on it. We are Jesus Christ’s representative on this earth, and just as He served those in need, we too should act in a similar manner.

 

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The Driving Force

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

2 Timothy 2:22

Just a heads up – I’m piggybacking onto Julie’s post from yesterday, “22 Things I Would Tell My 22 Year Old Self.” If you haven’t read it yet, you REALLY need to! As I read through her list, I found myself nodding in agreement to nearly all of her points! Sadly, I learned these 22 little nuggets of wisdom the hard way. But better late than never, right?

In 2 Timothy, Paul encourages his “son in the faith” to “flee youthful passions.” Note that he doesn’t just say to “refrain” from them. Rather, he uses the word “flee.” Merriam-Webster has two definitions for this word:

a. to run away often from danger or evil

b. to hurry toward a place of security

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