A L I F E S T Y L E O F S E R I O U S N E S S . . . . . PAUL TRIPP

Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc.

A LIFESTYLE OF SERIOUSNESS

This is the fourth and final devotional from Hebrews 10:19-31. If you’ve missed any in the past, you can always catch up at http://www.PaulTripp.com/Wednesday.

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins […] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:26-31)

I don’t have the space to unpack all these verses, but it’s crucial that we see how sin is talked about in this passage. Sin is not described as a breaking of some abstract law; sin is presented as a direct affront to the Triune God.

Look at the words used in these verses: “trampled underfoot the Son of God” […] “profaned the blood of the covenant” […] “outraged the Spirit of grace.” That’s serious language.

We live in a culture that doesn’t take sin seriously anymore. We call it “powerful advertising” – we ignore, minimize, laugh at, and sometimes even praise what God calls sin. We’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that sin isn’t so bad after all.

Brothers and sisters, we need to take sin incredibly seriously. Yes, the penalty for sin has been paid, but you can still be a Christian and ruin your life because you don’t take seriously the consequences of your sin.

Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” There is a direct correlation between the choices of your heart and the quality of your life.

Perhaps even more importantly, you can’t celebrate the beauty of the gospel until you recognize the ugliness of sin. Jesus becomes so much more precious when you realize just what He has rescued you from.

I would encourage you today – take seriously the consequence of your actions, and take seriously the ugly nature of your sin. Your life and your Savior grow in beauty as you do.

God bless

Paul David Tripp
REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

Why might a law feel “easier” to break if its abstract instead of personal?

How does our culture ignore, minimize, laugh at or praise sin?

How did you ignore, minimize, laugh at or praise sin this past week?

How have you seen a direct correlation between the choices of your heart and the quality of your life?

How does Jesus become more precious as you take sin more seriously?

Emotional Affairs

Emotional Cheating: Are You Guilty?
.By Marianne Wait
WebMD FeatureReviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
Like many women, René (who asked that only her middle name be used), a writer from northern New Jersey, had two husbands: a regular spouse and a “work husband,” a man — interesting, smart, funny — with whom she spent 9 hours a day. The chemistry was obvious, but nothing ever “happened.” Or did it?

They made a beeline for each other every morning, and their chats became more and more personal. “I definitely talked to him about things I didn’t talk to my husband about, including my husband, because my marriage was so unhappy,” René says. He sat a little too close at meetings. She admits she fantasized about a relationship.

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Was she cheating? Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell School of Medicine, says “probably.”

“Many of these emotional affairs do move into a sexual affair,” Saltz says. “If they don’t, it’s easy enough to say to yourself that you’re not doing anything wrong.”

The problem, she says, is the attachment to this other person impacts the marriage. “Ultimately it ends painfully one way or another: Your marriage ends, or you’ve got to give this person up.” René’s marriage eventually ended in divorce, but this doesn’t have to happen to you.

Continue reading below…
Often, people who become involved in emotional affairs feel something is lacking at home. “It makes them feel good to feel understood, to feel desired. It’s like candy. You go home and have your vegetables, and you go to work and you have candy.”

For some spouses — more often women, Saltz says — learning of an emotional affair can be worse than discovering sexual infidelity. “Everybody understands a sexual act need not necessarily contain affection or intimacy. It could be literally about a sexual act. Whereas the emotional affair feels like it’s much more about being connected, about loving or liking.”

Signs You’ve Crossed the Line
According to Saltz, these seven red flags suggest you may have entered into an emotional affair:

1.You spend a lot of emotional energy on the person. “You end up sharing stuff that you don’t even share with your partner — hopes and dreams, things that would actually connect you to your partner.”
2.You dress up for that person.
3.You make a point to find ways to spend time together, and that time becomes very important to you.
4.You’d feel guilty if your partner saw you together; you are doing things and saying things that you would never do or say in front of your spouse.
5.You share your feelings of marital dissatisfaction.
6.You’re keeping secret the amount of time you’re spending with the person (including emailing, calling, texting).
7.You start to feel dependent on the emotional high that comes with the relationship.

Aside

God Doesn’t Care if I Steal

My friend Andrew once stole a candy bar from a gas station. He told me later that day, “Dude, it’s cool. Don’t worry about it, Jesus forgives me; he washes away all my sins.” That sort of logic is pretty hard to argue with, until you realize that Paul was dealing with the same thing.

I remembered this quote of his from Galatians “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13).

The temptation to use God’s forgiveness as a carte blanche is an old one, but it’s dangerous and subtle. Stealing a candy bar might feel like living in freedom, but it’s actually living in slavery to your sinful ways. God’s forgiveness is a gift, not a loophole.

I was really mad at Andrew, I told him he was wrong, but when I look at the second part of what is written in Galatians, I’m not sure I see myself: “Use your freedom to serve one another in love.”

I may not abuse my freedom to justify stealing candy, but I’m not sure I use my freedom to serve those around me either. I’m often satisfied with not doing the wrong thing, even though I may not be doing the right things. As hard as it is to abstain from evil, it is much more difficult to step into goodness.

Doug

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Food For Thought

Aside

Men give away Cuddling Kisses Hugs and Whispers of Sweet Nothings, for Sex.

Women give away Sex, in exchange for Cuddling Kisses Hugs and Whispers of Sweet Nothings.

Girl… you say, “Oh what I wouldn’t do for a hug tonight!

Well…. He quietly thinks to himself,  “what I wouldn’t do for a climax tonight!”

Girls, is it, I ask,  right you should get your satisfaction met and he, not?

Be ye “Kind” and “Safe” to one another… for this is Real “Love”…

..In group one of our gals very recently was painfully honest and open about her past,

her testimony is priceless and sad. She asked her now soon to be X-husband of  more then 25 yrs,…

” Would you have married me if I had not of given you sex before marriage?” 

His answer. “Probably not.”  

Had she have held to this boundary, chances are she would have married a man who truly would have been

committed to her and her children… or never married at all, which would have spared her this particular pain.

Is “sex” worth all this?  I am not against sex! But it isn’t all its cracked up to be either! It is a very very

temporary high. It is not the premise upon which we should marry or date.  Sex is the Blessing of a harvest of

Truth and God’s kind of Love. However, Satan has deceived many today… Through songs, movies, porn, lies,

deceit, books, philosophy, immorality, rebellion, selfishness, self-centeredness, jealousy, disobedience,

carelessness, evil ploys, and wickedness. (what is wickedness?)  Broad is the way that leads to destruction!

Satan is all about destroy happiness, family, love…hurt the people, keep them from God!  Yeah Jesus died for

them, but no, lets keep them from Him! “Yeah, another one bites the dust!” the Enemy of our Soul says.

Narrow is the way to doing what is right, it is lonely except for Jesus companionship ans that of others

following Him. Only this route will get you to the true home-run! the Holy Spirit says.

Sex… sex…. Sex yeah lets think about sex.

Are you Feeding the right Wolf?

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The Two Wolves Within

An old Cherokee told his grandson
‘Two wolves rage within us,

One is Evil, it has many names:
Anger, envy, jealousy,
Sorrow, regret, greed,
Arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
Resentment, inferiority, lies,
False-pride, superiority and ego.

The other is Good, it has many hues:
Joy, peace, love, hope,
Serenity, humility, kindness,
Benevolence, empathy, generosity,
Truth, compassion and faith.’

The grandson thought for a minute
And asked: ‘Which Wolf wins?’
The Cherokee simply replied:
‘The one you feed!’
Author: Zoya Zaidi
Aligarh (UP), India
Copyright©: Zoya Zaidi

 

Aside

Barriers to Real…….

James MacDonald – Senior Pastor – Harvest Bible Chapel

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.
—Exodus 20:4-5

When we allow anything to accumulate on the table of our heart and mind, occupying our time and attention in a worshipful way—that’s a problem. But sweeping all of those things off the table so only God remains as the object of our worship aligns with our ultimate reality. We are for Him, breathing for Him, living for Him, and spending our lives for Him. God in the center of our attention is the essence of worship.

The second commandment reminds us we have a capacity for creating idols and false gods: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.” Creating an idol isn’t just carving or molding an image. More often it’s placing godlike values on something that can’t possibly accomplish what only God can do. Whenever we worship what is created instead of our Creator, we end up with nothing but trouble. The warning in this commandment is one of the reasons we come to church: to sweep our idols off the table.

So what most often distracts our worship from God? We asked 100 people and here are the top five answers:

5. Our families. We can let our children or our spouse get in the place of God. Our families are our God-given primary responsibility; that’s why they can never come before Him. If we make them more important than God, we’ve failed in what He wants us to do for them!

4. Money and posessions. We easily worship things instead of God. Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). When we worship God, we treasure Him and recognize His worth, but if we set our hearts on our treasure—our money, our posessions—it displaces God and we’re in trouble.

3. Sports figures and celebrities. We worship people when we think “Oh, if only I could be like him.” That’s worship. Do we recognize the convicting accuracy of a television program named American Idol? People are worshiping other people.

2. Our careers and accomplishments. We trust these fragile, temporal achievements to give our lives meaning and significance—the very qualities only God can supply.

1. Ourselves. We turn our needs and wants into our highest pursuit. When we won’t allow anyone, not even God, to get in the way of what we desire, we’re worshiping the idol in the mirror.

The discipline of worship is a deliberate act where we sweep clean the table of our hearts and remove all the false gods who would claim our worship. We gather with others in God’s presence and ask Him to burn away every worthless thing that would crowd out His rightful place. That’s worship at its best and it’s where God shows up in glory.

Read the five idol categories again. Where have you allowed something or someone to slip into God’s place in your life? Don’t hesitate—confess it and set that idol aside. Ask God to trigger a warning when the idol tempts you again. Thank Him for being the one true God in your life.

Barriers to Relationship….

The Other Side of the Fence

As unique as a seashell
As deep as the sea
As eternal as the waves
Our love was meant to be.
When we became one
And said our vows on the sand
It was certain, we believed
That this was part of Godʼs plan
But I received a letter today
From my beautiful bride
Who promised at one time
To always stand by my side
I opened the letter quickly,
And when I peered inside,
I learned her unfailing love
Will now be cast aside.
It was then that I realized
This letter by my side
Was not one of love
But one full of pride
I then walked outside
And leaned down on the fence
Prayed to God above
Because it didnʼt make sense
I looked up and over
To the other side of the fence
The enemy was standing there
Laughing at my expense
He saw I was alone
And his face had one big sneer
He won the battle for this marriage
Because it didnʼt persevere.

I then dreamt back to the day
When we said our vows by the ocean
Our new covenant life together
Was excitedly set into motion!
It was a moment of joy
When we both stood on that beach
Happiness and joy
Was now within reach!
Hardships and difficulties
We could surely traverse
Because we decided long ago
It was for better or for worse.
So we commenced our marriage
Sweetheart to sweetheart
But then slowly but surely
Our love drifted apart
Now itʼs my turn to write a letter
Because I wish youʼd hang in there
For neither of us is perfect
I know we are both aware.
Itʼs so frustrating to me
And I just want to exclaim
That itʼs not just one or the other
Because weʼre both to blame!
If youʼve been married a while
You donʼt need any proof
To know itʼs just two sinners
Living under the same roof.
How hard marriage can be,
Thereʼs just no way to explain
But there can be so many blessings
When you both work through the pain
I canʼt help but wonder though,
The blessings that we missed
All because we gave up
And our love didnʼt persist.
So the enemy won this battle
You can hear his laughing now
He found someone was willing
To forsake their marriage vow.
He wants me to blame God
Because we failed this marriage test
But I refuse to be bitter towards her
And I really do wish her the best
But I canʼt help and wonder
Whoʼs turn will be next
Will there be another one in the future
Looking down and reading this text
So I wish her Godʼs blessing
And I mean no offense
But the grass of life isnʼt always greener
On the other side of the fence.
JL 2012