Monthly Archives: June 2012

Do You Want To Be Pure? Check Yourself!

We all have vices. We all have sin tendencies that confound and cause us to despair – even deeply despair.

How can a person keep their way pure?

This is what the psalmist asked in Psalms 119:9 and we are not left hanging.

So what’s the secret? How can sin be restrained? How can a person keep their way pure?

First answer: God’s word. Verse 9 leads off with the only question of the section and then gives a summary answer in verse 9b: “By keeping it according to Your word.” But the psalmist then gives us more to work with.

Second answer: Active word-centered discipline.  How do you maintain purity?

  • V. 10 – You seek God with all your heart so you don’t wander from His commandments. Do you seek God will all your being?
  • V. 11 – You treasure God’s word so you don’t sin. Do you treasure the word of God in your heart?
  • V. 12 – You praise God with a teachable and humble heart. Do you praise God when tempted?
  • V. 13 – You speak God’s word to others because it overflows from your heart. Are you regularly overflowing audibly with the word of God?
  • V. 14 – You rejoice over the word of God more than the treasures of the world. Do you love to hear and obey God’s word more than you desire the stuff of this world? What’s more valuable to you?
  • V. 15 – You meditate on God’s word and heed what it instructs. Do you meditate and respond rightly to what God has said?
  • V. 16 – You delight in God’s word so that you can’t forget it. Do you love God’s word so much that you have memorized it?

How do you fight sin? How do you fight for purity?

You discipline yourself to seek, treasure, praise, speak, rejoice, meditate and delight. This is what you do to fight for purity.

Are you doing these things? If yes, praise God. If no, then be honest about the fact that you may not desire purity as much as you think you do.

If you and I want to beat sin we can’t passively read the Bible every once in a while. We can’t scratch at the surface of the depths of God’s special revelation. We must dig and dig deep. We must be consistently active. We must make extended time for God’s word. We must discipline ourselves to actively know and keep the word of God.

So if your sick of sin, don’t complain or give up. With all your heart discipline yourself to know and do the word of God.

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The Commercial Emasculation of Men

Father’s Day is drawing nigh and so with it comes a barrage of commercials selling phones, cars, cologne, steaks and everything  Lowes has to offer. These commercials are certainly not all bad, but some of them are deeply bothersome – at least to me.

Now I don’t want to be the guy who makes a mountain out of a molehill, but I do believe it is important to think and be wise about what our culture believes and is communicating. I think it is important to ask if we are somehow being inoculated in a detrimental way.

I recently was watching the primary cultural inoculating medium – the television – when I saw this commercial:

This commercial bothers me a lot and it does so because I think it is unintentionally selling  a bill of goods (an idea) as normative. And it isn’t cell phones. Here’s what I see in this commercial.

  • There’s an embedded cultural perception. Our culture makes light of things that are subtly and generally true. Sitcoms and stand-up comedians make a living off correctly diagnosing and then exaggerating tendencies. Seinfeld for instance was a show that you could watch and by the end you would be laughing and saying: “That’s just the way it really is.”   The intent of this commercial is to sell you a phone, but it is saying something about men and how they communicate. If this is the way men generally communicate with their sons, I don’t think it is something to laugh about. This commercial makes males look like cavemen who are barely capable uttering a string of intelligible words. And even if it is generally true for many, it’s not alright.
  • Perception: Men are cluelessly not engaged. It also appears to further our pop-culture view of men, and especially fathers, as very unengaged. Adam was unengaged in the battle for the mind and heart of his covenant mate (Genesis 3:1-6), and look where that got him and us. It’s not alright for men to come home, say as few words as possible and sit in front of the TV and let the wife do all the communicating to the family. Men have got to engage.
  • Diagnosis: If largely true, it’s a massive tragedy. I know this is just a commercial that overstates perception, but here’s the tragedy, a father like that will raise a son who does the same thing. And that’s not funny. Men were meant to be communicators of truth by using words. Adam failed in an epic way because he did not speak up in Genesis 3:1-6. He did not concisely and urgently inform Eve that she was not speaking the truth, the very truth that God himself gave to the man. Men must be more than grunters, head-nodders and rib jabbers. They must carefully and urgently communicate with meaningful intent and content.
  • In Sum: It’s Emasculating. I’m not saying this commercial is meaning to emasculate men, but what I am saying is that if we agree with what this commercial is communicating, then men will think and act in a way that is contrary to God’s purpose for their masculinity. If men think and act like this then we have lost the biblical paradigm concerning masculinity.

Have I over-thought this? You decide. But I fear for us that too often we are told and sold what we are to think and we don’t even know that it isn’t funny. And even worse, we don’t even know it is wrong.