Monday, July 23, 2012

Touching Base! Part 173

Rigorous Faith in Turbulent Times, Part 12
Living Together – Ephesians 5:1-14
Posting by Fred Grendel

(This article can also we found on our website
at under the tab called "Blog")

This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.

This Sunday our Big Idea was that “Walking the line is the only way to live”. I introduced my message with the song Walk the Line by Johnny Cash and yet contrasted the fact that Johnny Cash did not always “Walk the Line”. Do you always walk the line?

THE NUMBERS ARE FRIGHTENING (Source websites are listed at the end of this TB)

Sex sells right? And if it sells it’s okay, right? “After all who can really tell me how far is too far when it comes to sex?” WRONG. Here are the stats I shared on Sunday. Notice how only small children are exempt:

- According to a 2005 report on the state of the adult entertainment industry by Adult Video News, a trade journal on the adult-film industry, 55% of hotel movie rentals are porn movie rentals.

- In 2010, out of the million most popular (most trafficked) websites in the world, 42,337 were sex-related sites. That’s about 4% of sites.

- From July 2009 to July 2010, about 13% of Web searches were for erotic content.

- Sex DOES sell:
Adult Video             $500 million to $1.8 billion
Internet                    $1 billion
Pay-Per-View          $128 million
Magazines               $1 billion
Total                       $2.6 to $3.9 billion

- 10 percent of married people — 12 percent of men and 7 percent of women — say they have had sex outside their marriage.

- The age of first sexual experience is trending down:

Turned 15 in                       Age in 2002-03          Median Age at
                                                                                First Premarital Sex
   1954-63                                    55-64                            20.4
   1964-73                                    45-54                            18.6
   1974-83                                    35-44                            18.0
   1984-93                                    25-34                            17.3
   1994-2003                                15-24                            17.6

- Rates of sexually transmitted diseases have doubled among 50- to 90-year-olds in the past decade.


In the rest of this tool I will give some tools on how to combat sexual temptation and expose the darkness in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones.

1. Avoid asking the question “how far is too far?” Is this question really pleasing to the Lord (v.10)? Ask instead, “God, is this pleasing to you? Is this magazine… night with the opposite sex… conversation… website… TV show.. pleasing to YOU?”

2. Do you struggle with sexual sin? Unfortunately many of us do (yes, believe me, even here at Bethel). Find an accountability partner of the same sex who is willing to keep you accountable. Ask them to keep you accountable on the root issues, not just on whether you acted on it. Of course, they need to pray for you and with you.

3. If you struggle with sexual sin, take each day as it comes (Matt 6:34). One day at a time. This is one of the principles of AA. Wake up each morning and commit your day to God. Do not worry about tomorrow.

4. Gauge your media content. Is it pleasing to the Lord? Websites, movies, TV shows, Facebook, Twitter... Remember we have a sexual appetite - trash in, trash out! If you are single (and/or dating) keep your appetite low or nil by controlling the media in your life (Jesus was single and this is what I believe he did). If you are married, keep to your diet within in your marriage.

5. The biggest killer of Christians is heart disease - guard your heart. After all, it is a precious gift from God. Watch your heart especially when you are tired, hungry and stressed. We become more vulnerable in these situations.

6. Is it time to confront a brother or sister about sexual sin? Take a look at Matthew 18:15-20. You can also read my TB 137 (available on the website) on how to lovingly confront someone.

7. Draw clear boundaries with non-family members of the opposite gender, who are of the same or a younger generation. I am not going to draw this out for you because you need to discern what is pleasing to the Lord (v.10).

8. “God loves you and as a wonderful plan for your life (Bill Bright).” “Satan hates you and has a horrible plan for your life (Tom White)”. If you give in to sexual temptation, it will destroy you! It is a wicked, powerful tool of Satan’s! Do not play around with this issue.

9. Know that you are loved (v.1). Know that you have your Bethel community. Satan will tempt you to believe you need to fight your battles alone - this is a lie! I would love to meet with young men who need help in this area. Young women and older women, we can find someone to meet and talk with you. If you need help, ask! This is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. For those of us who are married: keep the marriage bed pure (Heb 13:4) and enjoy sexual love with your spouse. Read the Song of Solomon. This is the problem with a sexually immoral culture - we can be tempted to believe all sex is evil. Sex is a pure gift from God for married couples. May God bless your marriage and your love life with your spouse.

Have a wonderful week and remember walking the line is the ONLY way to live.

Fred Grendel
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact

Sources (all accessible as of 19 Jul 12)

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