Posted by: pastortomvabeach | September 12, 2013

Thought For The Week September 15, 2013

Pastor Doug sends me an email devotional produced by The Pentecostal Evangel which is called The Daily Boost. Last week Ken Horn, the editor of The Pentecostal Evangel, wrote this small devotional entitled “Numb to Sin”. I think this is a very up to the minute thought we might all do well to ponder and apply to our lives. Here’s The Daily Boost from September 6, 2013:

“Christians used to be concerned about the entertainment industry being morally on the edge, and worried that young believers would be tempted to dabble in questionable pastimes. That concern is now a thing of the past. Entertainment has blatantly gone over the edge and is pushing the envelope further daily, while many believers have plunged full-force into the deadly whirlpool.

“I used to be somewhat naive, thinking there was no way Christians would wallow in such filth. But my eyes were opened in the ’80s when a college-aged parishioner in the church I pastored told my wife, Peggy, that he went to R-rated movies. ‘What about the profanity?’ she asked. ‘You get to where you don’t notice it,’ was his reply.

“That’s a problem. Numb to sin. Those words — and images — become a part of your subconscious and poison your spiritual walk. Dulled spiritual senses get to where they are not jolted by obvious sin. Could this lead to what Paul spoke about — having a ‘conscience seared with a hot iron’ (1 Timothy 4:2, NKJV)? Christians are supposed to be different. ‘Come out … be separate’ (2 Corinthians 6:17). How can Christians justify going to R-rated movies when even most PG and PG-13 films are objectionable?

“We recently received a letter from a parent who purchased an E-rated (appropriate for everyone) video game for her young son. Passing his room the mother was stunned to hear a curse word from the game. We can’t trust the industry to police itself or believe in its ratings.

“And why would a believer have cable movie channels — or watch certain TV sitcoms? Many commercials alone can make you feel like you’re swimming in a cesspool. (Try muting them.)

“How does filling our minds with this stuff jibe with the holiness of Romans 12:2 or the pure mind of Philippians 4:8? Eventually we get to Matthew 12:34, where the mouth speaks from what’s in the heart. Do we seriously think we can lift up ‘holy hands’ on Sunday when those hands have been channel surfing through the vile, the degraded and the ungodly all week?

“I’ve seen people go through ridiculous contortions to justify their vice. Ask yourself the following about anything you’re thinking of watching: ‘Would I be comfortable watching this with my pastor — or with Jesus?’ No? Then turn it off.

“Why do we see so little revival? Why are so many Christians poverty-stricken spiritually? Often we need look no further than the entertainment they absorb. If you really want revival — or a closer walk with God — you had better be prepared to take a brutally honest inventory of your viewing habits — and give some things up. If you fill that void with wholesome pastimes and more of seeking after God, you’ll see a change. Guaranteed.”

What did you think? Is he being too legalistic, too prudish? How much profanity, nudity, violence, gratuitous sexual activity, crime, glorification of drug or alcohol use, etc., is OK for a Christian to put in his or her spirit? How little can we put in without damaging our spiritual growth? Consider this – how much dog dropping would you allow in a brownie mix and still eat the brownies?

Dear friends, I am asking myself these questions. I have cable channels and I go to movies with PG-13 rating that read “For sexual content, thematic elements and language,” and “For some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language,” among others. I have drawn the line at R-rated movies but is holiness about getting as much ungodly input as I can without the “real bad” stuff or doing everything I can to keep myself pure?

I am giving this serious consideration. I have to wonder, as does brother Horn, might we see much more in terms of real spiritual growth and revival if we lifted our standard of holiness to where the Bible places it? Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. II Corinthians 7:1 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (I Peter 1:13-16)

Both Paul and Peter that “therefore” when they call their readers to a living standard of holiness. In both cases they are referring to the marvelous gift by which the Lord Jesus Christ lifted us out of the grip of sin and its just punishment and saying, “If Jesus did this for you, then here’s how you should live.” I challenge you to think how your spiritual life would be different if you changed what goes into your spirit. If it has me on edge thinking about it, I want you on the same edge. Just a thought.

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