The world’s sliding scale of ethics and morality provides a fitting non-foundation for a society
enamored with limitless personal freedoms without the corresponding personal responsibility.
It is perfect for people who want to feel good about themselves no matter how they live.
It makes “sense” to those who see no ultimate purpose for their lives.
“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) is not limited to sex outside of marriage.
God commands us to abstain from all sexual immorality, including premarital sex
(fornication), homosexuality, incest, voyeurism, bestiality, public nudity and much
more (see Leviticus 18 and 20).
In the New Testament, Paul adds licentiousness, uncleanness and lewdness (Ephesians 4:19),
which largely deal with liberal attitudes towards sexual matters.
Men seem to “get away” with adultery while unfaithful women are considered tramps.
This double standard is ancient. In John 8:3-11, a crowd was ready to stone a woman caught
“in the very act,” but where was the adulterous man?
God’s Word, however, deals with both sexes equally.
It does not take sexual sin lightly either. Leviticus 20:10 commands death for both participants
for adultery, as well as for sodomy and homosexuality (verse 13). Paul reminds us that God
killed twenty-three thousand Israelites in one day for sex sins (I Corinthians 10:8).
In Abraham’s day God destroyed five entire cities by fire for their aberrant sex practices.
God sent the Israelites and Jews into captivity for immorality, among other reasons.
Jesus struck the heart of the matter in His Sermon on the Mount.
Christians must not even lust after another—fantasizing or committing sex with them mentally
Nowadays, many psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors actually advise people to fantasize,
or perhaps even have a “little fling.” Advertisements and fashions all play to the lust of the flesh,
making it increasingly more difficult to obey Jesus’ command. Teens sometimes scorn their peers
if they are still virgins by fourteen. This topsy-turvy world has completely lost its understanding
of this commandment.
Much like our big cities today, ancient Corinth was filled with sexual temptations. Paul advised
the brethren there to “flee sexual immorality” (I Corinthians 6:18). Too often we flee, yet leave
a forwarding address! It is unwise to hang around people, places or situations that tempt us
into sex sins (Proverbs 5:3-14; Genesis 39:7-12). When we flirt with temptation, we can end
up as an ox going to slaughter (Proverbs 7:6-27).
Why should we flee temptations? Revelation 21:8 states that God will sentence the sexually
immoral to the Lake of Fire, right along with murderers, idolaters, liars and other unrepentant
sinners. Paul adds, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?”
Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,
nor sodomites . . . will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9-10)
But for us, it is a slippery slope to the second death. Through His law, God has provided us
a fixed standard, a pattern of approved behavior that is valid and profitable for anyone in
any place at any time.
We have a God who does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), and since His Word is
based on His very character, it does not change either. This is the factor that allows us
to have unshakable faith in Almighty God and His purpose for us. And we need such an
unshakable faith during these last days. Paul warns us in II Timothy 3:1 that our time
would be “perilous” to us because of our belief in the truth of God.
The apostle then lists specific attitudes (verses 2-5), many of which apply to these
three examples of traditional ethics and morality being turned upside-down. Though
the world continues to increase its store of knowledge, the people and their leaders
are always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
One day, hopefully soon, the folly of man’s misguided immorality will be revealed
by the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Then, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14), and the problems will truly
begin to be solved.
- The Berean
The following ideas (edited by Alan Smith) are entitled
“All I Need To Know About Life I Learned From Trees”
** author unknown **
It’s important to have roots.
In today’s complex world, it pays to branch out.
If you really believe in something, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb.
Be flexible so you don’t break when a harsh wind blows.
Sometimes you have to shed your old bark in order to grow.
Grow where you’re planted.
It’s perfectly okay to be a late bloomer.
Avoid people who would like to cut you down.
Get all spruced up when you have a hot date.
If the party gets boring, just leaf.
You can’t hide your true colors as you approach the autumn of your life.
It’s more important to be honest than poplar.
Those are some good lessons.
They remind me of some other lessons taught in the very first Psalm:
Happy is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked ones, and in the way of sinners has not stood, and in the seat of ridiculers has not sat. But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in an undertone day and night.
And he will certainly become like a tree planted by streams of water, that gives its own fruit in its season and the foliage of which does not wither, and everything he does will succeed.
The Psalmist says that a godly person is like a tree in three very important ways :
First, he is planted — he’s got his roots put down deep, he’s fortified, stable.
Second, he bears fruit — he develops godlike qualities in his character and life.
Third, he doesn’t wither — he is able to survive under all circumstances, even days of difficulty.
May your spiritual life take on the qualities of a tree planted by the rivers of water.
ISAIAH 66 : 1-2
This is what Jehovah has said:
“The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
Where, then, is the house that YOU people can build for me,
and where, then, is the place as a resting-place for me?”
“Now all these things my own hand has made,
so that all these came to be,” is the utterance of Jehovah.
“To this one, then, I shall look, to the one afflicted and
contrite in spirit and trembling at my word.”
Humility is the key to oneness with God.
Consequently, it is also the key to oneness with our brethren.
God’s way of achieving oneness is for each person to be so
attuned to God that he is motivated to do everything possible
to ensure that the relationship (with God or fellow man) is not
only unbroken, but constantly becoming ever closer.
We should do this because we are striving to become like Him,
and that is how He is.
Each person is responsible
for cleaning up his character and
humbling himself before God.
*clipart from http://www.christart.com*
Each is not responsible for judging his brother so critically it
drives a wedge between them and separates them.
Such a person does not even see his own sin! In such a case,
he could not be in God’s Kingdom because that manner of thinking
would continue right on into it, and God will not allow it there.
*John W. Ritenbaugh*
♥ “Thou hast shewed thy people hard things” (Psalms 60:3). ♥
I have always been glad that the Psalmist said to God that some things were hard.
There is no mistake about it; there are hard things in life.
Some beautiful pink flowers were given me this summer,
and as I took them I said, “What are they?”
And the answer came, “They are rock flowers; they grow and bloom
only on rocks where you can see no soil.”
Then I thought of God’s flowers growing in hard places;
and I feel, somehow, that He may have a peculiar tenderness for
His “rock flowers” that He may not have for His lilies and roses.
♣ Margaret Bottome ♣
The tests of life are to make, not break us.
Trouble may demolish a man’s business but build up his character.
The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man.
If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives,
be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is what we shall lose if we flinch or rebel.
♠ Maltbie D. Babcock ♠
“Heroes are forged on anvils hot with pain,
And splendid courage comes but with the test.
Some natures ripen and some natures bloom
Only on blood-wet soil, some souls prove great
Only in moments dark with death or doom.”
by Mrs. Charles Cowman – Streams in the Desert
“God gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
a good understanding have all they that do His commandments:
His praise endureth for ever.
♣ ♥ ♣
Proverbs 1 to 10 = Counsel for Young Men
♣ ♥ ♣
“Wise Up!” … Worship is the first step to wisdom.
*The fear of Jehovah/Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge.
Wisdom and discipline are what mere fools have despised.*
– Proverbs 1:7
“Walk Straight!” … The straight and narrow has the lowest accident rate.
*The purpose is that you may walk in the way of good people
and that the paths of the righteous ones you may keep.*
– Proverbs 2:20
“Directions” … Ask Almighty God Jehovah/Yahweh about everything;
He knows every road.
*In all your ways take notice of Him, and He Himself will make your paths straight.*
– Proverbs 3:6
“Watch Your Step!” … Every step molds your character; Step Well.
*Smooth out the course of your foot, and may all your own ways be firmly established.*
– Proverbs 4:26
“Listen” … to the voices of the sages and walk on straight paths set
by Lord God Almighty Jehovah/Yahweh from heavens above.
*For the ways of man are in front of the eyes of Jehovah, and He is contemplating all his tracks.*
Proverbs : 5:21
“Jehovah/Yahweh God’s Black List”
… pride, lies, murder, deceit, mischief, betrayal, discord.
There are six things that Jehovah does hate;
yes, seven are things detestable to his soul:
Lofty eyes, a false tongue, and hands that are shedding innocent blood,
a heart fabricating hurtful schemes, feet that are in a hurry to run to badness,
a false witness that launches forth lies,
and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.*
– Proverbs 6: 16-19
“A Bad Woman” – read carefully and heed the warnings about
conniving loose immoral women.
*That is why I have come out to meet you, to look for your face, that I may find you.
With coverlets I have bedecked my divan, with many-colored things, linen of Egypt.
I have besprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
Do come, let us drink our fill of love until the morning;
do let us enjoy each other with love expressions.
For the husband is not in his house; he has gone traveling on a way of some distance.
A bag of money he has taken in his hand.
On the day of the full moon he will come to his house.”
She has misled him by the abundance of her persuasiveness.
By the smoothness of her lips she seduces him.
All of a sudden he is going after her, like a bull that comes even to the slaughter,
and just as if fettered for the discipline of a foolish man,
until an arrow cleaves open his liver, just as a bird hastens into the trap,
and he has not known that it involves his very soul.
And now, O sons, listen to me and pay attention to the sayings of my mouth.
May your heart not turn aside to her ways.
Do not wander into her roadways.
For many are the ones she has caused to fall down slain,
and all those being killed by her are numerous.
The ways to She´ol her house is; they are descending to the interior rooms of death.*
Proverbs : 7:15-27
“Riches” … Rubies of wisdom commands the highest price on the market of character values.
*For wisdom is better than corals, and all other delights themselves
cannot be made equal to it.*
– Proverbs 8:11
“More Fun” … Nothing you ought NOT to do is ever more fun. Wait till you see what results.
*“Stolen waters themselves are sweet, and bread [eaten] in secrecy—it is pleasant.”
But he has not come to know that those impotent in death are there,
that those called in by her are in the low places of She´ol.*
– Proverbs 9:17-18
“Wanted! Silence” … wordy men seldom are wise men.
*In the abundance of words there does not fail to be transgression,
but the one keeping his lips in check is acting discreetly.*
– Proverbs 10:19
♣ ♣ ♣
Great Souls Experience Great Sorrows
Material stuff and trinkets are easily earned, but usually the most
valuable and most precious things carry a heavy price and often
times with harsh, grueling and toilsome labor. Sometimes lofty
heights of power and awesome wealth are always bought with
blood, if there is enough of blood to be spilled.
To attain the greatest value and character in life, it needs our acceptance of flexibility to adapt to ever changing winds of trials and tribulations for they are not thrown at us randomly; it’s brought upon to chisel us to be precious gems in order to meet with our Almighty God’s standards as wholesome loving respectful human beings. We are brought upon our knees under circumstances of intense fire of trials and afflictions so that we may exercise our utmost faith and trust in Almighty God Yahweh (JEHOVAH) and forever be thankful in Yeshua (Jesus) as our Savior, the Atoner for our sins and the intercessor between God and men. So, do not despair in times of troubled storms for when God brings us that deluge of tempest, He is using time which He is in control, to deal with us with patience so that we will learn to lean our all, heavily upon Him. Great truths are dearly bought, the common truths,
Such as we give and take from day to day,
Come in the common walk of easy life,
Blown by the careless wind across our way.
Great truths are greatly won, not found by chance,
Nor wafter on the breath of summer dream;
But grasped in the great struggle of our soul,
Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.
But in the day of conflict, fear and grief,
When the strong hand of God, put forth in might,
Plows up the subsoil of our stagnant heart,
And brings the imprisoned truth seed to the light.
Wrung from the troubled spirit, in hard hours
Of weakness, solitude and times of pain,
Truth springs like harvest from the well-plowed field,
And our soul feels it has not wept in vain.