Tag Archives: Christian maturity

Sexual Purity vs. Virginity

“This desire for heart purity is a creation of the Holy Spirit at work in the heart.” ~ Duncan Campbell

In the past, I’ve heard others brag that they still had their “V-card”,  meaning that they were technically still virgins, even though they had  unreservedly explored sexual activities outside of intercourse. Because they weren’t having intercourse, in their minds they were in the clear.

But is this actually true?

Today may you be challenged to raise your own personal standards to the heights of our glorious and holy King Jesus. To God be the glory!

Is there really a difference between virginity and sexual purity?

Many people view purity and virginity as synonymous terms, using them interchangeably to convey the same point. But in truth they are not the same. For example, consider the following: Can an individual remain a virgin (by refraining from intercourse), but tarnish their sexual purity through other immodest behaviors in their lives (such as pornography or achieving orgasm outside of intercourse)?

Really think about this for a moment.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 ESV

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1 ESV

What is sexual purity exactly? And what is virginity?

According to Websters, purity is defined as the lack of dirty or harmful substance; and a lack of guilt or evil thoughts. Virginity is defined as the state of never having had sexual intercourse.

While virginity is deeply connected to the physical act, purity is much more of a mind-set and belief system. As a Christian, we must be aware that our body belongs to God, and it is to be used for His glory. It’s a lie to believe that we can do with our bodies whatever we deem permissible in our own eyes. This is leaning on the understanding of man, and it can get us into a lot of trouble. There are, in fact, safe practices and danger zones in the context of a dating relationship.

“All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 NASB

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26 ESV

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” Psalm 118:8

Allow me to be candid through the tender love of Christ.

First of all, we all know what can happen when a man and a woman share a bed. So sleeping (whether overnight or as part of an afternoon nap) in the same bed with the opposite sex (especially while in a dating relationship) is dangerous territory. This act alone is cultivating an intimacy that belongs only in marriage. Unfortunately, such intimacy is very challenging to dissolve after a dating relationships ends. After all, even the act of sleeping by itself (a place of extreme vulnerability) can foster a premature sense of trust in a person (that otherwise wouldn’t be granted until the relationship presents itself as ready).

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:14 ESV

It would be extremely prudent on your part to avoid this behavior, both to guard your own heart and to protect your witness to other believers. By maintaining strong physical boundaries in relationships, you are allowing no room for presumptuous thoughts to manifest concerning your purity. We are called to be a light to the world, and to walk in a place of purity.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13 ESV

Secondly, until marriage it would also be very wise to avoid engaging in any sexual act that leads to orgasm. This can include manual stimulation, oral sex, or anything else that could produce intense sexual pleasure. This type of enjoyment should be shared between a husband and wife alone. Here’s why: in marriage God receives the glory through the formation of a deep, intimate bond between husband and wife (intended to strengthen the marital union).

In marriage, sexual activity is performed without fear of future rejection, trepidation, abandonment, and/or shame. When done on His terms, all sexual activities will bring incredible enjoyment that is rich in genuine love and pleasing to God. The marriage bed is lavished with peace and joy, rather than shame and condemnation. It’s your choice to make, beloved. My hope is that  you make the right one through the grace of Jesus Christ.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 ESV

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” Psalm 119:37 ESV

 Join me tomorrow as we discuss the issue of sexual purity when living as a single person. To God be the glory!

Are you currently a subscriber? If not, we would love to have you! Just click HERE to begin receiving encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you!

Photo image provided by jeremimcmanus.files.wp.com

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Benefits of Choosing Thanksgiving

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Being thankful requires us to take action.

In fact, a heart of thanksgiving is the product of intentional choices – a mind that deliberately focuses on the positive thoughts (even in the midst of discomfort or suffering) and a mouth that speaks praiseworthy, life-giving ideas (versus complaining and grumbling).

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think of such things.” Philippians 4:8

So, what’s the big deal in being thankful?

Well, for starters, it deeply pleases the heart of God. It’s like an early morning “pat on the back” for His holy provision of the countless blessings He chooses to bestow upon us – the breath in our lungs, the God-given ability of our bodies to fight off infection, eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, clean running water, bees to pollinate the fresh crops we eat, and the fact that Earth is in the exact proximity from the sun to sustain life and keep us from being consumed by its fiery rays.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psalm 100:4

Thanksgiving shows God the admiration He deserves. And it’s a reminder that we’re nothing without Him which keeps us humble.

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7:17

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

Secondly, thanksgiving ushers in a spirit of freedom. Our own human minds often serve as a main source of oppression. Christ not only died so we can have eternal life, but He also died so we can live in freedom.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

When our thoughts become engulfed in the details of our own lives (our financial problems, our health concerns, our relational issues), we can easily become enslaved by pessimistic thinking (focusing on what isn’t going right and becoming blind to the needs of others). Yet, the same can be said when we focus on the problems of others (complaining and criticizing the character of others, or leaning on strength of self rather than God in any area of ministry), and are unable to freely enjoy all God has given us.

Thanksgiving gently forces us to take our eyes off of ourselves and onto God. And we can never go wrong by gazing at Jesus.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:16

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

This morning, feelings of being overwhelmed and discouraged started to envelop my heart. And within minutes after brewing my hot cup of tea, God lovingly reminded me to focus on the positive. He suggested that I focus on His goodness, specifically His sovereignty and the redemptive healing He alone ushered into my life. Not surprisingly, His advice was nothing less than brilliant. Soon my dry, parched soul began bubbling over with a refreshing spring of praise.

“Then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Deuteronomy 6:12

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgements He pronounced.” Psalm 105:1-5

God is good regardless of our circumstances.

        “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Application Questions: 

1. What about God prompts you to be thankful today (who He is, what He has done for you in the past, what He is doing for you in the present, or even promises that He has made to you concerning your future)?

2. What can you do today to proactively prepare yourself to be thankful in the times that grumbling, criticism, or complaint can be easy to do?

3.  How can you encourage others to be thankful through your own actions?

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! We are so thankful to have you as a reader!

Do you know someone who would be encouraged by this reminder of choosing thanksgiving? Please share the message with others through our various outlets below. Thank you!

Are you currently a subscriber? If not, we would love to have you! Just click HERE to begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you!

Photo provided by truthworks.org
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Value of Wise Counsel

Wise counsel is a topic that stirs up a deep and vibrant passion within me. Because wisdom equips us to reject mediocrity while cultivating quality in our lives, I am convinced that Godly wisdom is the greatest indicator of how well one’s life will be lived.

Of course, this implies that one has already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ invites us to accept a new life in Him, and the wisdom found in God’s word is what teaches us how to live out this new life.

Wisdom found in God’s word invites us into God’s way of thinking. 

Let’s see what the Word has to say about wisdom:

“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and discipline (implying we must seek it in order to gain it); for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion (good judgement) to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning (implying humility is wisdom, since one who is wise continues to be teachable), and let the discerning get guidance —for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

I’m not sure about you, but I want everything that wisdom has to offer: the discipline to do what needs to be done to reach my goals, the ability to understand words of insight, and the discernment to know what is right and wrong in this whirlwind of chaos called life. And I want to avoid senseless mistakes.

How is wise counsel related to wisdom? Wisdom comes from the Lord. Counsel is advice given to one person by another. Therefore, wise counsel is the advice or insight given to another person that is based on God’s truth. In order to be wise, counsel cannot be based on the limited understanding that man possesses. Instead, it must come from an infallible God who knows and understands all things. If the advice you’re receiving does not align with Scripture, then I would strongly encourage you to reevaluate your sources of insight.

What are sources of wise counsel in one’s life? The first source should always be the Wise Counselor. And I would encourage you to always go to Him first. Wise counsel can also come several different sources: the Word, your pastor, a mentor, your spouse, a close friend, a parent, or a therapist. Just make sure that whatever advice you receive is based on the Truth, because the Truth (not opinions) is what sets us free.

Let’s take a stroll through the Word to observe God’s take on this issue:

1. “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs12:15

We need to be quick to seek insight from Godly counsel. It can save us from major heartache down the road.

2. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

Humility is a prerequisite for receiving insight from others. Pride tells us that we already know everything and don’t need to listen to anyone.

3. “He walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

If you want to be wise, find wise people and spend time with them. You will learn a ton!

4. “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

Wisdom causes us to reevaluate how we spend our time, our money, our relationships, and our efforts.

5. “Plans fail for a lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs15:22

If we lean on our own understanding and refuse to seek counsel when faced with a dilemma, then we often end up making poor choices, especially if we lack experience. There is power in humbling ourselves and seeking help.

6. “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.” Proverbs15:31

We are wise when we allow people to confront us with God-given truth, even if it hurts.

7. “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” Proverbs 16:23

Wisdom must be in the heart (the wellspring of life) before it can be spoken through the mouth. We must pay attention to what people are advising us to do. And we need to carefully observe how they live their lives.

8. “The purpose of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5

When used by the Lord, wise counsel has a way of exposing the deepest issues within us. I often refer to this as purging our souls.

9. “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3

A wise person individual will heed to Godly counsel and seek the appropriate response in different situations. A foolish individual will continue doing what they’re doing and suffer the unnecessary consequences.

10. “He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26

Trusting in ourselves alone is dangerous. We must seek His counsel and truth to direct our lives in order to dwell in safety.

May we all pursue lives of excellence with the aid of wisdom by seeking God first and being open to wise counsel from God-fearing advisers.

Application Questions

1. Who is the first person you often turn to when facing a significant decision? And is the counsel that you receive rooted in truth?

2. Can you think of two to five people in your life that can provide wise counsel? Who do you know that studies and applies God’s word in different areas of life (e.g. financial, marriage / relationships, parenting, therapy / counseling, ministerial / vocational decisions, and managing others)?

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Are you currently a subscriber? We would love to have you! Just click HERE to begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox. Thank you!

Image provided by fineartamerica.com

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: