Jesus Wept; The Bible And Human Emotions, Lesson 11

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I have never used my blog before to promote any books other than the Bible, but after reading through this week’s SS lesson, “Freedom From Addictions” there are a couple of books I would like to recommend. The first one was recommended to me several years ago by a stranger at the Adventist Book Center. I was in Collegedale, Tennessee browsing through the Adventist Book Center when, I picked up the book “You Can Be Free” at random, written by Vaughn Allen. A lady I had never seen before or since walked up to me and told me that was an excellent book and had set her free. Free from what I do not know, but I thought, if you can’t trust a stranger at the ABC then who can you trust? So I bought the book and found it to be very powerful in dealing with all kinds of addictions. It helps you see the source of the addiction, find the remedy in God’s Word, and practical ways to not put yourself in a vulnerable position to temptation. It offers other practical steps to find freedom in Christ. I found it very practical and powerful. You can order it at your local ABC.

A few years ago the Men’s Ministry of the Florida SDA Conference had a workshop on sexual purity in Clearwater. A friend asked me to go so I did. We both thought it would be a simple little seminar on maintaining sexual purity. Wrong! It was an intense workshop for sex addicts. This workshop had group times, and while listening to the men share their testimonies, I learned that many of them began their addiction to sex around the age of 11 or 12. I then noticed on the workshop program that it said you had to be at least 17 to attend, so while this addiction begins at 11 or 12 you can’t get help until you’re 17! This is crazy! We need to help these young men while they are young before things get worse. I am so thankful for my parents for many reasons, and one of those is that in our home there were no taboo topics. There were no awkward conversations. I could talk to my parents about sex as easily and causally as we talked about the Bible or baseball or whatever. I was never censored. When I hear people refer to sex as an awkward or sensitive subject I have a hard time understanding that. The way I was brought up, talking about sex is no more awkward than talking about how to change the oil in your car. I would like to submit to you the idea that, it is Satan’s idea to make sex a taboo topic and not God’s idea. Nobody is going to ask for help if it’s wrong to talk about it.

Many years ago, I lost a friend who had a sexual addiction that nobody even knew about until it was too late and it killed her. It breaks my heart that she may have been scared to reach out for help, for fear that she would be judged.

A great book that has been highly recommended by hundreds of pastors of all faiths, is “Every Man’s Battle” by Stephen Arterburn. You can also find, “Every Young Man’s Battle” for the younger as I was talking about.

While on the subject of overcoming temptations and addictions I want to share a study from the classic book, “The Desire of Ages,” on how God and His Word help us to be victorious.

In closing I want to add something I feel is very important. Several years ago I was reading “The Purpose Drive Life” by Rick Warren. In his book he talks about the importance of having an accountability partner. I used to think that was humanism but now I find it to be very Biblical. After all Adam and Eve were to be accountability partners in the Garden as well as husband and wife. On page 212 of the Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren makes a bold statement that a trusted accountability partner is the only way we can find victory. Again a few years ago I thought that was humanism, but it is very Biblical. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16

Colossians; Two Mysteries

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Paul continues illustrating the power of the gospel, in the book of Colossians. Remember in Romans how powerfully chapter 3 verses 23-24 brought out that we have already been justified? “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” In Colossians we see that not only has Jesus justified us, all by Himself but is also sanctifying us all by Himself. Not only has he given us salvation from the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin! “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:12-14

In Revelation 10 John tells us that the cleansing of the sanctuary, which began in 1844 accomplishes the mystery of God. Paul tells us just what that mystery is. “[Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”

The mystery of iniquity is, how did Lucifer, a perfect person in a perfect place become sinful? The mystery of God is, how can a sinful person, in a sinful world, become perfect? It can only be explained as the work of God as He becomes ‘Christ in you the hope if glory.”

I encourage you to study the book of Colossians and see what treasures you may find.