February 10: The Seduction of Lust (Matt 5:27-30)
Matthew 5:27-28 You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
What does Jesus say about lust? While we live in an oversexed culture, we remain confused about the topic that we think much about. Despite all the hype there is a relatively low level of actual satisfaction in our sexuality. Why is this so? We have pursued false substitutes and avoided God's plan for marital joy in our intimacy. Jesus speaks about this issue in the fifth chapter of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount. Those who look at this sermon as beautiful and lovely ethical teaching that all ought to follow have little concept of what Jesus is really saying. Jesus speaks to his church about a radical purity that goes beyond the act to include even the intentions of the heart. Jesus warns us of the lusting of the heart as leading to literally the destruction of our souls and warping the very image of God in man. What can we do? Are we without hope? Never. In and through the glory of Jesus Christ, we can take radical measures and see remarkable change in our lives, both acts and intentions. Prayerfully consider your own thought life and the struggles you face. Is Jesus sufficient for you? Pray for an open heart and greater faith to believe all that God promises us.
Please pray that the Word, who was with God and was God, will be highly exalted among us on Sunday morning. Pray that our vision would be for Christ and Christ alone as we gather together as one body desperate to see God, to hear his truth and to walk in his ways.
Review and Apply
- How does Jesus deepen our understanding of the seventh commandment?
- What desires of your heart are presently in violation of the seventh commandment? How do others see you in violation of the seventh commandment?
- In what four ways does lust affect us?
- What are some ways we can seek to defeat lust? (consider Rom. 6:6-12; Rom. 8:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-11)
- In what ways are you safeguarding your heart? (Prov. 4:23; James 1:14-15; Mark 7:20; Job 31:1)
- Read Rom. 6:6-12. What does this teach us about the effect of the cross on the power of sin?
- Where is the battle in your life? Points of weakness? (Gen. 4:7; 1 Pet. 2:11; Job 31:1)
- What practical steps must you take to immediately begin defeating lust and other sinful desires of the heart? Share these with your spouse and/or another faithful brother or sister in Christ.
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