Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
–2 Timothy 2:22
Recently I visited with a man whose dad had become addicted to an enslaving habit, a habit that had destroyed the man’s family. I asked the man, “Is your dad a Christian? He said, “Oh, yes. He’s a Christian. When I was growing up, he would insist that we go to church every week. But then it was discovered that the pastor of our church was having an affair, and my dad became so disillusioned that he quit going to church. He fell away from God and fell into this addiction, and he’s never darkened the door of the church since.” I doubt that pastor said, “I am going to spend three years training in the seminary and give my life to the ministry so that I can see how many people I can disillusion and cause to fall away from the faith.” That pastor probably wanted to make a difference for the kingdom of God, but for a moment he forgot his true purpose, and because of that he fell into sexual immorality.
Even if you do not receive your paycheck from a church, you are no less a part of God’s kingdom purpose. We are all on planet Earth for the same reason, and that is to expand the kingdom of God. When you understand and live out that purpose in your life, you will find it much easier, when temptation comes, to choose purity over immorality. Think about it: What effect would sexual immorality have on your life purpose? If you are the leader of a small group or a Sunday school class, how would the news that you were leaving your mate affect your influence in that group? Or let’s say there is a group of fellow employees you have been trying to witness to. How would they react if it was discovered that you had pornography on your computer at work? How would it affect your mate or your children you are trying to influence for Christ if they found out you were involved in a sexual affair?
You see, the reason most Christians fall into immorality is they forget the mission. They think that the mission is to please themselves rather than to serve God and expand His kingdom. That is why in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 Paul said, “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” If you are going to be a soldier in God’s kingdom, you have to keep the mission in mind. It is not to please ourselves; it is to please God, the one who enlisted us. In verse 22, Paul went on to say, “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Do you want to avoid the trap of sexual immorality in your life? The best deterrent against sexual immorality is to remember your purpose in life and to live out that purpose. Understanding our purpose is a strong motivation to choosing purity over immorality.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “These Boots Were Made For Walking” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org