Church family,

In recent weeks, our news headlines have been filled with new revelations of sexual misconduct/abuse by prominent men throughout the country. It seems these allegations are of men from a wide range of places and positions. I am sure that as we have heard the news, our hearts perhaps are sickened and disappointed. Perhaps it has led to personal reflection.

As we discussed this current issue in our staff meeting this week, it was clear that we were reminded that sin is messy. Sin is something we are all infected with and it does not just effect men. Yes, we are saddened that many women have been sexually harassed and abused. Sinful mistreatment of others is always unacceptable.

As children of God, we are in the midst of a heart transformation. Actually, Jesus is praying for us in this process…

John 17:14-20 (ESV)  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,

Jesus is praying that we will be kept from the evil one – Satan. He is praying that we will be sanctified (set apart to God and from sin) in the truth – God’s Word. He prays that as we are in the world, the Spirit of God would go with us and protect us. In this process of sanctification, we will often face difficult personal challenges. The question is, will we let the Lord do that work within us? Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, does ‘spiritual surgery’ as part of the transformation in our lives. Sin ‘has to go’ in that process. It’s a necessary work He does in us.

What Jesus is acknowledging in John 17 is that we are in a battle. This idea of being in a battle was the focus of our discussion Monday night in our Men’s Bible Study. As author and speaker John Eldridge said, “The scriptures are all about the battle between God and Satan.” The wonderful news is that God has defeated Satan through the death and resurrection of Jesus! Jesus is our Savior! He is a victorious warrior!

As you know, as we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus He becomes the One we can look to and call upon for help. He is the one who can rescue us from sin and the evil one! After all, it’s clear we can’t do it ourselves!

In the men’s study, John Eldridge reminded us that the real battle is the battle for our heart. He also broke down where the battles were: the flesh, the world, and Satan. Let me briefly distinguish between the three.

  1.  Flesh – it says ‘take the easy way out. You don’t have to be or do what God says.’ The flesh appeals to our selfishness. It appeals to your flesh – not doing things God’s way.
  2.  World – it makes promises it can’t keep. The key word is ‘counterfeit’. The lure of power/position/control, wealth/possessions, and popularity/fame offer a false sense of security.
  3.  Satan – the master deceiver, father of lies. As Eldridge says, “Has it ever crossed your mind that not every thought that crosses your mind comes from you?” Satan lies all the time.

In all this, the sad thing is that we don’t think Satan exists. We have bought the “father of lies” lie! Be reminded, the Word of God tells us of his existence. It also tells us to be aware of him!

1 Peter 5:8-9a (NLT) Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith

So where should we be in all this? Remember, we are all infected with sin (no one is exempt). Man’s heart is wicked. Thank God for Jesus – for His saving and sanctifying work – the gospel! Thank Him for His grace and forgiveness – the gospel! And don’t forget – Satan is a real liar. Be aware of his schemes! If needed: reflect & let the Spirit search your heart, confess your sin, repent, and walk in Him!

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian

Insightful article – A Great Sexual Reckoning