Sermons

Humility and Gratitude

February 25, 2014

Topic: Sermon

“HUMILITY & GRATITUDE”

3rd John tells us about man in the church named Diotrephes, who had a decidedly EVIL attitude:
Though a professing Christian, he did not willingly RECEIVE the TEACHING of the APOSTLES.
He was a malicious GOSSIP.
He REFUSED to WELCOME NEW Christians into the church, & he tried to EXPEL those who did welcome them.
In verse 9 of that short epistle, John SUMMARIZES the sin of Diotrephes by saying that he “likes to put himself first.”

What could possibly be the CONNECTION between Diotrephes & the subject of PORN?
Simply this: like Diotrephes, men who VIEW PORN LOVE to be FIRST.

ARROGANCE is required to be a regular VIEWER of PORN.
But, how could that be? Men typically feel ASHAMED & SAD after they’ve once again given in to this temptation.
Yet, consider these words from James: James 3:13-16 – the BAD that we do FLOWS from a HEART that is SELFISHLY AMBITIOUS.

We have a CHOICE: we can look at PORN, or we can be HUMBLE. But we CANNOT do BOTH.

Make no mistake: if you are TRAPPED in the web of PORN, you are NOT a VICTIM!
You have insisted on VIEWING women in a way that God’s does not ALLOW, & you have rejected the INTIMACY of MARRIAGE for something that you’ve decided is BETTER – that is ARROGANCE!
As long as you DEFEND your actions by speaking of how you view porn to fill the EMPTINESS inside you, or to meet the NEEDS that you have, instead of admitting that your SELFISH AMBITION is at the ROOT of your sin, you will NEVER BE FREE from it.
HOW then do we pursue a HUMBLE heart (a LIFELONG pursuit)?

Consider your SALVATION: Titus 3:3-7.
God is GOOD, & God is full of MERCY – if He were not, we could NEVER be SAVED.

Consider your SIN.
Men who struggle with porn often view it as their ONLY STRUGGLE, because it seemingly DOMINATES their lives.
But the OTHER SINS in our lives must be addressed as well:
Am I a TRUSTWORTHY FRIEND?
Am I HONEST FINANCIALLY?
Am I HARSH with my wife or girlfriend?
Am I LAZY in prayer & Bible study?
Am I prone to GLUTTONY?
Am I a RELIABLE WORKER?

Consider your SERVICE: every second that you look at porn is a second you cannot spend serving others.
Phil. 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
We cannot simply be HUMBLE! Rather, we must BECOME humble by putting the INTERESTS of OTHERS ABOVE our own.
In order to TRULY REPENT, I do not merely STOP VIEWING porn. Rather, I REPLACE porn with something that HONORS God & demonstrates LOVE to OTHERS.
Like Diotrephes, we want to be FIRST. But, by His grace, God can CHANGE us into men who SEEK HIM & SERVE OTHERS.

The Power of GRATITUDE in Fighting Porn

Eph. 5:3-4 – 3 specific emphases:
God forbids ACTIONS that are SEXUALLY IMMORAL (adultery, fornication, viewing porn, etc.)

God forbids ANY KIND of IMPURITY.
The DANGER comes when we want to PUSH the BOUNDARIES of purity as far out as we can.

God forbids GREED.
Greed is more than a mere LUST for MONEY. Rather, it can be a sinful lust for ALL KINDS of things.
Therefore, we should not only AVOID sexual immorality; we should avoid having a HEART that is GREEDY for sexual immorality.
In this passage, God not only FORBIDS; He also COMMENDS: He FORBIDS SEXUAL IMMORALITY, while He COMMENDS GRATITUDE.
GRATITUDE is the OPPOSITE of GREED.

When I am GREEDY, I LUST for things that I DON’T HAVE.
When I am GRATEFUL, I FOCUS on what I ALREADY HAVE.
God COMMANDS us to STOP being GREEDY & START being GRATEFUL.
When I view PORN, I am TRADING GRATITUDE for GREED. Instead of being GRATEFUL for what I DO have, I LUST for what I CAN’T HAVE (the women of porn).
Are you GRATEFUL:
For the RELATIONSHIPS God has given you?
For the MINISTRY God has given you?
For the SALVATION God has given you?

The RESULT of GRATITUDE is GLADNESS, but GREED ROBS me of gladness.
When I am GREEDY, I am CONVINCED that I MUST have the NEXT THING (whatever that is).
But when I finally POSSESS what I’ve LUSTED for, I soon find myself with NEW GREED for SOMETHING ELSE.
LUST is NEVER HAPPY, because lust is NEVER FULL.
When I am GLAD, I am GRATEFUL for WHAT I HAVE, instead of GREEDY for what I DON’T have.
1 Thess. 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Many men judge their RELATIONSHIP with CHRIST by whether they’ve LOOKED at PORN RECENTLY.
If you TURN to JESUS in order to be FREE from PORN, that’s good! But it’s NOT ENOUGH:
Your RELATIONSHIP with JESUS needs to be BIGGER than your STRUGGLE with PORN.
You should go to Jesus with your struggle with porn! But you should also come to Him FOR MORE: for a full-fledged RELATIONSHIP with Him.
“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:33)
Seek HIM BEFORE you seek the “THINGS.”

You CANNOT LOOK at JESUS & look AT PORN at the SAME TIME.

When the LIGHT of JESUS truly FLOODS your life, the DARKNESS of PORN will be DRIVEN AWAY.

CHOOSE JESUS, & BE FREE.

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