Ready to get serious about battling the pornography addiction? Know someone that is need of help? Here is a place to get started. If a disclaimer even needs to be made, here it is: use of these resources doesn't guarantee freedom. And if you think this post is a way to deal with your sin while keeping it quiet - doing it on your own so nobody else knows - you need to bring it to the light. There's a reason we are not to walk the Christian life alone. Slaying sin is part of that reason: it happens better in community with fellow believers than in dark isolation. That said...
Killing pornography addiction requires a 2 front attack: spiritual and practical.
First, is the spiritual. Until you are fully convinced of the reality that in Jesus Christ alone is fullness of joy and satisfaction, then you will seek joy and satisfaction somewhere else: food, sports, sex, power, popularity, clothing, pornography, fitness, alcohol, etc. And so to kill the craving for pornography (or any other addiction), you must find your fullness in Christ. Daily you need to read and study your Bible where Jesus Christ is revealed and magnified. You need to be listening to the Word of God faithfully preached each Lord's Day. You need the truth of God's word masterfully applied to your soul. You need to be on your face before God, seeking forgiveness, grace, contentment, strength, and humility.
Second, the practical. Days, weeks, months, years of looking at porn are not stopped with a sudden new found conviction to exercise self-control. Old habits die hard and this is more than just a bad habit. It is slavery. And so there will need to be practical boundaries and fences, cutting off hands and plucking out eyes.
The resources below address both fronts in the war.
Books (Understand that reading them is not enough; you must read with a commitment before God and man and reliance upon God to act on the truth that you find here.)
Helping your children
A few thoughts on using these resources -
Be killing sin or it will be killing you.
A quote from Joseph Pipa in his book, The Lord's Day.
Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, scraped all of the ugly paint off this beautiful day. He pulled down the fence, not so you and I may do whatever we please, but to free us that we way enjoy the day and pursue its purposes - the worship of God, fellowship with Him and His people, and doing good to our neighbour. (p. 93)
Happy to be in Louisville, KY for the weekend. Hope your weekend is good too!
Here's a hymn by Isaac Watts about the Lord's Day (Trinity Hymnal #326). God's blessings to you as you worship tomorrow with his people in his house on his day.
This is the day the Lord hath made;
For your reading pleasure:
Ebola, ISIS, Houston pastors' sermons being subpoenaed (wow! I spelled that right without spellchecker), ongoing moral meltdown of society, intolerant tolerance, mid-term elections with control of congress at stake, scaled-back religious freedom, etc. (Sorry if I missed your favorite crisis du jour.) What's a Christian to do?
1. Be informed, not panicked. Don't stick your head in the sand; being informed is wise. If you had known the storm was coming you could have gotten to the basement in time. Being panicked and inducing panic in others, however, is foolish. Running around like chickens with heads cut off and screaming about it does no good when the storm is coming. It doesn't even get you to the basement.
2. Get up, pray, go to work, go to class, love your wife, raise your children, go to church, worship, fellowship, be a friend that sticks closer than a brother, walk closely with your God. He has given you various callings - Christian, husband, wife, parent, student, etc. Fulfill your callings with all your strength for the glory of God.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 "Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one."
See also 2 Thes.3:11-12 and 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
3. Remember Psalm 2 and Romans 8:28 and 8:29-30 and 8:31-32 and 8:35-39 and the entire book of Revelation and lots of other passages and don't be afraid. This will help immensely with #1.
4. Pastors and churches, let's equip our people to do #s 1-3. And we must not forget 2 Timothy 4:1-5. We must proclaim sin as sinful, God as sovereign, Jesus as Savior and Christ, salvation as free to all who truly repent and believe, and saints as ultimately victorious through Christ the risen and reigning Savior.
Is there bad news in the news? Sure. There has been since Adam and Eve decided they knew better than God. But is there also good news? Absolutely. There has been from all eternity when God determined to save his people. That news is as good today as it was when God first promised it to Adam in Genesis 3:15. And so the most frequent command in all of Scripture comes to us: fear not.
It's only October, but I'm pretty sure I've already read my book of the year. For the last couple of years I've posted a list of some of my favorite reads over the year. (Here's last year's.) Jesus on Every Page will be in the 2014 edition of my favorite reads, but it deserves it's own post.
Every now and then you pick up a book that just clicks, that makes sense, that's like a breath of fresh air. It takes the miscellaneous thoughts you have from your years of church, conversations, blog reading, books, seminary classes, and puts them together so plainly, clearly, and simply that you can't help but smile as you read. Jesus on Every Page is that book for me when it comes to seeing our Savior in the pages of the Old Testament.
If you've ever looked around his blog, Head Heart Hand, you know that David Murray sees the world in lists of 10 (and occasionally some other numbers), and that tendency serves him well in this book. He gives the reader 10 "ways of discovering and enjoying Jesus in the Old Testament" (p. 1).
Why is he so eager to see Jesus in the OT? Well, because the New Testament (specifically Jesus, Peter, Paul, and John) tells us He's there. In Luke 24, we read about the risen Jesus walking the road to Emmaus with 2 of his followers who don't recognize him. What did Jesus do for those discouraged men? "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:27) Jesus used Moses and the Prophets to teach those men about himself! Their response? "They said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?'" (Luke 24:32).
Professor Murray takes us on his own Road to Emmaus as over the course of his life God has opened his eyes to see Christ in creation, the prophets, the Psalms, the Proverbs, and much more. As we walk with him down that road he aims to give us "spiritual heartburn" like those 2 followers whose hearts burned within them. It works, but you won't need any Tums or Rolaids for this. You will, however, walk away ready to worship.
If you've never been able to read the OT with much benefit before; if you know that Christ is in the OT, but aren't sure how to find him there; if you want your heart warmed; read this book. It is not a perfect book, but it is a beautiful book that will help you better understand the truth of God's Word and see Jesus on every page.
We've seen some of Matthew Henry's prayers. Now, courtesy of J.I. Packer's article, "The Puritans and the Lord's Day" from Puritan Papers, Vol. 1., here is a quote from Henry on the Lord's Day.
"The Sabbath," wrote Matthew Henry, "is a sacred and divine institution, but we must receive and embrace it as a privilege and a benefit, not a task and a drudger [sic]. First ,God never designed it to be an imposition upon us, and therefore we must not make it so to ourselves...Secondly, God did design it to be an advantage to us, and so we must make and improve it...He had some regard to our bodies in the institution, that they might rest...He had much more regard for our souls. The Sabbath was made a day of rest, only in order to its being a day of holy work, a day of communion with God, a day of praise and thanksgiving, and the rest from worldly business is therefore necessary, that we may closely apply ourselves to this work, and spend the whole time in it, in public and private...See here what a good master we serve all whose institutions are for our own benefit..." (On Mark 2:27).
A hymn of James Montgomery, 1812 is an appropriate prayer as we come to worship. (You can find this in the Trinity Hymnal, #313. If the tune isn't familiar it will work with the tune to Take my life and let it be.)
To thy temple I repair;
Happy Friday...hope it's a great one.
Some miscellaneous musings from Pastor Aaron.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
All rights reserved.