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Love vs. Lust
Day 1: Begin this week by reading through the Next Steps “Take 5” Questions below. Invite the Holy Spirit to speak truth into you as you consider and answer the questions. Write down your thoughts, responses, and what God is showing you. Use the “Take 5” questions this week as a conversation starter with your family or possibly a close friend.
- Talk through the definitions given for love and lust. What do you think of these definitions? In what ways do you see them being displayed in society? In your own home? Your marriage? Your life?
- When it comes to recognizing the deception of the enemy, are there any subtle ways that you may be allowing him to have access or influence into your home? Your marriage? Your life?
- What is one practical next step you can take and / or that your family can take to ensure that you are actively seeking to protect your home from temptations of impurity? To ensure that you are actively seeking to guard your hearts?
Day 2: In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that there are two very different plans being laid out for our lives. Satan has a plan for destruction, while God has a plan for a full and abundant life. In Proverbs 5:18-20, Solomon writes that a man should be “satisfied” by the wife of his youth, but not be “captivated” by an immoral woman. The contrast between these two concepts illustrates the two plans for our morality and sexuality. Cory talked about the Hebrew words here: ravah - to bathe, to fill or to satisfy; and shagah - to stray, to wander, to be devoured. Remember that the context of shagah is one of wandering from the path and being devoured by a wild animal. Think about the concepts here. Take 5 minutes to pray about them. Where do you lean? Are you more satisfied or captivated?
Day 3: On Sunday, Cory illustrated Satan’s plan by using two jugs of water. One he cut into with a saw and the other using pin pricks. The results: Both jugs ended up being empty. Which method do you think the enemy is most likely to use on Christ-followers? Would he outright inform us that a relationship will lead to an affair? Or would Satan make us comfortable every step of the way until we have wandered so far from the path that we have no idea how to return? That’s when we end up devoured. While that seems to bear such finality, remember that there is still hope! “If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 Jn 1:9)” Have you wandered from the path of sexual purity? Think about the little things. What direction is it taking you? Remember that we serve a God who is faithful. He is a good Father who is waiting with arms wide open for you to return.
Day 4: The path out of shame, despair, and bondage only comes when we bring it to the light. Confession of sin exposes those things that prefer to remain in darkness. In Ephesians 5:8, Paul writes, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” Think about past or current sin and struggle. How has God worked when it was exposed to the light? How much easier is it to “live as people of light” when we allow the light of God to shine in us? Most times, this path towards conquering any sin is made easier when it is not taken alone. God has designed us to need one another in order for us to find freedom. Make a list of people who you can confide in and vice versa. Do you need to reach out to one of them today? Refer to the insert in Sunday’s program. For men, if you want to take an intentional step, consider signing up for the Conquer Men’s short-term group (www.mensconquergroup.com).
Day 5: Read Ephesians 6:11 & 18. Don’t assume that you could never be tempted. Head the advice Paul gives the church at Ephesus. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers. You will face temptation! Recall the practical tips that Cory gave in the message. What tips have you implemented? Prayer is definitely a weapon we can use. Spend a few minutes asking that God would give you strength to be aware of the strategies of the enemy who wants to destroy you! Pray for your family, your friends, & your church family. If you are married, pray for your spouse. Pray that you would be satisfied with each other in intimacy as God intended.