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How to Overcome Lust & Protect Your Mind: Having, Compared to Dwelling on, Sinful Thoughts

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 5, 2021 3:00 am

How to Overcome Lust & Protect Your Mind: Having, Compared to Dwelling on, Sinful Thoughts

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 5, 2021 3:00 am

Chemistry majors know that liquids can be adhesive or cohesive. Some liquids stick to other things, while others cling together. If you’ve broken a mercury thermometer and seen the little beads of mercury ball-up together, you’ve seen cohesion.

Well, when impure thoughts come at us, do we let them stick inside our minds . . . or do we repel them and cling to what we know is right? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings good encouragement from the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Visit our website and learn more about harvest partners@harvest.org wiring gardens leaving their religion overview lawyers in your brain. They arrive on occasion, you really should read Maurice's jump to which we pondered what you don't have on your mind. The door of your imagination.

No way. I'm not thinking about the figures a little. That's up to you, which can be adhesive for cohesion somewhat which to do other things while others if you broken a Mercury for mom and little beads of mercury ball up together using cohesion, what would your thoughts come out as we let them stick inside our minds. We repel them and cling to what we know is right today on a new beginning for Greg Laurie brings good sermon on the Mount. I remember the first time that I was tempted as a Christian before it was a Christian. I don't know if I even thought of temptation as well. Temptation temptation Morris opportunity right anyone a goofball that looks fun all try this other thing I'll do this other thing, as well. So when I became a Christian believer forming a great watch out the nobles get attempting I might double the double know Satan is going to tempt you, how will I know when I'm being said that they said you'll know.

So next time a high school so this is you know 10 years ago and a few more. So I go to class in high school and there's this girl notices girl. Trust me she never noticed me very pretty girl sat for the front of the class and so after the class is over. I'm not making this up. This girl comes walking up to me and says hi what's your name, and I momentarily forgot my name. I was so stunned by her beauty and her blue eyes and feels like I'm not really sure what my name is that I've no idea what you're even talking to me and then I was like a brand-new Christian. I have my Bible there and I have a little Jesus pin on and she's talking to me and and she says you know you're cute now. I can't believe this is happening you're cute and she says you know what my parents are gone for the week and would you like to come and stay at my house for the weekend.

This is a temptation from the devil.

Why did I say that because stuff like this never happened to me. Trust me I know it's hard to believe it just know maybe it happened so other people. It never happened to me and I thought this beautiful girl is been sent from Satan.

So I told her no I have, though, I want to know. I said no to this girl but it wasn't that easy.

Okay, that brings up a simple point temptation comes an attractive package is right.

Satan makes bad stuff look good. He makes wicked things look appealing. He makes deadly things look like they're going to be the best experience.

You are my God, he's a liar and he'll do whatever he needs to do to pull you down so everybody gets tempted but here's something to understand. It's not a sin to be tempted. Did you know that it's not a sin to be tempted not bring them up because temptation comes at the worst times like in church are sitting here right now and all of a sudden this thought comes to you.

Maybe it's an impure thought maybe it said jealous thought. Maybe it's a hateful thought. Maybe it's a prideful thought, but whatever it is and come home and you think I can't believe how twisted I am thinking this in church who says you even thought it had never heard of the fiery darts of the devil like flaming arrows from hell that he fires at your brain. That doesn't mean you're a wicked person, though you are but what it does mean is that you don't have to let that thought into your mind. It sort of knocks at the door of your imagination and you could say no way.

I'm not thinking about that are easy to come right in and make yourself at all. That's up to you, so it's not a sin to be tempted. Let me take it a step further. If you're not being tempted something's wrong with you spiritually, why would the devil wasted time on some of that is not a threat to his kingdom. So given coming under spiritual attack lately that could be an indication that you're on the right track and that you're a threat to the devil. So let's answer the question what is temptation come from no immediate answer would be well devil, of course, and there's truth to that, but we need to understand we play a key role in our own temptation listen. Satan needs our cooperation in this area to give into temptation where there is no desire on my part.

There is no temptation. We blame a lot of things on the double.

And rightly so, but we need to are responsible anyone to be great if the devil just took a month off every year when integrative Satan started taking the month of August off like it announce it's just been revealed to me that the devil is gone for August the I don't know where he vacations we know he likes warm climate, so but he's gone.

No devil for the month of August using all his awesome you'd still get yourself in the trouble because we play a role in it. Here's what the Bible says over in James 114 everyone is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and is enticed when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin what it is full-grown, brings forth death. That basically breaks down temptation for you. The five steps of temptation number one.

The temptation itself. Every one of you is tempt everyone of you is going to be tempted. First Corinthians 1013 says there's no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, which means we all face the same kind of stuff and then over in first Peter.

Peter says don't think it's range when you go in the fiery trials in times of temptation that happens with all of us those temptations come our way again. Remember, it's not the feet that constitutes temptation, but the bite then repeat that it's not the bait. It's the bite. So it's dangled in front of you.

That's the bait you don't have to take the bait.

But if you take a bite.

Now you're responsible bringing either the second phase, your under its power and frankly enjoying the experience.

James 114 says your drawn away by your own desire.

So it sort of like the temptation comes to your mind and you say well I'm not going to do it but I'm going to just come and take it for a test drive, get it just kind of think it through and what would it be like and you kind of play it out and down. Now the problem is already in full bloom because now basically you did on the hook your drawn away in your enticed and then ultimately number four it gives birth to sin.

Verse 15 says one is conceived because Bertha said there some momentary euphoria in sin, so we need to understand that sin can be fun for a moment. It sort of like getting the sugar high and then coming down. By the way of your grandparent here is the role of a grandparent pickup your grandkids number one fill them up with sugar number to return them quickly to their parents. Number three job done yet others add sugar high. The kids are good side of the climbing the walls are so happy and then become the you know down and that's what since like it's called this is fun. They like to me it's actually fun lied and lied to you I told you sin is fun jumping off the Empire State building is fun until you hit the ground the little momentary euphoria of sin can be fun sometimes it's not even fun.

Is it sometimes you think of this is going to be so amazing and it's actually not even fun for a few moments but even when it is where the ramifications firsters the guilt. That is, if your conscience is working, then that did feeling and now you're separated from God and sin has done it's working to bring forth death. Listen, you're not separated in your relationship from God, but you are separated in your fellowship with God.

See if my son sins against me.

He doesn't stop being my son is just my son sinning against me. We sin against the Lord, we don't cease to be a son or a daughter of God, but were eight prodigal son or daughter or a disobedient son or daughter.

Sort of like when you lose there's no Wi-Fi. You can't go online or there's no cell service because you then pay your bill again or whatever it but the point is communication is cut off. If so, would you want to do is restore communication in the way that happens is you have to admit your sin turn from it and ask God to forgive for someone nice is that we will confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all on righteousness. So that's how basically sin works. We like to blame everyone for it except ourselves. But we play a role. Mr. Greg Laurie of the second half of this message just a moment, emails, letters and phone calls from listeners are so encouraging to us and they let us know the effectiveness of these studies. Greg, I want to thank you for helping me learn and understand the word of God. I also wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your sense of humor even in my darkest times when I listen to your sermons I can go from crying to laughing. Keep up the wonderful work of God, and God bless you and your family. What an encouragement to hear the pastor's teachings are helping this woman, and many others like her. Let us know how these studies have impacted you send an email to Pastor Greg greg@harvest.org again, that's great@harvest.org in a few minutes.

Pastor Greg speaks with author J.

Warner Wallace about a new book that will keep us from being blindsided with tough questions. When we share our faith that's coming up in a moment or get details now@harvest.org but today Pastor Greg is offering some important insights on how to resist sin in his message how to overcome lust and protect your mind, let's continue. Love you stop and think about the last time you given any sin, chances are it started right here started right here in your imagination and then it led to action. That's why it says in second Corinthians 11 three I'm afraid that as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning.

Your mind will somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ, so it's your mind starts in your thinking. Second Corinthians 10 four it says we use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and destroy false arguments we capture our rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

So when those thoughts comments. I guess you can come right in. No you are not coming in. You are not welcome here.

So let's see what Jesus said now about how to deal with the loss and immorality and how to keep your mind clean Matthew chapter 5 verse 27. You've heard the commandment that says you must not commit adultery but I say who even looks a little woman with lust is already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So Jesus is not talking about a casual glance here.

He's talking to a person who is engaged in a continual act of looking in this usage. In this context of this is not talking about an incidental or involuntary glance, but an intentional and repeated gazing with the express purpose of lusting, so it's not just all well look there's a pretty girl are all there is an attractive guy know it's not just that you're going to notice that note the differences no there is a pretty girl I'm in a go find a pretty girl or an attractive guy with the intention of lusting after them.

It's a different thing. And this isn't just for men looking lustfully at women. It's also for women looking lustfully at Ben or men looking lustfully at men and women looking lustfully at women just anything outside of God's order and think of the pornography problem today and how widespread it is 79% of 18 to 30-year-old American men watch Internet porn at least once a month 79%. Here's a stat that surprised me. 76% of 18 to 30-year-old American women watch porn once a month.

One expert described it as the fortification of mass media. You see, now it's not something for many that's considered forbidden. There's no shame about a guess he had joked about on sitcoms and you see movies like 50 shades of gray bringing it to a larger mainstream audience, and if you engage in these things only just say if you are engaging in watching porn. This is talking to end well for you and you are specifically doing something Jesus is told you not let me explain why pornography is creating a desire in you that cannot be satisfied properly in any way because it's creating an unnatural desire. It's like you have a out-of-control fire and you're trying to put it all with gasoline. It's just going to get worse and worse and the Bible says can a man take fire into his lap and not be burned in the answer of course is no me. Take the story of David and Bathsheba. Now y'all know that David was godliness troops in the battle is usually would be, but he was taken a little time off. There's nothing wrong with taking a vacation, but there's never a vacation from the spiritual battle right. The devil doesn't take a day off from it. You can't either get to keep your armor on at all times. What is I mean need to keep your guard up. Be aware that the enemy can hit you at any time. So David was kicking back on his rooftop veranda and he sees a beautiful woman ironically named Bathsheba taking a bath and she was a really beautiful woman and David sorry no there's no way I suppose he could have stopped from seeing her the first time boom. There she was, so he needed to immediately go take a lot of cold showers and pray and get away from that situation, but instead he kept looking see.

The idea is you look and you look and you look, but then he took it to the next level and he gave a command bring that woman up to my palace and and then he had sex with her and then she got pregnant, and instead of repenting of it he try to cover it off and make it look like her husband got her pregnant, but her husband was out of battle serving the king. So David called him back and this guy wouldn't spend the night with his wife. So David effectively had the husband's name was Uriah killed and then he married Bathsheba, thinking that he had pulled this thing off and no one would ever know the Bible says that thing that he did this, please the Lord in he was exposed in brought shame on his family in hurt his reputation and then even tragically, he saw that same behavior repeated in the life of his children. If only we would think these things through Congress can have this little fling use M&A have an affair. By the way, I hate the word affair. Tomczyk accrues nice just call it what it is I'm an avid adulterous. I don't even want to call it relationship, but I'm in heaven and adulterous fling or with the person and now here's what you need to know your sin will find you well it is going to catch up with you in some way shape or form. We don't think about the destruction he could bring to a marriage and destroy it. We don't think about the implication it has when it affects our children know when their children grow up and they repeat her behavior and they raise their children than they do the same thing and then their kids repeat their behavior. We don't think about long-term.

We just think of our own selfish impulses in the moment it all starts in the mind.

So be practical you know if the scene comes on in the film that you should not be watching. Did you know you can actually get up and leave your seat but I paid for it yet.

So get up and walk out. Better yet demand refunds. Maybe you should do a little research on the movie before you go watch if you're watching something on your TV. In this scene comes on, you should be saying you don't have to go, we reverse that. I just see that reverse unwanted slow mode. No no no don't watch it anymore. Turn the television out Monday was three years ago, our son Christopher was probably around 11 and that Jonathan was probably around one maybe Christopher was 12 and Jonathan was stupid. Jonathan was still in a high chair and so I'm not sure exactly what he was very young, still so Christopher's eating cereal watching cartoons and TV is late for school so my wife Kathy says Christopher turn off the TV, go upstairs, make your bed and get ready for school.

He just keeps eating cereal, watching the cartoon she comes back since Christopher did you hear what I said turn off the TV, go upstairs, make your bed and get ready for school. He ignores her again. She says it 1/3 time. Christopher turn off the television called stairs. Make your bed, get ready for school and she can think of for time Jonathan climbs out of his high chair, walks over, turns off the TV and says go make your bed. He's like this may make your bed. Christopher amazingly gets up goes upstairs at work right so he got the message.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just turn it off now.

This obviously includes conversations with members of the opposite sex that don't engage in sexually suggestive conversations. This obviously includes texting, which is sometimes called 16 right don't do that. But don't send photographs of yourself without close to people, do I have to tell you this stuff people do their you know every nonlinear about celebrity had her phone had been the person is nude photos of her this morning to post them don't carry nude photos of yourself on your phone even better. Never take pictures of yourself naked don't do it. Yeah, these are very practical suggestions now because you're just headed down the road that's going to lead you to a miserable and so you know, think about these things. Think before you send that text and then let's remove this from sexual things and just everything I posted something on Twitter the other day I said, think before you tweet. Think before you tweet THINK run into this grantee is a true H is it helpful I is an inspiring and is it necessary changes in time.

If it isn't, don't tweet it. So we bring all of these thoughts and of the captivity of Jesus.

Practical encouragement, beginning pastor Greg Laurie is presenting a message based in Matthew five called how to overcome lust and protect your mind. Hopefully you're able to hear today's full presentation. If not, if any interruptions occurred, you can get a replay by going to harvest.org just look for the study, called how to overcome lust and protect your mind, you can stream it while you're there online or downloaded MP3 for later. Again, go to harvest.org and then were so happy to make available a fantastic book to help you share your faith is called person of interest by retired cold case detective J Warner Wallace Jim Wallace Jim to point out there is a relationship between which true and what matters is a few of his order our lives around and make decisions based on our belief in Bigfoot, you know, if we don't believe something is true, then it doesn't matter. As we share our faith is important to remember that a nonbeliever may not think Christianity matters to them because they don't believe it's true. We need to start at that point don't yet is no doubt about that has been said that one of the biggest challenges to theism, the belief in God is atheism right that believes there is no God but I think is actually bigger chant a challenge and that's what people asked her to call. Apathy is another words and then there isn't an earth sense of urgency about this while I care about this. If this is true, why would I even give my life to this. This is why we really want to focus on does Jesus matter will it turns out he matters in all the areas that you are really matter to me as an atheist look at as normally as I only became a believer is about 35 walk into a church and no interest. I didn't think was even worth debunking. I got a good friendly struggle with occasional Christ and Lee and Leslie. Leslie became a Christian. First, he was on to prove her wrong I was not to prove what Wally investigate the Easter Bunny. Nobody does that okay this is so patently false, is not worth my time, but it turns out that as I examine the things my own life the matter the most, which would've been education in science and the arts.

I've got a background in the arts. I was at architect before being a police officer.

These are things that matter to him that even in terms of spirituality is non-Christian.

Will it turns out that all of those areas Jesus matters in those areas is Christ followers who shaped art the way we know it today in shaped music the way we note datasheet education and science is matter fact no one's hadn't bigger impact on non-Christian religions and then Jesus of Nazareth, so all those things that matter most to us as a culture, it turns out we owe a debt of gratitude to Jesus of Nazareth.

I think when people realize at least that might initiate this effort to decide who is he Investigate who this guy is because it turns out he changed the world. So J Warner Wallace.

Jim is sitting next to me right now is a dateline featured homicide detective, so he's approaching this from a different perspective. He's worked on actual cold cases. He knows what he's talking about.

He's presented the evidence to juries and seeing people convicted for their crime. So he's approaching this from a different angle, but one thing you said to me Jim I found interesting is this almost is like a kids book for an adult and is a look through it.

You mentioned you have a background in design, as do I and you've illustrated it pretty much looks like almost every page or at least every other page. Maybe every page has an illustration of some kind which makes this very digestible.

Think well I can wrap my mind around that.

You've really broken this down in a way that just an ordinary person could understand why this is like a kids is a great graphic novel and since right. The idea is that the current generation of people, myself included, we become so conditioned to seeing it down and use that expression. You know I see what you mean as yours will do this right will yeah I got it I was. I saw it when you went to that area showing me this is why so hard to to dictate to argue against videos videos show us what happened.

Yeah so I wanted to build illustrated in a way that you see that over 400 illustrations and so we spent apart about three months just illustrating the book, but the idea here is to help jurors. Whoever reads the book to see what were talking about. So the juror is the reader. That's right. And maybe you know somebody it's on the believer. This would be a great book to put in their hands, but it's also a great book for the believer to equip them to respond to the questions that nonbelievers ask. It's called person of interest written by J Warner Wallace and his former cold case detective and we want to offer this to you for your gift of any size here to new beginning. Just so you can be better equipped to share your faith with other people. So for your gift of any size will send you a copy of person of interest by J Warner Wallace.

Yet such an effective tool for helping you share your faith and really for helping you understand why you believe what you believe it's brand-new.

In fact, the publisher kindly supplied us with some advanced copies so we can make them available ahead of the official release date and we want to send it to you to thank you for helping to make a new beginning available to others here in your community and elsewhere around the country you're investing in helping others come to know the Lord Wallace and road and said dear pastor Greg your program on the radio is what brought me back to a closer walk with the Lord Jesus, thank you for all you do. I still listen to you often. So thank you for sending your investment today to a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest or flextime pastor Greg and covers more practical insight from Matthew five about how we can stand against the onslaught of temptation so often comes our way sure to join us here on new beginning and everybody thinks or listening to beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners.

So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner, just go to harvest.org


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