HOW DO WE live in a media-saturated culture and not be affected by it…?
Unless you want to live in a cave and have no contact with the outside world, I don’t believe there is any way to be completely unaffected by the media. However, there are ways we can be less affected by it.
1. Learn to discern. Just because a movie is at the theater or on the video store shelf, it doesn’t mean we need to see it. Make a commitment not to view sexually explicit movies, which would include most R-rated movies Use a resourse such as www.pluggedinmag.com to evaluate movies you are thinking about watching.
2. Consider your reading material wisely. When sitting in a waiting room surrounded by magazines, stop and consider what you are about to feed your mind.
3. Determine ahead of time what you will and will not watch, rather than simply hitting the clicker on the TV remote and surfing channels.
4. Limit movie and TV viewing to shows that do not idealize sex outside of marriage. If soap operas have captured your time, choose another form of entertainment in the afternoon.
5. Be willing to turn off movies and television shows if you discover they are sexual junk food.
6. Read magazines and books that will encourage you in marriage and God-honoring sexuality. Jill Savage, “Intimacy Inhibitors,” Is There Really Sex After Marriage, 39-40
KneEmail: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4.8-9
Bible reading for 03.30.11: Luke 5.17-39; Judges 9-10
Be a missionary. Forward KneEmail to a friend, loved one, or co-worker today.
To SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE or to find ARCHIVES go to www.forthright.net/kneemail/
IF I OFFERED you a method for making a million dollars, and it was s certain process, would you listen…?
What if I offered you the ability to live your life in a wise, godly manner? Would you listen? Sorry, but I do not have the million dollar deal figured out, but I do know where to find the process for living.
That process is found in Psalm 1. It contrasts the difference between the man who wants to live in a godly manner and the one who does not. The contrast is between day and night. One many follows the way of God and is blessed. What is his process? First, he makes his own decisions about what he is going to do. He avoids evil company and refuses to associate with people who are cynical about everything. We often have to work with such people, of course, but we do not need to spend our “off” time with them.
The godly man looks to the true source of wisdom and strength — God Himself. He drinks in godliness as a tree drinks in the water running along its roots. Because of that action and attitude, the man yields fruit. He prospers.
On the other hand, the man who lives as if God were irrelevant is like chaff. He is blown away and has no lasting impact on life. Evil is its own worst enemy and is self-destructive. As the psalmist puts it, “The way of the wicked will perish” (v. 6). Oh, that might not happen right away. In fact, some of the world’s biggest scoundrels seem to have it all. But appearances are deceptive. What they build will not last.
God keeps the way of His people: “For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous” (v. 6). These two ways of living could not be more diverse. One way is day; the other way is night.
Where do you live? Don M. Aycock & Mark Sutton, “The Difference Between Day and Night,” Still God’s Man, 147-148
KneEmail: 1 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Psalm 1
Bible reading for 07.27.10: Acts 27:27-44; Psalm 43-45
Be a missionary. Forward KneEmail to a friend, loved one, or co-worker today.
To SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE or to find ARCHIVES go to: http://www.forthright.net/kneemail/
LEADERSHIP MAGAZINE RELATES the following story…
A young Englishman was in Germany when the Nazis degrade the Jews in the streets. At first he was sick at the sight and rushed down a side street. The next time he felt he could look and stopped for a full minute. The third time he watched. The fourth time, as he stood with the jeering crowd, the sight seemed less revolting. He was becoming, he told himself, “objective.” And with this came the realization of his peril. This was not a part of life, a social phenomenon for study, It was the breath of hell (E.M. Blaiklock, Leadership, Winter, 1983).
THOUGHT: How can can one reach such depths that he becomes desensitized? How sad that so many have become callused to the things that go on around us.
. An unborn child is killed every 20 seconds.
. There were over 1,750,000 last year.
. God and the mention of Jesus have become a matter of abhorrence and have replaced in schools trumpted with condoms, safe sex, and godless humanism.
. Our society glorifies murder, rape, adultery, homosexuality, nudity, profanity, and fornication through movies and television.
. Churches have reached out to those in immoral relationships and accepted them.
Many have become desensitized to sin. Mark S. Aites, “Indifference,” Life’s Daily Struggles, The 31st Annual Lectureship–ETSOPM, 256-257
KneEmail: “‘Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were no ashamed; nor did they blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down,” says the LORD.” Jeremiah 8:12
Bible reading for 04.22.10: Luke 17:1-19; 2 Samuel 14-15
Be a missionary. Forward KneEmail to a friend, loved one, or co-worker today.
To SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE or find ARCHIVES go to: http://www.forthright.net/kneemail/
LAST YEAR WHILE hiking in the mountains of North Georgia, I came across a very large unusually shaped brick…
The brick was almost completely covered in green, fur-like vegetation. After I scraped the green goop away, I carefully inspected the brick and discovered that it was a brownish-yellow color instead of the traditional red. I also discovered some unusual markings and identification numbers on the brick. When I returned home, I was able to do some research and found that this particular type of brick was used in the early-to-mid eighteen hundreds to construct smelting ovens. These ovens melted and purified gold after it was mined from the mountains of North Georgia and Carolina. The purpose of the melting process was to remove any impurities that were attached to the gold.
THOUGHTS: God compares the difficulties and trials that each of us must experience in our lives to the purification or smelting process that gold goes through in order to become valuable. It is kind of like the refining process that the old yellow brick had been a part of over a hundred years ago. The brick had actually facilitated the fire’s ability to remove impurities from the gold after melting, and thereby increased its value. And more than likely some of the very gold which was purified in that particular type of brick smelting oven is still around today, possibly in the form of antique jewelry that has been passed from one generation to another. (Mitch Temple)
KneEmail: “The genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7
WHENEVER YOU FIND yourself going through times of testing, there is always a reason…a very good reason…
In fact, there are several reasons. Testing times are to:
UNCOVER something: When God allows pressures and trials, it is so that you might uncover something in your life He wants to deal with. Hardships reveal areas of weakness and vulnerability. God wants to strengthen us in those very areas, and better equip us not only to stand strong in the storms ourselves, but also to be a shelter for others.
RECOVER something: God allows us to be tested so that we might recover something we’ve lost over the months and years. Perhaps it is our delight in the Word of God, a habit of daily prayer, or the delight of regular fellowship with those of like-precious faith. Trials may force us back to that “first love” walk with the Lord that has slipped away from us.
DISCOVER something: Even though it’s a test you may not like or enjoy, you discover that He’s your God, you’re His child, and that He loves you. He’ll care for you and see you through.
I hear people talk about this trial and that trial, this test and that test. People will say, “Pray for me, I’m going through a trial in my marriage (or in my job or in my finances or in my relationships at home).” But in reality, those aren’t the things being tested at all. What’s being tested is our faith, whether we will really trust Him to work in and through our circumstances.
That’s what’s really at stake. When the heat’s on…when the shadows fall…when disappointment rips through my heart…am I going to trust Him? Am I going to wait on Him, worship Him, and give my anxieties to Him? Or am I going to turn away from Him in my doubt and discouragement? (Ron Mehl)
KneEmail: “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:3-5).
HAVE YOU EVER had someone pressure you into doing something you didn’t want to do…?
“Come on, it’ll be fun. Just tell your parents you’re spending the night at my house, and I’ll tell my parents I’m spending the night at your house. Then we can go to that party and stay as late as we want.”
“Let’s skip school today after second period. No one will ever know. Trust me.”
“Go on, try some. Don’t be such a chicken.”
Even when we know it’s the wrong thing to do, even when it puts our own safety and reputation at risk, it’s hard to say no when the pressure’s on. We want to be liked. We want to be accepted. We’ve vulnerable.
Satan tried to pressure Jesus into sinning, and he did it at a very vulnerable moment in our Lord’s life, to (cf. Luke 4:1-13). Jesus had just completed a forty-day fast. He was hungry. So guess who happened to show up with a plan for “doing lunch”? Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Notice how he tried to make Jesus think He had something to prove. Often, when the pressure’s on us, it’s to get us to prove something, too — that we’re not chicken, that we’re not nerds, that our friendship is real, or that we’re part of the “cool” group.
Jesus knew He had nothing to prove. He was the Son of God whether Satan was prepared to accept that or not. The only person who did have something to prove was the one applying the pressure.
THOUGHT: We don’t have to prove anything to anyone, either. We should already know who we are in Christ. So the next time someone tries to get you to do something wrong to prove your courage, tell them that by saying “no,” you just proved it. (Martha Bolton)
KneEmail: “He who leads the upright along an evil path will fall into his own trap” (Prov. 28:10).
THE BIBLE DOES describe the physical appearance of many people…
Moses was said to be a beautiful child. People spoke of King Saul as being handsome, standing a head taller than anyone in Israel. David and Solomon were both “ruddy,” handsome men.
But what of Jesus?
Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Not a word about a regal nose, handsome visage, or muscular body. In fact, the Bible tells us virtually nothing about Jesus’ looks. Only that he “has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isa. 53:2 NKJV).
From those words we might presume Jesus wasn’t handsome, at least not in the way modern artists portray Him. Apparently, in the mind of God, this was a nonissue. Jesus’ words and character and love drew people to Him, not His dashing good looks. (Mark Littleton)
THOUGHT: We probably put too much emphasis on a person’s outside.
KneEmail: But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7; cf. v. 12).
THERE IS COMING a day that won’t be followed by another day…Are you ready…?
There is coming a day when this earth, and all that is in it will be burned up and destroyed…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when all that you have been taught about the comingof Christ will culminate with the actual event…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when your beliefs and those of your friends with whom you disagreed will be tested…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when your faith will be transformed into sight…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when sins that have not been covered by the blood of Christ will be revealed and reckoning will commence…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when your opportunities to have obeyed the gospel will be all be past…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when you and everyone around you will be judged, each one according to his/her own works…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when heaven and hell won’t be just future possibilities, but stark realities…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when the dead shall rise and your loved ones who died in the Lord will be waiting to be reunited with you…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when all of your talk about earthly things “not meaning so much” will be validated…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when those burdens that are pressing so hard upon you will be lifted…Are you ready?
There is coming a day when the path you are now walking is seen by all to be what it truly is…Are you ready? (Lance Cordle)
KneEmail: “Therefore, you must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44, ESV)
ORBITING OUR PLANET at speeds more than 4.5 miles per second is a growing collection of space junk…
Nuts, bolts, and other discarded debris from space flights are presenting a real hazard to future spacecraft. Their sheer speed makes the tiniest object strike with the impact of a bullet. During one of the shuttle missions, a speck of paint created a pit a quarter-inch wide in a window of the craft.
One study revealed that there are 110,000 objects larger than 1 centimeter in orbit. Their combined weight is 4 million pounds! To avoid a space junk disaster, the US Space Command monitors orbiting debris for NASA.
Sinful choices create their own kind of junk — unintended consequences. When Achan stole and hid forbidden booty, it cost him his life (Josh. 7). After King David committed adultery and murder, family discord followed (2 Sam. 15 – 18).
Do you have any “junk” in your life? Sin’s consequences have a way of accumulating. (Dennis Fisher)
KneEmail: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he how sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Gal. 6:7).
EVERYONE DEALS WITH guilt…
All of us have been less than pure; our actions aren’t always righteous. Our spirituality sometimes shrivels up like a leaf. We feel our sins will sweep us away. Paul said that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Some of us are imprisoned to sin. Because we know better, some of us are miserably wallowing in guilt.
Judas, the one who sold Jesus to His enemies, obviously couldn’t live with the guilt of his actions, so, he hanged himself rather than face the guilt. He didn’t have to do that. Jesus died for those who nailed Him to the tree just as much as He died for me. If He died for those Roman soldiers, He also died for Judas. Judas didn’t see it that way and called it quits because of a heavy, stifling guilt.
Think about new Christians with me for a minute. New Christians are alive and excited about their new life, but like a child learning to walk, they’re unsure of which steps to take. Satan tries to enter their lives like he did Judas’ life. When they succumb to Satan and give into his way, they feel guilty and unworthy. They look around to those who are spiritually mature, who feel very little guilt because they are guilty of very little, and then they compare themselves to mature Christians and feel even worse. They need to realize that God still loves them and that the blood of Jesus is still shed for them. The forgiveness of their sins only requires the cleansing blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
Guilt can be constructive or destructive. Guilt is constructive if it motivates us to correct our behavior and attitudes. Then we’ve turned our guilt into something productive. Guilt is destructive when we allow it to make us dirty, shameful, and worthless but refuse to do anything about it. Jesus, the Lamb of God, takes away the sin, and the guilt associated with the sin, of the world. (Ted Burleson)
KneEmail: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).