FIGHT 4 PURITY IN A PORN-SOAKED WORLD

31-DAYS-OF-PURITY

Gentlemen… Do you struggle with porn? Then you should join in Tim Challies’ 31 Days of Purity. I know many young Christian guys who know that this behaviour is destructive and yet feel like they are losing the battle to fight against it.

Have you overcome a prior addiction to porn? You should still consider joining Tim Challies’ 31 Days of Purity. I have some software on my computer called Covenant Eyes. When I was studying at Moore College, the lovingly College paid for all students to have this accountability software. When I finished college I decided that, even though porn wasn’t a present struggle, it was worth keeping the software to help remain pure.

Just this last week I thought it might be time to get rid of Covenant Eyes as it sometimes takes a little bit to log on. But I’m convicted of the wisdom in leaving it on my computer. Tim Challies recent article When you’re at your best plan for your worst was a great word to not let my guard down:

There is a kind of weakness, a kind of vulnerability, that may come when we are convinced of our strength. It is when we are not being tempted, it is when we are standing strong in the Lord’s grace, that we ought to consider the times we will be weak and tempted and eager to sin. We need to assume such times will come and we need to use the moments of strength to put measures in place that will protect us when we are weak.

Sounds wise, right?

31 Days of Purity will be taking place throughout March 2014. Here is Day 1. My tip for Australian readers is to stay a day behind because of the posting time.

Here’s the invite from Challies:

Men, I want to offer you a challenge. You too, women, but allow me speak to the men first. Beginning on March 1, I am going to begin a program I’m calling 31 Days of Purity. This is for all of us—for those who are young and those who are old, for those who are married and those who are single, for those who struggle mightily in the area of sexual sin and for those who may barely struggle at all. I would love it if you would commit with me to 31 Days of Purity—thirty-one days of considering what God’s Word says about sexual purity and thirty-one days of praying that God would help us fight sin and pursue holiness in this area.

As well as following along at challies.com you can join a Facebook group with (at the moment) almost 2000 other dudes wanting to fight to be holy.

Who’s keen?

SCEPTICS AND HATERS: WHAT IF THE MESSAGE OF JESUS IS ACTUALLY TRUE?

WHAT IF?

AS IF!

The phrase “AS IF!” is used when there’s seemingly no chance of something happening. Can the NSW Blues win the Rugby League State of Origin in 2014? AS IF! Will the popular girl say yes to the school formal with the nerdy guy? AS IF! Is Jesus relevant to teenagers in the 21st Century? AS IF!

But maybe we sometimes use “AS IF!” too quickly.

WHAT IF?

Although something might seem to have zero chance of happening… WHAT IF?

What if QLD lost some key players and NSW finally got it together to break the Maroons winning streak? It might seem unlikely but it will happen one day!

What if the popular girl can actually see past the nerdiness and has shared interests with the boy? Maybe it’s because nerdy guys will make lots of money, but it seems to be that popular girls do often go for the nerd.

But what about Jesus? Is he actually relevant to our world today?

Maybe you’ve heard about Jesus. You might know some specific bible concepts and parts of Jesus’ story. Maybe you’re from a religious family that went to church at Christmas and Easter.

But does Jesus really matter to your everyday life? AS IF! He is from ancient history and has nothing to offer me in this modern, digital world, where I can find solutions to all my problems on Google!

But WHAT IF? What if Jesus is real? What if this stuff is true? What if Jesus can change my life for eternity?

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#SNIPPETY // #ASYLUMSEEKER #JESUS + PERSECUTION + STUDENTS PROTEST EX-LESBIAN + FREE @MATTCHANDLER74 BOOK + MORE!

#SNIPPETY

Welcome to a bumper issue of #SNIPPETY! A variety of links to check out including: a prayer for our growing children; a Free Book from Matt Chandler; how to plan for a productive day tomorrow; and if you don’t speak Italia, a soccer goal scored from 70 metres!

The article on Wheaton students protesting Rossaria Butterfield is interesting. Basically students at Wheaton – an evangelical college in Illinois – protested a guest speaker who had turned from a lesbian lifestyle when she started following Jesus. Denny Burk points out the generational shift taking place with young people connected to evangelical churches being influenced by culture in their understanding of homosexuality being a valid story for Christians. I think Christians need to be equipped to lovingly hold firm to what the Bible teaches on sex and relationships.

See below for the snippets:

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ZAC’S STORY // AMAZING VIDEO RECORDED 3 MONTHS BEFORE TRAGIC DEATH

ZAC'S STORY

Zac Young was tragically killed by a shark in November 2013. The following is an inspiring testimony of Jesus’ work in his life recorded 3 months before the attack. Of course he had no idea this was going to happen, but in it you will hear of a young man able to confidently face death because of his hope in Jesus.

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HOPE LEADS TO HOLINESS

HOPE LEADS TO HOLINESS

Have you ever been in a social setting where you have stuck out like a sore thumb? Perhaps you have felt like every eye in the room is on you for turning up under-dressed for the occasion. Some people enjoy the spotlight and crave attention. But for most of us most of the time, we’d rather not stand out but simply be normal like everyone else.

The call of Christianity is to standout. To be different. Not by wearing the wrong clothes to a function, but by displaying godly character traits. The sermon below considered what should motivate a Christian to pursue holy living.

DAVE MIERS SERMON ON 1 PETER 1:13-2:3 (right click to download etc)

Here is the outline:

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5 YOUNG CREW SHARE THEIR TESTIMONY // #MYJESUSSTORY #SOULIESYOUTH

MY JESUS' STORY

Sharing your testimony is a powerful way of communicating the good news of Jesus. The following are 4 ‘MY JESUS’ STORY’ videos we shot for our recent SOULIES SUMMERCAMP. You can read about why we call them MY JESUS’ STORY here. It’s always encouraging hearing different people share their story and then see lots of others connect with what they’ve shared.

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#SNIPPETY // AUSSIES BEST (OR WORST) AT GAMBLING + RUSSELL BRAND ON DRUG ADDICTION + PREACHING ADVICE + MORE!

#SNIPPETY

It’s been a while since the last #SNIPPETY post! But we’re back and I’m hoping to post some snippets of other online content at least once a week. But not making any promises!

Who gambles the most? (see the info graphic)

Australians gamble (and lose) more than anyone else on a per-person basis, according to H2 Gambling Capital (H2GC), a British consultancy. The biggest chunk of this is spent on video poker machines…

Jesus At The Bottom of The Ocean

This statue reminds me that Jesus came down into the pressurized abyss of our lives, that he moved towards the deepest, darkest, neediest places. I don’t know the unique make up of your story, sin, and mess, but whatever is down there know that Jesus’ passion is to deal with your abyss. He came to know you and love you in the deep dark sea of your struggle.

Russell Brand: my life without drugs

Without these fellowships I would take drugs. Because, even now, the condition persists. Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution.

Sermons over 30 minutes? Rookie preacher, you’d better have a good reason!

Either way, you don’t know as much as you think you know. Therefore to preach long sermons will tend to take your sermon into the land of the ‘hobby-horse’. When we’re drawing on a limited pool of knowledge (whether exegetical or practical), we tend to default into speaking about the things that we feel most familiar with and passionate about. Now that’s all fine and good for us, but it may have nothing to do with the text or with the people you’re preaching to! That’s called a ‘hobby-horse’.

A gay person and me

Let’s be friends so we can talk about this stuff.

Comments welcome…

BREAD & CIRCUSES // #ESCAPETOREALITY

BREAD & CIRCUSES

Movies, entertainment, celebrity culture, video games, digital media and social networks are often used to escape from reality. The goal of this 4-part series is to consider how to escape to the reality that comes in knowing Jesus.

Part 2 of #EscapeToReality

PANEM ET CIRCENSES

That’s Latin. I’m not pretending to know Latin, but I do know Wikipedia. And according to wiki Panem et circenses is a phrase that means ‘Bread and Circuses’.

It comes from Juvenal, a Roman satirist and poet writing around A.D. 100.

“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses (Juvenal)

Juvenal is lamenting the decline of what Roman citizens found valuable. People were no longer concerned about politics and civil service and doing good things. The Empire was in decline as citizens would willingly forego their rights as citizens. All they cared about were bread and circuses.

The free wheat and the impressive entertainment distracted them from reality. They were happy enough, even though they were more or less were living as slaves!

THE HUNGER GAMES

What’s the name of the nation in Suzanne Collins’ best selling trilogy The Hunger Games? Panem. Yep, derived from Panem et circenses.

Hunger Games is all about Bread and Circuses.

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