But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (NASB), emphasis added
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.Matthew 5:27-30 (NASB)
Your word I have treasured in my heart,Psalm 119:11 (NASB)
That I may not sin against You.
Letting the Bible speak for itself, that is, letting it speak in its own terms, includes letting the Bible speak from within its own worldview rather than merely our own.Vern Poythress
The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.Psalm 97:1a (KJV)
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your loving-kindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your loving-kindness remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
All the paths of the Lord are loving-kindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
For Your name’s sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.
My eyes are continually toward the Lord,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.
Look upon my affliction and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins.
Look upon my enemies, for they are many,
And they hate me with violent hatred.
Guard my soul and deliver me;
Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.
Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.
This passage makes for a great, personal prayer–or the basis of one.
Lamedh (Lah-med) and Mem are the Hebrew letters for the next 2 sections of Psalm 119.
These are verses 89 to 96 and 97 to 104 respectively.
Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven.
90 Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations;
You established the earth, and it stands.
91 They stand this day according to Your ordinances,
For all things are Your servants.
92 If Your law had not been my delight,
Then I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have revived me.
94 I am Yours, save me;
For I have sought Your precepts.
95 The wicked wait for me to destroy me;
I shall diligently consider Your testimonies.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection;
Your commandment is exceedingly broad.
לְעוֹלָ֥ם יְהוָ֑ה דְּ֝בָרְךָ֗ נִצָּ֥ב בַּשָּׁמָֽיִם׃
לְדֹ֣ר וָ֭דֹר אֱמֽוּנָתֶ֑ךָ כּוֹנַ֥נְתָּ אֶ֝֗רֶץ וַֽתַּעֲמֹֽד׃
לְֽ֭מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ עָמְד֣וּ הַיּ֑וֹם כִּ֖י הַכֹּ֣ל עֲבָדֶֽיךָ׃
לוּלֵ֣י ת֭וֹרָתְךָ שַׁעֲשֻׁעָ֑י אָ֝֗ז אָבַ֥דְתִּי בְעָנְיִֽי׃
לְ֭עוֹלָם לֹא־אֶשְׁכַּ֣ח פִּקּוּדֶ֑יךָ כִּ֥י בָ֝֗ם חִיִּיתָֽנִי׃
לְֽךָ־אֲ֭נִי הוֹשִׁיעֵ֑נִי כִּ֖י פִקּוּדֶ֣יךָ דָרָֽשְׁתִּי׃
לִ֤י קִוּ֣וּ רְשָׁעִ֣ים לְאַבְּדֵ֑נִי עֵ֝דֹתֶ֗יךָ אֶתְבּוֹנָֽן׃
לְֽכָל תִּ֭כְלָה רָאִ֣יתִי קֵ֑ץ רְחָבָ֖ה מִצְוָתְךָ֣ מְאֹֽד׃
O how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged,
Because I have observed Your precepts.
101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
That I may keep Your word.
102 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.
מָֽה־אָהַ֥בְתִּי תוֹרָתֶ֑ךָ כָּל־הַ֝יּ֗וֹם הִ֣יא שִׂיחָתִֽי׃
מֵ֭אֹ֣יְבַי תְּחַכְּמֵ֣נִי מִצְוֺתֶ֑ךָ כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם הִיא־לִֽי׃
מִכָּל־מְלַמְּדַ֥י הִשְׂכַּ֑לְתִּי כִּ֥י עֵ֝דְוֺתֶ֗יךָ שִׂ֣יחָה לִֽֿי׃
מִזְּקֵנִ֥ים אֶתְבּוֹנָ֑ן כִּ֖י פִקּוּדֶ֣יךָ נָצָֽרְתִּי׃
מִכָּל־אֹ֣רַח רָ֭ע כָּלִ֣אתִי רַגְלָ֑י לְ֝מַ֗עַן אֶשְׁמֹ֥ר דְּבָרֶֽךָ׃
מִמִּשְׁפָּטֶ֥יךָ לֹא־סָ֑רְתִּי כִּֽי־אַ֝תָּ֗ה הוֹרֵתָֽנִי׃
מַה־נִּמְלְצ֣וּ לְ֭חִכִּי אִמְרָתֶ֗ךָ מִדְּבַ֥שׁ לְפִֽי׃
מִפִּקּוּדֶ֥יךָ אֶתְבּוֹנָ֑ן עַל־כֵּ֝֗ן שָׂנֵ֤אתִי׀ כָּל־אֹ֬רַח שָֽׁקֶר
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sickJeremiah 17:9
The following is a brief explanation from a recent sermon given by Pastor Will Vega.
The world tells you to listen and follow your heart. But your heart is the seat of all your loves and desires. And therefore, your heart is not the best guide for your life.(emphasis added)
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs You are doing if God were not with him.
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You should be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stand condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”John 3:1-21 – NIV
woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.Paul to the Corinthian believers
This one particular strikes me as I currently study in seminary.
What about you?