Quote #51 – Pornography

The following deals with fighting back against pornography.

You will need to employ radical measures in at least three areas. You look at porn when you have the desire to see it, when you have the time to look at it, and when it is available to you. Nobody looks at pornography without all three of these elements coming together. In your fight to be free from pornography, you must learn to take radical steps to eliminate each one.

from Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace by Heath Lambert

Quote #47 – Psalm 25

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.

NASB

This passage makes for a great, personal prayer–or the basis of one.

Psalm 119:89-104

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.

Lamedh

English

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.

NASB

Hebrew

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׃

WLC

Mem

English

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.

NASB

Hebrew

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

WLC

On Free Will

This is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.


Redundancy & Absolute

I will start this topic off by saying that I think, and have long thought, that the term “free will” to be rather redundant. To have a will by nature means to have an ability to make choices. Adding “free” to the beginning of this does not make one suddenly more able to make choices.

However, I have found one group that proposed such an idea that one could have absolute freedom and they taught that free will meant that man had the ability to choose absolutely free from all constraints. This flies in the face of not only natural experience but Scripture.

Why do I say this? Simple. Natural experience tells us that our choices are always constrained by our circumstances. Our circumstances present us our options. Certainly, we could always choose to act according to some other option and thereby refuse to deal with our given situation but that too is bound by the reality we find ourselves in. I may wish to choose to fly out of this reality, but as a mortal man, I have no such empowerment to do so and is therefore not a viable choice. I thereby spend my time not dealing with the situation at hand (effectively ignoring it) by whiling my time away dreaming of a reality that does not exist.

Also, we are bound by God’s will and that means bound according to His overarching plan as we have expressly been told in His Scripture. Therefore, our wills are always subject to or circumscribed by God’s will.

So, yes, we have a will. However, it is never absolutely free as there are always constraints beyond our control. We do the best we can with what we have. We are never outside God’s governing will and His will operates always according to His own character.

God’s Will & Fatalism

With what’s been already said, this likely raises some questions. I do not intend this article to be any sort of extensive treatise but let me try to briefly address some of those points in the following question.

How does fatalism relate?

For starters, God’s will is not the same as fatalism.

There is much mystery involved in the topic when it comes to how exactly our wills work in regards to God’s. Even so, it is clear that God’s plan and will rules over all. However, it is also clear that we as humans make and are responsible for our own choices. Another tidbit for thought is the fact that none of us are here by accident. We are each here according to His greater plan. We can infer from this that we have a part to play then as part of this plan.

As I mentioned earlier, our wills are circumscribed by God’s will. If you think of God’s will and plan as a big circle. Mankind is contained within the circle and can only exercise their wills within the bounds of that circle. This makes all the more sense when you consider everything about creation was ultimately created according to His purposes and plan. At the very least, this is how I picture the scenario of God’s will in my mind’s eye.

Now, back to fatalism. Fatalism tries to make this much more simplistic. It, to over-simplify the topic as there exists a variety of nuanced beliefs, simply makes everyone out to have their own script for their lives that they must follow and there’s no breaking out of it. Who wrote the script? This is where the different belief systems vary the greatest on the topic. Nevertheless, fate and fatalism are not concepts or beliefs that are part of Christianity. We are each part of God’s plan but we are not each on rails following a script.


Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.

For more posts along these topics, use the above navigation to go to Simple Me . . . or click here.

Quote #46 – Jeremiah 17:9 +

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick

Jeremiah 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)