July 1, 2024

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As kind of a life-long, off-and-on dieter, oh, how well I know the things we do to maintain or lose weight. And sometimes, I mean, you can't just have water, fruit, and lettuce all the time. Maybe throw in a little celery for dessert. You can lose weight that way, but you know what? You can't keep that going. What you have to do, I've learned, is you have to make friends with your metabolism. And if you're going to take some foods out of your diet, you better put something good in its place if you want the change to last. Actually, that's not just a dieting principle. That applies to spiritual change.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No to Temptation, Yes to the Good Stuff."

In our word for today from the Word of God in 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul is writing to young men and he's talking about a subject that would have to do with young men. He talks about the "evil desires of youth." He says, "Look, I know especially when you're young that one of the challenges spiritually is controlling your glands, and your sexuality, and your feelings toward the opposite sex." And he talks about something you should lose. You could almost call it losing spiritual weight. Except here it's losing a bad habit.

He says, "Flee the evil desires of youth." Okay, that's the diet plan; that's the spiritually fattening things you've got to lose. But I'm glad he doesn't leave it there. He doesn't just say, "Get away from that bad stuff" because he gives you something new to put in its place. He says, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue..." Oh, it's not just running from things. There's something you need to chase. "...and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace." I'm afraid that a lot of Christians would just stop with the negative - with the prohibition. "Thou shalt not." "Flee youthful lusts, my son."

And he's right when he says that, and we're right to have those negatives. Don't cheapen sex, don't fill yourself up with destructive music, or websites, or worldly amusements. Don't go out with unbelievers, don't read magazines that have garbage values, and don't watch junk TV. Don't watch anything that is going to feed your dark side.

But notice that Paul doesn't stop with a "don't." He says, "Go chasing..." And then he says, "...pursue some good stuff to do. Go after faith." Well, that means adventures that can stretch you and your faith in God. Take some risks, do something new for Him. He says, "Go after love." In other words, be pursuing bridges to other people; more ways to put them first. He says, "Be a peacemaker between other people." He gives one don't and four do's. That's a spiritual diet that can actually have lasting effects. Lasting results because you've got many more things you are doing than things you stopped doing.

Jesus talked about a man who swept the house and got rid of an evil spirit, but he didn't have anything in the house after the spirit was gone. And seven spirits, worse, came back because there was a vacuum. See, I don't think we can just be against things; we've got to be for a lot more things. We've got to invest in alternatives to the wrong thing.

We should major in healthy friendships, invest in those, encourage those, spend money for our kids to have good input and fun family times without regrets, and healthy recreation to develop their abilities. Go on spiritual missions together in your neighborhood or somewhere else in the world.

I think as Christians we should be known for being too busy doing good things to miss the things we're not doing. Let's be known not for what we're against, but for the great things we're for.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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