Wednesday, December 22, 2010
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Our friend told us that her youngest child, Ralphie, was like "Mr. Christmas" at their house. Very early every Christmas morning, he was everyone's alarm clock to get up and get going on those presents. That's what made this one Christmas so strange. Two weeks earlier, Ralphie was doing a little exploring in the closets while his parents were gone, and he found where they had hidden their presents! He couldn't resist. He opened this one bag and he saw the major gift they had bought him. And then came Christmas. Everyone slept later than they ever had on a Christmas morning because Ralphie didn't get up. Everyone was waiting impatiently around the Christmas tree, so Dad called up the stairs, "Ralphie, are you coming?" "Yeah," Ralphie replied. All the other kids were psyched as they opened their gifts. Not Ralphie. He opened his with little emotion, sort of a halfhearted thanks. Dad took him aside and said, "Ralphie, are you sick, man? You're always Mr. Christmas around here!" Ralphie explained why his "joy to the world" had gone. "Dad, the problem is I opened my gift early, and I ruined Christmas."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Gift You Don't Want to Ruin."
Poor Ralphie! He opened his gift before he should have and he ruined Christmas. It's that kind of heartache that God is trying to protect us from when He tells us to wait to open one of the most beautiful gifts He's given us - the gift of our sexual love to the person we love enough to spend our life with. He tells us to wait for marriage, to keep it inside marriage, not to keep us from enjoying it, but to keep us from ruining it.
God, who invented sex, says, "Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure" (Hebrews 13:4). Your wedding night and all your nights of married love, are meant to be the "Christmas" when you open your gift for one person and only one person. That's where the passion, the fulfillment, the excitement comes from; an exclusive gift that you've saved for only one person...the person you love enough to spend your life with. Anything you do with anyone else costs you the excitement of that exclusivity.
In our word for today from the Word of God, He gives us a clear blueprint for sex and love at its best. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, He says, "It is God's will that you should be sanctified (that means 'kept special'); that you should avoid sexual immorality (now, that's sex outside the divine fence of marriage); that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable." Okay, now notice the two-step action plan for not ruining your gift.
First, you avoid every wrong use of sex. Don't allow yourself to get in situations or to the point where you might be tempted to give it away. Avoid it, don't flirt with it.
Secondly, control your body; don't let it control you. That means pacing yourself physically, not letting your passions start running fast and then suddenly trying to throw on the brakes. Control the desires that could carry you over the edge of an irreversible sexual mistake.
See, God really cares about what you do with your love. He cares that you experience all the love He's planned for you; most of all, His love. If you've given away sexually what never should have been given, God has two hope-giving words for you: "clean" and "renewed." The Bible says, "The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:7) The sin you're most ashamed of, even the sin you think He won't forgive, was paid for when Jesus died on the cross. The day you bring your sin to Him and trust Him to be your Forgiver, your Savior, He erases every sin you've ever done from God's Book. And He begins to renew your emotional and spiritual purity.
Don't let your sin keep you from Jesus. Let it drive you to Jesus, who died to forgive that sin and change you. Look, if you want to know Him in this kind of love relationship, tell Him that today. And if you'd like to be sure just how to get started with Jesus, go to our website, check out my brief explanation there, of how to begin that relationship. The website is yoursforlife.net.
God wants to make you clean, wants to make you new, and He wants you to have His very best. When you give Him your life, you get love without strings and you get love without regrets.