Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My wife and I like Mexican food. Actually, I just like food, but she likes Mexican food much hotter than I do. She likes the salsa, the hot sauce - the really hot stuff. I like wimp sauce on mine actually. But not even she can handle what our friend from Mexico goes for. He doesn't just like hot sauce on his food. He likes molten lava. Even the candy he eats has chilies in it. It brings tears to our eyes, but he pops it like we do M&M's. Recently, he told me about a Mexican pepper that he had never tasted before. Some friends recommended it to him. He took a big bite out of it and really enjoyed it. It wasn't hot, it was actually mild. He enjoyed it so much, he ate some more. No fire, no burn, just a nice taste experience - until a few minutes later. Here's how he told it - "Suddenly, my mouth burst into flames!" Now, when he thinks something's hot, it's on fire, man! But there was no hint of the fire when he was biting into it. I loved what he named this particular pepper. He calls it "The Liar."

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Liar and the Fire."

Looking harmless, tasting harmless but creating fire. That scenario sounds strangely familiar to any of us who have ever been burned by sin. There is one particular sin that is especially notorious for looking almost irresistible, for giving immediate pleasure, and then burning you. Sex out-of-bounds, God's bounds, sex with anyone other than your lifetime marriage partner. God's boundary is clear in Hebrews 13:4, "Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure."

Joseph, in the Old Testament, was faced with an almost irresistible opportunity to have a sexual relationship out-of-bounds - our word for today from the Word of God, Genesis 39:7. Now remember he is away from home, he's lonely, he's got this beautiful woman making herself totally available to him. He's got a position of trust where there's a good chance no one will ever know if he does it. Does this sound tempting or what?

Here's what it says, "His master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, 'Come to bed with me!' But he refused. 'With me in charge,' he told her, 'my master does not concern himself with anything in the house. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?' And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her." Here's a model for all of us who live in a world that throws sexual temptation at us from every direction. Someone who can look past the magnetic attraction and the short-lived pleasure to the fire that results from sex outside of marriage. The damage it can do to you, to others, to your reputation, to your relationship with God, to your lifetime love.

Like that hot pepper, sex could well be called "The Liar." It promises love outside of marriage and ultimately delivers loneliness and often a feeling of being used. It promises a sense of feeling like you're worth more, and instead, it leaves you with a feeling of being dirty and feeling worth less. It promises you great pleasure, and it ends up robbing you of the ultimate sexual pleasure that comes from saving your sexual love to give uniquely to your lifetime partner. No moments of sexual pleasure can possibly be worth all that loss, plus the shame, plus the loss of the blessing of God.

God knows the temptation you're facing, the thoughts you're thinking, the pressure you're feeling, maybe even the sin you've been sinning. And He's trying to pull you back from the edge. Don't fall for the liar of sex outside of God's boundaries. Oh, it may look good, it may feel good for a short time, but it isn't worth the fire. You have too much to lose.