Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 4:1-8
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.” (I Thessalonians 4:3)
We live in a day in which people are greatly influenced by the media, the internet, and personal gratification. It is amazing to see how much the advertising industry uses sexual innuendoes and stresses personal gratification. “You deserve to be happy and to do whatever you want to make you happy” is an underlying theme of our culture.
God’s people have been called to deny themselves in order to honor and to glorify God. God’s will is for us to grow in our sanctification daily, which means we are learning more and more to turn from sin and self, and to turn to God and to His will. Sanctification is a process. Sometimes we take three steps forward and two steps backwards, but we are still making forward progress.
In Paul’s day and in ours, there is an obsession with sex. God has made His will clear — “that you abstain from sexual immorality.” Let’s be clear — sex is a gift from God that is to be enjoyed in the marriage relationship. Many marriages get into trouble when spouses fail to engage in sexual intimacy. We are not to withhold our bodies from our spouses (see I Corinthians 7:1-5) — “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer, but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (I Corinthians 7:5).
We are easily tempted to fall into sexual immorality. Thus, we read — “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” (I Corinthians 7:2). Clearly sexual intimacy is reserved for a husband and a wife in marriage.
Unfortunately today sexual immorality is rampant — premarital sex, homosexuality, pornography, marital infidelity, etc. Christians are called to a life of sexual purity, “not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (v. 8).
Lord God, thank You for instituting marriage and thank You for the gift of sex within marriage. I pray that You give me the power to always remain faithful to my wife and to seek purity in my life. Enable me to grow in sanctification as I learn more and more how to deny myself and my sinful ways and to live more and more for Your glory.
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