Peace, Freedom, and Happiness

Have you ever thought, “If I could be perfectly free, I would be happy; I would have peace”? Many people have sought complete freedom in order to have happiness and peace. People desire to be free of all restraints, somehow believing that if they could do just as they please, this would bring happiness. Does it?

The laughter and carefree atmosphere prevalent in today’s society seem to offer the promise of happiness. The party life is so attractive to many. People with alcohol and all night to indulge with their companions feel assured of happiness. These settings do not provide the peace and happiness people are seeking.

Recreational drugs promise wonderful highs. One would think surely these would bring happiness, and with that happiness, peace. Do they?

Modern music, which penetrates mind and body, works together with alcohol and drugs to bring more highs. This does not bring real happiness either.

Complete text of: Peace, Freedom, and Happiness

Indulging sexually to the fullest extent of human lust, with no thought of self-restraint, offers promise of fulfillment. It only brings an emptiness and disappointment. No, happiness is not found there.

In our time many are promoting the thought that in these and other areas, one should be completely free to do just as he pleases. They believe that there should be no law, no stigma, and no ill feelings for the one who indulges in these gratifications in his pursuit of happiness and peace. It is thought that total freedom ought to bring peace and happiness. Happiness is always to be found, they advocate, in yet another indulgence, another high of some kind. People think that if they are only seeking personal happiness, they will not be held responsible for their actions. They feel that they are entitled to their fair share of “happiness.”

If happiness is to be found in these ways, why the lonely feeling in the crowded bar? Why the low after the high? Why the uneasy feeling after the indulgence? Why the letdown feeling after the intimate relationship breaks off? If indulgence brings happiness and peace, why do they always seem to be just beyond our grasp? Why are there so many problems, and why does life seem so empty?

Many people are driven to succeed financially. Others excel in sports. Some strive to become famous. Even if these goals are achieved, an unsettled feeling lingers. One may find happiness for a short time, but lasting peace and happiness remain elusive. 

Self-indulgence is not true freedom. It will never bring happiness or peace. Self-indulgence is sin because it is service to self instead of service to God.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

How is it with you? Do you feel uneasy and troubled? Do the problems in the world and in your relationships cause you anxiety, guilt, and fear? Do you sometimes wonder if anybody really loves and cares for you?

Be assured God does love you. He is keenly interested that you find peace, freedom, and happiness. True peace comes not in indulging more, but in giving up yourself. Yielding yourself to God and trusting Him brings rest to your souls. Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27).

Answer Jesus’s invitation. Come unto Him with all your heart. Give to Him your past, present, and future. Turn from the empty, wasted life you have been living. Then you will find true freedom, true happiness, true peace, and true love. You will have hope for the future and the promise of eternal life if you will remain faithful. May God bless you as you seek and find peace and rest.

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The Sin of Immorality

Purity    Love    Happy Homes    Confidence

Lust    Shame    Fear    Broken Homes    Loneliness

Purity of mind, conscience, and body is a tremendous personal asset. While this alone is not godliness, it is a Christian virtue and a blessing to mankind. The declining moral values of today are allowing men and women to accept and indulge in behavior that the Bible clearly defines as sin. This behavior has become an accepted way of life for many people. That which God calls sin is often no longer called sin. What will be the result?

Television, movies, and much literature are filled with violence, sex, and other immoral practices. This evil influence is brought into the home for entertainment. The minds of men, women, and children are filled with lustful thoughts and desires. It is sad that this evil environment is even found in the homes of some professing Christians today.

God’s Word tells us that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection…despisers of those that are good…lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus told his disciples in words that we can understand and apply to our lives, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications” (Matthew 15:19). “For as he [man or woman] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Again Jesus says in the Holy Scriptures, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

Complete text of: The Sin of Immorality

Men and women are seeking a life of pleasure and are going to all means to satisfy their lust. They are enjoying today and not worrying about tomorrow, unconcerned about giving an account of their deeds on the judgment day when all must stand before God. Some of the pleasures which are indulged in today are drink, drugs, and sex. Men and women go to parties and dances to relax and enjoy themselves. There every passion can be aroused with very little or no control. They often indulge in drink and drugs which rob them of their reasonable sense. Satan is in control. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). Because of these indulgences, homes are broken, and innocent children are left without father or mother. Sometimes the resulting hatred is so great that it ends in murder. “The way of transgressors is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). In Galatians 5:19-21 we read that the works of the flesh are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, hatred, murders, drunkenness; and that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

It is accepted in many cultures to have a boy or girl friend and start dating at a young age. This often is supported by the parents who think this will help their child be more accepted and included in the popular crowd. The young people soon become too familiar with each other. Much time is spent in dating and partying, which all too often leads to petting and sex. The reasoning might be that others are doing it. “But every man [boy or girl] is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15).

Many times young people do not consider the consequences of these sins. They think they can escape the penalty of sin, but no one is a match for Satan. Young men violate young women and the sacredness of procreation is lost. Consciences are defiled and purity is lost. Innocence is destroyed. The pure beginning that enhances intimacy in marriage is compromised. Often times the girl finds herself pregnant. This results in shame, guilt, confusion, and the prospect of the responsibility of caring for a child. Often the mother resorts to an abortion. A life is destroyed, which adds still more sin and guilt to her heart. Otherwise, young people become parents at a premature age. The enjoyable years of youth are spoiled, the young girl’s friends forsake her, parents and family are disappointed-all because of a little sinful enjoyment. These are the wages of sin. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Marriage is honorable and a blessing to those who follow the plan of God. God intended men and women to be happy and enjoy the marriage union. “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4) A couple in love with each other may plan to marry, but to live together as husband and wife without being properly married is sin in the eyes of God.

God spoke against homosexual practices. Through Moses He said, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). When one allows sexual lusts to dominate his thoughts, he will sometimes resort to deviant practices in order to satisfy his unrestrained passions. Homosexuals no longer are ashamed of their immoral conduct. They have come out in the open and want to be accepted by society. Homosexuality is often excused because of inherited characteristics; however, personal accountability must be accepted. “For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people” (Leviticus 18:29). In regards to these sins, Romans 1:32 reads, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death.”

Some serious diseases in the human race are the result of immoral conduct. The dreaded AIDS and other venereal diseases are common. Needless suffering and death have ensued because of these diseases. Those who defy the laws of God will endure the consequences of such disobediences.

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). The word chastity means to be sexually pure, not indulging in sexual relations outside of marriage (fornication), not engaging in immoral practices. To be chaste is a command of God given to Moses for his people. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Jesus says, “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery” (Luke 16:18).

Sexual sin is a great distraction to a person in his work causing him to deviate from his worthy goals or to neglect his duties. His family is neglected, which results in an unhappy home. Guilt from such sins often causes emotional distress. On the other hand, the rewards of pure living are great. A morally pure person can have peace of mind and freedom from fear, whereas the impure can have no part in the kingdom of God. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9).

The Spirit of God will reprove an individual of sin and will lead him to repentance. An immoral life can be changed and the sins forgiven if one’s repentance is sincere. The first step is to recognize the sin and its seriousness in the eyes of God, without an attempt to justify one’s self. Then one must come to God with humility, acknowledging his guilt with a heartfelt sorrow, pleading for forgiveness and asking for grace to make restitution and forsake sin. Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden [with sin], and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Let us turn from our evil ways and call unto the Lord while there is time.

                                                     

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The Seed of Sin

Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, all people are born with a seed of sin. I have it. You have it. We all have it. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

As a child, I am happy. I am free. The blood of Jesus covers my sins. As I grow older, I don't feel so free anymore. This seed is producing sinful thoughts and actions in me. I begin to feel uneasy. Sometimes I am confused or afraid.

Now What?

I am helpless to remove this seed. It is ugly. It grows fast. I am under Satan's control. Satan is the father of this ugly seed. Now he is my master. What can I do? I am torn. Part of me likes it; part of me doesn't. I can't control myself and my desires. Satan tells me I am free. He tells me about an exciting life just ahead. He says don't worry; have fun! Sometimes I believe him, but late at night when I am all alone, I know better. Unless I change, I fear I am headed for destruction.

Jesus is calling me. I pray to Him. Others pray for me. I confess my sins until I am weary. I try every way I can think of, but I can't change myself. My heart is sinful. I'm on the road to hell.

I'm at the End of My Rope

I’m at the end of my rope. Swinging, swaying, clinging, praying—I admit I am helpless. I need forgiveness. I ask God to forgive my sins. In my total helplessness, I let go and fall into the loving Savior’s arms. “Jesus, I give You my sinful heart, my efforts to reform, my past, my future.” Immediately He is there. What a sweet and tender presence! I can feel his gentle, nail-scarred hands as He washes my sinful heart clean. I am forgiven. No more fears or shadows. The warm sun shines on me as it did when I was a child. Now I am a happy child of God. Satan no longer has control over me. This kind Jesus who stands beside me is now in control of my life. I enter into the joy of salvation. What a beautiful, peaceful walk. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

But What Is This?

Complete text of: The Seed of Sin

Oh, wretched me! I have sinned again. I still have the seed of sin in me. But there is a way. The quiet voice of Jesus tells me how to deal with sin. I remember what Satan used to tell me when I was caught in the trap of sin. He told me that I was a failure. How could I do such a thing? There is no hope for me now! I have sinned again. What can I do? I can try to reform, but that doesn’t work. I can excuse myself—it was because of my parents, my job, my nature, or another person. These thoughts are a delight to Satan. He wants to keep me from the remedy. Jesus is my only hope. He says, “Come!”

The Walk of Faith

So I come to Him. I admit I have sinned. I make no excuses. I do not try to make myself look better than I am. I tell him I have sinned. I plead for his forgiveness. I stand helpless before Him. I cannot wash myself. He gladly forgives and washes me. By faith, I know I am a child of God. I know his promises are true. In my heart, I accept that I am forgiven. This is the walk of faith. When I realize this, I praise God from a grateful heart. I was helpless. He set me free. Praise God!

I need to remember that Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sin. He delights in my need of Him. When I stay near to Jesus, Satan loses his power over me. Jesus promises, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

A life of faith gives me power to overcome the seed of sin. I thank God for his mercy and grace. I pray to Him and listen for his quiet voice. I find comfort and instruction in reading his Word, the Bible. I obey Him because I love Him. As I am obedient and faithful, Christian life is rewarding and fulfilling. Heaven will be my home.

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