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Forgotten Virtues - Week 2

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Welcome everybody to week two of Forgotten Virtues. Happy Mother's Day to all of our mothers, we pray that you feel incredibly honored. Next week, I will be speaking on one of the Forgotten Virtues, we are going to be talking about Loyalty. This week though, we have a very important subject, we are going to talk about purity. In the whole world, there is no person that I would rather speak on this subject than one of the most pure and most godly people I know. Last week, we talked about honor, and I'd love to give you a chance to honor our guest speaker today; she happens to be my best friend, she happens to be my wife, she happens to be the mother of my six kids, and she happens to be a great kisser, and only I would know that! Would you please honor my wife, Amy Groeschel! (Amy Groeschel) Thank you! Thank you! It is such an honor to share with you on Mother's Day weekend. I never imagined that I would have such an amazing husband who would give me this opportunity. I'd never imagined that I would have six children, we had always thought we would have just two kids, that's what we came from growing up. It is truly an honor and I do want to wish the Mothers a Happy Mother's Day, we love you Mothers! As a Mom, I just appreciate everything that you do. I want to honor my Mom today, I want to honor my Mother-in-love, Craig's Mother today. Moms are special. When you are not a Natural Mom, you are a Spiritual Mom in Christ and I honor you as well as Spiritual Moms today. So lets get started in our message of Purity. I want to start by finding out if anybody has ever been on a carnival ride called the 'Zipper'. Anybody know about the 'Zipper'? It is a carnival ride. I loved this ride, it was my favorite ride when I would go to a carnival. When I was 17, I went on a Zipper ride with my girlfriend and we got on and we were waiting for the ride to start. All of a sudden as we were waiting in our little cage (there is a picture of the 'Zipper' here too), we were inside this little cage and all of a sudden there is a person above us in their cage, who apparently had been on the ride and threw up in it and the contents fell all in our cage and we were screaming, "Get us out of here! Get us off the ride!" It was too late! I am not kidding, this happened! Who does this happen to? This happened to us and the ride starts. This is a ride that turns you continually as you are going up and down and out and in and all around. This ride is tossing, we are tossed in vomit! I think the guy had spaghetti! We get off of this ride and we are covered, everything is covered in this person's vomit! I'm telling you, that is not an example of purity! That is not what's pure! I don't know how I lived it out, but after that no one wanted to go near me; but, I was on a mission to the nearest water source, the nearest restroom to get pure. I was on a mission, because of the impurity that was all over me. Now, who here is like a germaphobic? You just have to wash your hands! Nobody is raising their hands! I don't want to admit that I totally freak out when I shake a lot of people's hands, I have to have hand sanitizer with me at all times! You know, you see this everywhere we go now, it's amazing how the hand sanitizers are everywhere, a bottle at the check-out stand at the store, and there is just a phobia because everyone wants to avoid sickness. You know, who wants to be sick? I'm with you! We know now with science that germs make you sick and so we should avoid it! Nobody wants to be sick, it's not fun; but, let's contrast that to how much as believers do we go about avoiding the pollutants and the contamination of sin that can contaminate us; because sin, there's always a price and it's not fun. I've been there and done that. I've been impure and I've lived the life and I have not had the filters, and brought in the filth that has contaminated me and it is not fun, it is worse in my opinion, of being sick. There are serious consequences that can even lead to death, just like sickness. And so, I want to talk to you today about pursuing the mission of purity. I think that too many of us, because I see it especially our American US culture of Christianity, have the world at this standard, and we are comparing ourselves to the world. We are here as the church going, "Hmm, we are doing pretty good!" But look, the God standard is way over here, a totally different level of purity. Even Isaiah, the man of God, when he saw the Lord and he was high and lifted up and he saw Him in all of His glory he said, "Woe to me", and he was a righteous man. He realized his impurity, he said; "I'm a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips." I want us to realize that we have to be on a mission to avoid the contaminants, the pollutants of spiritual impurity and have a phobia of that as much as we are against sickness and not wanting to suffer in a sick way. So, why have we forgotten as a culture? Why are we here? Why is God's standard here? Why the gap? I think it's because we have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten who we are. See, if you know who you are, you're going to know what to do, right? Mamas, when you have a baby and the baby's crying, you know what to do because you are the mama, so you go and feed that baby or check on that baby when they're crying. When your child gets hurt, you may need to go and get the Band-Aid out of the medicine cabinet, because you are the mom and you know what to do. When you have a teenager that is starting to drive, you are the mom so what do you do? You are the mom, so you start to pray! You do! We have a 16 year old now that is starting on that journey, so I know! We are starting to pray! So, when you know who you are, you know what to do. My Dad used to say this to me when I was a teenager, and he dropped me off somewhere, which I just really honestly didn't like. He would say, (he's such a godly man) "Amy, remember who you are." He wasn't saying, "You are part of our family", he was saying; "You are a child of God, you are a believer, you are a Christian, a Christ one." Who are you? Do you know who you are, ladies? Do you really know it? We need a revelation of who we are. We know up here the Christian answers of who we are, I know I am a child of God, and that sort of thing. But, you need to have new eyes to see that who you are in Christ completely changes everything. It can change everything. Let's look at Ephesians 1:4, it says: Christ chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless. Ephesians 1:4 As believers you are a new creation. I don't know about you, but when something is new I really want to protect it and keep it clean and keep it pure. We are new creations, the old has gone and we have to keep the old from staying gone, unfortunately, because it wants to, my dead man wants to keep rising again and resurrecting. But, we are chosen by God, we are loved and not only are we loved, and are the masterpiece of God and adopted children, but look at this picture in regards to purity. We are the bride of Christ, you are the bride of Christ. If you know who you are you are going to know what to do. What does a bride do? What is the calling on a bride's life? The bride is on a mission, is she not? She's preparing herself for a wedding. We need to be on a mission preparing ourselves. At the same time that she is preparing and planning, she is enjoying a relationship that's intimate with the groom. Our Heavenly Father is our bridegroom and our eyes and our hearts need to be all His, totally faithful to Him. A bride knows what to do, she is loyal and faithful to her groom. So, why do we go out and contaminate ourselves as brides and allow things into our lives that are not pure? John 3:29 says: The Bride belongs to the bridegroom. John 3:29 We are not our own. When you are a Christian, when you are a believer, your life is not your own. You were purchased by the blood of Christ and now you are not the same. You have a call on your life that is not of your own, it is for Him and His glory. What is God's true ultimate call for all of us? Here is where it gets down to really what purity is. Your calling is to be like Him. The longer that I am married to Craig, and it's been 19 beautiful years now, just about 19 years, the more that we become alike. We are complete opposites in our temperament, but we have the same type of thoughts and humor now, we have like-mindedness. We have the same phrases that we use, because we have spent time together all of these years. There is great faithfulness and commitment to one another, and we love each other and we enjoy our fellowship with one another, but we become alike. As God, our Heavenly Father is our groom, our eyes are to be on Him and our call is to become like Him. Well, let me ask you this, are you becoming more like the world? I mean, who are you becoming? Are you becoming more like what the world looks like, or are you looking more and more like your bridegroom? Are you looking more like Christ? Because really, Christ is the standard of purity and we are in Him and we are called to be like Him. So, it's not enough just to compare ourselves to Miss Sarah and Miss Mary next to us, but to look at Christ. When our eyes are on Him, Hebrews Chapter 12, it's not in your notes, but it says: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 He is the author, He's the perfecter of our faith, He is the sanctifier, the purifier. We cannot do it, get your eyes off yourself. There are too many women that are trying in their own strength to be pure. You already have been made pure, but your calling is to begin to cooperate, you are called to be holy. In 1 Peter 1:14, it says: As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. 1 Peter 1:14-15 Not in just some things that you do, but in all you do. It is our calling to be holy. I personally can't do this, but Jesus is in me and He is with me and if I take His Word at His Word and obey it, He will do things in me and He has. I look back and Craig says, "I can't think of anybody that I would rather speak on purity!" If I think back on my past, some people that were there with me and hear him say that, would drop their jaw and say, "Whatever!" Like I said, I've been there and done that. God has been the One that has been faithful, as I've looked to Him for my source, for my help and my strength. He is my righteousness, He is my sanctifier, He is the One who can not just be holiness for us, He is our righteousness, but we can become that as we are called to be because He also tells us that we are called to renew. We hear this verse a lot in Romans, Chapter 12: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 Not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed. Renew your mind, it's a calling, it's a command really, we are to renew our minds. Not only when you renew something, you're making it new right? You're making it as it should be, and so when you are doing that, once it's where it should be, don't you want to protect that renewal? You want to protect it. So, as you renew your mind, you can't go and start contaminating it again with all of the filth. I know, we live in a culture that you are just bombarded, just going outside of your house bombards you with immorality, you are amongst a people of unclean lips and hearts, there is wickedness everywhere. You can turn on the computer and just see little ads that look like soft porn. It's everywhere, the impurity and the temptations are everywhere; but you have to guard it, you have to protect your purity. It's not just going to be this thing where you renew it and then you just let it be and you let it all go. You have to guard it and protect it. Protect what you see, protect what you hear, your mind has to be guarded and protected. Your heart, we have to train ourselves to be godly, build ourselves up in our most holy faith. That's our job, that's our calling, to renew our mind. We are called to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. When He says in James 1: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22 Don't just listen to my words, do what I say! Don't just listen to the Word. When you read the Bible, do what it says. It is the command of God. It will bring life to abundance when we live it. I used to be afraid, if I obeyed then I would lose some pleasure of my life. That's such a lie. You end up gaining. You end up gaining peace and joy. You end up gaining life that is really life. When you take God at His Word and you trust Him and you cooperate, He will make you holy. He will take you to that level of purity that you would never imagine possible. If you cooperate, if you renew, if you protect, you will become like Christ. I haven't arrived and none of us have. But that doesn't matter. The Bible says we are to aim for perfection. It is our goal, it's my mission. I'm running this race and like Hebrews 12 says: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 I am going to throw off everything that hinders me. I am going to throw off every sin that is trying to entangle me and I am going to run the race to win. That's what we've got to do. Not only because it can do us great damage, because there is always a price with sin. Craig taught us in one message that not everything is beneficial. Everything can be permissible in Christ because we are free, but not everything is beneficial. So, the things that are not beneficial can be a great detriment. So, it's so important and people are going to look at you when you cooperate with the Spirit of God and they are going to say, "I want what that person has, I want that!" They are going to see the righteousness of Christ be manifested in your life. I know deep down, that is what we all want as believers, but it is not going to happen if we don't cooperate. So, are you cooperating? Are you conforming to the world's standard? Or out of insecurity and a desperation to be loved (and I know what that is like), that you just decide that you are going to compromise, because you want love so badly, you need attention so badly and you are comparing yourself to everyone else, that you can't seem to keep your eyes on the groom, because that's where it is. Our eyes must be on the bridegroom, and our heart must be looking to Him and not to the world. So, are you cooperating? We are going to look at our lives. Let's look at our lives women, at the verse that is directed to us in 1 Peter 3:3, it says: Your adornment must not be merely external-- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 I want my Father, my bridegroom, to look at something precious when I live my life. The words gentle, quiet spirit; some of us women, we are just not wired gentle, quiet spirits, we are a little bit more outgoing. So, I checked into this in the Greek language. The word gentle is actually better translated as humble, and the word quiet is really a rested spirit. You are rested in who you are, it is well with your soul and your spirit is humble. You a humbled and a rested spirit. You can still be you in the beauty of who you are, but let that be the hidden person that people see. When I think of people that are truly beautiful, when I think of women who truly are just gorgeous beyond belief, these women are women that have this quality. It's the inner beauty of the heart. I think of women with great deeds, like Mother Theresa, she's beautiful, not outwardly, but we all love and admire her inner beauty. I think of women who have joy and they are smiling. Women that are content, this godliness is so beautiful and I pray that we would just have it permeate the churches, where people would look on to the bride of Christ, and the women in the church and go, "Something is so unique about those women!" It's not prudish, it's not church lady, it's just special, it's reverent before the Lord. So, is this you? Does this describe you, this woman, this hidden person of the heart? The sad thing is that a lot of us, in conforming to the world, the women are more characterized as rude, loud, overbearing, they're selfish, vain, even vulgar, rebellious. Sometimes this can be me, I can be in my flesh, anything and everything ugly and repulsive. I don't want to be characterized as that. I am on a mission for purity, I'm on a mission for righteousness and I just tell God in my quiet time, "I am pursuing you, I am pressing in, I want righteousness, I need more of you, I want to love you Father, with all of my heart, with all of my soul, with all of my strength." I tell Him that! I let Him know, "I am running hard after you, Father!" It changes me as I say it and I pray and I mean it, and He sanctifies and purifies. So, when we look at our lives and we see these women, think of Proverbs 11. This is kind of funny, but Proverbs 11:22 says: Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. Proverbs 11:22 Discretion is having good sense and good judgment and I think that sometimes we just need to wake up and realize, 'Oh, we are going with the world standard, and we are really looking like pigs with rings in their noses and looking pretty stupid. It's not real cute is it? It's not cute and it's not fitting. Now, let's look at our lives. If clothes could talk, what would clothes say? Think about your clothes and what you wear? What would they say? You know it's sad, but when you look at some women and how they dress; some of them, their clothes say, "I'm insecure." Sometimes, they are just saying, "I'm cool!" It's a kind of pride. Some of them are saying, "I'm easy, look at me! I'm sexy, I'm hot!" Some clothes are saying, "Will you just love me?" Some clothes are saying, "I'm hiding". Some clothes are saying, "I'm pretty important, see this label?" Some clothes, to the women who is pursuing purity say, "I'm pure, I'm chosen, I'm, special, I'm loved, I am holy." We can dress like that women. Now, let's not be a source of temptation. You know, Jesus said that to cause a man to lust, he's committing adultery in his heart and so I don't want us to be a source of temptation. I want to honor not just brothers in Christ, but all men, because we represent Christ. I used to look at this and I used to really have a lot of foolishness in my heart regarding modesty in my dress. It was just an immaturity in my life and my modesty standards were circumstantial. It was who I was with. If I went on vacation the standard changed. If I went to church the standard was a little different. If I was going to see any of my church friends, that was different. There was just subtle changes in the standard in my modesty, depending on where I was. But, when I renewed my mind with the truth, the truth is, can I wear the truth is, wherever I go, a name badge that says that I represent Jesus Christ, I am His ambassador. If I can wear that, I am the bride of Christ. If every shirt and every clothing that I wore said, "I am the bride of Christ", that's the standard. Could you go ahead and dress as you would, before the throne and then we will be all okay. I don't want anybody to stumble, I don't want to be a distraction, and I know that you don't want to either, but if your eyes are on Christ, because I think so many of us dress out of insecurity. Get your eyes off of yourself and know that you are loved, you're pure, you're accepted, you're holy, you are accepted, you are chosen, you do not have to dress for any approval of anyone, any man or anything. You are loved. So, don't be that source of temptation. 1 Timothy says: I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. 1 Timothy 2:9-10 But really what the key is here, women that claim to be devoted to God need to make themselves beautiful by the good things that they do, so that our focus isn't on all our image and what we look like. It's okay, and we need to represent Christ in everything that we do. Our clothes talk, but it's in what we do, it's how we live. Our actions speak louder than our words. Now, I want to give a couple of suggestions that might just be really helpful. Married women, if you want to dress provocatively, and I know your husbands want you to do that, please; I want you to do this in the privacy of your bedroom. Please, save it for the bedroom. Now, if you are not sure what to wear as a standard for women, if you are not sure just don't wear it. Young ladies at home, you are to honor your parents and their opinions whether you agree with them or not. Please honor your parents. They want to protect you. Now here's something that I really think is awesome, I hope everybody does this. There's an awesome survey, the revolution modesty survey that everybody needs to go check out on this website. This is over 1,600 men that were polled and they give their opinions about different areas of modesty. It's very detailed, very specific, very eye opening, very revealing. Please, please go see this survey because you will get a revolution of what men go through. Now the last thing and I will close with this, is that above all we have to pursue our bridegroom. We are the bride of Christ and we have to pursue God. I think to sum everything up, purity is becoming like Jesus. That's our calling and we are the bride of Christ and so, there is a famous Proverb, Proverbs 31; the Proverbs 31 woman, the next to last verse, verse 30, it says: Charm is deceitful, beauty is vain, but the woman who fears the Lord is praised. Proverbs 31: 30 I have paraphrased that after looking into the Hebrew, to say what it really means. It means good deeds, because even those actions that we do that say, "Hey, I'm a pretty good Christian". The good deeds, they actually can have deceitful motives. The outer beauty is empty and it's shallow, but it is the woman who fears the Lord who should be praised. So Father, I pray that this message would just go deep down into our spirits as women and we would live on a mission with a new revelation that we are the bride. We are your bride and you are the one who makes us pure, Father. I thank you God, that you are the living water who washes away my sin, removes it and makes me whiter than snow. To all who call on your name God, you forget our sins and you remove them as far as the East is from the West. Thank you, for your love that is immense in our lives. God I pray that women would live pursuing you, God. Pursuing you and knowing who they are. Father, we put our eyes on you. In Jesus' name. (Craig Groeschel) As we continue in an attitude of prayer at all of our locations, let's just focus our hearts on God. Just keep praying today. Father, I ask that you would reveal to all of us any areas of our own lives where we are impure. God, I know that this message in so many ways was for the women, but I think all of us could hear the voice of your Spirit as you are speaking to us. It's so easy God, we know, to compare ourselves to others, but when we compare ourselves to your Son, it becomes increasingly obvious where we have conformed to this world. As you keep praying today at all of our churches, and Church Online, many of you are going to recognize right now that there are some areas of your life that have conformed to this world. It could be you are immodest, it could be that your thought life is impure, it could be that you have lustful thoughts, it could be that you're entertaining yourself with sinful images and even on the television shows you watch, or where you drift into things in your computer, and what you are seeing. At all of our locations, if you sense right now any area of impurity and you'd like to take this before God, I believe not only will He forgive you, but He will also begin to cleanse you with the power of His Word and His Spirit. So, let's take a moment and do that at all of our churches. Those of you who would say, "You know, there really are some areas that are probably not pleasing to God and I want to take a moment and confess that before Him and find His healing and cleansing." Would you just lift up your hands right now? All of our locations, those of you saying, "Yes!" Just lift up your hands and say, "Before God, this is it!" Do this right now, just in the privacy of your own prayer, would you just not out loud, but in prayers to God, just confess it to Him and say, "This is what it is, God!" Give it a name, "I've been immodest, I'm having lustful thoughts." It could be you're engaged in something that would very much break the heart of God. Just confess it to Him right now. As you are confessing it to Him, just let me remind you of what His Word says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 As you are confessing today as a representative of God, I just want to say that your sins are forgiven. Now Father, I pray that by the power of your Spirit you would start to renew our minds. God, I ask for those who are maybe trapped, they would confess their sins to someone else and we pray for each other that we could be healed. I pray that we'd put even in our lives, the appropriate forms of accountability, those to hold one another accountable to pray for each other. God, we ask that by your power we would not conform to this world, but instead we would be conformed to the image of your Son, Jesus Christ. As we keep praying today, I know many of you, you look at your lives and you may say, "You know, there's nothing even close to being pure in my life." The reality is that it's a very true and Biblical statement. As Amy referenced earlier, all of our righteousness, it's even as filthy rags before God. You may look at your life and say, "I've been so unclean, I'm so full of sin. How can I ever be made right with God?" Well the truth is, on your own you never could be. You can't be religious enough, you can't do enough good acts to make up for your sin. You can't wish away everything. The reality is, you need a Savior, we all do. Here's the Good News; God loved us so much that He did something for us that we were incapable of doing ourselves. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, who was pure in every way, born of a virgin and without sin. He lived the perfect life for us so that He could die. Shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins, so He could be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Because of what Jesus did, if you call on Him, He will forgive you, He will move into your life, He will make you a new creation. There are many of you, that you are here today because God wanted you here. You are dead in your sins and you need new life. Today you are going to call on Jesus. You are going to ask Him to save you. When you do, He will. All of your sins will be forgiven and you'll be brand new. That's why you are here today. At all of our churches, those of you who would say, "Yes I'm unclean, I'm impure, I'm a sinner, I need a Savior, Jesus take my life!" You are here for this moment, you're prayer is, "Yes, I give my life to you." Today, you find life in Christ. If that's you, at all of our locations, would you lift your hands high right now and say, "Yes! Yes! I surrender my life to Christ". Lift your hands right now. Those of you at Church Online, if you just click right below me, "I'm giving my life to Christ". All of you just pray aloud with me as their are those at churches around the world, people coming to Christ. Just pray; "Heavenly Father, I am impure, I am a sinner, and I need a Savior. Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God who died for me so I could live for you. Save me from my sins, make me brand new. As you gave your life for me, I give my life to you. Thank you for new life, now you have mine. In Jesus' name I pray!" I want to welcome all of you into the family of God. Your local pastor will now tell you what to do to begin your journey with Christ.

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Duration: 36 minutes and 41 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
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Views: 73
Posted by: lifechurchopen on Jul 7, 2010

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