Counting The Cost
7/23/2010

Counting The Cost
Determining The Worth

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 (NKJV)

Have you ever heard the expression; "Whatever the market will bear?" It is a statement having to do with perceived value.  It points to a person looking at something they feel is of worth, and whatever they are willing to pay for it determines the worth.  

I was reading the Proverbs this morning and as I was reading through Chapters 6 and 7, this expression popped up in my head as I came across some verses warning against unfaithfulness, and adultery.  I started to think about what it really costs us when we choose to partake in fulfilling the desires of our flesh in this manor.

In chapter 6 we are told, "The commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids. For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life. Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away" (Prov. 6:23-28, 32-33).  

Then, in chapter 7 we are told, "Say to wisdom, 'You are my sister,' and call understanding your nearest kin, that they may keep you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words. Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, And all who were slain by her were strong men.  Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death." (Prov.7:45, 24-27)

Verse 26 of chapter 7 really stood out to me as it says, "All who were slain by her were strong men."  That should be an eye-opener to every man alive.  Hey men, you think you're a stud?  You think you're strong?  You think you're all that, both physically and spiritually? Watch out!  And before I go any farther I just wanted to say this devotional isn't just for men, it applies to women as well - both can be tempted by the enemy using another in this area of sexual temptation.

The Scriptures are very clear in letting us know how much damage is done when a man and women engage in adultery, and yet the Bible is also clear in telling us God forgives all sinners who confess their sin and repent of their ways.  

This being said, I wanted to put a list of 10-things for us to consider - things that are very likely should one be unfaithful to their spouse.  

1.    Your marriage impacted, if not destroyed.
2.    Your Christian witness, and ministry will be devastated.
3.    You risk the strong possibility of sexually transmitted disease.
4.    You risk the chance of unwanted pregnancy.
5.    You will be tempted to continually cover up/hide your sin.
6.    Your prayer life, and Christian walk empowered by the Holy Spirit will be hindered.
7.    You have become "One flesh" with the person you have committed adultery with.
8.    Your children will lose respect for you, and they will be damaged greatly.
9.    You will lose your authority to speak into others lives.
10.    You will be missing out on God's best for your life.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  And I guess the cost of this perceived beauty is truly whatever the market will bear.  In other words, it will go to the highest bidder - the one willing to pay the most.  We need to think about these things before any temptation makes its way to us, and we should be thinking on it with clear and sound minds, rather than trying to figure it out at the point of temptation.  We need to count the costs involved when we are tempted in any area of our life.  

When you add it up, it is clearly not worth anything in this world.  And there is one more thing to consider when involving yourself with another in sexual sin, and it is contained within these verses in 1Cor. 6:15,19.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1Corinthians 6:15,19 (NKJV)

This simply means we are members of Christ's body, so when we perform any sin, including sexual sin; we are joining God with our partner and to the act.  

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you to (in a loving way) encourage, exhort, and admonish other professed believers who may be involved in sexual sin, such as adultery, fornication, and pornography.  It is our loving responsibility (See Ezek. 3:18-21).

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from 1Corinthians 6:15, & 19 with regard to participating in sexual sin?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to speak into the life of fellow Christians who are participating in sexual sin?  Are you willing to hold them accountable, to encourage them, or even to exhort and admonish them?

APPLICATION: Pray for God's wisdom when speaking into other peoples lives when the Lord prompts you to speak.  Always confront in love, but be willing to share God's Word, and to hold them accountable.  Your willingness to step forward in love could be the difference in saving their marriage and their Christian walk.

Father, we thank You for all provision.  We thank You for Your Word, and for Your unmerited grace.  Father, please give me the wisdom needed to speak into the lives of others when needed.  Help me to confront in love, and to be willing to intercede on their behalves.  I ask this in Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott


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