You can call God “Abba”

You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).

Who You are In Christ

I may be sacrificing any semblance of credibility for admitting this, but I absolutely love the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Yes, it’s ridiculous; and yes, it’s not exactly the best theological commentary; but every time I watch it I find myself laughing hysterically (and slightly ashamed at my ability to quote every line).

One scene I particularly enjoy is when God sticks His head through the clouds and speaks directly to King Arthur. God is all business, and He appears to have become quite frustrated and impatient with humanity. At one point, He goes off on a tirade about how annoying His subjects are: “If it’s one thing I can’t stand, its people groveling. Every time I try to talk to someone it’s ‘sorry this’ and ‘forgive me that’ and ‘I’m not worthy…’”

What stands out to me about this scene though, is how the film-makers, in their attempt to create something humorous, have actually provided a sobering commentary on how many people truly do view God.

A lot of folks, when they think of God, see Him as a harsh cosmic judge or task-master. They see a man with a long beard and glowing crown (not unlike the picture of God in the movie), sitting on a throne bossing people around: “Do this, do that, follow the rules, and don’t even think about doing anything fun or I shall smite thee!”

But that’s the not the picture of God we’re given in the Bible. In fact, Romans 8:15 says exactly the opposite.

Paul tells us in this verse that those who are in Christ don’t need to fear God as a slave owner. The image of a cruel, impatient, and demanding God poking His head through the clouds to give us His marching orders is simply not true.

God doesn’t see you as His slave; He sees you as His beloved child. He has adopted you into His family because He loves you with the perfect love of a sinless Father. This unconditional love is what allows us to respond to Him as our “Abba (Daddy),” and come to Him to be fathered rather than judged or condemned.

Imagine if King Arthur had addressed the movie version of God as “Daddy.” I doubt He would have received a warm embrace. But that’s the danger that comes with misunderstanding God’s true nature: As long as you fear God’s judgement, wrath, or condemnation as a slave-driver, you will be more likely to grovel before Him than to run to Him for help whenever you fall.

But now that your union with Christ has made you a permanent member of God’s family, there’s no need to grovel. You can run straight to your Abba Father with confidence that He will embrace you no matter what.


This has been a repost from the archives.

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My One Thing: Luke Norsworthy

“What’s the one piece of advice you would give
to someone struggling with porn addiction?”

Luke Norsworthy is the pastor of Venture Community Church and host of the Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast.

Connect with Luke

Website: lukenorsworthy.com

Twitter:  @lukenorsworthy

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Smart Quote: Dan B. Allender

“The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced.” ―Dan B. Allender

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


Relevant Magazine: Why We Need to Practice Confession

“Through confession of sin, we admit our falsehoods, cite our pretense, and surrender the sham. We agree with God that our actions and inactions have fallen terrifically short of His perfect standard of holiness and can only be reconciled through Jesus. But confession isn’t just a practice of private, personal prayer. It should often be more public—with a friend or a trusted group of people.”

Dave Willis: Ten essential principles for true intimacy

“Relationships are always more complex than following an assembly line, but here are a few of the countless powerful principles I discovered in the book (paraphrased in my own words).”

People of the Second Chance: Every Story is Eligible for a Comeback

“There’s that one scene in every great movie. You know the one I’m talking about. That scene where it looks like the hero is about to lose it all.”

Tim Challies: 7 Good Reasons To Stop Looking at Porn Right Now

“My goal for today is simple: I want to give you 7 good reasons you need to stop looking at porn right now.”

Russell Brand: What Does Porn do to Us?

There is no condemnation for you

 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

Who You are In ChristIf you’ve been around the church for a while you’ve probably heard this verse a hundred times. But have you ever thought about what it actually means, particularly what it means for you?

For example, have you considered what percentage of your sin was paid for by Jesus at the Cross? Was it 20%? 50%?

According to the Bible, it was 100%. All your sin was paid for at the cross.

Or what about this question: How much of your sin has been committed after Jesus paid for it on the cross?

Unless you’re more than 2000 years old, all of your sin has been committed after the cross.

It’s probably easy for you to understand that every sinful thing you’ve ever done was paid for by Jesus, but do you realize that every sinful thing you still have yet to do has already been paid for as well?

That’s a difficult concept for our time-conscious minds to grasp.

Not for Jesus though. When He died as the perfect sacrifice two thousand years ago, He knew the entire list of sins you would commit over the course of your life (even those you will commit ten, twenty, or thirty years from now), and His death covered every last one of them.

All the sins (past, present, and future) of all believers (past, present, and future) were paid for by His death.

It’s this complete payment of all sin for all eternity that allowed Jesus to proclaim “It is finished!”

No more guilt.

No more punishment.

No more condemnation.

None.

No matter how much you’ve sinned (or will sin), if your faith is in Christ, it’s already been made right. No further justice or retribution will ever be required.

So from now on, when you sin, don’t beat yourself up and feel as if your sin is causing God to see you as unacceptable. I would encourage you instead to come before God with thankfulness:

  • Thank Him that Jesus already paid for the sin you just committed.
  • Thank Him that He loves and accepts you unconditionally in spite of the sin you still commit.
  • Thank Him that He only sees the righteousness of Christ in you no matter how many times you still mess up.

Odds are good we all will continue to wrestle with sin in the years to come. But thanks to Jesus bending time and space to pay for our future sins with His past sacrifice, we can now run to God rather than fearing His condemnation.


This has been a repost from the archives.

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My One Thing: Jonathan Daugherty

“What’s the one piece of advice you would give
to someone struggling with porn addiction?”

Jonathan Daugherty is the director of Be Broken Ministries, founder of the Gateway to Freedom recovery workshops, and host of the Pure Sex Radio weekly broadcast.

He has also authored several books including:

Grace-Based Recovery

The 4 Pillars of Purity

Secrets

Understanding Shame

Connect with Jonathan

Facebook: facebook.com/bebrokenministries

Twitter:  @bebroken

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Smart Quote: Dallas Willard

“Human beings are at their core defined by what they worship rather than primarily by what they think, know, or believe. That is bound up with the central Augustinian claim that we are what we love.” —Dallas Willard

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

The “One Thing” You Need to Know to Get Free from Porn Addiction

If you’ve seen the movie City Slickers, you will no doubt remember the scene where Curly, the old weathered trail boss, is talking to Mitch, a fresh-off-the-bus city boy wondering what the heck he’s doing on the back of a horse out in the middle of nowhere.

Jack-Palance-City-SlickersCurly looks over to Mitch and asks him: “Do you know what the secret of life is?” He immediately holds up his index finger. “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean $h!%.”

Mitch proceeds to ask him the obvious question: “So, what’s the ‘One Thing?'”

“That,” Curly responds, “Is what you have to find out.”

When it comes to finding freedom from porn addiction, we often approach it the same way. We look for an easy answer—a one-size-fits-all solution—that will work for everyone, every time, without fail.

We want to know the “One Thing,” but that’s typically not the way God works.

Just look at the way Jesus healed the various blind men He encountered throughout the Gospels:

  • Jesus spat in the mud and rubbed it in the eyes of one man (John 9).
  • He placed His hands on two men and they were instantly healed (Matthew 9:27-34).
  • He put His hands on a different man, but this man’s healing took place in stages rather than all at once (Mark 8:22-26).

There doesn’t seem to be any consistent pattern.

Why doesn’t God give us a step-by-step path to follow? 

If you’re looking for “one step” to freedom, “one behavior” you need to change, or “one thing” you need to do to stop looking at porn, you simply won’t find that in the Bible.

I don’t think this is because God is holding out on us though. I believe it’s because God is more interested in your heart than in your actions (Tweet this!).

David understood this heart-focus when He wrote about his “One Thing”:

The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
(Psalm 27:4)

The “One Thing” that mattered most in David’s life was to seek after the Lord, spending time meditating on His goodness, love, mercy, and grace. David knew the closer he drew to Jesus, the less he would desire sin (Tweet this!).

That was David’s “One Thing.” Perhaps it should be our “One Thing” as well.

What’s your “One Thing”?

Once you begin with the foundational first step of trusting the Lord enough to draw near to Him, the path to freedom will be different for everyone. God takes each one of us on our own unique journey so we will recognize our need to stay near to Him. Like a loving, less crotchety version of Curly, God wants us to follow Him closely on this cattle drive we call life.

But what are those next steps?

Often times, even though the steps are unique to everyone, they will be similar for many. That’s why I reached out a bunch of folks who’ve been walking this road of recovery for a long time and asked them all one simple question:

“What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone struggling with porn addiction.”

I asked men and women, pastors and parents, people with huge influence, and some folks you’ve probably never even heard of before. Every one of their answers was unique, although you’ll hear some consistent themes throughout many of them.

As you watch these videos, I encourage you to not only listen to their advice, but to follow the links to their various ministries as well. Most of these folks offer tremendous content and resources that will be helpful to you as you walk down your own road to freedom.

I will be posting these videos every Wednesday for the next few months. Once a video is posted, the link to its page will become active. If you prefer not to keep checking back here, simply subscribe to the blog and you will be notified as soon as each new video goes live.

Randal Ajimine

Randal runs the web-based ministry, churchandsex.com and is also involved with the organization Thank God for Sex

Pastor Bob Beeman

Founder of Sanctuary International and host of Pastor Bob Daily

Michael John Cusick

Founder and President of Restoring the Soul, author of Surfing for God

Jonathan Daugherty

Founder and director of Be Broken Ministries

Matt Dobschuetz

Host of the Pornfree Radio podcast.

Jeff Fisher

Founder of Porn to Purity and host of the Top Tips For Sexual Purity podcast

John Fort

Program coordinator for Pure Life Alliance and director of Pure Community for Be Broken Ministries

Craig Gross

Founder of xxxChurch.com

Rick Kardos

Executive director and co-founder of the Nathan Project

Dr. Mark Laaser

Director of Faithful and True and author of Healing The Wounds of Sexual Addiction

Luke Norseworthy

Pastor of Venture Community Church and host of the Newsworthy with Norsworthy Podcast

Adam Palmer

Pastor and co-author of the book “Go Small” with Craig Gross

Paul Robinson

X3Groups zone leader and blogger

Russ Shaw

Host of the ASI247: Attitudes of Sexual Integrity podcast

Seth Taylor

Blogger at xxxchurch.com and author of Feels Like Redemption

Carl Thomas

Outreach pastor and network director for X3Groups

Shellie R. Warren

Writer/Author/Marriage Life Coach/Doula

Michael Todd Wilson

Licensed professional counselor, sex therapist, and recovery coach

David Zailer

Director of Operation Integrity

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


The Blazing Center: Why Does God Let Me Stay So Weak?

“Why does God let us stay so weak at times? Why is it so hard to put sin to death? Why do we struggle and fail so much? Why are we so often weak in our faith?”

Pyromaniacs: Not Doggerel

“God guided the minister that day; the word came with power, and that man wept till he found the Saviour. Never give up your husbands, good women, for the Lord may even use a dog to bring them to Christ when you are dead and gone.”

Storyline: What’s the One Thing You’re Hiding?

“Honestly, I knew it would never be a big deal to her, but it was to me. I’m not talking about the truth I was withholding, I’m talking about the fact that I was withholding it in the first place. The thing I needed to tell her would make me look weak, and I hate looking weak around my wife. It wasn’t about sex or sin or anything like that, just something that was embarrassing to me.”

Experimental Theology: Is Porn the Soul of America?

“Pornography is a multibillion dollar industry in America. And since the 1970s it has become increasingly more abusive, exploitative, and demeaning toward women.”

Rosaria Butterfield: Engaging Homosexual Friends with the Gospel

You have been made right with God

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us (Romans 5:1).

Who You are In Christ

When the Apostle Paul penned this verse, he had just finished writing an entire chapter explaining how Abraham was saved by his faith, not by his good deeds.

This must have been quite shocking to the original recipients of the letter, being that many of the Christians in Rome had grown up in the Jewish tradition. They saw Abraham as the father of their religion, which was based heavily upon following the law (good deeds) to maintain a right standing with God.

But now Paul is telling them it wasn’t actually Abraham’s ability to follow the law that saved him—it was his faith. Abraham trusted God, and that’s the only reason God counted Him as righteous.

Paul may as well have said up was down and down was up.

He could have stopped there, leaving Romans 4 as an interesting biographical lesson on the life of Abraham, but thankfully Paul continued on to write the verse we’re looking at today (and likely stunning his readers even more).

Paul wanted to make sure his readers knew that all these things he just told them about Abraham are also true for everyone who’s faith has been placed in Christ.

That includes you and me today.

In the same way Abraham’s deeds had nothing to do with his righteousness, your deeds have no bearing on your righteousness either. Simply put, you can’t earn God’s acceptance through behavior.

At first glance, the idea that you could never do enough good to earn God’s acceptance sounds likes bad news, but actually it’s wonderful news.

Think of it this way. If God’s acceptance depended on your good works, how much good would you have to do to know that you’d earned it? At a minimum, you would need to do enough to compensate for your mistakes, right? And then, every time you messed up, you would have to do more good deeds to get back to baseline.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds exhausting. Plus, you would never know for sure whether you were doing enough, so you would always doubt God’s acceptance of you.

But look once again at what Paul tells us in this verse. He makes it clear that we have been made right with God by faith.

“Have been…” Past tense. It’s a done deal.

Your righteousness had nothing to do with your good works when God gave it to you (through Christ), and it still doesn’t today.

By trusting that you have already been made right with God, it will free you from the endless treadmill of trying to earn your own righteousness.

And that, my friend, will lead you to tremendous peace.


This has been a repost from the archives.

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