Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Monday, September 8, 2014

Today's Scripture
"Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away." (James 1:14 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Sexual addiction affects countless families. Sadly, Christians are far from exempt. Here are a few statistics from Prodigals International.

  • Approximately 40 million people in the United States are sexually involved with the Internet
  • Sex is the number 1 topic searched on the Internet
  • 47% of families said pornography is a problem in their home
  • 53% of "promise keeper" men admitted viewing pornography in past week
  • 5 out of every 10 men in the church are struggling with some issue concerning pornography
  • 34% of churchgoing women said they have intentionally visited porn websites online

Are you struggling with a sexual addiction?  We are all responsible for our choices when we follow our lusts, and these choices can lead to the circle of guilt and shame known as the "sin system." In this cycle, we feel increasingly alienated from God, those we love, and ourselves. To fill the emptiness left by the break, many people try to find comfort by acting out sexually, hoping to find meaningful relationships - only to experience what is called false intimacy. If you are experiencing that cycle, God wants to set you free.

Consider this …

Sexual addictions involve more than the simple desire for more sex. Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg in his book False Intimacy makes a clear case for the idea that what is really being sought in illicit relationships or through pornography is intimacy. Men (and women) are seeking an intimate relationship.

This week we will have a look at intimacy—both false . . . and real.

Prayer

Father, you know I have had lustful thoughts and have even searched in some wrong places for satisfaction. Please forgive me. Help me understand the difference between false intimacy and the kind of intimacy you have designed for marriage. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Crossroads: Choosing the Road to Sexual Purity
by David E. Longacre. Crossroads deals with choosing the road to sexual purity and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Describes the sexual addiction process
  • Shows how the sin of proximity often precedes sexual sins
  • Shows the way out of sexual addiction
  • Presents biblical insights to help a person break free and stay free
  • Gives practical actions for renewing the mind
  • Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Today's Scripture

"Jesus said to the people who believed in him, 'You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. . . . I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.'" (John 8:31-32, 34-36 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Men and women entangled in pornography and other illicit sexual activity are usually searching for intimacy. But they'll never find true intimacy that way. Why? Because true intimacy is  possible only when sex is combined with a deep and flowing relationship. Sex without relationship is ultimately unfulfilling.

Sex alone cannot meet this need for intimacy and leaves the man or woman feeling empty inside. Thus, they often move on and pursue other encounters or relationships, determined to find what they are looking for. But false intimacy still does not satisfy and leads to more false intimacy. A cycle is created and bondage follows.

Consider this …

The porn industry works to create an illusion of intimacy. The phone sex lines, Internet chat rooms, and escort services all conspire to give the impression that the woman (or man) cares about the customer. But it's all about money. There may be an occasional free teaser service, but then what happens if the customer cannot pay for more? How much love and concern is there for the customer then?

The industry develops the illusion of intimacy for one reason: to make money.

If you have been drawn in by this illusion, ask God to clear your vision. To help you see the truth. And then to help you escape the vicious cycle that has you in its web.

Prayer

Father, I realize I've been trying to fool myself. I've chosen to believe the illusion of intimacy. But it is an illusion. I've never been able to find real intimacy or fulfillment with any of these illicit activities. Please forgive me for even trying. Help me see the truth. I thank you that as I see the truth and trust Jesus, he will set me free. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Crossroads: Choosing the Road to Sexual Purity
by David E. Longacre. Crossroads deals with choosing the road to sexual purity and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Describes the sexual addiction process
  • Shows how the sin of proximity often precedes sexual sins
  • Shows the way out of sexual addiction
  • Presents biblical insights to help a person break free and stay free
  • Gives practical actions for renewing the mind
  • Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

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Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today's Scripture

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 8:1-2 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

As Dr. Schaumburg states in False Intimacy, if we are trying so hard to satisfy our need for intimate relationship, we must have been designed from the beginning to need intimacy . . . with God and others.

In Genesis 2:7, we read that God carefully formed the first man, Adam, from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils. Through this intimate contact with the Creator, man became a living being.

Then God created Eve to be Adam's companion. He said the man should not be alone (Genesis 2:18). So from the beginning human relationship has been critical to our well-being. God created us to be relational.

Woman was formed from deep within man; they were of the same body, formed with great care by God. They shared the same life that God had breathed into man. They were one flesh.

Consider this …

Adam and Eve knew perfect intimacy with each other and shared an intimate relationship with God, walking and talking with him each day. They were completely open and honest with him. And they shared everything with each other. But these perfect connections were broken when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God . . . to listen to the serpent's lies instead of God's truth. Shame and guilt entered the couple and they hid from God. This was the end of their perfect intimacy with God and with each other. Physical death became a reality and God drove them from his presence.

Like Adam and Eve, we have all sinned, and that sin breaks our connection with God. We live with an inner void can never be filled by anyone or anything other than God. As today's scripture teaches, when we trust Christ Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, the life-giving Holy Spirit frees us from the power of sin.

Prayer

God, I have sinned. I feel shame and guilt. I know that I need forgiveness through Jesus. I choose to turn from my sin. I choose to follow Jesus. Please forgive me and free me from the power of sin. In Jesus' name . . .

 

These thoughts were drawn from …

Crossroads: Choosing the Road to Sexual Purity
by David E. Longacre. Crossroads deals with choosing the road to sexual purity and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Describes the sexual addiction process
  • Shows how the sin of proximity often precedes sexual sins
  • Shows the way out of sexual addiction
  • Presents biblical insights to help a person break free and stay free
  • Gives practical actions for renewing the mind
  • Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Today's Scripture

"I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]." (Philippians 4:13 AMP)

Thoughts for Today

Yesterday we discussed the illusion of intimacy. Sometimes we create our own illusion. But there's big money in that illusion and the porn industry works vigorously to create and enhance it. Why are so many of us taken in by it?

The illusion appeals to our core sexuality. It offers us a relationship without requiring us to relate to a person. A fantasy relationship is controlled and cannot surprise us. A fantasy relationship does not force us to give up our own wants and desires.

The women (or men) working in the industry know what to say and how to act interested and caring. They may appear to give the respect that is so hungered for. They will act out fantasies.

In chat rooms people can hide behind false names and pretend to be someone they aren't. Relationships can be ended with a click, so there is no real commitment.

Consider this …

With men and women who have affairs or pick up partners at bars or other places, the same dynamic is often in play. One-night stands obviously are times of intense attraction and sexual release followed by the reality of their shallowness.

Individuals in an ongoing affair may have deeper conversations than with their spouses, but the relationship is built on lies and deceit. Willingness to cheat on a spouse reveals a high level of selfishness. Because they are built on selfishness, affairs rarely last. The intimacy is an illusion since the individuals are more interested in their own personal needs than in the well-being of the other.

Do you recognize yourself in any of this? Maybe you haven't acted out your desires yet but have been considering it. Or maybe you are deeply involved. Don't try to resist it on your own. Don't try to find freedom on your own. Alone, you may not be able to find victory . . . but all things are possible with Jesus.

Prayer

Father, I realize the things I've been doing are wrong, and I'm beginning to see how selfish they are. Please forgive me. I don't think I can stop on my own, but I thank you that I can do all things through Christ. In his name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Crossroads: Choosing the Road to Sexual Purity
by David E. Longacre. Crossroads deals with choosing the road to sexual purity and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Describes the sexual addiction process
  • Shows how the sin of proximity often precedes sexual sins
  • Shows the way out of sexual addiction
  • Presents biblical insights to help a person break free and stay free
  • Gives practical actions for renewing the mind
  • Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Friday, September 12, 2014

Today's Scripture

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (Romans 1:21-24 NIV)

Thoughts for Today

Humans were created for intimacy with each other and with God, but this intimacy was severely damaged when sin entered the world. Is it any wonder we seek to find intimacy in misdirected ways?

Instead of seeking relationship with God, we seek to fill ourselves with what the world can offer. But we don't find intimacy and peace that way. Instead, we become trapped in a cycle of sin.

What started out good in the Garden of Eden became twisted by the effects of sin. Relationship with God changed. Relationships with other people changed. Today's scripture says it well. Our desires and perceived needs are corrupted. We seek the world's answers for satisfaction . . .  but we will never find any lasting peace or satisfaction there.

Consider this …

If we are created for relationship with God and in our sin we are striving to fill this with worldly things, then we will never be satisfied. Worldly things can never meet our need for God. If they could, God would be expendable.

The only answer is to deal with our inner need for relationship with God. Our goal cannot be simply to fix ourselves or even to have a better relationship with our spouse. Our goal must be to have a deeper connection to God. Call out to God and ask him to restore your relationship with him.

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. (Romans 3:22-25 NLT)

Prayer

God, I do need you. I've tried so many other ways to meet my inner needs, but nothing satisfies. I realize now that's because I first need to have a restored relationship with you. And I believe trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior is the way to do that. Please forgive my sins and help me begin to rebuild my life on the intimacy and strength of my relationship with you. In Jesus' name . . .
 

These thoughts were drawn from …

Crossroads: Choosing the Road to Sexual Purity
by David E. Longacre. Crossroads deals with choosing the road to sexual purity and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Describes the sexual addiction process
  • Shows how the sin of proximity often precedes sexual sins
  • Shows the way out of sexual addiction
  • Presents biblical insights to help a person break free and stay free
  • Gives practical actions for renewing the mind
  • Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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