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Is Scripture a Reality to You in a Time of Temptation? - Ask Pastor Tim

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    "I was reading through John 4,
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    and during Jesus' discourse
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    with the Samaritan woman
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    where He says, "he
    who drinks of this water
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    will thirst again, but whoever drinks
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    of the water I will give
    him will never thirst."
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    I can read that and believe it
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    and so clearly affirm it.
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    I can have another conversation
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    with another believer about
    it and its implications
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    and be stirred up full of desire
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    to live in such a way where we aren't
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    drinking from the broken
    cisterns of the world
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    and are satisfied in Christ
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    and the living waters
    that come only from Him.
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    But then, I can go home and in a moment
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    I find myself struggling with temptation
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    and sin and feeling overwhelmed
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    even in things that can be so trivial.
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    My question is about how can a Christian
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    draw out this transforming power
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    and strength from the Scriptures?"
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    He says, "It's one thing
    to read your Bible,
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    but it's another thing
    entirely to lay hold
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    of a text like that in John 4
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    and wield it powerfully
    and draw out strength
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    in the time of trial
    and apply it to your life
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    in such a transforming way."
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    Tim: What do you say?
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    I mean, here's the thing,
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    you get in a conversation with somebody.
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    You get all excited.
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    You're talking.
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    These doctrines - they excite you.
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    Why do they excite you?
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    That might be worth asking -
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    why you get excited.
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    Is it an intellectual exercise?
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    Is it that you've learned some new thing?
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    Then you go home and you fall into
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    all sorts of temptations.
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    Now, I might read between the lines,
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    but I suspect they're sexual temptations
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    and probably computer-related temptations.
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    There's failure and there's falls,
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    and it's like how can this be?
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    Now you know, I heard a guy one time say -
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    preacher, old preacher -
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    what was his name?
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    He's that guy that preached
    in Corpus Christi for years.
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    He was on the radio.
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    Arminian.
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    But I heard him say one time -
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    he'd be on the radio at lunch
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    when I worked as an engineer.
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    I heard him say one time,
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    if a man goes out and he prays
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    and he comes in and he barks at his wife,
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    what does it say about his praying?
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    I guess the same kind of thing.
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    What do you say if you have a conversation
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    and you're talking about John 4
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    and the water - the living water -
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    and you get all stirred
    up and you go home
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    and you watch Internet pornography?
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    It's kind of the same thing.
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    (from the room)
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    It seems like it's selfish.
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    (unintelligible)
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    Tim: Like the previous guy said,
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    there's a disconnect somewhere.
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    So, what's the magic formula?
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    Is there one?
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    (from the room)
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    Is he praying for power,
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    for strength from the Lord?
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    Is he praying for deliverance
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    and protection from temptation?
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    Tim: I don't know.
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    But here's the thing,
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    let's not complicate this too much.
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    Were you going to say somethinng?
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    (from the room)
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    I was going to say the first thing
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    that popped in my mind -
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    the most exciting aspect of his walk
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    should not be happening outside the doors
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    with somebody else in a conversation.
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    But it should be happening in his home
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    personally with Christ Himself.
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    And that's what struck me.
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    Because for me, it's going out of the house.
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    That's where I encounter the world.
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    And in the home is where the strength
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    and the life and the truth
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    and the foundation for me.
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    Tim: So could it be
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    that what is it that gets us stirred up
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    when we talk to somebody else?
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    Maybe you're talking to somebody exciting?
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    Somebody's very exciting to talk to.
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    They can make it exciting.
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    But I would just say this,
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    I don't think we want to
    make this overly complicated.
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    You say, what do you mean?
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    Well, think with me about Scripture.
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    The psalmist says,
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    "Thy Word have I hid in my heart,
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    that I might not sin against You."
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    What is that assuming?
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    It's assuming that I have read God's Word
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    and I have sufficiently
    meditated on that Word
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    or memorized that Word
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    so that I can recall it when its needed.
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    You know what that's saying?
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    That's saying that when I'm tempted
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    to sin against Him,
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    I have His Word in my heart.
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    I access it.
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    And there's something in
    the truth of that Word
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    that I have hid in my heart
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    that when I think on it,
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    there's such thought processes happening
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    that I make a conscious
    decision not to sin
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    based on that reality from God's Word.
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    And you see, there's a disconnect here.
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    Because if I go and talk and get excited
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    about John 4,
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    but here I've got the mouse in my hand
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    or whatever it is,
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    and now I'm tempted -
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    do you see where the breakdown is?
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    If I'm not able to produce the very Word
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    right at that moment, what's it saying?
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    What's happening? Where's the disconnect?
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    Well, I don't sufficiently have that Word
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    at my disposal.
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    Or, I don't sufficiently believe that Word
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    that I have at my disposal.
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    You see, the truths of God's Word -
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    they're falling at that point.
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    You know, I often think -
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    we're going to get to this - Ephesians 4.
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    Have you ever thought about
    just how simplistic it is
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    for Paul to say,
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    any of you thieves?
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    Quit it.
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    Don't steal anymore.
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    And he encourages the opposite.
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    Work with your hands.
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    Be productive.
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    Not just so that you can be greedy,
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    but so that you have something to give
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    to those who are in need.
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    But isn't that amazing?
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    Just stop.
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    Not: Oh, there's this deep,
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    mystical formula.
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    Listen, if you are
    regularly falling into sin,
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    the reality is this,
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    you're not applying God's Word.
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    You either don't know it,
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    you know it and don't believe it,
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    or you know it and you believe it,
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    but you willfully are
    choosing sin over that.
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    I mean, that's what's happening.
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    It's not a super-complicated formula.
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    Think about this.
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    I did a series on self-cleansing
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    several years back.
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    It primarily came from this text
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    out of 2 Corinthians 7:1.
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    It's interesting at the end
    of 1 Corinthians 6,
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    Paul is giving these promises.
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    Just promises about God being our Father;
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    we belong to Him.
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    And he says this,
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    "Since we have these promises,
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    let us cleanse ourselves
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    from every defilement of body and spirit,
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    bringing holiness to completion
    in the fear of God."
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    Now think with me there.
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    What's Paul saying?
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    You ought to be able to think
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    on the promises of Scripture,
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    and not fall into defling activities.
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    What does Scripture say?
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    We are to be renewing our minds.
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    And what are we doing as
    we're renewing our minds?
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    We're figuring out what God's will is.
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    You know, you come to Scripture.
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    You find out what God's will is
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    and you do it.
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    And the thing is, as a Christian,
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    we hunger and thirst after righteousness.
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    There is a hunger.
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    There is a hunger to do His will.
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    There's a hunger to please Him.
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    There's a hunger after
    what's good and righteous.
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    And so, there's a huge disconnect
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    if we find that in the
    moment of temptation,
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    God's Word just isn't there.
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    My mind doesn't go to it.
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    You know, if you get there
    in front of the computer,
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    and it's just like:
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    Nope, I don't even want to think about it.
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    I don't want to think about this.
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    I don't want to think about what God says.
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    See, that's not how I live my life.
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    I'm studying the Word
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    not just so I can get lathered up
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    and all excited when I'm
    talking to you about it.
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    I'm reading it and I'm
    trying to hide it away
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    in my mind, in my conscience,
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    so that as I'm going through life
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    and there's something,
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    I'm trying to evaluate everything
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    through the filter of God's Word.
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    And it's like: God doesn't like this.
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    And this will not go well.
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    And this will grieve the Spirit.
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    And I will suffer for it.
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    This is not good.
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    You know, you convince yourself of that,
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    that this is not good.
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    I was just talking to a brother
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    right before our study tonight,
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    and he was telling me,
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    you know I've been in some hard places.
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    And he said there was a point in his life
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    when he fell and he said
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    there was just such darkness.
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    And he said it was a battle.
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    He talked about scratching and clawing
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    to get his way out of that darkness.
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    And he said he's in the light now.
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    And he said he feels closer to God
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    than he's ever felt,
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    and the last thing he would want to do
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    is go down that road into sin
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    that would in any way harm that
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    or take it away.
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    And see, if these realities of Scripture -
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    don't grieve the Spirit.
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    You've been sealed by Him.
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    Don't grieve Him.
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    If you recognize,
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    my sin is going to grieve the Lord.
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    My sin is going to take me
    out of fellowship with the Lord.
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    My sin is going to impact my prayer life.
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    My sin - it's going to hold me back.
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    It's going to weigh me down.
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    It's going to make me less productive.
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    I'm not going to be the vessel
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    fit for the Master's use.
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    It's going to pollute me.
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    It's a defilement.
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    Sin never does good.
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    It never helps you.
    It never makes you better.
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    It doesn't.
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    It doesn't make you stronger.
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    It doesn't make you run better.
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    It doesn't make you more Christlike.
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    It isn't. It's bad all the time.
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    And if you've got enough Scripture
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    packed away in your heart
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    that you know that's true
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    and you're confronted by that
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    when you're making decisions -
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    I recognize sometimes
    we're grabbed immediately
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    by temptations,
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    and we get swept away.
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    I recognize those kind of things happen.
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    Scripture says in Psalm 37,
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    "The law of his God is in his heart.
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    His steps do not slip."
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    Why? Because the law's in his heart.
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    It gives firmness to your step.
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    I guess before I move on to the last one
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    if I even get there,
    I would just say this.
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    One of the thoughts that just came
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    when I was thinking:
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    what do you say to somebody like this?
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    I got to thinking about the devil.
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    We know that the devil snatches the seed.
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    And look, the devil is a seed-snatcher.
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    And he will seek to snatch it
    from the true Christian
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    just as well as from the lost person.
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    And I would say this,
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    don't lose the Word of God.
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    Don't go sit and read
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    three chapters out of your Bible
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    and then listen to garbage music,
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    garbage TV, garbage Internet use,
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    and social media -
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    don't do that.
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    It's like taking a bunch of seed
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    and you've just thrown in there,
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    and you want to see fruit come from it,
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    and you purposely walk out
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    to where all the ravens are.
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    Just like daring them to take it all away.
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    Don't do that.
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    I mean, you hear the Word of God preached,
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    I know - our church breaks out
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    into immediate fellowship,
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    but there can be a place to get out,
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    get away.
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    I mean, I felt that at the conference
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    when Geoffrey Thomas preached.
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    I just wanted to run away
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    and just go be alone.
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    Why? I just want it to soak in.
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    I mean, don't throw
    away the Word of God.
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    We're trying to cleanse.
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    It's kind of like taking soap and water,
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    and you're trying to clean something,
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    and then throw a bunch of mud on it.
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    It's counterproductive.
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    Don't do that.
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    If you're going to hide Scripture,
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    do it effectually.
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    Do it in such a way that
    it's readily retained
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    and readily accessible.
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    (Incomplete thought)
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    Don't compartmentalize your life.
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    What do I mean by that?
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    Well, I've got to read my Bible.
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    But now, okay, I'm done with that.
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    It's kind of like the person
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    that just splits up their week.
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    Sunday mornings - religious.
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    The rest of the week, I'm a pagan.
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    But see, we can divide our
    days up like that too.
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    We've got our little
    segment of prayer there,
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    and we've got our Bible reading.
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    We've got that done.
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    Now I can go gossip with
    the people at work.
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    Don't do that.
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    Listen, we're Christians.
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    Live Christian lives 24/7.
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    Let Scripture permeate 24/7.
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    Don't shut down.
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    If you're using your Christian liberty
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    and it's like yeah, I feel like
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    I can take rest and I can camp out
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    with my family, and I can watch
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    Little House on the Prairie -
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    I only say that because my daughters
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    had that on last night.
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    I mean, look, assess it.
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    After you watch three shows
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    of Little House on the Prairie,
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    are you messed up?
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    Does it pollute you?
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    Then don't do it.
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    I mean think, think, think.
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    We're to be renewing our minds.
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    What is God's will?
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    Run everything through that filter.
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    Through God's will;
    through God's will; through God's will.
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    What's pulling me away?
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    What grabs my heart?
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    So that my mind goes off it?
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    What are the idols?
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    What are the things in life?
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    You know, somebody could watch
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    a football game, and it's like,
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    they're thinking about
    the Lord through it.
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    Now they might focus
    on the game a little bit,
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    but they're feeling like
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    I need to go outside and pray.
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    There's some people:
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    how could you ever go outside and pray
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    during a football game?
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    What? Are you crazy?
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    You're so excited.
    You're so into it.
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    And then all you can think about
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    is football stats and everything
    for the next week.
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    You need to stop.
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    Listen, Paul said, we've got liberty,
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    but you don't let anything bring you
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    under its power.
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    You need to live your life that way.
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    If you're living your life where it's like
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    all you can think about is -
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    whatever it is, put it in there,
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    but if it's distracting,
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    we need to live -
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    and it doesn't mean
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    that every song you listen to
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    has to be specifically
    be the Christian song.
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    But, it certainly doesn't hurt
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    if you're singing Christian songs
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    all through the day,
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    and you're reciting biblical truths.
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    Look, the more you
    can permeate your mind -
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    I recognize, we don't
    read and we don't pray
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    every hour of our waking day.
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    I recognize we have lives to live
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    where we have to work
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    and we go to school
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    and we shop and we get gas.
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    I recognize that.
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    But listen, if you're storing up
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    and treasuring that Word in your heart,
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    it's there when you're at the gas station.
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    It's there at HEB,
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    and it's there in the classroom.
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    It's there in the workplace,
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    and it's there at home when
    you're taking care of the kids.
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    And it's there and it's permeating,
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    and it's regulating, and it's guiding.
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    The Word is a lamp unto my feet.
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    You imagine walking around,
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    pitch black outside.
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    A lamp to your feet -
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    it means I can see.
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    I can see where I should put my next step.
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    Notice it's a lamp to your feet,
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    not just a lamp to your eyes;
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    not just a lamp to your body.
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    It's a lamp for your feet.
    What does that mean?
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    It's showing you the ground -
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    where to step, where to avoid.
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    Fill your heads with it.
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    Fill your minds with it.
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    Don't just put it on the walls
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    because that's the thing to do.
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    Memorize it.
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    Hide it.
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    (From the room)
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    Brother, can I read this verse in Job?
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    In Job 23:11-12, Job says,
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    "My foot has held fast to His steps.
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    I have kept His way and
    have not turned aside.
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    I have not departed
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    from the commandments of His lips.
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    I have treasured the words of his mouth
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    more than my portion of food."
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    Tim: Yep, and you have
    the New Testament version,
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    "Man shall not live by bread alone..."
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    Well, actually that comes
    from the Old as well,
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    but it's recited by our Lord
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    in His temptation.
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    Man doesn't live by bread alone,
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    but by every word that proceeds
    from the mouth of God.
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    Remember that.
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    The thing is Scripture is putting
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    the Word of God in a
    more important category
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    than food.
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    We don't do well without food.
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    We're constantly thinking about it.
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    We need it.
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    The thing that you don't want to do -
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    what is it that kills physical appetite?
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    Have you ever had times in your life
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    when you're not hungry?
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    Never?
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    I mean you get sick?
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    You know if you have a child
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    and they're not hungry, that's bad.
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    Like just recently the family,
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    their little Abigail -
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    she was in bad shape.
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    They had her in ICU and transfusions.
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    She wouldn't eat.
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    But you know, that's not healthy.
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    And when you get
    Christians and they don't eat,
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    that's bad.
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    That's your sustenance.
    That's your life.
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    The Word.
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    The Word.
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    We had a sister here beforehand,
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    she was talking about
    coming to our church,
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    or coming to the conference,
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    and she was making comments
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    about how Scripture seems to be the focus.
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    It's got to be.
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    It's our only source of truth.
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    There's no other source
    of truth in this world.
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    This is it.
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    God has given us one place.
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    This is the only place we
    know for certain that's true.
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    Even the stacks of books and stuff -
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    yeah, they're written about the Bible,
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    but you don't know if they're always right
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    and the way men are
    interpreting it is always right.
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    But here, we have a sure foundation.
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    I mean, look, this is a treasure.
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    People have died over it.
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    Tyndale - his blood ran
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    for trying to put this in our language.
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    Many people have given their life
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    for this book.
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    There's no more precious book
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    because of the truths held in it.
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    These are the truths of life.
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    There's places in the world
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    where they have one Bible
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    or a part of one Bible for a whole church.
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    Most of you probably have
    multiple Bibles in your home.
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    Don't take this for granted.
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    Well, I think we'll call
    it a night right there.
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    Let's pray.
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    Father, we thank You that
    You've given us the Word.
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    Lord, help us. Help us.
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    We never want to take it for granted.
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    Lord, open it up.
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    May it become more alive,
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    more real, more gripping.
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    Lord, give us eyes to see.
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    Give us hearts to dig.
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    I pray for these brothers
    and sisters in this room
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    that they would hide
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    and continue to hide the Word of God
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    in their hearts;
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    that they would not be hearers only,
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    but doers.
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    Hearers and doers.
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    Lest they deceive themselves.
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    Lord, we thank You for this treasure
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    that You've committed to us.
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    We thank You in the name
    of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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    Amen.
Title:
Is Scripture a Reality to You in a Time of Temptation? - Ask Pastor Tim
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
24:14

English subtitles

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