Friday, March 1, 2013

T.R.U.E Love that waits and succeeds - P2

1 Timothy 6:11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

Reviewing yesterday's definition of a man/woman of God
In yesterday's post we spent some time exploring what the scripture has to say about what it means to be a man of God.  We closed with this thought: true love that waits and is faithful succeeds when you and are a t.r.u.e man / woman of God.  In the post we looked at four characteristics that we drew from 1 Timothy 6:6-16 to define a man / woman of God:  

Trusting in the Lord. 1 Timothy 6:6-11a

Running faith's race. 1 Timothy 6:11b-12

Understand God's Word.  1 Timothy 6:13-14a

Endure till Jesus comes.  1 Timothy 6:14b-16

For today I want to explain why being a t.r.u.e man/woman of God is vital in a particular message I will be presenting centered around the event called "True Love Waits".

The message of true love waits
The reason we labored yesterday to define a man/woman of God is due to what I wanted to write about regarding the call to abstinence until marriage.  Back in February 1993 a small youth group of teenagers at a Southern Baptist Church had made a pledge to moral purity before marriage.  God took the message embraced by those teenagers and used it to launch a movement that became known as "True Love Waits".  In a featured article of the Baptist Messenger, Editor Brian Hobbs layed out the purpose and outcome of the movement:1

"What is surprising is that since its beginning, literally millions of teenagers have taken the pledge for abstinence until marriage, unleashing a positive peer pressure trend upon this nation. Connected to 'True Love Waits' pledge cards and even jewlery have acted as reminders of the commitment to God and before man."

So what is the pledge made by teenagers who resolve themselves to purity until marriage? Hobbs references the statement from the card each teenager signs:

"Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate, and my future children to be sexually abstinent until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship."

This message is something which I as a pastor and the church of which I am blessed by God to pastor strongly supports.  This Sunday our morning service will feature our youth pledging themselves in front of our church body to the commitments they made during the several weeks they participated in the "True Love Waits" program.2  For me personally this weekend will be especially touching, since my 15 year old son will be among them. 

The message of "True love waits" can only be achieved by those who are committed to being t.r.u.e men/women of God
The morning message will be based around 1 Timothy 6:6-16.  The only way young people and older people alike can carry out the Biblical vision of moral and spiritual purity is by being a man or woman of God.  In reflecting once again on Brian Hobbs' feature article about "True Love Waits", Hobbs notes from his interviewing other key Southern Baptist leaders that: "at the core of sexual integrity is our very walk with God." 

Moral/spiritual purity is not just about one area, but every area of the Christian life
The area of our physical relationships is of major significance, since it is a key battle ground being attacked by our enemy in 21st century society.  Everyone is wanting to redefine marriage, erase it all together, or replace it with lifestyles that define human beings only as biological entities who can have relationships free of moral constraints.  When we think about the message of "True Love Waits", as much as it does center on abstinence before marriage, the principles of moral and spiritual purity do not cease once that young person says "I Do".  The New Testament's vision of a Christian life of holiness entails presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) and commiting our thought-life to Christ (Romans 12:2).  Furthermore, this vision includes serving the Lord with purity of devotion (1 Peter 1:15-16) and praying for our leaders, both spiritual and political, with clean hands and a pure heart (1 Timothy 2:1-3).  Without these truths of scripture, marriages fail, families deteriorate, churches suffer and society crumbles. 

Being a man/woman of God is how moral/spiritual purity is maintained and effectively lived
Being a man/woman of God who trusts God, runs faith's race, understands God's Word and endures until Jesus comes is an identity that touches every aspect of the Christian life.  When Paul wrote 1 Timothy, he was writing to a Pastor who was to be an example to everyone around him.  No one said being a man/woman of God would be easy.  In fact, unless you by grace through faith have trusted in Christ and are submitting daily to the Spirit's leading, scripture, prayer and weekly church attendance, the call to moral and spiritual purity in Christ will never be successfully achieved. 

However if you make it your aim as a young person, or middle aged person or older person to be through the strength of Christ the best man/woman of God, you can have a glowing testimony for the Lord.

In tomorrow's post we will unfold in more detail the reasoning of Paul in 1 Timothy 6:6-16 as it pertains to being a t.r.u.e man/woman of God. 

End Notes:

1. The article of which I referred to can be found at

2. To find out more information about "True Love Waits", you can check it out at, where in the site you can key in "True Love Waits" and read featured articles and discover resources connected with its message.

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