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Summary: Lord Jesus, I ask your blessing on us now, as we go back into the fruit of the spirit and talk about faithfulness, not in a generic way, but in regard to our spouse. Faithfulness in marriage. I ask that you would just encourage every person here today, fo

FRUIT THAT IS NEVER OUT OF SEASON

FAITHFULNESS

Hebrews 13:4

John Maxwell

INTRODUCTION:

Lord Jesus, I ask your blessing on us now, as we go back into the fruit of the spirit and talk about faithfulness, not in a generic way, but in regard to our spouse. Faithfulness in marriage. I ask that you would just encourage every person here today, for everyone in this building knows what it’s like to be tempted, especially in the areas of sexual matters.

And I just ask that, Spirit of God, you will come alongside of us. I pray, Father, for anyone that is entertaining an affair. Anyone, Lord, who is in one. And for our wonderful single people, Father, that are being caught in this trap. God, I pray that you would encourage them today to turn around and make a difference as far as their spiritual character is concerned and their commitment to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Last year there was a movie entitled "Indecent Proposal." I did not see it, but if you watched any television at all, because of the talk shows and the advertising, you know all about it. Robert Redford, a billionaire, saw another guy’s wife and offered to give a million dollars to have one night with her. Talk shows all over the country began asking the question: "Would you have an affair or a one night stand on your spouse for a million dollars?" Many people indignantly said no; thank God for that. But I find it quite interesting that about 45 to 50 percent of all Americans, at one time or another, have an affair, and yet so many said they wouldn’t do it for a million dollars. I said, "Some of them do it for a lot less than that."

When we have weddings in this church, as the bride walks down this aisle, that whole wedding is filled with hope. 96 percent of all Americans sometime in their life will get married. And that wedding ceremony is filled with hope and anticipation. Yet, to keep a marriage together, you need more than hope. You need commitment. And I want to talk to you about it today. Let me do a little informal survey among you. I’m going to poll those that are married. How many of you would raise your hand and say, "Pastor, it’s a lot easier to get married than to stay married?" Now, the person seated beside you, that didn’t raise their hand is either, A) not married, B) a liar, or C) utterly stupid.

I want to talk to you about faithfulness. I want to talk to you about sex as God created it to be. You know, sex is a wonderful thing. We’ve got a great God, don’t we? What an incredible God we serve. But he gave this to us for our pleasure in a right context. But something beautiful can become extremely dangerous. It’s just like water that we drink. Water can keep us alive, but too much water destroys us. Just like fire. It’s wonderful to have a fire in the fireplace, but it’s awful to have a house caught on fire. There are certain boundaries. I want to share with you five ways this morning to remain faithful to your spouse. I promise you they are simple and biblical, and if you follow them you will be faithful.

Five helps to remain faithful...

1. Make a commitment to God’s standard. Psalm 119:9; Prov. 5:15

There’s a standard that God’s word gives us concerning marriage, and if we make a commitment to his standard, it is truly life changing. Look at Psalm 1:19; it says, "How can a man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word." Look at Proverbs 5:15, "Be faithful to your own wife and give your love to her alone." By the way men, this is a command, not a suggestion.

Suggestions:

Share with your spouse your commitment to God’s standard for marriage.

Let your spouse know that you are committed to the standard that God gives us concerning marriage and sex.

Share with your friends your commitment to God’s standard for marriage.

Share that with the friends you run around with. Let them know you are committed to God’s standard concerning marriage. And the reason for this is to send out a signal to everybody. You see, most affairs begin with family and friends. And you’re sending a signal out to everybody that that standard is important and you are literally telling people, "I’m off limits."

Now, once in a while, probably because I’m a little bit of a public figure, I’ll get a letter from a woman -- and I mean, it’s very seldom -- that could perhaps be a little bit suggestive. I remember I got a letter like that back in 1962, if I remember right. You know what I do with those letters? I immediately give a copy to my secretary to file. Then I go home and give it to my wife, Margaret, and I say, "Hey Babe, look what some silly, stupid woman said. Go claw her eyes out." First person I want to see any kind of letter like that is my wife. You see, you and I need to develop safeties around ourselves.

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