March 14, 2011

Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Lust #1: Love Is Basic






     The following study is a journey through Lent, the forty-day pre-Easter season (which excludes Sundays).  Easter’s date, determined by the time of the first full moon after the Spring equinox, is very late this year.

     Traditionally, many Christians use Lent for self-examination and a renewal of their commitment to their faith.

     This year I  chose to do a devotional study on aspects of the Seven Deadly Sins, sins identified by very early Christians as key behaviors separating man from God and God’s will. The seven sins are not listed together in the Bible—each is, however, spoken about in various Scripture sites.




#1 Breaking the Mosaic Law

#2 Defying God or rebelling against God

#3 Acts of violence to others

#4 Failing to make proper sacrifices or worship

#5 Not living up to or reflecting God’s glory (not living as one created in God’s image)


LUST #1:


 SCRIPTURE:  27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NIV) (Matthew 5:27-28)

      8 Let love be your only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands. 9 In the Law there are many commands, such as, “Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not want what belongs to others.” But all of these are summed up in the command that says, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 10 No one who loves others will harm them. So love is all that the Law demands. (CEV) (Romans 13:8-10)

(additional Scripture at end of devotion)

DEVOTION: Consider the two terms, lust and love. Are they related?

     Jesus put lust in its place. Lust ranks right up there with adultery, and adultery is on the Ten Commandment list supplied by God to Moses. Adultery has absolutely no place in the Christian life—neither does lust.

     Leviticus tells us that adultery is punishable by death. Where does that leave lust?

     Lust cannot be excused by such terms as But she is so lovely and loveable or I cannot help it because she is beautiful and has such a curvaceous body.

     Lust desires the body. It seeks one’s own satisfaction, disrespects the other person, disrespects his/her spouse and children, and disrespects the Ten Commandments.

     Love reveres the whole person. Love is basic. Jesus taught love of God, neighbor, and self—the Great Commandment. Love does no harm to others.

     It’s difficult to follow our listed scriptures—respect all persons equally, keep the Ten Commandments, truly love yourself, and honestly anticipate God’s judgment.

     Whereas the law of love honors all laws and honors the value of all other people, lust does almost the opposite. Lust drives us toward disobedience of just one law—and that is enough to break God’s law, to destroy our relationship with God,  and to destroy all we may have done to live the law of love.

     It only takes a small piece of dirt to produce great pain to our eye socket. Lust is like that small piece of dirt that clouds our great vision of the beauty of the world, our love.

PRAYER: Loving God, what a wonderful thing love is. Love makes our lives so full. Help us to remove lust and its darkness from the light that love brings into our lives. Amen.



10 If any of you men have sex with another man’s wife, both you and the woman will be put to death. (CEV) (Leviticus 20:10)

8 You will do all right, if you obey the most important law in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves. 9 But if you treat some people better than others, you have done wrong, and the Scriptures teach that you have sinned. 10 If you obey every law except one, you are still guilty of breaking them all. 11 The same God who told us to be faithful in marriage also told us not to murder. So even if you are faithful in marriage, but murder someone, you still have broken God’s Law. 12 Speak and act like people who will be judged by the law that sets us free. 13 Do this, because on the day of judgment there will be no pity for those who have not had pity on others. But even in judgment, God is merciful! (CEV) (James 2:8-13)


To start at the beginning of this Lenten study on the Seven Deadly Sins, click on:

To read the previous devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Anger #1: Brotherly Anger

To read the following devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Gluttony #1: I Want It All



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