This week we study the sin of lust.
Our case study from the Word this week could come straight from the evening news. It is a story of sexual victimization. It is the sad, too-familiar tale of someone using their power to sexually exploit a vulnerable, under-aged person in their care. The victim is falsely accused, blamed, and shammed. The victim is shunned and slandered, and eventually punished by an act of injustice.
Over the past few years, similar tales of sexual assault and abuse have filled the airwaves and taken over the headlines. More and more stories, and more and more victims, have come forward.
No doubt, these tales are only scratching the surface. And even so, the statistics are staggering. Boz Tchividjian, who leads G.r.a.c.e. (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments—a ministry dedicated to helping churches prevent and heal sexual abuse victims) estimates that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they are 18.
And no doubt, many men and women affected by these issues will silently sit in churches all over the country tomorrow. Some are weary. Some are healing. Some have attempted to put the past behind them. Some never will. Some are plagued by memories of shame, guilt, and fear. Some are wondering if they are worthy to be loved. And some are wondering if the gospel is powerful enough to heal their wounds and dispel the incessant shadow of their story.
There will be few Sundays where one of our standard calls to worship will be more appropriate:
“To all who are spiritually weary and seek rest; to all who mourn and long for comfort; to all who struggle and desire hope; to all who sin and need a Savior; to all who are strangers and yearn for fellowship; to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness; and to whoever will come – this church opens wide her doors and offers welcome in the name of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.”
Learning from the story of Jospeh in Genesis 39, we will analyze the sin of lust in 4 movements:
We long to hear the voice of the One who declares, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Two Helpful Resources:
1. David Powlison’s wonderful little book, Making All Things New.
It is short, wise, pastorally sensitive, and scripturally-soaked. A great resource for anyone who has experienced sexual brokenness, or desires to help encourage someone who has.
2. Diane Langburg is a Christian Psychologist who has dedicated her career to counseling victims of trauma. Her work is excellent and is a great starting point for those looking for resources.
Two Powerful Videos:
1. Rachael Denhollander confronts her sexual abuser in court. This is one of the most moving videos of I have ever seen. Here is the description below:
“Today former gymnast Rachael Denhollander had 40 minutes to address the court—and her abuser—during the sentencing hearing of Larry Nasser, the former Team USA gymnastics doctor who molested her 16 years ago at his Michigan State University clinic.
What she said directly to the man—who gratified himself off of her innocence, and abused countless other girls in a malicious and manipulative way—is an incredible testimony to the grace and justice of Jesus Christ.”
2. Ben Sasse: In this video, Nebraska sentaor Ben Sasse addresses the #metoo movement from the Senate:
“Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, delivered an outstanding 18-minute speech on the Senate floor last night, addressing the incredible pain and horror of sexual assault, lamenting the false binary choice being offered to Americans, and chastising our tribalistic “addiction to the circus.”