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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
During the Good Morning America broadcast yesterday morning, the anchors warmly congratulated the weather anchor, Sam Champion on his engagement to another man, Rubem Robierb. One news anchor embraced Champion; another seemed very excited at the prospect of helping him plan the nuptials. There were shots of the two betrothed men during several segments. They appeared very happy and content. Champion thanked everyone for the outpouring of support for his upcomimg union.
I understand the need for Good Morning America to support this colleague and foster a one big happy family persona for its viewers. One, it’s good for ratings. Two, Champion has been with the program for while and is good at his job. He presents himself in a dignified and professional manner while also being very personable. He seems to be a very nice guy annd I am sure the love shown him is genuine.
However, as a Christian, I am disheartened by this current tide of homosexual acceptance. In an attempt to stem the damaging effects of childhood bullying, we are sliding into dangerous territory. Make no doubt that singling out individuals for physical and verbal abuse is wrong and should stopped. However, accepting behavior that God has deemed an abomination (Leviticus 18:22), is not helpful to the person nor is it helpful to the nation as a whole.
The proliferation of wickedness and selfishness in the world has desensitized many to God’s Word. As in Malachi 3: 13-15:
“You have said harsh things against me,” says the Lord.
Yet you ask, “What have we said against you?”
You have said, “It is futile to serve God. What did we gain
by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners
before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed.
Certainly, the evildoers prosper and even those who challenge God escape.”
The truth is, homosexuality is wrong. I know that is not a popular sentiment today. I do not support homosexuality, but I don’t advocate violence against them. Although some argue, it is possible to love the sinner but not the sin. God is our example for this as he still showers us with undeserved mercy and grace, though we sin daily – intentionally and unintentionally. I have known and been friendly with homosexuals, but have not and will not support the lifestyle they have chosen. Just as I love various family members who have run afoul with law ennforcement. I love them, but in no way do I support or condone thier actions.
As Christians, we are in the world but not of the world. Social attitudes change, but the word of God stands forever and His promises remain unbroken, as stated further in Malachi (3:17):
“They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make
up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion
a man spares his some who serves him. And you will again see the
distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those
who serve God and those who do not.”
As Christians, we will have those who sharply disagree with us and may even despise us, just as our Savior was despised and crucified. We are not people-pleasers, we are servers of God. Do not let your compassion for man turn into disregard of the Word. God’s Word is not old-fashioned; it is timely, relevant and desperately needed.
May the Lord be with you today.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Our Savior is never far from us. While we cannot avoid life’s trials, we can take comfort in knowing Someone is there to Guide us through difficult times. As the notes on John 14:27 in the Life Application Study Bible (Tyndale House Publishers Inc and Zondervan, 2005) counsel: “Sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt and numerous other forces are at war within us. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain these hostile forces and offer comfort in place of conflict. Jesus says He will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from Him. If your life is full of stress, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christ’s peace.”
May the Lord’s peace be with you today.
“If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5
Paul echoed the sentiments of Jesus Christ about avoiding those who argue over the finer points Scripture and lord it over others. Avoid arguments in the church and those who view the ministry as a way to financial gain rather than a way to serve others.
May the Lord be with you today.
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2
Increase your knowledge of God by consistent Bible study and prayer. Doing so will allow you to enjoy the privileges that come with knowing Him better – an abundance of grace and peace.
God bless you today and always.
“During the days of Jesus’ life on Earth, He offered prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.” Hebrews 5:7
We sometimes undergo trials not because we want to suffer, but because we want to do God’s will. Like Jesus, we should be obedient to the end. Let His example sustain and encourage you during trying times. We can endure knowing that Christ is with us.
May the grace of Jesus Christ be with you.
“‘You don’t know what you are asking’, Jesus said to them, ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?'” Matthew 20: 22, NIV
I follow a television personality on Twitter. One day, this personality tweeted a question for her followers – “What would you ask God if you could ask Him anything?” She re-tweeted responses that ranged from poignant to humorous. There was one response from a follower that made me think. This follower wanted to know why he or she had experienced so many trials since becoming a follower of Christ.
Many people erroneously think devoting one’s life to Christ means having a life free from troubles. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus prepared the disciples for their futures by telling them the following, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master” (Matthew 10:24). Christ experienced many hardships during His time on earth. He was persecuted (Matthew 2: 13-14; Matthew 12). He experienced people doubting Who He is (Matthew 13: 55-57, John 1: 46). He faced temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). People deserted Him (John 6: 60-66). His family ridiculed Him (John 7: 1-9). He was betrayed (Matthew 26: 47-50). He faced dread (Luke 22: 42-44) and pain (Matthew 26: 67-68; John 19:1; 17-18). He even, briefly, felt abandoned by God (Mark 15:34).
No, following Jesus doesn’t automatically give us permanent residence on Easy Street. Following Jesus gives us the strength to persevere during our trials by His example. Despite His hardships, Jesus forgave (Luke 23:24; John 8). He loved (John 15: 9-17). He rejoiced (Luke 10:21). He had compassion (John 11:35). He stood firm in truth (Matthew 27:11-14; John 18:37). He was courageous (Luke 1:37-53). He helped others (Matthew 14:34-36). He completed His mission (John 19:30).
Following Jesus is a commitment that includes a change in thought and lifestyle. We should grow from desiring worldly pleasures to desiring to do God’s will. As Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6: 24). So, when you question why, as a Christian, you are experiencing trials and hardships, remember the full life of the One we follow, not just His gifts.
God Bless you today and always.
“For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners”.’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” Luke 7: 33-35
The Pharisees just couldn’t make up their minds. In their desperate attempt to disprove the teachings of John the Baptist and Jesus, they hurled all sorts of accusations to turn away the light shining on their own hypocrisy. The one who fasted and didn’t drink had an evil spirit. The One who ate heartily and drank with those who were not esteemed in society was a glutton and a drunkard. Their faultfinding had no end nor a stable beginning; they could not stand being challenged or having their laws questioned.
The Pharisees knew the Law and used it to push forward their beliefs, which were not always God’s truths. Much like the Pharisees of old, there are those today who cite Scripture to push forward their own agendas, beliefs and laws. Man’s agendas, beliefs and laws are oppressive and judgmental. God’s law frees us and gives us comfort and security. That freedom, of course, is not a pass to give in to sinful desires. Quite the contrary; God’s laws and precepts frees us from wanting to give in to those temptations. Placing no other god before Him (Exodus 20: 3), frees us from chasing after the worldly gods of money, fame, sexual immorality, and man’s approval.
Don’t be a modern-day Pharisee. Ways that seem right to you may not be God’s truths. Read and meditate on God’s Word instead of following your own.
May the Lord be with you today.
“Therefore we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4: 14-16
Yes, we serve a Lord who experienced the temptations we fight daily during His time on earth yet never sinned. Because He experienced these temptations, He is able to sympathize with us and our trials. Because of His example, we know it is possible to resist sin when being seduced by temptation. Humbly present yourself to Jesus in all of your weakness and receive the strength, mercy and grace to sustain you.
May God bless you and your families.