The Christian Response to the Christian Response

I heard various sentiments yesterday from the faith community in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to force the States to recognize same sex marriages. “This is so sad…a terrible day for God’s Kingdom…America will be judged.”

I say, let us think about what has really changed, and let’s respond in a manner that’s both Historically Christian and Scripturally Correct.

The church- the Kingdom of Heaven on earth- has always existed inside a sinful culture. This is why God sent His Son Jesus: to seek and save the lost. In fact, our culture today is far ‘better’ than the culture surrounding the early church. The early church- the new church after Christ ascended to heaven- existed within a culture even more distant from the faith than ours. This decision yesterday that allows men to marry men or women to marry women is not very different from the habits of the culture facing Peter, Paul, James, John, Jude, Apollo, Aquila, Priscilla, Timothy, Rhoda, Lydia, Tabitha, and the other converts of the Christian faith. Yet, the gospel thrived and grew exponentially in this culture. Why? Because the church was a light and the Gospel had, and still has, the power to give New Life.

So let’s stop whining and debating the point. Let’s respond in the way God has directed us: Shine in a dark place. Don’t hide your lampstand. Shine bright! In fact, if each of us had been doing our job better- shining brightly- than perhaps this culture would not have deteriorated like this.

What does it mean to “shine bright?”

First of all, it means LOVE. Love God. Love your Neighbor
Share the Good News. Disciple. Fulfill the Great Commission.

Live a life so well lived that exudes the New Life that the gospel provides. Our lives should exude love, joy and peace, patience, kindness, and goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

We cannot change the culture in any other way.

So what was your response? Are you afraid? Discouraged? Don’t be.

Utilize the power of God. The Gospel is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes. Share the Gospel. Love. Give. Pray. The power of God will shine through you and transform those around you.

We will see many of our loved ones changed and transformed.

Another question for the church: Why is our cry against homosexuality outside the church greater than the cry of adultery and fornication within the church?

All sex outside that of a man and woman solely and forever committed to one another is wrong, whether homosexual or heterosexual. God’s intention is that we are monogamous and faithful to our one partner of the opposite sex for all of our lives. This is not only God’s law but it is the natural order.

Jesus hated divorce, although he “allowed” it under certain conditions where the marriage covenant was broken and both parties were not willing to submit to one another, change and forgive.

Ok, so let’s sum up this Christian’s Response to the Christian Response.

Stop whining, murmuring and complaining.

Love God.

Love your neighbor.

Live well.

Pray.

Share the Gospel.

Shine Brightly!

Judge within the church, not outside the church.

Leave the rest up to God!

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Good News

If God is willing to send a part of himself -his very son Jesus- down to the earth to sacrifice his life for you and for me and for all humanity- to give it unto death- then he is worthy to be trusted with the large and small issues in your life. (Would you give your life if you were completely innocent for those who were not? That must be love!) You can trust God. Give God your heart (your affections, your inner man, your past, your future) and receive the love He has for you as shown by this selfless and pure sacrifice. When you trust God, He will give you a real peace and joy of heart – a new life- that you have never experienced before. It is an amazing thing.

As Jesus resurrected, we do as well when we put our faith in God. We get a new lease on life so to speak. We are actually made new.

Rejoice in the Resurrection: You have a new life today! It’s that simple.
Have a happy Easter because of this good news!

A New Purpose for Church

Don’t just attend church service this Sunday. EMBRACE a relationship with God.

 

Come EXPECTING a true and real touch from the Holy Spirit.

 

Come expecting the Lord to touch your soul as you WORSHIP Him.

 

Come ready to enter Into the fullness of His presence and Word as expressed in the Scriptures. Don’t just read through the Scriptures, take them into your being. SOAK them in.

 

Don’t go to church out of obligation or ritual, come to the house of the living God and be made NEW, be made REFRESHED, be made RESTORED.

 

God is REAL, so when you are truly in His presence, by FAITH, you have no choice but to be CHANGED.

sun shining on river 2

“Prayer” is not just for asking!

Personal
Real Dialogue
Answered
Yearning
Energizing
Relationship with God

Prayer can mean so mean so many different things to different people. Unfortunately, most people think it is just asking God for stuff. It is so much more! If we understand prayer correctly and employ its use, it is the lifeline to a genuine and vibrant relationship with God.

Prayer is personal. It is the honest cry of the heart. God knows everything. He is omniscient. It is a waste of heart and time to try to cover up true feelings. God knows them anyway! We can be honest about our ministries, friends, spouse, and our congregations. God cares and does indeed empathize with us. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Heb 4;15

Prayer is real dialogue; real talk between you and God. Recited prayers are often very lovely and beautiful, but they are the cry of another man’s heart. God cares what is going on in your heart, not someone else’s. And He wants to talk back. Prayer is a dialogue. You talk and God listens. But wait for the answer. Listen with your heart as well as your mind as God speaks back to you through the Holy Spirit and His written word. Don’t rush the dialogue. It takes time. Do you rush through your personal time with your spouse or a cherished friend? If you do then your personal relationship will suffer. The same is true with God. Take the time to listen for God’s responses to your concerns and requests. God does speak! He spoke to Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, Job, David, Gideon, Deborah, and on and on and on. He continues to speak to men’s heart today!

Prayer is always answered. The answer will either be Yes, No or Wait. We can trust God to answer in a way that will be best for us. You can trust God hears you and that His answer will work out for the best, even if it is not the way you planned.

1 Chronicles 5:20 He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 150:1- I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.

Prayer requires a yearning or a hunger for the presence of God. Faith that pleases God is this: Hebrews 11:6…anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Yearning for God is a form of worship. God requires worship as we come into His presence. Psalm 100 reads: I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart. I will enter His courts with praise. When we yearn for God it shows we revere, desire and adore Him.

Prayer is energizing. When we enter God’s presence he pours His Holy Spirit upon us. The Holy Spirit empowers and energizes us with His supernatural power. We become bold, eager to act and step out in faith to serve Him. God assures us He will fill us with His power. Pray in the Spirit and you will receive the power you need. I believe that if you are not stronger after you pray than there is a misunderstanding somewhere. Jude (1:20) tells us to pray in the Holy Spirit so our faith can be built up. Further the book of Ephesians 6:18 reminds us,

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Prayer is the essence of our relationship with God. With prayer we are in God’s presence and we have God’s favor and blessing. Without prayer, we are alone and working in our own strength. This is why the scripture admonishes us to Pray without ceasing in 1Thess 5:17. We can all attest to times when we neglected to pray and we were weak; we made the wrong decisions and we were ineffective in our ministries- ministries to our spouse, children or congregations. Prayer is the lifeline to God and His work in our lives!