Tag Archives: love

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!

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

Jesus: God With Us

Jesus came to the earth, as God with Us- fully God and fully man. As Jesus walked the earth He gave hope and healing. He then gave His life and took the punishment for the sins of all humanity. Being short sighted, the Disciples were distraught thinking that Jesus was no longer with them. But was He gone? No, He was still God with us, though He died, he arose three days later, returning to them in a glorified body.

Hope and joy again. He walked and talked with them for forty days. Then He said he was leaving again. Really? Again that feeling of desperation came upon them. But He said,
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

And He did. Jesus sent His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and He never left us again. He is truly with us at all times.

Let me repeat. He is with us all the time. He is just as much with us now as He was when He walked the earth with Peter, James, John, His family, and perhaps even more so.

One of the mistakes of modern times is that we think God is not here simply because we don’t see Him. On the contrary, God is with us constantly. He is as present as the objects you see before your eyes now. We don’t question the existence of microwave radiation or UV waves. The same could be said of gravity, wind, and other scientific phenomenon. We see evidence of their effects, are told they are real and that is enough for us. God moves among us, we sense His spirit and see Him do great works in the hearts and lives of men, yet we often doubt or forget He is truly with us at this very moment.

This idea of God being with us was first introduced to me as a young Catholic girl. Every week I would attend CCD- Catholic Catechism and Doctrine class after school at my local parish of Saint Thomas Aquinas of South Philadelphia. I was astounded when the lay teacher told me that Jesus lived within my heart. I asked, “Really? He lives within my heart…my heart?” and tapped my chest. She said “Yes, your heart, right here” and pointed at my chest. I was so surprised and shocked and overjoyed! What an idea!

He lives within my heart! He is present. God with us- He’s right here, right now.

This means that He can speak to us and guide us all the time. He is here for a reason. He is not here to be quiet. He is here to guide, comfort, and give wisdom and power. He will speak to us on a daily basis, too, if you would just listen and believe. As a woman leading ministry, a middle school teacher and a mom of teenaged sons I find it invaluable to listen to the voice of God in regards to daily decisions. His presence makes my burdens light, and my work and ministry are successful only because of His leadership in my life. He guides and comforts. I just couldn’t do life without His presence in my life. I speak to Him and look for His guidance, and He answers through the still small voice in my heart.

As we celebrate this Christmas season, let’s remember the reason we are celebrating: because He is in our lives. He has redeemed us to bring us back to Him. Why would He then leave us? No, He is here. He is now. He is truly God with Us.

Joy to the world. The Lord has come! Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room.

The Hard Things

One of the things that really bother me sometimes is silence- silence about the hard things: those difficult and controversial topics that we see and hear around us.

When Jesus walked the earth, He did not shy away from the hard things. Why do we?

Humanity needs the church to step up and address such things. Not in a judgmental way, but lovingly and truthfully. Yes, the Bible has already addressed these things but not everyone reads or understands it in it’s correct context, right? So as leaders, ministers and scholars in the church we need to bring the truth to the forefront. We need to talk about things and behaviors that are hurting people, destroying families and killing our culture. We can’t be shy. We can’t be quiet.

Why are we quiet? Why do we more often talk about the things that are less important? Maybe, just maybe, this is why some of our churches are empty, or ineffective.

If we love others we will warn them of dangers ahead, right? If someone is walking off a cliff won’t we try to stop them? Should we say…

“That’s ok.”

“If you want to do it who am I to judge.”

“It’s not my business.”

“I can’t talk about that.”

“I don’t have time.”

“They will be angry.”

“If I say something then they would know… I did the same thing.”

Why are we quiet? Good question. Any answers?

Lord, help us address the hard things. Make us speak up. Make us shout the dangers ahead, especially if we have already been there and know truly how bad it is. Help us save our children, our neighborhoods, our communities. Our world.

Thank you, Lord. With your help we can talk about the hard things. Give us strength and wisdom and the power of Your might and Word. Amen!