Daily Devotionals

A City On A Hill

I’m overwhelmed. All of the research for the sexual ethics series has opened my eyes to things I never dreamed possible. The world we live in has changed so quickly in the last decade, I’m left with my head spinning. The enemy works so hard to desensitize us. He bombards us with new and shocking changes to the point that we just retreat, thinking we can’t make a difference anyhow. We think we are caught up in a perpetual black out so we just hunker down and hope for the best. But hear this: The darkness is not overwhelming because we are used to the light. It’s overwhelming because we have isolated ourselves from it for so long. We were never meant to stay away from the darkness. But we were designed to penetrate it with the Light. And we don’t meander in it on our own. We are designed to move in its shadows together.  Psalm 18.28 says, “Lord, You light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.!” As you and I wade through this together, I pray we know the Light of the Lord and are no longer threatened by the thick darkness on all sides.

The process of determining sexual ethics is not just a factual process. That’s part of the problem with sex-ed in the schools. They think because the facts are taught, the end result will change. It never will. We are sexual beings. Our kids don’t have sex or abstain because they understand the risks. They embrace abstinence or become sexually active based on deep seated feelings. Some of those are faithful and some are less than, either way they are emotions. We work to embrace a faith that is both emotional and cerebral; both head and heart. That means we seek an experience with God based on a fact-informed faith. Our relationship with the Lord isn’t just emotional. If we don’t get excited enough at Church for three weeks in a row, we don’t consider leaving. On the other hand, we aren’t just fact-driven. If we don’t feel like we learn enough, we don’t consider leaving either. We are both head and heart. Our goal is to experience, understand and live an authentic faith.

Authentic faith is never anti people, but it is always pro God. If God is against something, we will never work to be for it just because it is against popular opinion. And if God is for something, we will break our backs to see it through! Neither is authentic faith anti-science or anti-intellectual. God created the mind and the world we live in!  Of course, we want to know more about it, but we must allow theology to drive the conversation, not science. Authentic faith is never anti-happy. This life is full of joy! But we don’t pursue the joy. We pursue Jesus and joy is the byproduct. Will you settle in with your head and your heart today and expect to hear from God?

The conversation today something we have as traditionalists. Tradition should weigh heavily on how we respond, but it is not the primary motivator for our discussion. The fact that the Church has condemned same sex relationships for 2000 years should matter to us, but it shouldn’t matter as much as the Bible condemns these relationships. What matters most is God has created us as sexual beings in His image. His definition of the way we act out our sexual ethic is marriage. Period. It has never been anything else. Nothing else even comes remotely close in a contest. There is no contest here!

Our conversation today is driven by eye witnesses. Our experience has carried us through a lot of storms, but we aren’t here to talk about the damage or our duty. We are here to talk about Jesus and all that He does to rebuild what the enemy has destroyed and restore what the enemy has taken. The enemy wants us to focus on the damage. He wants us to see the destruction in our society and throw up our hands. He wants us to focus on our ‘duty’ and throw up walls of division between as many different camps as possible. But that’s not why we’re here. Jesus is pro people and He’s always been pro truth. The two can go together. It is possible without civil war to speak the truth and love people at the same time. But it is work. The darkness is scary. Really scary. But we are called to step into it as lights. Will you engage both your head and your heart on this topic? If we are going to talk about the Gospel today, this has to be a part of the conversation. Will you work to understand what is going on and how to Biblically address it? Will you work to love all those caught up in the deep darkness that surrounds this issue and not back away when the going gets tough?

Now is the time for the Church to pick up this gauntlet. The Banner of Jesus flies higher than any other flag. It is offensive to those who don’t know Him. It’s in the face of those who hate the truth. But it is the most loving, inviting, honest, sincere Banner to gather under. It is constantly offering a real look at yourself. If you find yourself gathering here, speak up and speak out! Let’s move into this dark place together!

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