Sharing by: Pam Crawford
As we wrap up 2015 it has certainly been a year of both personal joy and corporate sadness for me. Like no other time in my history on this earth; I am watching my country America, transition from One Nation Under God to One Nation Under Self. The passage of gay marriage, the continued disrespect of human life through abortion and laws in some states that now make it ok for you to take your own life; and the constant assertion of "my rights," is clearly setting the stage for a country and world that is no longer interested in what God instructed through His Holy Word.
A NEW DAY
News flash dear friends. No one in this world deserves anything! In our flesh, we are all a sinful group of human beings bent on asserting our free will into the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because there is no one deserving; we have all fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23-24). With that said, it might be high time we reconsider that the gospel of Jesus Christ is much bigger than the world's definition of "love." Love is not a feeling, it's an action, a being. The Bible actually tells us that "God is love" (1 John 4:8) not "Love is God."
The world we live in with its selfish view of love has turned the idea of God and what He has instructed into a contaminated understanding of love. Yes God has called us to love Him and love others, but that doesn't mean we throw away everything else God has instructed to bring about what we want to be ok and acceptable in our life (Leviticus 18). And as far as judgment, let us not forget that there are two kinds of judgment; righteous and foolish. A righteous judgment is in agreement with the Word of God. It agrees that sin is not ok in the eyes of the Creator and we should not be engaging in it. Foolish judgment reflects a free for all.
By claiming solely the "love" gospel and never standing against sin; you join the world's viewpoint that love is whatever makes a person feel good. You join in on the thinking that because people all deserve to be happy and find love however they desire, sin is ok. You agree that it's all right to sacrifice moral principles and the rights of others to obtain such "love."
Real love is like God, who is holy, just and perfect. If we truly know God, we will love as he does (LASB) and we will align our lives accordingly. And, if we love as He does then we will come to the understanding that love also corrected injustice, rebuked the sinner, and taught the way to the Father. Love was a heart response to the greatest gift ever given to mankind - Jesus. If you claim Him, you align your life to His. This will mean living differently than the world (Romans 12).
In 2016, I would encourage every reader to spend some time looking at the story of Jesus's response to the sinful woman at the well. found in the book of John chapter 8 verses 1 through 11. This was another time in history when leaders were disregarding the law to bring about self-will. Don't miss the response of those ready to throw the stones, and the response of the woman being accused. They both contrast an eye-opening event. Now is a perfect time for us to take a honest and fresh look at our own life. It's a good opportunity to recognize our sinful nature as it relates to the acceptance of things that are contrary to what God has instructed through His Word.
Life's Application Commentary - John 8:10-11
"Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" "No Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."
Jesus didn't condemn the woman accused of adultery, but neither did he ignore or condone her sin. He told her to leave her life of sin. Jesus stands ready to forgive any sin in your life but confession, and repentance, mean a change of heart. With God's help we can accept Christ's forgiveness and stop our wrongdoing." - LASB
So yes, God has called us to love Him and to love others. He wants us to be people of compassion, grace, and love. He desires that our lives reflect love but never at the cost of compromising His Holy instructions. Never at the cost of rebellion against what He has taught. It's time we understand that God gave three types of laws through His Word; ceremonial, civil and moral. The birth and death of Jesus removed the ceremonial. We no longer have to offer atonement for sin as Jesus' death took care of that. Rituals are no longer necessary for salvation. There is only one thing that saves us and that is belief in Jesus Christ (John 3:1-21). Civil laws of old and new testament times are the laws that kept order. If we disregard them completely all hell breaks loose. And the moral laws have not changed either. God still expects us to live as holy people and He gave us standards to follow. Those standards are our plumb line and they remain in effect still today. We cannot pick and choose in order to live our way. One day we will give an account for our decisions (2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10-11).
The Bible tells us that doing things our way will bring about great consequence. So often we like to jump to the end of a story so that we don't have to bother reading or watching it through. So at the end of 2015 let's jump to the end of the Bible (Revelation 22:12-21). Here we can see the result of disobedience to the moral laws of God's Word. I pray you will heed these words as you move forward in life. HAPPY NEW YEAR and may blessings be a part of your future.
Love the sinner - that is the example of Jesus.
Condone, encourage, support, embrace, or celebrate the act of sin - a very dangerous practice.
Epilogue: Invitation and Warning