Friday, November 07, 2008

The Next Step

I have officially joined the first team handball league in the US. I am quite excited about it. It should lend itself to many opportunities to talk about Christ with other guys. Please pray that God would open doors of opportunity. :) My first real game is tomorrow! I am stoked! Right now, it's looking like I'll be working when I graduate and doing graduate school online. I'd like to go for my doctorate and skip the masters degree, but we'll see what God has in mind. I was just thinking tonight about the times in Awana when we were studying for Bible quiz on the book of Romans. We were challenged to read the whole book of Romans every day for a week. What an incredible blessing that was. I really miss that kind of longer reading. I greatly look forward to having time to do some massive studying of the Word like that again. Anyway, I decided to go back to Romans and take it a chapter at a time (chapter 1 today). With the whole proposition 8 issue here in CA, it seemed to fit in quite well. Please do take a look at what God says about homosexuality in Romans 1:21-32, but there is a whole lot more to it than this passage. Remember that we can never justify our sins because someone else is sinning.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here are several things that jump out to me...

1) The importance of honoring Him and giving thanks.

2) The importance of humility.

3) The importance of not choosing our own way, but trusting and being obedient to the One who created us.

4) We must realize that sometimes God gives us what we want and allows us to bear the consequences of our decisions. Just because we feel like we are getting away with sin for a time doesn't mean that consequences aren't coming. They are!

5) One of the results of going are own way is homosexuality. Homosexuality is simply telling God that we think we have a better way than how He ordained.

6) Rather than getting stuck on the homosexuality issue (which still is important), I think that most of us do not struggle with that issue. Most of us struggle with the other things such as... unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, strife, deceit malice, gossiping, slandering, hatred of God, insolence, arrogance, boastfulness, inventing evil, disobeying parents (or other authorities), choosing not to understand, being untrustworthy, being unloving, and being unmerciful.

All of these things (as well as homosexuality) are worthy of death, but God in His grace has sent Christ to take our punishment. While I think homosexuality and other sexual sins are somewhat on a higher level because it involves another person, it is deserving of death just like all other sins. As Christians, we need to put a whole lot more focus on the sin that we struggle with daily than we are right now. I realize that homosexuality is a hot topic right now, and it is important to fight for truth. I don't believe that homosexuals are born that way, and if they are, God has promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13 to give them a way out of sinning. In the same way, God has given each of us a way out of all of these other sins too. We cannot get so focused on the issue of homosexuality that we miss all of these other things that we struggle with on a daily basis. We need to fight for truth in all of these areas! Maybe if we stepped it up as Christians and were obedient to His ways, God-honoring marriages would be seen in America again. Frankly, it is pretty sickening that half of Christian marriages end in divorce. God hates divorce just like He hates homosexuality and yet we seem to be so permissive about divorce. I am not saying that we should be any more permissive about homosexuality, but rather than we shouldn't be so permissive when it comes to divorce. It is something God hates! Let's step it up and be fully committed to Him in all areas of our lives... not just the obvious external ones. God looks at the heart!

1 comment:

Camille said...

Hope the game went well, Daniel!

Good thoughts from Romans 1 also.

~Nella Camille