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You are enough.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.  This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1 John 4:4-6 NIV).  

I want you to do me a favor.  Stop allowing those voices that tell you that you’re not enough to creep in.  Give yourself some grace.  Remember, Jesus thought you were worth it.  You are so, so worth grace and forgiveness.  Forgive yourself.   

Whatever burden you are carrying right now, drop it.  I don’t know what it is.  But He does.  And that’s what matters.  Put it in His hands and leave it there.  Walk away and never look back.  I wish you could see what Jesus sees when He sees you.   

And, while we’re at it, look around.  Forgive everyone around you, too.  They don’t deserve it.  But guess what, it doesn’t matter.  When Jesus’ hands were nailed to a tree for you, neither did you. You never will deserve it.  If you could earn it, there wouldn’t have been a reason for Jesus to come.  It wouldn’t have been sacrificial love.  It wouldn’t have been forgiveness. You were an imperfect person while He was the perfect Son of God who CHOSE to come to earth and die for your sin.  

You’re hurting. You’re broken.  But your story isn’t over.  You just must flip the page.  Here’s the thing, you must make a conscious choice every day to flip the page.  You can’t be stagnant.  You must move on.  Life goes on.  And if you’re not actively seeking His kingdom, time is going to pass you by and you’re going to regret the time that you waste.   

Moral of the story: you are a child of God.  Therefore, focus on giving both yourself and others grace and forgiveness.  Because God is going to use you in ways that you can’t even imagine.   YouAreEnough

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The Christ-Like Response to the LGBTQ Community

Taken by Peter Baker from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wrathdelivery/4592987200/in/photolist-7ZSg5u-bPN3Tn-bPN9u8-bPMNfc-bASW33-bPMfA8-ykNBZ-ffH4gf-bPN71D-bPN8Bx-bPMSB8-bATgxj-bASRg3-bASqZu-bPN2iH-bASMdy-bATsZ3-bPM53V-bPMhdK-bPMMpx-bATpMS-bPN35B-bAT6Vb-bPNarv-bPMUqM-bPMRLz-bATmKd-bATePq-bASDj5-bPMq9n-bASJUj-bASSfw-bPMJV4-bPMy8M-91gLe7-bPMLyn-bPMu3g-bPMCvi-bASNgo-brfato-91gVRQ-bASPf7-9nVGv-7mBSUW-7r7iCW-ffGQGU-8QMtJy-dVzkEr-6SznFn-aPMjdZ under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ license.
Taken by Peter Baker from Flickr under Creative Commons license.

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Before I say anything other than this short intro, we are going to start just with Bible verses that we will later use for main points:

  • “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:14
  • “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12 NIV
  • “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'” John 8:7-11 NIV
  • “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

So what should we take from these verses?

  • “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:14

Followers of Christ should be loving.  What does that look like?

  • “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

We are not to only love certain people based upon who they are, whether it be their sexuality, their race, their religion, whatever it may be.  We love across these “borders.” Jesus did.  That’s the only reason that I am able to have a relationship with my creator.  I have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard and therefore deserve death as a result.  That’s what I deserve..

  • “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12 NIV

But Jesus came to earth and died on a cross so that you and I can have a relationship with God.  God is the only One who has a right to judge anyone that is not in Christ.

  • “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'” John 8:7-11 NIV

Jesus essentially looks around and says “Last time I checked you’re just as messed up if not more messed up than she is.  What right do you have to have stones in your hands?” How dare we think about telling anyone else how sinful their life is before dealing with the sin in our own lives?

So we can’t judge anyone, does that mean that homosexuality is not a sin?

  • “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

No, that’s not what it means. It means that because we are sinful human beings, we do not have the authority to judge others. It means that Christians shouldn’t ever be “against” another person.  You can be against something that someone did/does without being against them.  Yes, it is completely and totally possible.  The Gospel is for everyone.  

“Brothers and sisters in Christ should hold each other accountable for sin.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.  But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2

As well as reaching out beyond the church walls, it is important to build each other up within.  Christians must hold each other accountable with every sin, including homosexuality.