Truly exhibit love for our neighbours

Jew or Gentile?  It doesn’t matter, God’s word keeps pointing me to this, your background doesn’t matter, any previous faith systems do not matter, any previous lifestyles do not matter.  Once you put this behind you and ask Jesus into your life you are saved by Grace, all are saved through the Grace of our Lord Jesus.

This is something that really speaks to me and I think we should make more of it.  God is not selective, there is NOTHING that can separate us from him, we are all welcome in his house.  Let’s throw open the doors of our churches and be welcoming to all without judgment, let’s show the world who our God really is and give people the space to discover him for themselves.

  • Acts 15:8-9- God knows the human heart. By giving the Holy Spirit to non-Jews, he showed that he accepted them. He did the same for them as he had done for us. He showed that there is no difference between us and them. He made their hearts pure because of their faith.
  • Acts 15:11 – No! We believe we are saved through the grace of our Lord Jesus. Those who aren’t Jews are saved in the same way.”

NO BETTER

I am no better than you, you are no better than me, both free to make choices, both capable of listening to voices and making decisions, both in a position to choose God’s love which  is freely given, no differentiation between those of different nations, no discrimination based on your past behaviours, nothing can place you out of favour with our God, his love equal for all, saved through grace, a placed reserved for us in heaven, forgiven by God, loved and cherished, his desire that not one will perish, God’s house is open for business, his house a place to learn of his holiness, to bear witness to his redeeming love, to spend time feasting on God, a place to confess our sins, a place to belong, to discover our heavenly Father, to recover from addiction, hurts and wrongs, to find the support to carry on, may all who come to God’s house discover the love we have one for another, that we truly exhibit love for our neighbours, we simply reflect the love of our Saviour.

Sacrifice your own comfort for the sake of your brother

How very sad to see bickering and infighting within a church.  Have been reading some posts on our church group page and it has really saddened me to see church members commenting in a way that seems so unsupportive and yet we are called upon to love each other.  Some of the comments also seem to reflect a desire for more love by some who feel unloved, unsupported or unwelcome which again breaks my heart.  If we can’t love our fellow church members how can we go out into the world and love our neighbours, our communities, our nation?

John 13:34 – ‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Love one another as I have loved you, enough said, love everyone like Jesus did, that may mean stepping out of your skin, leaving that comfort zone behind, laying your fears on the line, reach out and touch somebody’s life, sacrifice your own comfort for the sake of your brother, don’t wait for another to take up the slack and don’t turn your back, all of us need love, some are strong and some are weak, some are bold and some are meek, some are quietly drowning in loneliness and fear, some desperately want you to draw near, some are proud with “keep out” signals and some are humble, mumbling stuff like “I’m not worth it”, what am I?  I am God’s light, I am his hands, his feet, his heart, he set us apart, his church, his family, we are joined together in unity so let’s rise up in victory defeat this chasm of misery, strike out the enemy, and walk together in harmony.

Satan is working relentlessly to corrupt the church and all those within

I have been reading more and more into false teachers and prophets and am getting more of a feel for how the enemy is operating in this world.  Yes he comes to deceive, kill and destroy and one of the main ways of doing this is through infiltrating the church, “masquerading as an Angel of Light”.  He seeks to destroy churches he seeks to destroy families and he is succeeding in so many areas.  We have to use the word, God’s word to counter his attacks and one of the things I see so much is an ignorance to God’s word or an apathy towards it, leading me to question are too many Christians lukewarm?

I for one believe that the Bible is God’s word and if we use this prayerfully we can discern false teaching we can challenge it and pray into situations which need us to act urgently to counter the devil’s drive to win souls for hell.

  • 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 – “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
  • 1 Peter 5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” 
  • Ephesians 6:12 – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The battle is not between human beings. It’s against the prince of this world.

HE MASQUERADES

He masquerades as one of us, master of deception transformed into an angel of light, skilful impersonator perfect in all of his ways from the day he was created until iniquity was found in him, when pride overtook him and he sought to be greater than the King of Kings, thought he should receive our offerings, he broke away from God’s heavenly Kingdom and you know he loves religion, wanting his fifteen minutes of fame, he twists and turns, hides his true name, capitalising on our love of the light to deceive, he wants us to believe that his way is good, he wants the Bible to be misunderstood, disguised he seeks to kill, steal, destroy, he’s attacking the church from within, don’t be sucked in, sin remains sin, yet Satan is working relentlessly to corrupt the church and all those within, he’s set his devious trap, turning black to white and white to black, too many people turning back because they don’t know the truth, he’s testing their faith but let’s face it, if you don’t know God’s word it’s going to be hard to discern what is of God and what is of the enemy who’s buried his true identity, feeding controversy, promoting dissension, causing tension, making religion a mockery and contrary to his bold assertions all that glitters is not gold, we must be bold, stand up for the truth, be alert, wide awake, the words of God hold power and it’s now or never, if ever people needed to be warned it’s now, eyes wide open to his trickery we need zero tolerance to biblical deviancy, too frequently we agree with lukewarm policy when we need to be on fire for God and his unchangeable word, recognising the source of the fight is the angel masquerading in light, a wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places, the devil who paces looking to devour those faltering, altering the word to suit their purpose, it’s not a circus it’s not a show, we know from the word of God that false apostles and deceitful workers will come amongst us, we know that we’re in a spiritual battle and it’s time to unravel truth from deceit, time to speak out, to show other Christians what we’re all about, to reclaim those lost to the enemy’s lies, to refocus each other on the wonderful prize that awaits those who proclaim that Jesus is Lord to wield the Sword of the Spirit and publically exhibit our allegiance to Jesus.

 

The Bible liberally sprinkled with fairy dust

Over the past couple of days I have really felt an overwhelming desire to speak out about the church’s indecisiveness and lack of biblical teaching on sexuality.  I kind of feel it is a bit of a calling for me but was not 100% sure that I could really achieve anything and stand up for God on this matter and then this morning I received a picture message from a friend out of the blue – NOTHING will be impossible for you – Matthew 17:20 – He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’

It really gave me a boost, you know if this is what God wants me to do then he’s just told me I can do ANYTHING is his name.  So, I had started this poem yesterday and this spurred me on to complete it and it’s kind of a message to the church to reconsider their views and their teaching and to be bold enough to stand up for Biblical truths.

Galatians 6:1 – Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted

MESSED UP

Today I’m standing up for all those messed up by your inability to give clarity on the subject of sexuality, I mean let’s get this straight all scripture is God breathed yet you perceive that what it says is not to be believed.  I’m not so sure I understand how you can twist the truth to say that just because Jesus never spoke about gays then it’s OK, or maybe your slant is that the Old Testament is old hat and all that crap. Here’s the thing, the New Testament says it too, but then I suppose you interpret that differently, we’ve evolved, sexual sin was different then, it was just about old men exploiting boys and that’s what all the noise was about, it’s OK if you’re gay and in a relationship, no censorship required, no obedience desired from a church that isn’t listening to the Lord – STOP, can you afford to send a generation to hell because you want to tell it as you see it, the Bible liberally sprinkled with fairy dust, no longer asking us to trust God’s word but to listen to those who want to be heard, the movers and shakers, the fairy tale makers who twist God’s word to serve their purpose, all-encompassing liberalism, human wisdom replacing God’s vision of man and woman, stop allowing your ears to be tickled, interpreting the Bible to fit the sin, that’s not what it means to pick up your cross and follow, it’s shallow and self-serving, we are not deserving of God’s pardon yet he forgives us ardently and if you don’t see it as a sin then how can you let Jesus in to save you from yourself, if you are taught that it’s OK to be gay in any way, shape or form, if it becomes a “norm” of Christianity then isn’t it like profanity, an irreverent action that’s gaining traction because of a lack of interaction between those who make the laws and those who seek God’s word, people’s lives literally depends on this, if we don’t preach the truth then what use are we, we live in a fallen world with a fallen nature, God loves the sinner but not the sin, let’s not spin the truth to smooth over the cracks, when I first came to church I lacked clarity, people were very nice to me but there was no solidarity amongst the Christians that I met, no one was getting how hard it was to interpret the Bible when all around the babble of consent was let’s relent to the secular view, I knew it was part of God’s teaching, I was reaching for answers, searching for clues, and I was not alone in wanting to know which way to go, I could turn to Google or the media, researched what academia had to say about God, church and being gay but they just served to confuse and here’s the news, the church needs to stand up and be counted, God’s word can no longer be discounted, love all your sisters and brothers, speak out in love, no point being a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal, without love you are nothing, speak out if your brother is caught in transgression, that’s a lesson from the letter to the Galatians, restore sinners in the spirit of gentleness and are we not called to test everything, hold fast what is good, should we not yearn for all to be saved, for all to no longer be slaves to the sins that bind them, I speak out to remind you that God calls us to love, what greater love can you have than to save your brother, what greater love than to stand united with those struggling to see, to help them receive God’s forgiveness and that means stop bearing false witness.

Next time you’re feeling empty, take it to church

Well what can I say, bad week and went to church feeling under attack, feeling low and then Jesus blew the roof off my feelings AMEN.  What an awesome service a great word on Pentecost, some uplifting worship songs, personal prayer for my own concerns and a palpable presence of the Holy Spirit.  I just came home and felt I wanted to write and praise God, to bring him the glory for changing my life for the better and for constantly reminding me that HE IS LOVE..

TAKE ME TO CHURCH

Take me to church, oh yes, take me to church, this world needs Jesus, there’s not enough love, not enough caring, people aren’t sharing, they’re too busy considering themselves, take me to church and let me feel the love of God, let it fill me to capacity, let me grasp God’s hand and be fearless, let nothing defeat me, my God, champion to the weak a hero to the defenceless, relentless love, uncompromising grace, Jesus I could gaze upon your face for all eternity, raise my arms and worship forever, never feeling weak because of your power, a power that surges through my soul, flicks the switch to make me whole,  in you oh Father I trust, I shut my mind to the enemy, he can never weaken me, defeated, humiliated, he is no threat to me, recklessly I jump into the pit of snakes because my God has not forsaken me, he rescued me, he shields me, the enemy can no longer stand up to me for fear is gone, defeated, obsolete, I am complete and I have accomplished what God destined for me, to be a child, an heir, a co-heir with Christ, light of the world, light of my life, Jesus sacrificed for me, curtain torn in two and now as I boldly approach my Father he is never far from me, nothing can separate me from his love, not angels nor demons, so I let go of my situation and let God take control for holding on can do more damage than letting go, pray about it then let go, you know it makes sense, just do it, be the change you want to see, let Jesus define your destiny, and next time you’re feeling empty, take it to church just take it to church.

God does not sit on the fence

So yesterday was asked by a couple of my co-prayer warriors what would have helped me as a gay person coming to church for the first time and throughout my first few weeks/months of getting to know people and then after I became a Christian.

So have been thinking about this and there are a few things that stood out for me and the most dominant one was that the attitude to homosexuality that I witnessed was mostly a liberal one so comments such as “I don’t think it matters now days” or “God doesn’t mind so long as you’re happy” and “it doesn’t matter does it?” were common responses when I did tell people about being gay.

When I gave my life to God I did this because I had studied long and hard and believed strongly that the Bible says any sex outside male and female marriage is sinful.  There are even more references in the Bible specifically to same sex relationships which I also believe show that homosexual intimacy is sinful so I was not of the viewpoint that Gay marriage was the answer.  I prayed this over and God showed me that the way forward lay in honouring him, in turning away from my sins and giving my life to him.

So in answer to their questions the things that I think make a difference to people like me to help them become a Christian once they start going to church and then secondly to start feeling like they fit in to the church are:

  1. People to listen without giving an off the cuff opinion about their view on sexuality or how God views it
  2. For people to try to get to know the person, it’s not about sexuality it’s about me starting to come to church (the same as if I was straight, build friendships on common ground to encourage me to keep coming back).
  3. Honour/embrace singleness *
  4. People who engage in conversations about sexuality to really know the bible, read the relevant passages, pray over them and form an opinion for themselves based on what God reveals to them, found a lot of people had opinions but when I quoted verses they didn’t know them.
  5. People to not sit on the fence, regardless of their belief be prepared to debate in a loving way, but saying “I’m not sure where God sits on this” does not help!
  6. To have a safe place, a safe person to talk to, non-judgmental and not a gossip and someone prepared to put some time in to work things through with you
  7. To hear preachers who are prepared to preach about sexual relationships of all types about what God says so I would challenge mediocrity and lukewarm preaching or in some cases total avoidance of the subject.
  8. Do not try to be politically correct, Jesus wasn’t and nor should you be!!

*an example here is at the first ladies meeting I went to we were asked to introduce ourselves and every lady in the meeting introduced themselves in the context of wife, mother, grandmother which can be very difficult for anyone who is single or struggling with their identity.

GOD IS LOVE

God is love, God is pure love and love radiates from him to me, God loved me even while still a sinner, God saw the inner me and still he loved me, he cherished me, spent time with me, invested in my liberty, God does not sit on the fence, no offence but God wrote the book and God knows the score, anyone who knocks on the door can enter in if they turn away from their past and their sin, and it’s in the Bible clear as day, it’s not right or proper to be gay, God still loved me it wasn’t me that was wrong, it was the sin that goes on and on until we take courage and listen to the voice of God, yes it’s hard but life was not designed to be easy, sin is sin, no more living on easy street, if you want your life to be complete, whole, your soul to be saved, your sins to be waived you have to take responsibility for your inability to see clearly that God’s word is truth, and as you grasp the truth the truth sets you free, as you change your inaction into action, God’s reaction, priceless; you turn from your sin and you’re let in to the most awesome Kingdom of light and peace, forgiveness reached, joy overflows and suddenly you know what it is to be free, my chains are broken I am set free because Jesus died on a cross for me, how much love does that take, I’ve made mistakes but God’s love frees me from the past and I am forgiven, saved and loved at last.

Jesus walking the walk with us

Been reading and reflecting on unity, within the church, within denominations and within geographical locations, wherever we are and whatever church we go to it doesn’t matter because in God’s eyes we are all one, all children of God and all his chosen people.  Got me to looking at some verses, kind of major focus on being patient and kind with each other, quick to forgive and full of love.

  • Colossians 3: 12-14 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
  • 1 Peter 3:8 – Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
  • Ephesians 4:2 – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
  • Psalm 133:1 – How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
  • Matthew 18:20 – For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’

UNITED

Wear love wherever you go, clothe yourself with compassion and kindness, may you never need to remind us to be humble, gentle and patient, may our fellowship reflect love and unity, let the gospel unite us with common strengths and truths, forgiving others as you forgive too, let us be the light that leads the world to you, may our differences not divide us but remind us of the riches of your love, how good it is and how good it will be when we live together in unity claiming victory for God’s people, enjoying fellowship, prayer and praise and wherever two or more are gathered in your name may we declare and proclaim that you are there in the midst of us, Jesus walking the walk with us, listening as we talk, acting as we pray, hearing every word we say, may we seek to live more closely in unity in order to hasten eternal victory.