Let Love Lead You

Knowledge is power, and it helps us excel in life. Even so, it can be a hindrance, especially in our church community.

How can knowledge be a hindrance?

Knowledge is a hindrance when we allow it alone to guide us. We see an example of this in 1 Corinthians. There were some in the church who had come to believe that:

an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (1 Co 8:4b–6)

For their understanding, we would praise God because what they believe is correct.

Where they went wrong, however, is in how they applied their knowledge. Since gods and idols are nothing, they concluded it was ok to attend meals thrown in pagan temples by their pagan friends, and even to eat the meat sacrificed to idols.

While their belief may be true, others in the church weren’t there yet. When they saw other brothers and sisters in the church participating in these activities, they were led to believe it was ok to combine these practices with their Christian faith, which resulted in their faith being destroyed (1 Cor. 8:11).

How should we use our knowledge?

(1) Love must lead us

As Paul begins chapter 8, at the end of verse 1 he says,

This knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Cor. 8:1b).

Paul’s statement tells us love must lead us. Love should lead us because it has others best interest in mind. Unlike Knowledge, which often serve to puff us up, love is willing to sacrifice for another. Love is willing to give of our rights, desires, and freedom for the sake of another.

When we think about it, giving up our rights, desires, and freedoms is not our natural tendency. Naturally, we hold those things close because we are selfish. The only way we are going to love in a way that allows us to joyfully give up our rights, freedom, and desires at times for another is if we have experienced love like that ourselves.

I believe we experience that type of love in the gospel. The Father loved us so much that He gave of His only Son, Jesus. The Son, Jesus, loved us so much that He was willing to give of His life for us. He hung on a cross dying in our place, while the Father poured the wrath we deserve out on Him. Hanging there, receiving God’s wrath, Jesus gave up His rights, desires, freedom, and life for us. He gave of Himself to repair our relationship with the Father, so that we might have eternal life.

Experiencing the love and benefit of Christ’s sacrifice should motivate us to sacrifice for another. As Christians’, God’s love then should channel through us to others.

Love, true love, not the love pictured in movies or shows, should be what leads us. Love should lead us alongside our knowledge because love focuses on others, while knowledge by itself often focuses on us and our rights.

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Who Do You Trust and Fear?

As Christianity is marginalized more and more, there will be stands we have to make. Whether we stand for the Lord or man will determine who we trust and fear.

A Contemporary Issue

The sanctity of marriage is a hot button issue in our country right now. Those not on the bandwagon of gay marriage are quickly labeled as bigots and haters; their participation in the public arena is limited; and they are pressured by their friends, family, employers, and the media to embrace and celebrate the sexual revolution.

As the pressure mounts, those desiring to please others and continue to have public influence will eventually evolve on the issue. Those who evolve on the issue show who they fear, man not God. They fear what man thinks of them, what man can take from them, and what man can do to them.

However, those who can’t or won’t acquiesce their beliefs show who they fear, that is the Lord. Those who rightly fear God will find themselves being marginalized. While the marginalization of Christians may limit the jobs we can hold, the businesses we can run, and the public influence we have, we need not fear because the Lord will care for us.

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Supreme Court

The Christian and the Same Sex Marriage Decision

While I had a feeling the courts would rule for same sex marriage, I was still shocked when I read the headlines. I guess I had hoped they would consider how polarizing Roe vs. Wade has been and do something different. Something like put the decision to a vote by the people, instead of deciding for us. But that is not what happened. Instead nine justices decided for the American people that same sex marriage should be a reality in all 50 States.

If many of you are like me, you were probably shocked as well. I am sure other emotions may have been and still are running through your veins. Emotions like: Anger, dismay, hopelessness, sadness, even fear — fear of what is to come. Fear for our children and the world in which they will grow up.

As I have talked to many of my friends, read my Facebook and Twitter feeds, and thought and prayed myself, one question has consistently come up: How should Christians Respond?

As I have thought, prayed, and searched Scripture, the Lord has given me several ways we should respond.

(1) We Must Respond In Love, Not with Anger, Hate, or Violence

Searching Scripture, the Lord led me to 1 John 3. There John says in verse 11 and 15,

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another…Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 Jn 3:11–15)

As Christians we must heed these words and respond in love. We aren’t to hate. We aren’t to turn to anger or even violence. We as Christians are to love. We are to show care, compassion, grace, and mercy to the gay community and those who support them.

That doesn’t mean we condone their activity, back down, or roll over and let others do what they want to us. We must stand our ground. We must fight for our rights. We must reject the decision handed down, but we have to do it in love.

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