God loves and accepts us just the way we are. He doesn’t turn anyone away as he seeks to renew and redeem a People to His Image.
But he gets to define what it means to be human. Not us. We’re his creation. To believe what He says about us is a basic tenet the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of salvation/justification by faith. We must believe it all. To say otherwise is a false gospel.
My feelings don’t define me or give me a right to dishonor my body. God defines me, allowing me to properly interpret my feelings—and govern my actions.
The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died. And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (i.e., in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
A thought for today: It’s 2015, and we’re by no means the first generation to ask God why he allows what he does, to ask what the world is coming to.
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me. Strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous—so justice goes forth perverted.
“Look among the nations, and see. Wonder and be astounded—for I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.”
Brother of Coptic Christian martyrs thanks God that ISIS left the video unedited, showing his brothers calling on Jesus’ name even as they died. “ISIS helped us strengthen our faith.”
I hear, and my body trembles. My lips quiver at the sound. Rottenness enters into my bones. My legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength. He makes my feet like the deer’s. He makes me tread on my high places.
College campuses are the epicenter of a Fifty Shades of Grey generation in which rape and physical and sexual abuse are now sexy—provided she doesn’t object. Yet, at the same time, as the NFL tackled domestic violence, an incensed nation stood puzzled at battered women who don’t perceive abuse, or who don’t want to leave.
The cultural contradictions are growing ever more stark in a generation that wants to fight injustice, yet act it out for kicks. The owner of the china shop wants a pet bull, and Jesus has words for those who make others stumble. How long will it take the jury only three hours?
“When things start to get rough, you find comfort in your faith,” Mariota told FCA earlier this year. “Knowing that no matter what, you can dust yourself off and be OK. And you know you do it for [God’s] glory.”
Take a break from election news, groans, and/or shouts of joy.
We’re one week removed from the climactic ending to the World Series. But two miles south of Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City, the games have a deeper meaning. Stories like this are why I write. I grow far more spiritually from the examples of the people I’ve interviewed for WORLD’s sports page than I can ever express in an article.