Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 13, 2015
We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. 1 Timothy 1:9-11
I am an optimistic and hopeful person by temperament. But I struggle with where our culture is trending morally. I have friends who have an orientation toward homosexuality, but are not practicing. I love a family member who is a practicing homosexual and I have a good friend whose son is transgender. John Piper explains how our orientation to pride is not the same as committing the sin of pride. In the same way, an individual’s orientation toward homosexuality is not the same as practicing homosexuality. But the institutionalism of sin is another level of concern.
What does it mean to institutionalize sin? It’s when the rule of law in our land recognizes as acceptable behavior what God and civilization has called sin for thousands of years. When abortion became legal our government institutionalized the murder of innocent children. When same-sex “marriage” was declared right—our nation institutionalized a redefinition of what God defines as one man and one woman through vows to: one another, their community and their Lord. The institutionalism of sin solicits the judgment of God on man’s shameless arrogance.
Paul understood the serious nature of seeking to conform the gospel of Christ and the glory of God to sinful behavior. The gospel was entrusted to him by the Lord to steward vigilantly in fierce love and obedience. An emasculated gospel is no gospel at all—it is only a place holder for hellish consequences. Yet 2,000 years later the church is still tempted to compromise truth in the face of relentless and radical persecution. Believers in Jesus are called bigoted for defining marriage as only heterosexual. Religious liberty is subject to the rights of a sinful society. Even so, light shines brightest in darkness. We are the light of Christ to help our confused culture.
“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).
The practice of homosexuality is sin. To elevate it to the level of what God intended for marriage is to desecrate a divine institution. We cannot continue to dishonor holy God and not be judged. Sodom and Gomorrah received a temporary reprieve from the Lord’s wrath, because His righteous remnant remained faithful. But eventually, the cities were severely judged for their open endorsement of sexual immorality and perversion. What sins await institutionalization by our country? Prostitution, polygamy, transgenderism and euthanasia? Lord have mercy on us!
There are other sins listed as serious acts of rebellion against God: murder, sexual immorality, slavery, lying and perjury. But sins against the body are most grievous. So, in the midst of our country’s moral crisis—what is our role as Christ followers? Daily we pray and repent of sin in our hearts so we can reflect the heart of a righteous God to those who need Jesus. Moreover, we are not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God to those who believe in Christ. We are bold to stand against sin with loving firmness. We overwhelm dark institutions with millions of lights united around the Lord Jesus. We face temporal trials with trust in our eternal Father. Sinful society scoffs at saints who hold true to truth. But the last word comes from The Word.
God’s institution of righteousness—the church—will weather gale force winds from evil forces. Jesus the bridegroom takes care of His bride the church. Persecution from the world will purge the world from the church. Our role as Christ followers is to grow in grace and truth. When we love well, we are attractive to those seduced by inferior lovers. When we hold firm to truth, others are drawn to Christ’s saving faith. Jesus is and always will be the answer. Let’s stand on God’s truth by obeying His truth. Let’s represent our Lord well by loving everyone well.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that” (Luke 6:31-33).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, deliver us as a nation from our pride and arrogance in redefining what You say is wrong and making it right—and rejecting what You say is right and making it wrong.
Related Readings: Romans 6:12; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 5:3; 2 Timothy 1:8
Post/Tweet this today: May we as the church not compromise the truth in the face of relentless and radical persecution. #redefinesin #wisdomhunters
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Please look at the suicide rate of “non-practicing” homosexuals and transgenders who cannot embrace (for whatever reason) who they really are. I don’t think this is what God intended for these people – they didn’t choose this! God is merciful. God does not judge and, above all, God DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES!!
Thank you for the daily devotional. I have made them a part of my daily time with our Lord. God Bless.
Thank you for this powerful devotional today. I pray pastors will wake up and join you in proclaiming the TRUTH on a politically incorrect subject that is changing our nation and the world.
Please consider Alliance Defending Freedom as the greatest resource group globally fighting for freedom of religion and visit their website. It is full of stories and resources for you and your readers. http://www.telladf.org.
Keep speaking boldly – maybe other Christian leaders will follow.
Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us with your kind and encouraging words about the Wisdom Hunter’s devotionals. We are thankful that you have made them a part of your day.
Looking forward to hearing from you again in the future.
Believing and trusting,
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
I am looking for the dilemma I find within my family. I have a family member of homosexual practice, as she calls it getting married. I am at odds how to love as she does this yet I do love her as a person and family member but do not agree with this ceremony. I want to witness but I know my not appearing will not change anything.
Thank you so much for reaching out to us with your heartfelt and very thought provoking comments. We appreciate the passion that was behind the statements and I agree with you on your statement “GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES!!”. And yes, He is merciful. While we, as believers know these things, we need to be reminded and I thank you for that.
I took your suggestion and read through some articles about the suicide rate among transgender and homosexuals (although, I did not find much information on non-practicing). It was enlightening, as was the articles on suicide rates with domestic violence victims, child abuse victims, bullying victims, etc…My heart hurts for all of these precious souls that are dealing with these issues. I believe that our Heavenly Father loves His precious children so much, His Heart Hurts more than we can imagine.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
And while I agree with some of your statements, please allow me to respectfully disagree
with your comment “God does not judge”. Several times in scripture, we read that God is judge. The Ultimate Judge.
Psalm 82:8 “Rise up, O God, judge of the earth. for all the nations are your inheritance.”
Deuteronomy 32:36 “The Lord will judge his people and have compassion on his servants.”
Psalm 7:10 “My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath everyday.”
Susan, Boyd’s devotional, “The Institutionalism of Sin” clearly defined the subject of what the Bible says about marriage. In the present day when this subject falls into a “gray area” of acceptable behavior, many of us are yearning to hear what God says through His Word. As believers, His Word is our moral compass.
None of this is to say we are not to love our brothers and sisters that are practicing and non-practicing homosexuals. Please know, that is not at all what the devotional or we, at Wisdom Hunters believe.
“THIS IS MY COMMAND: LOVE ONE ANOTHER.” John 15:17
“AS GOD HAS LOVE YOU. SO HAVE I LOVED YOU. REMAIN IN LOVE.” John 15:9
Susan, please let me know what you think. If you would like to continue the conversation, I would be happy to do that. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Again, thank you so much for your sincere response to the devotional. We look forward to hearing from you again
We are thankful for you~
A sister in Christ~
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17
We need to recognize the church has been blessing adultery for decades. All sexual immorality is the same in the eyes of our holy God. Luke 16:18; Mark 10:1-12; Galatians 5:18-20. It is a shame it has taken same sex marriage for people to begin to see the sexual sin of this world. It is my prayer that the church will finally begin to preach the truth about divorce and remarriage (Malachi 2:16) and stop encouraging and allowing those divorced who have a living spouse to “move on”. 1 Cor. 7:11 gives us instruction we need to follow! 1 Cor. 6:9; Rev. 21:8 gives us the consequences of not obeying. God bless.
Thank you for reaching out to us after reading “Institutionalism of Sin”. We appreciate your comments and the sincere heart with which you write them.
One of my favorite statements that Boyd made in the devotional is “Even so, light shines brightest in the darkness. We are the light of Christ to help our confused culture.” What a call to action for all of us!
We look forward to hearing from you again. Blessings to you and yours,
“My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen well to my words of insight.” Proverbs 5:1
Thank you for taking the time to share your dilemma with us after reading the devotional, “Institutionalism of Sin”. We appreciate the sincerity and courage it took to reach out. Your love and caring heart that you have for your family member is such a wonderful example of John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in love.”
As Boyd stated in the devotional: “Even so, light shines brightest in darkness. We are the light of Christ to help our confused culture.”
Jan, “your light” is brightly shining as you love your relative. And as a believer, we can pray to our Heavenly Father for our loved ones. What an amazing gift that is.
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13
Blessings to you and yours,
Thankful for you,
Thank you so much for our kind and encouraging words for Boyd. I know he will be blessed by them. Thank you, too, for the additional resource information. Please know that your comments and suggested website will be passed on to him.
We are thankful for you, Gary, and look forward to hearing from you again. I will check out Alliance Defending Freedom, also. Thank you again for the suggestion.
Believing and trusting~
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage each other – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
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