OYB May 24

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: II Samuel 4-6
NT: John 13:31-38, John 14:1-14
Ps: Psalm 119:17-32
Pr: Proverbs 15:31-32

Today´s notable verse:

34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Reading these verses reminds me of the following response I made to this post from a very dear friend of mine at church - a young man who has come out of a homosexual lifestyle, but remains sensitive to those who are still lost in that lifestyle. (Please read his post.) Here was my response:

I am one of the most classically conservative people you will meet, so it may surprise you to hear that I am in complete agreement with the sentiment and anguish you express here.

Our Lord said that He came to seek and to save the lost. Throughout all of Scripture, we see that our Father's heart carries an extra measure of compassion for the helpless: the widows, the orphans, the aliens; and the hopeless: the sick, the infirm, the outcasts, the "sinners".

Few segments of human society today need Christians to emulate the love of Christ more than the homosexual community. How truly, deeply saddening it is to see that, out of ignorance, fear, revulsion, pride, and selfishness, it is Christians who most ostracize the very people whom Christ sees compassionately - as harrassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

How very hypocritical it is of the Christian mainstream, since much of that ignorance, fear, revulsion and pride reflect not upon the sins of the homosexual community, but rather reflect inward, upon our knowledge of our own sinfulness.

We do not, by our actions, words, or attitudes, need to convict the homosexual community of their sinfulness and separation from God. I daresay, the hopelessness, guilt, and despair much of the community face inwardly each day convicts them more than we ever could!

It is not our place to change lives, to change hearts, or to bring a single person to salvation and holiness; these are strictly the purvey of the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility is merely this: to love. Love - so simple a word, yet so very difficult to fulfill!

It is our love that plants a seed of desire to seek relationship with the Father and a seed of hope for redemption from a pit of despair and hopelessness. It is our love that opens the door for the regenerative and reconciliatory work of the Holy Spirit.

Were Jesus to walk the earth today, he would fellowship not with tax collectors. Conceivably, our Savior would find Himself in the midst of a NAMBLA meeting, breaking bread, demonstrating godly love, and revealing Himself as The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

Why do we - the present, real, corporeal, empowered body of Christ - not do the same?

The harsh reality that my Christian bretheren must face is this one: my sin is equally worthy of Spiritual death compared to the standard of perfection and holiness God demands. God sees me equally sinful as any homosexual. Likewise, God is equally loving, merciful, and gracious to the homosexual community as He is to me.

Remember the words of Paul: "Do not consider yourselves more highly than you ought, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."

We absolutely MUST learn to love the homosexual community in the way that Christ commands us, and which our own salvation compels us. WE and we alone are called to be light to a segment of our society so immersed in darkness.

They will know we are Christians by our love.

Do they?

The One Year Bible Blog's comments for today.