Thursday, November 26, 2015

I thought "love wins"?

Help me understand something!
If you cannot control who you desire and who you love, then why did former Subway Spokesman Jared Fogle, get sentenced to 15 years in Jail yesterday for paying to have his sexual desires met? While I am sickened by his behavior and glad that he is locked away, what gives anybody the right to judge him? Most will point to the age of those who he was with. But age is such an arbitrary thing. I mean who decided that one day a person can be a child and wake up the next as an adult just because they turned 18?  It used to be common for people to marry at the age of 14, 15 or 16. Also, age isn't an issue in the animal world & don't most believe that we are, simply, animals? I thought "love wins"? Apparently age wins. 
If at this point your mind quickly thinks: "Yeah, but they were forced to," Wow!!! Do you realize that if the age argument was destroyed that quickly in your mind, what are you going to do when the thousands of perverts in our country band together to say that they should be able to love who they want as long as the minor is consenting??? What leg do you have to stand on? After all, don't you say that anybody should be able to love anybody? Don't you say "who are we to judge"? Please be intellectually honest. Unless there are moral absolutes that are true for everyone, at all times, who are we to stand in the way of people doing whatever they feel like, as long as "it doesn't hurt anyone". And who's definition of "hurting anyone" will we be using? 
The reason that I can boldly proclaim that what Jared Fogle did was disgusting is because it clearly falls outside of God's design for sex to be enjoyed in the context of marriage, marriage as he defines it in the Holy Bible. What's more is that Jesus came to die for sin such as this. If Jesus died for it, we must stand against it now and until He returns. The Good News for Jared though is this, by faith in Jesus he can be forgiven and cleansed. He may & should suffer in this lifetime, but there is hope for his soul. If you don't believe the Bible, what right do you have to judge people like Jared and what hope do you have to offer them???


Becoming a People Pleaser

Have you ever been called a people pleaser? If you have, it probably stung a bit as its meant to be a put down. Typically, if a person is a people pleaser, they are more concerned with having everyone like them than with obeying God and/or standing up for their convictions. This person typically has no backbone. They are wishy-washy. They are often a very frustrating individual. 

But did you know that the Apostle Paul was a people pleaser? Seriously. Much of 1 Corinthians and all of Romans 14 is about pleasing others. He says, "...I try to please everyone in everything I do". 1 Cor 10:33a Can you imagine that? Don't just imagine it, read it for yourself. Read how he says to give up your freedoms so as not to cause others to stumble. Wow, right!?! The pharisee, the hater & murderer of Christians became a people pleaser? What in the world would cause him to change in this way? Well I'm glad you asked.

A personal encounter with Jesus is where it started. This encounter led to a desire to bring Him glory. Out of this desire sprung forth obedience to Christ's Great Commission and an understanding that we, by pleasing people, give opportunity for Gospel seeds to be planted & watered. 

You see, we are to be people pleasers that we might be God pleasers. We please people not that we might gain, but that God might be glorified. We're people pleasers that they may be well-saved not that we might be well-liked. It's not that we compromise the truth, it's that we compromise our desires and maybe even rights. No desire to do this? Maybe you haven't personally encountered Jesus. It has to start there. Being biblical people pleasers, has everything to do with why & how we are pleasing people. 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God! Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved!!!( 1 Corinthians 10:31-33,punctuation added)

Who are you giving thanks to today?

Who are you giving thanks to today? It's a legitimate question. If you're inclined to say, "friends & family", that's fine, but it's certainly a departure from the historical. Nearly all historians agree that Thanksgiving has it's roots in thanking God. If you freely admit that you're thanking "God", are you thanking the god of your own making or the God who made you? I challenge you to think about it! It might be very postmodern & popular to believe in a "higher power" that acts the way you would and also doesn't offend anybody, but come on! What kind of a "higher power" would think the way that you think? Maybe instead of trying to mold your "god" to meet your criteria, you should seek to encounter God for who He's revealed Himself to be. Take Him on His terms, even if you can't wrap your mind around Him & all His plans & ways. He's revealed His mysterious ways in Holy Writ that, despite attacks like the "Da Vinci Code", has not, in fact, been altered or changed. Encounter the God who has the power to save & transform lives, even yours. Today, why not thank the one deserving of all thanks? After all, He gave Himself for us, can't we at least give Him our thanks this Thanksgiving?