Editor’s Note: When I read this post on Shannon’s blog, I left her a comment saying everyone needs to read this message. In my opinion it goes to the heart and soul of the solution to many of our world’s social ills. Enjoy.
By Shannon Moreno
Blogger over at Revelations in Writing
Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” – (John 4:7,9-10)
I so appreciate this exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. He models for us how we can break down social and cultural barriers, and approach people where they are. Though society would have deemed her unworthy – to acknowledge, let alone speak to – Jesus approached her directly and spoke to her face to face. He was kind, honest, and offered the hope she had so long been looking for. As followers of Christ, we are called to do likewise. Our job is to break down barriers that society deems necessary, and show the world that they are not. We must touch the “untouchable“, love the “unlovable“, give voice to the silent, and meet the needs of those without. So many are misunderstood, misrepresented, and labeled as a result of their circumstances. May we be the ones who answer the call to love our neighbors as Christ has loved us – no barriers, no limits, just love.
Shannon is a long-time devoted blogger since 2011. I read her thought-provoking posts regularly. Shannon is a career teacher and coach and is raising two teenage boys. which in and of itself is a full time job. Read her posts on her blog at https://revelationsinwriting.wordpress.com
Editor’s Note: “Grace means . . .” was written by Sparrow Girl on her blog over at Underthewaterfallofgrace It appears on here home page sidebar. She’s been one of my favorite blogging friends for years. She and I share the same passion for our true identity in Christ. She writes about it beautifully. Be blessed, my precious readers.
Grace means there are no demands on you today..you do not need to ‘do’ anything or ‘become’ anything – you already ARE all you were meant to be, as a gift (something given, not worked for, something already yours, experienced and enjoyed here and now by simple faith – by seeing it is yours), by Jesus’ work on your behalf.
You already ARE righteous, loved, accepted, at peace with God, empowered, free from sin’s power, strong, holy, pure, and ONE with God, together with Him forever.
You are His child, included in the royal family, and the inheritance is yours in Christ!
There is nothing left for you to do because Jesus did it all and will manifest it all in you! You are free! Free to enjoy a love relationship with the most Perfect Love of all – HIM!
EDITOR”S NOTE–This week we are fortunate to have Deborah Ann Belka as a guest author. I encountered Deborah when I linked to her post last week on Bloggingmeetup. Each day this week we will publish one of Debra’s poems about our true identity in Christ. Debra Ann has captured in beautiful verse the essence of the child God has created us to be. What Deborah writes is true for every child of God, whether they believe it or not. Enjoy and be blessed.
By Deborah Ann Belka
I am loved
I am bought with a price
I am redeemed
I am set free from sin
I am joined to the Lord
I am alive by grace
I am justified
I am forgiven
I am sanctified
I am reconciled
I am transformed
I am renewed
I am made perfect
I am dead to sin
Many of you probably remember what comes after the “pop pop fizz fizz”. It’s Continue reading
Can you imagine what life would be like for us if God didn’t show us His grace and mercy each day?
I woke up on my birthday (December 23) unable to hear out of my left ear. Continue reading
I reached for a can of green beans in the pantry recently to heat up for supper. I was glad I flipped the can over to look at the “Best if used by” date. We should have eaten those beans I grabbed two years ago.
I have to admit sometimes the “Best if used by” date slips past our scrutiny. Weeks, months, even a few years for that can of beans, past the “Best by” date render the food useless, maybe even harmful if we consume it. We need to be vigilant and continually check the “Best If Used By” on all the food we fix.
Aren’t you glad God’s grace and mercy don’t have a “Best if used by” date? We will never hear Him say, “I’m all out.” His supply of both never stops. No matter what we do, who we are, or where we go.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
God’s grace is inexhaustible. It is always available and always flows freely from God’s eternal fountain of grace.
“Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when, year and year, the longed-for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a great voice were saying, ‘You are accepted. You are accepted, by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not try to do anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.’ If that happens to us, we experience grace.” (Paul Tillich)
By Rob Morley
Co-founder of Light and Life Ministries
While I don’t necessarily advocate demonstrations, nor do I support anything less than love for individuals who practice homosexuality, I like the truth in the caption which is a translation of one of the banners: “Say stop to raping our morality under the name of freedom”
You see, many Christians have become confused and soft in their stance toward the sin of homosexuality. While on the one hand many see it as sin, on the other, they indirectly consent to it through not wanting to take away people’s rights to practice their “sexual orientation”. This is further fuelled by the notion that in order to be loving we should “live and let live” as long as it doesn’t affect others. But, is the negative effect of even a monogamous committed homosexual relationship only confined to the two involved?
Let’s consider who gets affected by someone practicing a homosexual lifestyle. Firstly, he is sinning against God and himself by denying the Creator’s design for his life. Then, just like with adultery and fornication, anyone who practices homosexuality is automatically causing his partner to sin and be missing out on God’s plan for his life. Finally, and what is often overlooked, he is sinning against the community by being a very likely, although not necessarily intentional, influence on others to do the same.
By allowing people to have homosexual relationships, whether monogamous or not, they become billboards that reinforce the idea that homosexuality is a viable lifestyle. Effectively we create an environment where other people can be more easily influenced into the same sin. Many people may fall as a result of the appeal that homosexuality may have on their sinful nature, while others may fall to the deception that homosexuality is a normal social way of life.
The permission to practice homosexuality, along with its promotion in the media and the prolific nature of the practice, can confuse and entice many vulnerable youth and adults into embracing what they may never even have thought of. Let alone the influence that it is having on kids growing up in this environment.
A few weeks ago a teenager who is very close to me and who has grown up in a Christian family and environment spoke to me of how he had wrestled with the question of his own sexuality and whether or not he was homosexual. I wonder to what extent the prevailing climate of open homosexuality that exists in this world has been an influence on his thinking.
As the ecclesia we need to be a clear voice of truth to a broken world. Love is telling the truth!
Seriously causing others to miss out on God’s best may be part of the reason for God’s harsh wordsEditor’s Note: Rob and Tina Morely co-founded Light and Life Ministries, a teaching ministry in the body of Christ helping people to understand and effectively apply God’s word, the Bible, as it relates to all of life. “While reaching people with the gospel is essential,” Rob said, “the goal of the Great Commission is to have effectively discipled believers. The Bible deals with all areas of life, but if not taught properly, believers remain ineffective for God’s kingdom in those areas.”
and punishments for this crime. These seeds are sown all around. But woe to those whose seeds germinate! And, anyone who condones this practice is an accomplice. “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! (Luke 17:1).
I have a very dear family member who has lived an open homosexual lifestyle for years with one partner. I love both him and his partner and recognize that their sin is no different to mine. Our difference before God is not that I am not a homosexual or that I don’t sin anymore, but that I was given a free pardon for all my sins, past present and future, and am now joined to Jesus. My sins and wayward nature are not held against me anymore and although I still easily sin, it’s not in my new nature to continue in it. And, God wants to do the same for them.
I don’t condemn any homosexual just as I don’t condemn any adulterer, but I do want to warn against the destructiveness of participating in this lifestyle, both to individuals and societies. It’s not the Creator’s plan for anybody!
Finally, some may need to repent of practicing homosexuality, others of supporting it, and others of not loving those practicing it. Whichever it is, God is willing to forgive.
You can contact Rob or Tina Morley via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org