Love your neighbor

This topic has been on the news, and if you don’t watch the news, then you have definitely heard of this over social media. Some don’t dare to speak of this topic because it is SO sensitive, and some people who were totally against this are now taking the other side because it is now the thing to do. I am talking about homosexuality. Why am I writing this post? To tell you the truth, I am unsure if I should truly post this. What’s the point? We already have “gay haters” everywhere; we don’t need to read a blog written by one. The thing is, I am in NO way AT ALL a hater of any type of persons. I hope to convey two things in this post: 1) why I don’t agree with same sex marriage, 2) how a follower of Christ should act towards this sensitive issue.

 

Topic 1: Why I don’t agree with it

We see within the first book of the Bible that God commanded man and woman to “be fruitful and multiply”.  I understand that some women today are barren so this can’t apply to them, but it is obviously important to conceive a child if that was the first command to man and woman from God, and seeing the importance of it, if homosexuality is ok with God, don’t you think He would have made it possible for same sex partners to be able to give birth?

Again in Genesis (v. 2:24) it reads, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”. My point with this statement is to pay attention on how exact the Scripture says wife. While knowing this, don’t you think the Bible would make it clear that it’s Holy for a man to have a husband?

Romans 1:26-27 shows that they were in the same place as homosexuality that we are today. The Greco-Roman society of Paul’s day tolerated homosexuality with considerable ease. Among some advocates it was viewed as superior to heterosexuality. Fourteen out of the first fifteen Roman Emperors were homosexuals. But yet the main adjectives that were used to describe the homosexual acts (both men and women) were “shameful”, “unnatural”, “indecent”, and as a “perversion”.

 

Side note on Romans 1:26-27: Some people think this verse doesn’t apply today because these verses obviously show sexually abusing relationships, but today, homosexual relationships are respectful and committed. Sure, when reading the Bible it is VERY important to make sure you have context down. Do your reading and do your studying. But the voyage to Bible study can’t stop with context, or else the Bible would do us no good, it would just be a history book. It is also important to apply the passage in our time today. It is very clear here that Paul is condemning homosexuality.

 

While writing this post, right now I could feel a little bit of a prejudice. Why just write about the sinning of gays but ignore the fact that many Christian’s watch porn and masturbate? Although I don’t think that all sins are equal (stealing a candy bar isn’t the same as murdering someone), it is true that by sinning, you are a sinner. I couldn’t tell you why homosexuality is such a topic of disgust in Romans and why lying to your boss isn’t given such strong adjectives. I may find out later in my studies or I may not, but if you know, please educate me, but I could only think of one reason why it is such a topic, let me give you an example: if you have been in, or are in one now, an unholy relationship with the opposite sex (if you’re straight), you are most likely having premarital sex. This relationship, in most cases, turns very selfish and lustful, the last thing that you want to stop is the sexual activity (lets be honest) because sex and lust is now your god: the center of your relationship. I am not saying that every homosexual relationship is this way, but once unholy sex takes part in a relationship, it is almost nearly impossible to stop the act.

 

I could give more reasons why I am against this, but it would take away the point of this post; and that is to love others. Jesus is very clear that the most important commandments are to love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. ἀγαπάω (agapáō) is the Greek word for “love” that was used in this verse (if you weren’t aware, there are more than one meaning of love in the Bible) this one means to: welcome people, to entertain people, to be fond of people, and to just love dearly. It isn’t your duty to decide on who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, it is your duty to love.

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Mothers Day (Spoken) Word

Who was the most influential person to ever live?
Some would say Babe Ruth or maybe even Mozart
But these heroes wouldn’t be if someone didn’t give
These idols would just be idle if it weren’t for a loving heart
A heart that believes when the world just puts down
A heart that supports and believes you deserve a crown
There’s something about this love that none can compare
The love that grows stronger to the point where it’s unfair
A love that’s there when you throw out the harshest of names
A love that’s existent much more than your shame
This love stands up for you when you deserve to rot
It’s the love that rarely says, “This is a lesson that is to be taught”
It’s the love that grows stronger as the days pass
It’s the love that loves even when you treat it like trash
The love that looks at you as someone so innocent
Even when you’re caught red handed, it’ll shout “false imprisonment”
This love is amazing and it is no way an incident
It’s the love that knows no end; it is infinite
Before you were born God cared for you so much
To embed into a person a love that is enough
A love that is enough to get you through the day
A love that is enough to keep you from running away
To this love you are the worlds greatest star
This love believes that in whatever you do, you’ll go far
This love carried you for months and months
If it were up to this love, you’d never have a month to month
This love can’t say goodbye,
This love will never die.

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Worship is Ultimate Sacrifice

Worship

Malachi 1:6-8

“‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My [a]respect?’ says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, ‘How have we despised Your name?’ You are presenting defiled [b]food upon My altar. But you say, ‘How have we defiled You?’ In that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is to be despised.’ But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? [c]Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?” says the Lord of hosts.

 

Here is a setting where the priests are sacrificing to God their blemished animals: animals that are of no good use to humans. But the priests appear to not have an idea that this was against the written covenant at the time: they were ignorant about the worship that God requested.

 The sacrificing of animals was the form of worship, it was giving to God what He deserves and asks for. This can also apply to the way that we, as worship leaders, worship God. Some may view being on the worship team as a way to volunteer to their church, it may be their job (worship pastors), or they simply enjoy playing music with their friends. None of those above reasons are bad in the least bit, as long as it isn’t the #1 reason why you are on stage.

So in order to worship God, we must first know what worship even means. From the above passage, it is defined that worship is “Sacrificing to God your absolute best”. There are many ways that you can do this, but I will name a couple.

 

  • Coming to rehearsal on time and prepared, with a servants heart (leaders will love this one)
    • In a humbling way realize that you play a bigger part in the worship experience than you may be aware of, it doesn’t matter if you play the bass or sing harmonies, the experience would not be the same without you
  • Spend some time seeking God on your own.
    • You can’t lead others into worship if you, yourself, aren’t worshiping. Why would God choose to bless you with tools and talents if all you do is take the glory with what HE equipped you with? He will take away any worship team possibilities from you. This may sound harsh, but no leader wants a volunteer with self-glory written all over them.
  • Don’t get confused about who is being worshiped (this one is hard for some “megachurch” musicians, because it happened with me) You may be on a stage with lights shining right on you (literally in the spotlight) and fog all around you like a Led Zeppelin concert, but this is God’s time. If you want your own time, form a band or go to an open mic night.

This one is very important and often takes the worshipers heart and replaces it with selfishness:

 

  • This isn’t a “gig”! You may be getting cut a check from the church, but don’t let money take the role of God. As said in the second point, God will take that check away from you and provide the church with a talented volunteer.

It is so easy to forget what true worship means. Even in the above passage the priests were doing the act of worship by doing the sacrifice, but their hearts weren’t fully into that worship. The act was present, but the heart wasn’t. True worship includes a devoted heart

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Easter (Spoken) Word

Here is a picture of love and victory
What the enemy tried to make hatred and misery
There was this man that was sent to this earth as an infant
He deserved all the worship, but instead he saw himself as a servant
He went from hearing “HOLY HOLY HOLY IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!”
To having flesh torn off his holy body
He traded the sinner’s crown that was made of thorns
For the liar to have a seat in His heavenly thrown
But you see, this is the prophecy, the story meant to be
You may ask why, and I’ll tell you two reasons “for you and me”
This sacrifice is for all: the saint, the thief and the whore
You may be confused so let me explain a bit more
God is Holy and He is just
We are sinful and full of lust
It’s in God’s nature to reject sin
He can’t look at it, not even a glimpse
But sin wasn’t supposed to happen; we are his perfect creation
Do I have to remind you of the Garden of Eden and the false presentation?
But we all fall for the lies and turn our backs against our Father
When there is sin in the scene, with holiness we don’t even bother
We are always short of perfection and we miss the mark
But because of the sacrifice, light overcomes the dark
Because of His death, we can cry, “WE ARE FORGIVEN BY THE GOD OF GRACE AND MERCY!”
And because He rose, we can shout “VICTORY, VICTORY, VICTORY!”
And because He won we ask “O DEATH WHERE IS YOUR STING?”
I can tell you, it was defeated by the love of our King!
This is the beautiful picture of the death of Christ
After we pass from this earth, we have a new life.

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WWE Smackdown and grace

When I was in middle school, I only had one friend, and he was, of course, my best friend. He was the “angry type”, I guess you can say since he was expelled from school for getting into more fights than Triple H and The Rock ever did (WWF days? Or was that WWE? Raw or Smackdown? Good times) Not only did I feel like a loner after he left, but he felt low and like a screw-up. I can say that most of us can compare to my friend here, but in different circumstances.

 

I’ve seen many people give their lives to Christ and then leave the church, trying to find their identity in drugs, parties, alcohol, and dysfunctional people (since every human being on this planet is dysfunctional). Then they get so deep in their addiction(s) and feel so hopeless to get out of those chains that are keeping them in bondage to their false identity.

 

There is great news for this, though. In Genesis we see the greatness of our Father of truth compared to the father of lies. After Adam and Eve sinned against God, they hid from God and tried to cover their nude body. When confronted, Adam said “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

 

Put yourself in their shoes; “I was around all these Christian friends of mine and I felt so convicted because of my drug use, and because I am sleeping with this person, so I wrote those people along with You off my list of priorities”.

 

God just responded to Adam by saying, “Who told you that you were naked?”

 

God is also saying this to you: “Who told you that you’re worthless because your gifting isn’t in this field?”, “Who told you that you’re too big of a sinner to ever be forgiven?”, “Who told you that you can’t change lives because you made bad decisions in your past?” “Who told you ___________?”

 

Grace is in the foundation of love, meaning that without grace, love isn’t in the equation. Grace is seen when God, instead of killing Adam and Eve on the spot, clothed them with garments of skin.

 

There is also the parable of the prodigal son. This is about a boy who took all his inheritance and left his home to live selfishly and wildly while his older brother stayed with his father and was obedient. The younger son comes back home to his father, thinking that he was going to be a servant, but instead, this happens: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

 

It was the FATHER that ran to his son, and better yet, it was when he was still far away. If you don’t know God, I want you to know that there is a Father that, despite my faults, saw me when I was far away and He pursued me through Jesus.

 

“Christ didn’t die on the cross just so you could be with Him in heaven, but that He may be with you on earth”

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THE NEVERENDING CYCLE

In exactly 3 months and 22 days, I will be marrying the love of my life. I am by far the luckiest guy in the world. If you have seen Kayla, my fiancée, you will agree with my statement. Not only is she the sweetest girl in the world, she is also way out of my league, and I am totally ok with that. So, guys, I am definitely doing something right! But honestly, I am blessed.

 I hope to use my story, my testimony, as a way to give hope and encouragement to someone who needs it. Like more than half of America, I come from a divorced family. So you can imagine how scary it is to commit to something when all you have had is a bad example of what you’re going into. But lately, God has reminded me of things, He has set things in my heart.

  • The Bible says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

 Think about it: anything that has Christ in it has become new. When I think of my future marriage, I have a chance to end the cycle of brokenness and start the cycle of commitment and love, to start a NEW cycle. THE CYCLE IS NEVER-ENDING 

 

  • Did you know?
    • Nazareth, the city where Jesus is from, means “city of garbage”?

 

Could you imagine if Jesus allowed that to upset Him? Could you imagine if that let Him define Him and what He stood for? WOW! I could only imagine what would happen if He actually let that get to Him.

  • He wouldn’t have the confidence to lead His disciples
  • He wouldn’t have the passion to teach
  • He wouldn’t feel as if He was the perfect sacrifice

 

I look at Jesus as an example of who I want to be, hence why I am a Christian. Please think about it: THE SON OF GOD COMES TO THIS EARTH AS A BABY AND LIVES IN A CITY FULL OF GARBAGE. You might come from a broken home, a family of abuse, your dad might have left you and your mother when you were a child, but it doesn’t mean that you were also destined to be this way. You can start the new cycle of hope and accomplishment, because Christ made that promise, He makes ALL THINGS NEW.

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him

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The Sacrificial Relationship

“Husbands, love your wives,just as Christ also loved the churchand gave Himself for her”-Ephesians 5:25

 

Even though you may just be dating, it’s not too early to start practicing for marriage. A marriage should be a reflection of the love that Christ has for the Church. If you want to know the definition of love, you must go to the source of love itself; God. We can see throughout Scripture that God acts through love; it is not just a noun, but also a verb. His love is seen in action in John 13 when He washes His disciples’ feet, a task that a slave usually did for his master. The Son of God saw Himself as a servant; He was selfless when He, Himself, was salvation. In John 4, Christ witnessed to the woman at the well, whom had a history with many men, but He still loved her, overlooking her past and not focusing on her failures, but instead offering her a new and much better future. In Matthew 14, Jesus tells Peter to walk on water, which shows in itself that He was a good enough leader to convince someone to do what may seem impossible, this also shows that He was a Man of encouragement. And finally, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was the biggest example of sacrifice imaginable. His death on the cross shows many points, but two stand out the most: the amount of love that He has for His bride and the amount of hate He has for affairs that takes His bride away from eternal joy. As a partner in life, you must show each other compassion, lead one another to joy, but most importantly: serve one another. The whole Bible is an example of what love really is, so it would be ignorant of me to say that these are the best examples of His love. The only way to express love is to first learn what love is.

 

            “You can serve someone without loving them, but you can’t love someone without serving them.”-Jeff Snodgrass

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