Life, Love & Holy Limits

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toddler on phone         1Cor 8:9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak… 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

If other believers embraced life like you do, would they grow deeper with Jesus or get tripped up? That is a key question that 1Corinthians chapter 8 leaves in my mind. On the first read it seems like a chapter we can ignore. Few in our world wrestle with whether it is OK to eat meat offered to idols or to attend a pagan service where idols are worshipped. In a way it would be easier to just keep moving. But when I paused to reflect more deeply over this I was amazed with the implications and questions that flooded my heart.

If other believers embraced life like you do, would they grow deeper with Jesus or get tripped up?

I want to leave two questions for you to wrestle with over the weekend. The first you see above. It is the principle behind Paul’s answer to what they should do that has great relevance for us now. The danger is that if we aren’t careful, there are things we do that others will imitate to their harm! I remember eating cereal with one of my kids when they were about 3. I picked up the bowl to drink the last bit of milk. They did the same only the contents of their bowl DID not end up in their mouth. No big deal to clean up. Lesson learned. But the price might be higher for other things. What are some things you handle just fine that would spell disaster for a younger believer?

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EMBRACE HOLY SEXUALITY

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sand heart 02Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4

Recently a notable former mega pastor told Oprah that those who quote 2000 year old letters for their authority in life will be even more irrelevant. I don’t doubt that many driving cultural movements today hope that becomes true However, I couldn’t disagree more.

This week’s message focuses on the first half of one of those letters: 1Corinthians chapter seven. It is interesting that in Paul’s time they had two conflicting extremes. One had no sexual boundaries because their view of life did not value the physical as significant for anything but the moment. The other boundaried sex out of the equation to the point where the only good sex was no sex even for married couples. They completely missed God’s point.

Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
 Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
 Be exhilarated always with her love. Proverbs 5:18-19. See also vv. 15-17

We continue to miss God’s point today and see great brokenness as a result. Without boundaries, few attach sex exclusively to marriage any more. That is looked on as backwards, uninformed, prude, weird, etc. Any kind of sex for pleasure is OK. It does not have to involve love or commitment of any kind. It is reduced to a physical release or experience of pleasure in the same category as going eating, belching or farting.

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