Devotional Matthew 19:4-6
Pastor Brian’s “Every So Often” Devotional
July 4, 2015
Note from Pastor Brian:
Sorry folks, this devo is longer than normal, but not near as long as it could have been…or probably needs to be!
(Matthew 19:4-6) And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Last week’s Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage has caused an upheaval of emotion on both sides of the issue. I am not a politician, thank God! Nor am I a lawyer, thank Him again! So I’ll try as best I can to steer clear of the political and legal aspects of the case, though I certainly have my own strong opinions on those aspects of the matter, and write from the standpoint of what I am: a Pastor and Bible teacher.
The plain teaching of the Bible is that homosexual acts are sinful. They are not more or less sinful than other acts of the flesh, but it is only out of ignorance or dishonesty that someone will try to argue that the Bible doesn’t have an opinion. I do not use the word “ignorance” in a hostile sense, but for what the word means; “not knowing”. Ignorance is not necessarily bad. Maintaining willful ignorance while engaging a topic is bad. Either we believe the Bible is the word of God or we do not. The issue is not about whether gay people love each other, can commit to each other, etc., it’s whether as followers of Jesus we are going to follow Jesus. Furthermore, marriage was designed, by God, to be a pictorial representation of Jesus’ relationship with His bride, the church. When we redefine or otherwise distort marriage, we distort God’s Biblically stated intention for manhood, womanhood, and marriage.
The thing that sets the issue of same-sex marriage apart from many other sins within the Christian community is the issue of embracing it. If I steal something, I commit a sin. I need to repent and receive God’s forgiveness for that sin, which is freely offered in Jesus, as it is for any and all sin! What I don’t do is celebrate it, have a parade about it, demand others accept and endorse it as not being sin. If I lie, I commit a sin. I need to repent and receive God’s forgiveness for that sin. What I don’t do is celebrate it, have a parade about it, demand others accept and endorse it as not being sin. I think we can see the point.
For many gay people, life is a struggle with desires that God says we must not indulge (not unlike another believer’s lust to view pornography, or their desire for a person that is not their spouse, or the temptation to lie, cheat, or steal in business). We need to be sensitive to the battle some of our brothers and sisters are engaged in. For my part, I have been guilty in the past for joking about the issue, or mocking the issue, even from the pulpit, and for that I have repented before God and declare my sincerest and humble apologies for anyone that I may have hurt through my ignorance or indifference. The church needs to be the church for all who embrace the forgiveness of Christ and who struggle to walk with Him in daily fellowship, no matter what that struggle looks like.
But for some others, as with folks caught up in any sin, they will exhibit hostility and hatred towards Jesus followers, no matter how much we try to be loving in our declaration of truth. We must remember then, especially as the persecution that I believe will be coming ramps up, that we do not battle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). We must remember that the battle is won primarily in realm of the Spirit, through prayer (Ephesians 6:18; though that does not preclude involvement in the public and political realm, as God has blessed us to live in a country that allows us that right…so far). We must speak the truth, but we must speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We must do all that is possible from our end to live at peace with all others (Romans 12:18). When that is not possible, then we must love those who declare themselves to be our enemies; we must bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who use us and abuse us (Matthew 5:44). We must remember that the Apostle Paul lived in a time of wickedness and brutality that we are largely unfamiliar with in this country, when Christians were not just mocked but executed, when they didn’t just lose a job, they lost their life, and he said, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
An attempt to rewrite God’s law on earth changes nothing in heaven. God did not wake up last Saturday morning and notice that He had fallen off of His throne! He is still large and in charge! He is not wringing His hands over this and neither should we. We have our marching orders (noted in the previous paragraph). Onward Christian soldiers! We have a mission to impact eternity… in the life of one person at a time!