To hear our heart on why we're tackling this controversial topic this week at ByFaithShe.com, watch this quick 4 minute video before you read.
As a follower of Christ I never want to turn people away from the Good News of the Gospel. My job is to love people and lead them toward The Lord and not away from Him.
However, I am also called to stand for truth. Doing both of these things at the same time seems to be getting harder and harder with each day that passes.
The lines between right and wrong are becoming more blurry as the world pushes its agendas. But one thing remains the same. God’s Word is truth! It will not fade and it will not change!
So, let’s talk about LOVE!
Those who have given up their lives to follow Jesus Christ as their Savior as well as their Lord are called over and over again throughout Scripture to love.
I encourage you to read through each of the verses below and not just skip over them. They are powerful commands to Christians!
Here Jesus Himself tells us that the most important commands are to first,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
And second, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Jesus commands, “Love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
1 John 4
The entire chapter, beginning in verse 7, is dedicated to the topic of love. Here are a few quotes from this chapter:
vs.7 - let us love one another, for love comes from God.
vs.11 - since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
vs. 12 - no one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
vs. 16b - God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
vs. 19 - We love because he first loved us.
vs. 20 - Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
vs. 21 - And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Says that a friend loves at all times.
Tells us to serve one another humbly in love.
So, we very clearly see that Christ calls us to LOVE!
Unfortunately, the world has tried to change the definition of love.
The world, and now even some who claim to be Christ Followers, say that “sin is a joke” and “anything goes” and if you don't agree then you are unloving. They also say you can love Jesus and love your sin at the same time.
But, when we look back at the life Jesus lived on earth, we get a completely different picture of what love really is.
Yes, Jesus engaged people who were caught up in sin. He healed them, He protected them, He hung out with with those that, at the time, were considered the lowest of the low. He loved the sinners!
But, what you NEVER see Jesus doing is accepting peoples’ sin. He ALWAYS called out their sin, gave them opportunity to turn from it, and asked them to follow Him. This is where truth comes in!
So, let’s talk about TRUTH!
Jesus lived and died so that ALL the people of the world, would have the opportunity to turn away from their sin and toward Him. Accepting His sacrifice for us, and therefore covering our sin.
We absolutely have to love people right where they are, just like Jesus did! BUT, we would not be loving them if we let them stay there, living in that sin.
The Bible says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Loving someone,means treating them well, giving them respect, and serving them in the name of Jesus. But, loving someone equally means leading them to the truth!
So, How does love and truth go hand-in-hand
for a Jesus Girl?
1. Find out what things the Bible calls sin.
2. When you learn that something is a sin, FLEE from it, Sister!
*Sin and Holiness can not coexist!
1 Peter 1:14-15 Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But, just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.
Jesus says that you can’t be lukewarm. You must be either hot or cold. Choose God or choose the world.
He says, whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me, scatters.
James 1:14-15 says each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death. So, what starts as a little, tiny, insignificant thing, eventually leads to sin and ultimately death!
*Girls, I am not saying this will be easy! Denying ourselves is never easy! And ,Satan will most definitely fight back with everything he has. Ephesians 6 reminds us that when we accept Jesus, we are in an ALL OUT BATTLE!
But Jesus is worth it!
Freedom from our sin is worth it!
Walking in step with The Holy Spirit is so worth it!
We are not powerful enough to battle Satan on our own.
There will be days that we try to fight with our on strength, and on those days, we will lose. But if we follow God’s battle plan, He gives us the power to overcome our sin. Let's encourage each other in our battles against our sin! I need your help and I'm here if you need mine.
3. Create meaningful relationships with and love people where they are!
“If you are a sinner, I accept and love you! Do you drink, do you curse, are you gay,
are you _________?”
“Just know - no matter what you struggle with? No matter what sin you may face... we are all sinners saved by grace and we will love you exactly where you are.”
4. Lead others to a life saving relationship with Jesus!
I'm not trying to change you, that's not my job. And I sure don't want to make you like me. That's not my goal. But, I would absolutely love to introduce you to the One who is changing me, for my good and His glory. And I can promise you, if you decide to give up your life to follow Him, you'll want to be just like Him!
In Acts 26 Jesus says, I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
James 5:20 says, whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Be the light!
My encouragement to you today is to love others,
lead them to the truth, just like Jesus did. You CAN do both!
It’s my prayer for each and every one of us that when we do sin, we won’t make light of it, we won’t flaunt it, but that we will encourage each other to turn from it and repent!
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him
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Mommas, my mom was my first mentor. I don't know what your relationship was like with your own mom, but you can, and should, be your child's first mentor!
Growing up I can remember always wanting to make my own decisions. Wanting to figure things out for myself. And wanting to ‘just know’ how to do everything perfectly. As I started having kids that also translated into never feeling right about asking for help. I thought if I asked for help people would think I didn’t know what I was doing, or that I couldn’t handle things on my own. But as I began doing this thing called motherhood there were so many times I really didn’t know what I was doing and I couldn’t do things on my own. I tried! I really did. For a long time I tried.
But God has a way of using our circumstances to show us our great need for Himself, and, in my case, my need for others. So I started opening myself up to help and new ideas. It has been a journey and a process, but the older I get the more desperate I am to learn from godly women who are steps (and years) ahead of me. They have walked with God and learned so much through it. Learning from them is kind of like a cheat sheet!
Titus 2:3-5 tells older women to teach the younger women how to live godly lives. It says to the older women, "Urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."
Here are a few suggestions for finding a good mentor:
Never take a mentor’s advice over the direction God is leading. Godly women are still women which means they are human and they too fall short of perfection. Be honest and let your mentor know where you feel like God is guiding you and ask her to pray about it with you.
You may find one amazing mentor, or you may find a few different ladies who you look up to for a variety of reasons.
I have a few. Some I know to call for parenting advice. Some for help with teaching. Others are great at knowing how to handle difficult situations. And the list goes on! I have been beyond blessed to find many ladies throughout my life who walk with Jesus and are pleased to help me walk with Him, too. I pray that you will find the same.
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him.