Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 3 of “Fan or Follower – Practice Purity” (LISTEN HERE).
1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
While I used this passage earlier in the week, I would like to finish with it.
When engaging in issues of gender, sex and marriage, remember who you are and whose you are.
You are a loved child of God.
Often times issues of gender and sex are sparked by a desire to be loved and accepted by others or even able to accept yourself. While I don’t remember the details, I remember the gist of a comment made by an individual who spent years in the homosexual community and now has left that life style and is honoring the Lord with his life.
He indicated that many of the men he ran into were traumitized sexually as kids/youth and simply looking for love and acceptance.
I have heard this more than once in regard to many in the LGBTQIA+ community. Some sexual trama has led them to find their identity, worth and significance in another identity or partnership.
On the one hand, who can blame them. The soul, the human spirit yearns to be loved and accepted and have value and worth.
The solution is shallow when we look outside the framework of God’s love and grace. So the Lord invites us to seek our identity in him as a dearly loved child of God.
Some may use this line of thinking as an excuse, “God wants me to be happy.” Yes, but the ultimate happiness is found when we simply trust we are fearfully and wonderfully made…as we are, not as we wish we could be. Happiness is found when we rest our identity in the blood of Christ, not in changing who we are or in who and how others accept us.
You are a precious soul who belongs to God.
You have ultimate value as you were made and created. The proof of this was the arms of Jesus outstretched on the cross for you. He redeemed you, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. (Luther’s explanation to the 2nd Article of the Apostles’ Creed)
I know these issues can get complicated, but Paul grounds us in our thinking and understanding to realize that we don’t need to change genders to be loved and accepted or find our true self, we need to find love, acceptance and our true self in our Savior and the Spirit of God who dwells in us. We don’t need to give our bodies to buy a friend or satisfy a sexual craving or prove to someone our beauty and worth. We give our lives to the Lord who will never leave us or forsake us, will always love us and always be there for us. And when the time is right or as we have been blessed with a spouse, we can thank God for the gift of a spouse willing to commit their lives to us.
Gender, sex and marriage are a gift of God and, as with any blessing, God desires to give you the ultimate happiness and joy through his design for them.
Apply: What happens when you find your identity and value in the Lord?
Prayer: Lord thank you for giving of yourself to purchase us. You prove to us our value. Thank you Spirit of God for taking up residence in our heart. You give our life meaning. Thank you Father for calling me your child. You give me my identity. AMEN.