Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 2 of “Fan or Follower – Value Life” (LISTEN HERE).
Good morning and a blessed Monday morning to you all!
Before delving into the devotions for the week, I want to ask us all to lift up the people in south Florida, along with all those dealing with the destruction of Hurricane Ian. My wife and I know a few people that rode out the terrible storm in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Lives were spared, but stories of water rising, wind churning and waiting the storm out in darkness were challenging to hear, let alone realize the experience. The Lord has his reasons and the road to recovery will be long physically, emotionally but also spiritually. So I invite us to pray this morning:
Lord, you allow the weather to show the immense power of your might. The winds roar and the seas churn and the waters move at your command. We don’t always understand why, but we know the outcome is for all to acknowledge your strength and power and seek you as Savior and Lord. We ask that this catastrophe of property would be a call to us all to prioritize what is important in life, especially our relationship with you. Use all of us as we are able, to bring aid to those who have lost little or much. Let your people rise up to give witness to your love and grace to all hurting from the hurricane. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
This week our weekly matchup pits Purity vs. Perversion. As we delve into the topics of sex, gender, marriage and honoring God with our bodies, the culture around us pulls us in many different directions. The purpose of this week’s devotions is not to lead any of us to look “out there” and notice all the sin of others, but to most importantly look inside to examine our hearts, repent, and invite the Spirit of God to align and strengthen our connection to our Savior and his Word of truth which gives definition, purpose, and blessing to sex, gender and marriage.
Being a fan allows us to suggest a call or complain about a bad call. When we are on the field playing, we have to be the ones that understand the situation and make the call that brings victory to our team.
Every aspect of life is a spiritual battle that has at the root of it sin lurking in our own hearts and our Savior who desires and orchestrates the influence over our heart to love him and walk with him above all things.
So every teaching he gives is meant for our learning and blessing. This week’s is no different from Matthew 5:27-32:
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
Monday mornings we might need an extra cup of coffee to wake us up. Jesus uses extra hyperbole to wake us up to the importance of this teaching and engaging in the battle against sexual sins. He would rather you lose the parts of your body that cause sin than lose you to the fires of hell. While the sentiment is the same for every sin, his strong words about gouging out an eye or cutting off a hand are not made in regard to stealing or killing, but in regard to sexual sins.
So this is a big deal and important as a follower of Jesus to be prepared for the battle at hand and engage in it with the power and grace the Lord Jesus gives.
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.
Apply: Where is the spiritual battle for you in regard to sexual sins? Ask the Lord for strength to address and overcome.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for making us who we are as male or female, for giving us the gift of sex and providing the institution of marriage in which to enjoy it. Expose the sins of our heart. Heal them with your forgiving love and grace. Empower us to honor you as your followers in all that relates to our gender, sex and marriage. AMEN.