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Tag: go

Restored Sexuality- God’s plan for sex

God’s plan for sex

Written by Joy on 14/06/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Lust, Marriage, Sex, Sin
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

Ephesians 5:10
God created sex to be a beautiful gift. In Genesis 2, God says it was not good for man to be alone so God created the perfect partner, a woman, so they could become one flesh. The chapter closes with the statement, “they were both naked and felt no shame.” Sex creates a unique relationship that involves physical, emotional and mental unity and completion.

If sex is blessed by God, what makes it immoral?

Blessings Lost
When we forget God has authority to set limits, blessings are lost. “Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” (Romans 1:28). Your phone works best when you use it the way it was designed. In the same way, God designed sex to work a certain way. Rejecting His design leads to darkness, confusion, secrecy, shame, and judgement.

Blessed Design
God used His infinite wisdom to design sex in the beginning. God does not need to “evolve.” He does not change his mind based on our opinions. Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation give a very clear picture of the kind of sex that pleases God. “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). God approves of sex when it is between one man and one woman who have made a lifelong commitment to marriage. Jesus confirmed this to be an unchanging truth in Matthew 19.

Are you willing to trust God’s wisdom and love and follow his guidelines?

Blessing Restored
“He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.” (Colossians 1:13-14). We no longer have to sit in the darkness of shame and confusion. Jesus has made us children of light! (Ephesians 5:8-11)

“You cannot say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies…If we belong to Christ our body is not our own but a temple of the Holy Spirit and therefore we should honor God with our body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13, 19-20). Obedience to God’s plan for sex is a choice we make when we want to please God, not ourselves (Colossians 3:1-17). God has given every Christian the Holy Spirit to teach us truth and empower us to obey it.

Are you going to find out what pleases the Lord and choose to live by it?

Pray this week:
Show me, Lord, where I am not pleasing you in my attitudes and actions regarding sex.

Do you really know what Scriptures say about sexual sin? I

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Do You Have to Go to Church?

Let’s find out the true meaning of church.

Written by Joy on 30/11/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community
“Do not give up meeting together as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25

There are church services on television and the Internet. But is it ok to stay at home and watch a church service? Or do we have to go to a physical church building? Let’s find out the true meaning of church.

Church: The Body of Christ
When God talks about the church, he isn’t talking about a physical building. The church is all the people in the world who have put their faith in Jesus, sometimes called the body of Christ.

Christians are instructed to meet together regularly. (Hebrews 10:25) Many Christians go to church buildings (local churches). But if there isn’t a local church near you, don’t worry. You can meet in a house church, a secret meeting place or a public place where you can fellowship. The important thing is to meet with other Christians so you can learn, fellowship, and work together to teach others about God.

Divide and Conquer: Enemy Strategy
It’s not easy to overpower a group of people because there’s strength in numbers. But if you divide them, you can easily conquer. The Bible even talks about the benefits of being with another person instead of being alone. “Two are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

As Christians, we have an enemy who wants to divide us. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8). Satan tries to separate you from other believers because he knows you are weaker when you are alone. When we are in a group, we can support each other, hold each other accountable and pray for each other. Satan will not be able to drag one of us off into the wilderness of unbelief, doubt, or despair.

United in Love: Jesus’ Prayer
Jesus prayed for us to be united. (John 17:9-11). He told us to “Love one another” (John 13:34) and “Encourage one another” (I Thessalonians 5:11). You’ll be able to do all of that and more when you’re united with other believers by meeting together. If you haven’t put your faith in Jesus yet, become a part of the body of Christ today and you can begin meeting with other believers too!

Pray this week:
That God will direct you to a local church where you can belong and how you can be an encouragement to other believers.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Is Online Church Enough?

Online church services are a great resource — make sure they don’t become your only community

Written by GodLife on 04/09/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church, Church And Community, Fellowship, Online Church
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25
Balancing Online and Physical Church 
My husband and I found a great church. This place has excellent, Bible-based teaching, opportunities to serve, with a young, growing membership. The church offers multiple service times and great music. Unfortunately, we ended up moving. “No problem”, we both thought. “We can just go online and watch the services. At least that way we can still get great teaching while we look for a church in our new town.” 

Here’s what we discovered. Finding a church can be hard! Especially when the one you attended before was so great. Some weeks it was easy to say, “let’s just watch online today.” That counts, right? 
No matter where you live, you have to decide what to do about church and community, both online and in-person. The reality today is the online church community has so much to offer and may feel like an easier place to fit in. Many people are a part of multiple communities, online and offline. How do you balance them? Can one substitute for the other? 

The purpose of going to church
Notice I didn’t say “the purpose of church” because ‘church’ is not a physical place. the church is made up of people who follow Jesus. As Christians, we work together as “the church” to share the love of Jesus with others. Acts 2:42 provides some of the reasons for church. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” 

You can do many of the same things online and offline. You can share Jesus’ love, learn about Jesus, and read the Bible. With so many sermons and studies online, it is easy to find just about any material you need to help you grow spiritually. Online church allows you to build community fellowship globally and expand your perspective, while your local church may be limiting your connections to people who are just like you. So why go to a physical church rather than bonding and worshipping only in an online community? Physical touch, serving and gathering are just three reasons.

Physical touch
Britain recently appointed its first ‘minister for loneliness’ acknowledging how isolated many people have become. Part of that isolation is not simply mental loneliness but a lack of connection physically, too. I remember my mom saying several years after my father died that one of the hardest things she faced was not having daily physical contact with anyone — hugging, a touch on the hand, and just close proximity to another person in the room. There were those around Jesus who needed to hear His message in this way because there are people who are best wired to receive communication about love by physical touch. "And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, 'Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.' And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, 'I will; be clean.' And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." (Matthew 8:2–3)

Going to church is a way to physically connect to followers of Jesus and remind ourselves that we are not just mental or spiritual beings but we exist together and have a common purpose. 

Serving in your community
Sure, you can give money through your phone to help others — even those in your neighborhood. The community church makes it more personal. As the church opens its doors in times of disaster or through helping local families with specific needs, Jesus can shine through your face when you participate in service. James 1:27 tells us: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” 

Gathering
We are here to gather with other believers in Christian fellowship, and a smartphone can never completely replace that. The term “church” in Greek (ekklesia) means a called assembly. In ancient times when a city called its people together for a certain purpose, this was always called an ekklesia. My husband and I once had a “Skype dinner” with some friends who had moved away. We just wanted to see their faces and eat together like we did when they lived near us. While it was fun, it wasn’t the same as being together. 

Balancing your online church practices with your physical ones can be a challenge. Both have so much to offer, it can be tempting to replace one for the other. How you use those resources God provided in a balanced way is a decision you have to make. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.” (Ephesians 5:15)

Pray this week:
Father, show me how to serve you. Lead me to more fully be a part of the church in all areas, through worship, teaching, giving, fellowship and prayer.

Do you struggle with balancing your life online and offline? Do you view your community church differently than online church?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member