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Tag: praise

Do Not Commit Sexual Assault Or Harass Others

A woman is made in God’s image and her body is meant for His glory.

Written by Hope on 06/12/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Sex, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Temptation, Self Control
Tell the young men to have self-control in everything.

Titus 2:6
A woman is made in God’s image. Her body is meant to bring Him glory, not to become a source of ungodly lust.

God is working His unique plan in her life. Your life as a Christian man should exhibit the “self-controlled” fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23), not the immoral ways of the flesh (Galatians 5:19). Even if you see her walking alone, even if she is wearing something provocative, even if she is sexually forward with you, resist temptations to be immoral in thought or deed. God has promised that He “will show you how to escape from your temptations” (I Corinthians 10:13). And He asks that you “offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing” (Romans 12:1).

God Commands Self-Control
In some societies, women are not permitted to leave their homes without a male relative. In others, women are blamed after being attacked by men, sometimes for wearing clothing that is ‘too provocative,’ or not trusted when they come forward with a story of sexual assault.

God’s Word says this is wrong! It is shameful for a man to brag about attacking or harassing women, and it is shameful to a community when such men go without facing consequences. Instead, God instructs His people repeatedly to behave with “self-control” (I Corinthians 7, I Timothy 3:2). Nowhere is it more difficult to have self-control than in the face of sexual temptation.

When Faced With Temptation To Torment
If you have the opportunity to take advantage of someone sexually, DON’T! Here are some ideas for avoiding temptation to commit sexual assault:

It is natural to recognise human beauty in a woman, and you can praise God for His work, without comment to the woman or to other men. Be truthful with yourself; if you feel lustful, acknowledge that sin before God and repent.
If you are often overcome with lust, discuss this with your pastor or another male friend who can help you move your focus to God.
When a woman is in public alone and it is appropriate to speak with her, limit yourself to a polite greeting. If you feel tempted to harass or sexually assault her, let God guide you to turn your attention elsewhere! If other men torment her, you can defend her, as appropriate; remember, “God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control” (II Timothy 1:7), and “if you don’t do what you know is right, you have sinned” (James 4:17).
Simply put, treat every woman as respectfully you’d want a sister treated. Think of her as beloved by God: He has invested His image in her. His Son died for her sins, just as He did for yours. Your good behaviour will help “your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Maybe you know someone who has experienced sexual assault? Maybe you have been the victim yourself? It happens more often in some cultures than others. Be aware of the need to show grace to those who have been harmed and correction for those attitudes which allow abuse to continue.

Pray this week:
That God will embolden you to turn away from sexual temptation and to treat others respectfully.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Why Do I Have to Go to Church?

s it enough to just follow Jesus?

Written by GodLife on 02/05/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church, Membership, Gifts, Baptism, Fellowship
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Did God give us a list of steps we must take before we can go on to maturity? In a way, yes! An interesting Bible passage warns us not to get stuck in our growth, but to move on to maturity. In doing this, it actually gives us seven “basic things” mature believers need to understand clearly. It begins with our personal relationship with God. It moves to our earthly identification with God’s people. And it ends with the ultimate heavenly destiny of all God’s people.

Are you ready for a tour? Turn to Hebrews 6 and follow carefully along.

Just You and God
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God…” (Hebrews 6:1)

Every follower of Jesus needs to clearly know Who He is. He’s “the only Son, who is truly God” (John 1:18). He loves us so much that He left heaven to live under His own Law. He was tempted in every way, but He remained perfect and sinless. He suffered rejection, mockery and a cruel execution to take the punishment our sins deserve. He said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) when He died, and His resurrection proved it was true.

For this “once for all” sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10-14) to work for me, I had to realize all I ever did only increased my guilt. My works were “deeds that bring death.” If there were any other way for me to escape hell, “it was useless for Christ to die” (Galatians 2:21). Believe this, pray humbly to receive Him, and trust that He’s able to save you forever, and you become a child of God (Hebrews 7:25; John 6:37).

You and the “local church” — the people of God near you
“And we shouldn’t need to keep teaching about baptisms or about the laying on of hands…” Hebrews 6:2a

As the passage implies, God did not save you simply so that you could enjoy eternal life. As His child, you’re part of a family with a mission. Not to keep teaching already-saved people the same things over and over, but to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19) But until a new believer has been baptized, he or she needs to be taught.

Water baptism is a public ceremony identifying you with Jesus and the other “called-out” people of God (that’s what “church” means). In order to do this, you have to have fellowship with other Christians, even if it’s only with one or two other people who follow Jesus. “Laying on of hands” takes it a step farther — this means publicly choosing and sending someone out for service. God empowers each believer “so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong” (Ephesians 4:12).

You and the “universal church” — the whole family in heaven and earth (Ephesians 3:15)
Finally, the passage ends with two more important points: “…the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” (Hebrews 6:2b).

When Jesus returns, there will be a resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58). Believers who have died will be raised and united with those still living on earth. This is so that, in heaven, the work of the entire Church can be judged at once by Him (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5), and He can “show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7).

In this lesson, it’s easy to see that we’re not meant to live the Christian life alone. You might be able to think of exceptions: missionaries who travel to places where there is no church. Isolated believers in countries where Christians are persecuted. Those whose family members do not allow them to attend. But these are the special cases, because those who are denied church fellowship are the very ones who want it most! Christian children whose parents do not take them to church long to know what it is like. Isolated believers do their best to meet in secret or find a substitute, like broadcast or online services. Remote missionaries are going for the very purpose of establishing a church.

As Hebrews 6:1-2 shows us, there really is no way to move on to Christian maturity, to serve in the role for which God has called and empowered you, to accomplish the deeds for which He deserves praise in heaven, without being a part of an assembly of believers.

Pray this week:
Father, will you teach me everything I need to know about being a member of the Body of Christ?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member