August 19, 2004
Encouragement for Today

The Alternative Lifestyle, Part II
Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Speaker Team Member

Key Verse:

But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:2, (The Open Bible)


Devotion:

The alternative lifestyle is becoming widely accepted. "Fee love" that was birthed in the 60's is even stronger today by the support of "tolerance" for all lifestyles. The enemy has taken these words and twisted their meanings.

God is love. The Lord God created love to be given away, received and shared among all people whether they are red, yellow, black or white. However, this love is not a physical love, but a spiritual love where we care for one another's burdens as our own. God is no respecter of persons. God cares for the rich, the poor, the smart, and the disabled. "But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners God died for us" (Romans 5:8). That's tolerance - to love and accept our enemy. While we are instructed to love our enemy, we are in no way to condone their sin. Tolerance loves the person enough to confront their sin - not accept it.

God desires us to use our sexuality within the boundaries He has set; which is one partner, one bed, and one marriage. Is God trying to cheat us? No. He is protecting us from the consequences of immoral sin. Obedience to God's Word is not binding. It is just the opposite. Obedience brings freedom. Freedom is not doing what you want with whom you want, but the power to do what you should.

Yesterday, we discussed the dangers of premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality. These acts bring about pain for all involved once a relationship has ended, a child has been born, or a family has divided. While having more than one partner can also result in disease - some of which are life threatening, homosexuality is an unnatural function that leads to a depraved mind. While these consequences are bad enough, those who do not repent and turn from their ways will live separated from God for all eternity.

Oh friend, your sexuality is a gift from God to be used the way He intended. Living within the boundaries of God's Word brings about joy and life instead of pain and regret. I have often explained it this way to my children, teenagers, and those tangled in a web of deception.

It's your birthday. You have long desired a brand new, shiny, state of the art stereo system. Someone who loves you has offered to buy this gift for you. The anticipation and excitement grows. You make all the plans and preparations for your party. The guests arrive to share in your special day. You enjoy receiving all the gifts, but the ultimate present is all you can think of. The time has come! The gift is brought to you and suddenly, you feel disappointed at the sight of it. It's not what you expected. The package is crumpled and torn. There is a glob of tape on the top where the bow had once been. You try not to appear let down as you tear off the tattered paper. The box is smashed and dented. Worse, inside the stereo system that you longed and waited for is scratched, broken, and used. You feel cheated. You can't help but wonder, "Didn't they care enough to give me the very best?"

When you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with in matrimony, you don't want to give them a used gift. Keep yours wrapped until it's time to give it away. If you have already given your gift away, there is still hope, dear one. It's not too late. It never is with God. Stop, repent, and wait. God can restore you and make all things new.

The world's view may be to accept "alternative lifestyles," but God's Word simply calls it sin. You'll never be as close to God as you could be while living in sin. Yet, if you stay close to God, you won't desire to live in sin.  Obedience to God's plan for marriage will enable you to discover the beauty of your sexuality; given and received the way God intended.


My Prayer for Today:

Dear God, I desire to live according to your Word. Forgive me for failing in this area of my life. Restore me and draw me close to You. Help me be a voice and an example to others who are living the alternative lifestyle so that they may be set free, too. In Jesus' name.  Amen.


Application Steps:

Commit to obey God's laws by refraining from sex outside of marriage. Tell God you are sorry, and then wait. Even if you're planning a wedding and have already had sexual relations - wait. God will honor you and restore your relationship with Him.


Reflections Points:

Hearing the truth, what do you need to change in order to walk in obedience to God's Word?

Hearing the truth, how can you be an example to others who believe the lie?


Power Verses:

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, (Galatians 5:19, NLT).

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people (Ephesians 5:3, NLT).

Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of them, Christ and his true way will be slandered (2 Peter 2:2, NLT).

But at the same time, God rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a good man who was sick of all the immorality and wickedness around him (2 Peter 2:7, NLT).

Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands (Deuteronomy 7:9, NLT)


Additional Resources:

Learning to Life Right from Women Who Lived Wrong, Tapes by Mary Southerland
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/liverightset.html

Capture His Heart/Capture Her Heart, book by Lysa Terkeurst
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/capturehis.html
A Woman after God's Own Heart, book by Elizabeth George
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/womanafter.html