My Grace-Full Life

8.3.20 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Love Doesn’t Pander

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. (1 Corinthians 3:13 ESV)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• A few years ago, my son gave me a “Mama Bear” necklace, a nickname he occasionally calls me… especially when he’s in an extra good mood, or he’s trying to butter me up for a favor, haha! He knows calling me “Mama Bear” turns me into a puddle. 

I recently had the necklace cut down to a bracelet so I can wear it all the time (Charlie didn’t mind). I couldn’t wear it as a necklace because I always wear my grandmother’s necklace, and unfortunately, I don’t have the talent to wear more than two necklaces at a time. I don’t know how some women do it… Within 30 minutes of wearing two necklaces, I have a knotted mess that resembles the ball of lights Rusty had to untangle in “Christmas Vacation.”

Anyway, I digress… my necklace-turned-bracelet is greatly loved and is one of the sweetest gifts Charlie has ever given me. However, I’ve recently noticed something about it… When I’m cooking, this thing can really burn me if I’m not careful. The plate on which “Mama Bear” is engraved gets unbelievably hot against my wrist. But I don’t notice the heat of the metal until I pull my hand away from the burner.

As I was making supper last night, adjusting the bracelet as it heated up against my skin, I thought of how our Christian community is in a similar situation. We are living in a culture of compromise when it comes to our Christian values. And with every compromise, we risk hurting our faith and testimony.

Let’s be clear. The Bible says God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). Pleasing Him and following His will takes precedent over everything else! And just because something is legal and just because people demand it doesn’t make it right. God’s Word will always have final say.

When we compromise to culture over what the Bible says, we have polluted the Gospel. And we will answer for it. Personally, I’d rather be hated in this life for staying true to God’s Word than have to later explain to Him why I didn’t.

That’s not to say that we should be unloving towards those who live differently or make different choices. But it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between loving someone and agreeing with them. Let me say that one more time in case anyone missed it: there’s a difference between loving someone and agreeing with them. And incredible as this may sound to some—it’s entirely possible to love someone and disagree with their choices.

Shocking revelation, right?!?

The world has told us that if we disagree with someone, we must hate them. And what’s sad—we’ve bought into that! We’re so desperate to be loving, that we end up pandering. We end up comprising. We’re supposed to be loving people to Jesus despite their sins—because He loves us despite ours! We’re not supposed to love them to the point of excusing away their sin! Because that’s not love! They have to answer to God, not to us! Everyone needs to understand that.

Let’s look at Jesus and the adulterous woman. Found in John 7:53-8:11, this passage includes the accusation of a woman caught in the act of adultery. To summarize, the Pharisees were ready to stone her when Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). They dropped their stones and turned to leave. When they were all gone, Jesus wrapped up the moment by telling the adulterous woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” (John 8:11). 

Some may be quick to point out, “Jesus loved her and didn’t condemn her.” Those people are right. That’s exactly what He said. But He also said, “sin no more.” He loved her enough to tell her to turn away from her sin. He never denied her guilt, but pointed her in the right direction with His love and grace!

Friends, the fire is getting hot. We have to be aware that our Christian values cannot be sacrificed on the altar of cultural compromise. Let’s wrap this up by reading 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. This passage says, “Each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”

The way we react to cultural pressure—choosing the world over God’s Word—is an action on our part. It is a work that will be examined. While I love that this passage emphasizes that we can’t lose our salvation, even when we don’t always act/do as we should, I can’t help but wonder how many won’t come to salvation because we’ve compromised what Christianity means.

Today, as you pray, thank God for His salvation. Thank Jesus for showing us how to love, but also how to love without endorsing sin. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you focus on God’s will, even when the world wants to re-write what God has predetermined is right and what is wrong. Ask Him to help you endure the heat and remember your priorities—to love God first, and to love others second (Matthew 22:36-40).

SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.

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