Episode 53 of the Say That podcast is up!
What can you learn from a relationship that doesn’t work out? How do you set boundaries with your parents? What’s the deal with tithing?
I struggle a lot with homosexual feelings. I know it’s not right, and I’ve tried so hard to stop it, change, and all that by trying to find joy and contentment in Christ and His Word. And there are times when the feelings do go away, but then after a while, it just comes back again. I don’t know what to do anymore; all I’ve been doing is continuously praying and trying to find contentment in Him, and waiting on His timing. But it’s hard… Any advice?
With any struggle, it is important to identify what victory would actually look like. If you define victory as never being tempted to sin, then you can never win. Jesus was tempted, so doing Christianity better than Him is not a goal that is going to lead to happiness.
I don’t think you are giving yourself enough credit for how well you are doing. From what you wrote, it seems like your situation is: you have a struggle and you are resisting it day by day by clinging to Jesus and His word. That is about as well as you can deal with a major temptation. There are going to be days where you do better than others, but that is okay.
If your temptation drives you to the hem of Jesus’s cloak, you are beating the devil at his own game. Disaster strikes when you convince yourself that you are not doing enough and God probably hates you for not being good enough so you may as well give up.
If you heap so much guilt on yourself when you are actually doing well in the fight, it saps your desire to keep fighting. If you are going to have all the guilt, you might as well not put forth the effort right? But by knowing what victory is, and celebrating when you are achieving it, you give yourself the proper perspective to keep going.
You will never reach a level of holiness where you are never tempted by sin. That is the whole thing about sin, it is tempting. If it wasn’t appealing, it wouldn’t be sin. You can reach, and you sound like you are there or getting there, a point where your will to follow Jesus is stronger than those temptations. And if you backslide, there is another chance to get it right tomorrow. That is victory, and it should be recognized as such.
-Matt from The Bridge
This is a short seven minute sermon preached at The Bridge, a ministry in Chicago that serves ex-convicts, gang members, and those recovering from addiction.
I also had the privilege to see firsthand the awesome work of The Bridge in bringing the broken to Jesus and restoring lives a step at a time. It’s truly a least-of-these ministry and God is doing incredible things there.
I absolutely believe in what they’re doing for the inner-city and you can support their ministry for only $8 a month (that’s like two drinks from Starbucks). In exchange you get free songs, sermons, and Bible study materials that have been effective in their ministry.
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As you grow and develop in your walk with the Lord, that sense of recognizing His voice- the ring of truth that something of Jesus has- will only get stronger. You will be able to hear something and go ‘Ah, I know who this is coming from.’ That is one of the coolest things about growing in intimacy with God.
Unka Glen Fitzjerrell on episode 52 of the Say That podcast.
If you are involved in ministry, we are looking for your help. We want to send you a free Bridge Box in exchange for a little feedback on how it might help you in your ministry.
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-volunteering at church
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What does it mean to glorify God? Is it possible to do the opposite, like say, shame God?
A synonym for glory, in the way it is often used in the Bible, is to honor. So the idea of glorifying God is doing something that honors who He is and what He has done for you.
That may seem like a daunting task, but the Bible clearly lays out ways you can glorify God, and it is simpler than you may think. It is as simple as acknowledging that God is God (Romans 1:21), being generous (2 Corinthians 9:13), serving in God’s strength (1 Peter 4:11). In fact according to 1 Corinthians 10:31, whatever you do can be done to the glory of God.
Hebrews 2:11 says “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” So if Jesus chooses you and is at work in you, I don’t think He is ever ashamed of you. That said, I think it is possible to behave in a way that doesn’t necessarily bring him glory or honor.
If honoring God is about living a life that reflects who He is and what He has done for you, then not doing that is whatever doesn’t do that. That could include going on and on about who God hates (which invariably is whoever the person saying it hates, funny how that works), living a life shackled by guilt and fear that Christ died to free you from, or just generally acting like a jerk instead of being kind.
Glorifying God is simpler than it seems. Remember the mercy and love you have been shown, and act like it.
-Matt from The Bridge
The Bible is not filled with photoshop retouched, glossy people. These are people who struggled with their faith. You need to know that Jesus welcomes all doubts, all questions, all kinds of confusion.
Special guest Joon Park on episode 52 of the Say That podcast.