A few weeks ago I came into my office and I noticed that there was a lamp on and the overhead light was off. I decided that I would keep it that way. It was kind of nice. I soon realized that this was not good for me. There was enough light from the lamp for me to do my job, at least I thought there was. I was able to type on the computer but if I needed to make a phone call I could not see the phone keypad. I realized that I needed to turn on the overhead light. Once there was no more darkness in the room I was able to fully function.
John tells us in 1 John 1:5 that God is the light and in Him there is no darkness. As Christians we cannot have it both ways. We cannot have light and darkness. If we have no light we are walking around in darkness. This means that we are away from God because He has no darkness. If we have dark and light, the darkness can overcome the light. The best possible scenario is to walk with God and let Him illuminate our paths and let Him overcome the darkness in our lives.
Many times Christians say they have fellowship with God but they continue walking in darkness. What do I mean by this? I am simply saying that sometimes Christians get caught up in sin in their lives. We allow Satan to sneak in and that darkness starts to overpower the light. Many times this happens slowly over a period of a long time. We commit one little sin and then we continue in that sin. We become so used to it that we start to justify it. We are just deceiving ourselves.
We have a better way though. God wants us to walk with Him. He wants us to get away from our sins. God has made a way for us to be cleansed from our past. He is a righteous God. If we confess our sins, He will forgive us. God is faithful to us and we should be faithful to Him. We cannot allow the darkness to creep back in.
With all of the fuss over the confederate flag I have noticed one thing. That one thing is division. Some people argue that it is about race. Some people argue that it is about heritage. Some people want it taken down. Some people want it to stay. Look on any social media platform and you see nasty arguments on both sides. People on both sides of the arguments are calling the others uneducated. The true problem is that we have a race issue still in America. We have come a long way in race relations, but sometimes I feel that we are going backwards.
We still have issues with race. Just this week there was a news story in metro Atlanta about the KKK putting out recruiting flyers in a community. The message on the number that was left on the flyer praised the Charleston church shooter. There are many other groups that feel that their race is superior and hate other races. There is no reason that in the year 2015, 51 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed that we should have race issues in America.
When I see issues such as this I always refer to the Bible to see what God has to say. In Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae he addresses some points that apply today. First we see that there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, and freeman. Looking at this, one can see that there is no difference in man because of where one is from. God created man in his image. This means all men. No one race is superior to another. There is no distinction.
Paul goes a little further and gives the church more instruction. He tells them to have a heart of compassion, be kind, show humility, gentleness, and patience. As a church we have to look at what our actions and words say about us and who we are. We must have compassion for our brothers and sisters. If we are displaying something that stirs up emotions of hatred or racism we have to think about why we are doing it. Are we showing compassion for our brothers and sisters if we are displaying it?
Last we come to what I feel is the most important point in this section. That is the unity we have in Christ. Without love for one another we cannot have unity. Love is what brings us together. Jesus tells us that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. There is no greater commandment then this. As long as we have devices that portray hatred we cannot have love and there will be no unity among the races.
Guys have you heard the term do not go to bed angry? These words are as true today as they were two thousand years ago when Paul wrote them to the church of Ephesus. Guys we can learn some valuable lessons from Ephesians 4:26b-27. These lessons will help keep peace in your marriage by reducing the amount of anger in your marriage.
The first lesson is that all anger needs to be dealt with that day. When you let anger build up it causes you to get angrier. When you get angry, your spouse can feel that tension and it can rub off on them. Then your spouse becomes angry. The best thing is to work out an issue before any time lapses.
The next lesson is that when you go to bed angry you do not get a good night sleep. As Americans we are already rushed and a lot of us have a hard time sleeping. We do not need any additional problems. Getting that good night sleep helps us to be refreshed in the morning. Sleep gives you better physical and mental health.
The last lesson is that the longer you let sin fester the more of an opportunity the devil has to tempt you into sinning. When you are angry at someone you are more willing to raise your voice or say something that you do not mean. We should respond to each other with loving words. We cannot let anger or sin control our relationship and marriage.
Things are going to happen in a marriage. There is no doubt that the couple will have a fight. The key is in how you handle the fight. First pray and ask God for guidance and the words to say. Then talk about it and work out a solution. If you have hurt your spouse apologize. If you have been hurt tell the other spouse. Communicate with each other and get it all out so that the problem can be resolved.
After seeing several Facebook posts and tweets about Bruce Jenner I thought I would throw my opinion in.
From a worldly view this has become something that is truly acceptable. Our society has become accepting of things that go against the word of God. We think it is ok. If we struggle with an issue we find a temporary solution to the problem. From Jenner “I’m so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.” The sad part is this cannot take away his pain. It may for a little while, but he will still struggle with this issue.
From the Christian perspective we need to look at several things. The first is that God is clear on this issue. 5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God. Deuteronomy 22:5. Looking at the outside Bruce is now a woman, but no matter what surgery you have he is still the same on the inside. Male chromosomes are XY and female chromosomes are XX. This does not change with surgery.
As a Christian we are too love our neighbours. One way that we can love those that sin is too pray for them. We have to pray that they turn from their sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10.
One thing that we cannot do is bad mouth them or call them names. When you make fun of someone who is in sin two things occur. It makes you as a Christian look like a hypocrite. Jesus never called someone a name or talked about them. He said go and sin no more. It will hurt your witness because people will not see Christ through you. The second is that the people will not be convicted of their sin. It is not our place to convict people. This is the job of the Holy Spirit.