3/1: Take the Bitter with the Sweet

 

Exodus 19-20 lists God’s desire for us to be holy because He is holy. We agree that we should help the poor (19: 9), love our neighbor (verses 19:17-18), and respect our elders (19:32). We also agree with the sexual rules of abstaining from adultery (20:10) and incest (20:17). Then why do we poke holes in these two chapters, agreeing with those things but not with the rest? “What’s the ‘rest’?” you might ask? Well, I am afraid you might not like this. Exodus 19:28 tells us not to put tattoo marks on our bodies, and chapter 20 verse 13 forbids homosexuality.

We cannot have it both ways. If it’s right to love our neighbors and abstain from incest, it’s also right to keep our bodies clean of tattoos and reject homosexuality. Either we believe and obey the Bible, or we don’t. Thankfully because of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, our sins are forgiven and the punishment for these deeds are removed thanks to our confession of faith in Christ. But the essence of God’s commandments has not changed.

God’s forgiveness is not a license to continue in whatever practices we want to do, or lifestyles we want to live. God’s forgiveness frees us to be all He wants us to be. It frees us from our past and from our proclivities. Forgiveness frees us to be holy as He is holy. We no longer have to live as we were born: wretched sinners. We can now live as we have been re-born, as the holy ones of God, blessed and highly favored.

When it comes to doing what God says, we must take the bitter with the sweet; what we don’t like with what we like; the hard things with the easy things; the unpopular things with the popular things. Cultivate the attitude that says, “Whether I understand it or not, I am committed to total obedience to God’s Word.”

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©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!

 

~ by sanewriter on February 28, 2013.

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