“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
I find it increasingly hard to live in this world.
In my lifetime, I have seen the changing of definitions of institutions that have previously stood the test of thousands and thousands of years.
For example: the institution of marriage. Until just a couple of years ago, it was defined as “one man and one woman in a lifelong union.”
This was the definition of marriage given by God in the very beginning!
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Two thousand years ago, the writer to the Hebrews confirms God’s definition of marriage and encourages us to “let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4).
But not anymore. Marriage can be defined by the government, and accepted by the governed, as to be just about anything they want it to be.
But instead of wallowing in misery and longing for the “days that used to be” it is time for me to look ahead and to encourage and engage the culture I am in!
I need to start with love. While I am tempted to beat down and beat up those who are forcefully, maliciously, and – yes – falsely trying to change God’s definition and will for his creation, instead I will take God’s tact and path.
“So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood” (Hebrews 13:12).
Jesus Christ – the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity – was incarnated in the Virgin Mary. He was born in order to take on the sins of all people. In love Jesus lived a perfect life in order to give us righteousness in exchange for our sins!
Even though our culture today is changing definitions to fit their own will and desires, the TRUTH is that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
He still loves. He still saves. And he calls us to love and proclaim salvation to everyone around us.
But I’m afraid.
I’m afraid to tell others this truth. I’m afraid to love others like Jesus loves them.
After all, look what his own culture did to him two thousand years ago! And it appears things have gotten much, much worse today!
I’m afraid that people will hate me for loving them. Even though I tell them the truth in love that the cultural definitions of the world are wrong (when they contradict God’s Word), I’m afraid they won’t be happy with me.
I’m afraid I’m going to make people mad. I’m afraid that in doing this, those in authority will take away the things I like and the people I love.
These are very real fears!
While the writer to the Hebrews can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”, I’m not so confident.
But I will also say it. I will also – by the power of the Holy Spirit – believe it.
And I will go to Jesus “outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured” (Hebrews 13:13), meaning I will engage my culture and love them and tell them the truth because I love them.
Almighty and most merciful God, in this earthly life I am afraid of enduring sufferings and death. I know I will enter eternal glory one day, but in the meantime, give me grace at all times so that I can subject myself to your holy will and to continue steadfast in the true faith to the end of my life. Give me courage to share the love and message of Christ with all around me so that they also may know the peace and joy of the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
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