How can we pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who suffer persecution?
How can we love and engage with homosexuals in a way that reflects Christ?
On this edition of Grace and Truth, Susie and veteran reporter Craig von Buseck tackle these polarizing issues.
Thinking biblically about homosexuality
Susie shares her heart on this topic. “When I see [Christians] shaking their fists at the extremists who are really pushing the homosexual agenda, my heart breaks. Because I know parents, Christian parents, who are heartbroken that their kids have come out as gay. Yes, this isn’t God’s will for them; this is sin. But is [polarizing anger] our only response?”
Craig offers some wonderful counsel. “The truth is, if you ever stole a cookie from someone on the playground, you have committed a sin that is worthy of going to hell. Whether you steal a cookie or whether you indulge in homosexuality, it doesn’t matter which one it is. Both of those are sin and both will keep you from a perfect, holy God… ” Craig points to Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians 6. “What Paul is saying is that if you are habitual and not repenting, then you will keep yourself from the presence of God because you have sin in your life. The good news is that Christ went to the cross. And if we will ask Jesus to be our Lord and give us the grace, He will help us overcome those sins. Then these things start to have less of a hold on our lives, until in many instances, you can become totally free of these things because you fall so much in love with Jesus that you don’t want anything to come between you and Him.”
How do we walk this out in our churches, practically?
Craig says, we’ve forgotten what the gospel is. “The gospel is freedom through Christ, by grace through faith alone. It’s about coming into the presence of God, recognizing that there but for the grace of God go I, and walking in love. Yes, we need to walk in truth. Yes, we need to tell people that any sin, whether it be homosexuality, gluttony, greed or fornication is going to be bad for you. But the free gift of God is His love and His grace. That’s what we need to focus on.”
Thinking biblically about our persecuted brothers and sisters
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim spent several weeks in prison for her faith before being released and reunited with her family. Pastor Saeed Abedini has spent nearly two years in prison in Iran, an America citizen who was jailed and whose wife has worked tirelessy to raise awareness and free him. Craig calls us to remember, we are blessed in this country with time and freedom. We will give an account one day before God for how we used everything we were given. Will we waste time on things that have no eternal value, or will we work to shine the light and pray for our brothers and sisters in other countries?
• Pray for Christians in Iraq
• Pray for Christians in Syria
• Pray for Christians in Lebanon
Craig calls this a dangerous time, but a time when the Holy Spirit is still on the move. Persevere, pray for grace and truth for persecuted Christians, and ask God to bring His Spirit to bear on this situation.
Thinking biblically about the Ebola outbreak
Craig calls us to pray for an American doctor with Samaritan’s Purse who has been infected. “Pray that the doctors have wisdom… Pray that God would be merciful in bringing this to an end.”
Theme Song: Word of God Speak by MercyMe
This program has been previously aired.