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Archive for June 16th, 2022

Normalized Immorality

MEDITATION:

Written by Jim Denison, a contemporary author, speaker and CEO of Denison Ministries. This is an excerpt from his article “How Should Christians Respond to the Escalating Normalization of Immorality in Our Society.”

People living in first-century Corinth would not have been shocked by today’s conversation [about morality]. To the contrary, their standards were so low that to “corinthianize” meant to commit acts of unspeakable immorality. One might therefore assume that a Christian who urged Corinthians to “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18) would avoid even entering their city. In reality, Paul spent eighteen months there, a longer stay than is recorded for any other city except Ephesus. From his example and experience in Corinth we can identify three principles.  One, go where people need what you have to give. When Jesus went to “those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,” the result was that “on them a light has dawned.” The darker the room, the more urgent the light. Pray daily for the wisdom to know the “room” into which you are called. Two, go where people are responding to God’s word. When the Jews in Corinth rejected Paul’s message, he turned to the Gentiles. As a result, “many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.” Pray daily for the Spirit’s leading as you go where you can make the greatest difference. Three, trust the protection and provision of God. After God promised Paul that “no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people,” he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. But when persecution increased, he took leave and set sail for Syria. Pray daily for the wisdom to balance trust and presumption, staying faithful to the last word you heard from God and open to the next.  Our culture is normalizing immorality on a level unprecedented in American history. As a result, followers of Jesus need to become cultural missionaries on a level of transformative urgency and significance. But we must recognize sin as sin and refuse the allure of the popular or we will lose our credibility and betray our Lord. When one of our sons graduated from high school, his commencement speaker made an observation that has stayed with me over the years. He noted the surest way to tell a live fish from a dead one: the live fish swims upstream, while the dead fish floats with the river. Which will you be today?

PRAYER:

Written by Billy Graham (1918-2018) American Christian evangelist.

Our Father and Our God, we praise you for Your goodness to our nation, giving us blessings far beyond what we deserve. Yet we know all is not right with America. We deeply need a moral and spiritual renewal to help us meet the many problems we face. Convict us of sin. Help us to turn to You in repentance and faith. Set our feet on the path of Your righteousness and peace. We pray today for our nation’s leaders. Give them the wisdom to know what is right, and the courage to do it. You have said, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” May this be a new era for America, as we humble ourselves and acknowledge You alone as our Savior and Lord. This we pray in your holy name. Amen.

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