Thursday, August 01, 2013


Stove Tops
Stove Tops (Photo credit: Photolifer)
NO-NO! HOT! DON’T TOUCH THAT! These are words that most parent spew forth just has their toddler is heading toward the open oven door, or the wood-burner fireplace in the den. I am sure that the first time I used them with each of my children they didn’t have the slightest idea of what “HOT!” meant, but their startle-reflex kicked in and out of fear and dread they hopefully stopped dead in their tracks, or maybe even came running to me.

Was I mad? No. Did I desire to put the fear of God in them? Yes. Ultimately, it was not about fearing the stove, or the fireplace, but coming to the understanding that these things could seriously hurt you if you touched their hot surfaces. My parental reflex was for their safety and for their good, even if I did scare them.  Better being a little scared of dad at that point then suffering terrible burns on little hands.

This month we are going to be dealing with some HOT TOPICS. We’re going to take a look at what God’s Word has to say about human sexuality, especially as it relates to the recent uptick in our culture’s increasing acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. We are also going to be taking a look at what God’s Word has to teach us about the sanctity of human life, the power of addictions and how is the church to respond when it comes face to face with cultural mores that go contrary to the Word of God.

Much like the parent seeking to save their child from the pain of getting burned, we need to hear clearly how to deal with those areas of our culture that can burn us, let’s call that sin, for lack of a more direct term. Yet, we must also know how to deal with those areas in such a way so that we can put our interaction with these hot topics to positive use, just like learning how to deal with a hot stove so that we will not get burned.

It also needs to be said, that though there are some truly hot topics burning in our culture today, the heat of sin can be found all around us. Just like the frog in the kettle if you drop him into boiling water he’s likely to jump right out. But put him in cool water and slowly turn up the heat and the frog is no less the wiser. He gets used to the heat and soon enough it’s frog legs for dinner.

What is true for the frog is sadly true for the church. Oh, were quick, for the most part, to jump away from the “hot” sins, but we have dangerously become accustomed to the “acceptable” sins, like greed, pride, gossip and slander. I suppose we should deal with these sins as well, for the Word of God makes no differentiation between acceptable and unacceptable sin. It’s all sin. It’s all hot. It all burns and causes pain.

Let us also be clear about this, that though we are going to hear God’s Word about these hot points in our culture, we are also going to be learning from God’s Word about how we, as ambassadors of Christ, are to respond to those already burned, even deeply scarred by these sins. Our responsibility as those seeking to follow Jesus as Lord and God also includes bringing forth the message of forgiveness, reconciliation, healing and freedom.

As Jesus dealt with the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), so we must learn to help those who have been burned by the fire of sin. To learn how to not condemn and to bring them to Jesus, and to help people on the road to healing. Not always an easy, or welcomed task, but to which we are called.

I hope you will pray for me and with me as we address these hot topics and as we seek to provide the cooling waters of service to our community. Bringing a cup of cool water in the Name of the Savior, Jesus, the risen Lord. Praying that in all we learn and in all we profess and in all we do, we declare the grace and love of our God, and to do all in the Name of Jesus, for the glory of God.
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