Keeping of Commandments

John 14:15, ““If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

There are rules in place for a reason.  Rules are made so that people know what is allowed and what is not.  Rules are in place so that society is governed properly.  The Bible is all about keeping of commandments.

Jesus put out four little words, “if you love me.”  Jesus knows our hearts.  He knows our minds.  He already knows who loves Him and who do not.  This is not really a question of “if.”  This love is not a brotherly love but that of a beloved love.  Someone that loves wholeheartedly.  Jesus does love us; this cannot be questioned.  Jesus went to the cross for us.  Jesus died for us.  Jesus made a way for us.  There is no question to the amount of love Jesus has for us.  The question is, “how much love do we have for Jesus?”  Since He did so much, how much are we willing to do for Jesus?

Jesus asks us one simple, yet profound thing.  “Keep my commandments.”  Three words but so much in them.  All the commandments that are told to us in the Bible are important.  Love one another.  No other gods before God.  No envy.  No stealing.  All important.  We need to show a commitment to Jesus.  Not that this will save us, because it won’t.  Not that it will buy us more points in Heaven; it will not.  We should do this because Jesus wants us to.  We should love Him so much that there is never a question of whether to follow Him or not.  We should keep His words.

Sadly, we fail at this.  We fail because we are not perfect.  We sin.  We make mistakes.  We are not consistent like Jesus is consistent.  The wonderful thing is, Jesus knows this.  We are God’s creation.  We need to know that when we try to follow Jesus, we are on the right path.  If we fall off that path, we need to correct ourselves and get back on the right path.  Jesus is there to help us if we will only ask.  He will help us to follow Him.  He is not asking the impossible; He is asking the “ourpossible.”  He wants our very best and when we fall short, He is there to pick us up and dust us off.  Keeping of commandments is not a trap set by God; they are guidelines on how to follow God.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for all that You do for us.  We love You and need You.  You are there for us even when we do not feel You there.  Help us to do our best to follow You.  Salvation is not earned but that does not give us a free pass to do what we want when we want.  Help us to defeat our awful addictions that come between You and us.  Help us to live for You more fully.  You are an awesome God and worthy of our love and praise.  We owe everything to You and we humbly pray that You bless us as You say You will.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

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No Short-cuts or Cheat Codes

John 10:1, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

In many video games that are played, there are such a thing as a cheat codes.  It makes you invincible, gives you cool weapons, or advances you to new levels in the game.  The fact is that these codes help you in ways that the game is not intended to be played.  There is no earning of a win in this case.  The win is tainted by the need to have something that you would not otherwise have in the game.  The same is true in life.  We need to earn what we have; no short-cuts or cheat codes.

“Most assuredly” comes from the same Greek word that we get amen.  It is a firm assurance that what is about to be said is absolutely, positively, 100 percent true.  Jesus used this term to show His followers (and us) that He was serious.  His words were true and He had no reason to lie.  Nothing to gain from lying.

Jesus said His words for a reason.  He did not waste breath on words that were meaningless like we do.  His teachings were meant to help us.  His words were meant to resonate at the highest level and in as many ears as possible.  Jesus’ words were true all the time because He is God.  He does not have the ability to lie because He is perfect.  His perfect means that He cannot sin.

Entering the sheepfold through by the door.  In those times, and even today, doors are used to bring in animals (and people).  A door was created in a wall to have the animal come in and be in the pasture again.  It was for protection.  If the sheep or other animal were to try to bypass the door, the person in charge would guide them through the door so that the animal did not hurt itself.  The same is true for humans.  In our homes, we have doors.  We enter through them because it is easier than a window.  The door is a larger opening that can be walked through, rather than climbed through.  It is also able to be closed to keep others out.

There are those that try to climb up some other way.  They do not want to use the door.  They do not want to because they are up to something.  They are trying to cheat the otherwise perfect system of using a door.  They do not care about the risk.  They do not care what happens next.  They simply want in by any means necessary.

The same is the thief and a robber.  The use of two words that seemingly are the same thing is not a mistake in this verse.  Thief in the Greek is κλέπτης (kleptēs) from which we get “klepto” and kleptomania.”  Kleptomania is the stealing without wanting to gain anything financially.  Robber comes from th Greek word λῃστής (lēstēs), which means to plunder.  This is referring to taking for financial gain.  So Jesus was saying that people who are taking for financial gain or not are the same.  They both are trying to get away with something that they are not allowed to have or not earned.

There is a certain way to do certain things.  One of those things is salvation in getting to Heaven.  There is no way to bypass the way to go and yet, so many try.  So many try to do good things or find another savior, when Jesus is the only One.  There is one “sheepfold door” to Heaven.  It is through Jesus.  Anyone else is trying to be a thief or robber and take what is not theirs.  They have no right to it.  There is no “cheat code” for Heaven.  There is no “short-cut.”  There is only Jesus who get us to God.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the lessons that You provide us.  We must work to have a relationship with You.  We cannot work for our salvation as it is given freely, but this does not mean that we can just get saved and then stop trying.  We love You and we should never stop trying to be with You.  Your Son has done everything for us.  We need to be willing to trust You in all things.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

What Happens After We Die?

Luke 23:43, “And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’”

A few weeks ago, someone wrote to me and said, “I would like to know what the Bible says about what happens when we die? Do we go to heaven or do we remain in the ground until the second coming?”  I have prayed about this and this is what God wanted me to share.  There are so many questions to ask but this is a pertinent one: what happens after we die?

When Jesus was on the cross, hanging and dying, there was two other men hanging there with Him.  The one man was defiant to Jesus and mocked Him like the crowd was doing, but the other did not.  The other man wanted to get to know Jesus.  That is why Jesus said what He said in verse 43.  Jesus told him that “today” he would be with Him in Paradise.  Jesus knew the hour that they would all die and knew what would happen before it did.  We can trust Jesus because He is truth.

What is Paradise?  Paradise in the Greek language is παράδεισος parádeisos, par-ad’-i-sos meaning a park, i.e. (specially), an Eden (place of future happiness).  I believe that Jesus was referring to Heaven, the place of perfect righteousness where God lives.  There are many schools of thought if this is the true Heaven or another place prior to Heaven.  In my studying, I have not found anything to state that when we die, we go to another place other than Heaven.  Those that follow God go to Heaven.  Those that do not travel to Hell.  Hell is for those that do not believe in God and is the only place for someone like that to go, despite how else they lived their life.  No Jesus in their heart, no access to God.

What is “today?”  Jesus said “today.”  That is specific.  The very moment that we die, we go to be with God.  There is no waiting period, according to Jesus.  He did not tell the man on the cross next to him that he would have to wait several days; He said “today.”  At the moment of death, I believe that the spirit of the person leaves and the body remains.  Our bodies, after all, are just shells for our spirit and soul to be in.  A construct of what God made that was made sinful by man.  It falls apart and needs to be left so that we may receive a new body, one that is not going to fall apart and wither.

Regardless of what happens when we die, we need to focus on the present time.  Our present time should be spent in the Word, praying and praising ad worshipping God.  If we are in fellowship with God continually, we will not have to worry about when we die.  We will know where we are going.  We will be going home to Heaven with God.  What a glorious day that will be!  To see Heaven and God.  Words cannot describe what it will be like.  What happens after we die will pale in comparison to what we will do with God in Heaven.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for salvation.  We do not have all the answers and that is fine.  We trust You and we know that when we leave this Earth, we can be with You in Heaven.  Even if we have to wait, we will wait for You.  Heaven is there for those that follow You and we will follow You so that we can be with You.  You are all we want; You are all that we need.  Help us to never stop loving You and following You.  You are all we need.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

 

No Divisions Among You

1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Division in mathematics is the act of splitting numbers into equal parts.  According to Merriam-Webster, division is defined as something that divides, separates, or marks off.  In the United States, there is a lot of division going on.  There are those that favor the President and those that do not.  Those that are in support of certain laws and those that are opposed.  That is what makes this country what it is.  Division in a church; however, is bad.  Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States quoted the Bible in a famous speech when he said “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  The church also cannot stand with division.  There should be no divisions among you.

Paul’s plead.  Paul was a very passionate missionary who at times, wore his emotions on his sleeve, so to speak.  In this case, he was begging the Corinthian Christians to listen to him.  He had a message for them from God and he wanted them to listen.  These words were not his but God working through him.

By the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul was careful to give credit where credit was due.  He did not want the credit because what happened was not because of Paul, but of God.  In fact, Paul would not have been Paul the missionary with Jesus coming and saving him.  Paul would have still been Saul, the accuser and murderer.  Saul, the non-Christ follower, locking up followers of Jesus.  We all have a story prior to coming to Jesus.  Without Jesus, we all would be lost.

All speak the same thing.  Paul wanted the believers to all speak the same words as to not have confusion.  The message of Jesus was told one way and it needed to stay that way.  No modifications.  No additions.  No deletions.  Paul wanted each and every one of them to be reading from the same page in the same book.  There is a problem when some interrupt a text one way and others another way.  Then there is confusion when it is told to others.  Some may even be led astray due to misinterpretations.

No divisions among you.  Nothing can destroy a church faster than division.  It usually starts as a rumor.  That rumor gets spread and then sides are created.  Those that believe it and those that do not.  This creates a rift in the congregation and even makes it so that people leave the church to find a new one or none at all.  This does not build up the kingdom of God.  This causes people to go against God and sin.  Division is like a sickness that spreads through a town.  One person gets sick and give it to 2 people.  2 turns into 4 and 4 turns into 8.  It multiples until the whole town is sick.  When there is division, it makes for a sick church and a sick church is not beneficial to a community.

Perfectly joined together.  On the opposite side of division is a perfect union.  The people of the church are all on one vision.  One accord with God.  No one is trying to believe something outside of the Bible.  All acting as one person.  That is how a church should operate.  From the lead pastor to the newest member, there needs to be solidarity.  This is how community is established, fellowship is strengthened, and the kingdom of God is added to.

Same mind and same judgment.  A church can have many members but should only have one mind and one discernment.  There is only one Bible and that Bible is the Word of God.  It should be followed as an instruction manual is followed.  Step by step, line by line.  Churches that start preaching outside of the Bible come to their own demise.  Churches that stop following God become clubs that are more for get-togethers to feel good than to be for healing and restoration.  One collective mind is not something that happens overnight.  It takes time and dedication to get to a point to have everyone working in step.  Division does not help this.  It only makes it worse.

Division is the opposite of multiplication in mathematics.  With the kingdom of God in mind, division should be the last thing on our minds.  We should be trying to multiply the saved, not dividing them and subtracting them from the kingdom.  God wants us to come to Him and praise Him and worship Him.  We need to avoid division and if you are in a church with division currently, I ask that you do not make the problem worse.  There is healing needed and that comes from God alone.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for what You do for us.  There is so much division in the world.  I ask that You unite us together as believers in You.  We all serve the same God in You.  We should not let anything come between us and You.  I ask that You break those idols and divisions that occur.  I ask that You mend relationships and churches worldwide so that Your message rings true and clear.  Help us to stop the fighting and fight for the kingdom of You instead of against it.  You are in control and we are not.  Help us to give all we can to You.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Peace through Faith

Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Ask a lot of people what they would want if they had one wish and you will get a myriad of answers.  Some would want untold wealth.  Some would want untold fame.  Many others would want world peace.  No more war.  No more fighting.  This seems like a pipe dream but what if I told you that world peace is possible.  What if I told you that there is peace through faith?

Justified by faith.  This is a term that so many of us have heard and we skip over.  What does it mean to be “justified by faith?”  Justified is to be righteous, freed, and declared as innocent.  Faith is a belief, assurance, or alignment with someone or something, in this case, God.  So, to be justified by faith is to believe that we are free and innocent.  how can we when we are sinful?  We can because of Jesus.  Jesus died for our sins so that we can proudly say “we are justified.”  I have heard it said that justified stands for “just-if-i’d (never sinned).”  Though I get the concept, we should never forget that we are sinful and that Jesus paid the cost.  This concept takes away from the power of what Jesus did on the cross.

We have peace with God.  Peace in this case is defined as the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.  This is not a peace that is expecting war to stop.  The fact that the end times will be filled with war shows that world peace in that way is not possible.  How the world can have peace is through God.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Since we sin, we are not in right standing with God.  We are not at peace with God.  We are actually at war with God prior to our salvation.  When Jesus comes into our lives, we can have peace with God.  That is because Jesus goes to His Father (and ours) and speaks on our behalf.  Think of Jesus as our ambassador.  He goes and says the words that we cannot say to a God that could easily wipe us out and chooses not to.  All that we have is through God and our salvation that we have is through Jesus.  No other way can we be saved other than through the death and life of Jesus Christ.  So, how do we get peace through faith?  It is all because of Jesus and His relationship with us and God the Father.  Together, we can have a peace that surpasses all our knowledge.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for all that You do for us and even more so, what Your Son did for us.  We would be lost and still at war with You without Your Son.  We owe everything to You.  We owe our lives to You.  Help us to live for You in all things.  We seek the peace that only You can give.  We seek You alone.  We need You and we want You in our lives.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Our Invisible God

Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

Invisible is “not seen”, not “does not exist.”  The wind is not seen, yet it exists and people acknowledge that wind is real.  Gravity is not seen, yet it exists and people acknowledge that gravity is real.  Electricity is not seen, yet it exists and people acknowledge that electricity is real.  These examples are common things that people are around or use every day.  Yet, when it comes to God, who is invisible, people sometimes fail to acknowledge that He is real.  He is our invisible God.

Since the creation of the world.  God has been around since before anything here was formed.  Since God existed prior to creation, He is clearly the Creator.  There was no accident in the creation of the universe.  There was no happenstance.  No coincidence.  Everything that has happened after the creation of the world happened during the time that God was and is around.  God did not take a vacation period and miss part of history.  God was not off in the distance.  God did not go to sleep for a long period of time and miss hundred or thousands of years.  He was around the entire time of time.

His invisible attributes are clearly seen.  God’s handiwork is all around if we choose to look.  The mountains that were formed by God.  The flowers in their beauty, formed by God.  The rivers and streams and lakes and oceans and ponds are all created by God.  Even forces we cannot see like gravity, electricity, and solar power were created by God.  God is everywhere at all times.  He is in the wind.  He is in fire.  He is even in the water.  There is no place that God is not and His hands formed it all.

Being understood by the things that are made.  Through study and experience, people have come to understand or at least try to understand many of the things that God has made.  Through experimentation, gravity was understood for objects of large and small size.  The wind has been studied.  People are experts in areas such as archaeology, horticulture, and medicine.  These are all creations of God.  We, as humans, are curious, always wanting to learn more and more.  That is how God created us.

Eternal power and Godhead.  Less is known about God and His eternal power.  The concept of eternal is difficult for us to truly understand.  Eternal is without ceasing and everything we know in this world ceases, including our own lives.  The Godhead, Father/Son/Holy Spirit, are known by name, but not much else.  That is, unless God has revealed it to us.  God is so much more complex than we can ever understand.  His love is immeasurable.  His power is unmatchable.  His presence is everywhere.  God can be known without knowing everything about Him.

They are without excuse.  We cannot say that God is not real or that we do not know Him, unless we choose to not know Him.  God is everywhere and His Word tells about Him.  If we want to know more about God, we can talk directly to Him.  If we want to see God, we look around and see Him in all things.  We are created in His image so each person has a part of God in them.  We cannot say that we do not have knowledge in the area of God.  We know about Jesus and He is the Son of God, thus making Him God.  All of the Godhead is the same, yet in Father, Son, and Spirit form.  If we put forth the same effort to learn about God as we do in learning about actors, actresses, sports facts, or any other “popcorn” knowledge, we would know so much more about God.  We all should aspire to get “degrees in God.”  He is an invisible God but can be seen everywhere if we only seek Him and learn about Him more and more each day.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You are who You say You are.  You have remained unchanged from the beginning of time.  You love us and care for us.  We are not deserving of Your love.  We do not seek You on our own.  We do not choose to learn about You apart from You coming into our lives.  You bring us closer to Yourself.  You save us from the evil and sin of the world.  Help us to trust You more and more and learn all we can about You.  You are our Father and we should choose to have a relationship with You.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Without Jesus, Condemned Already

John 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He gave us a choice.  Free will.  The choice to choose Jesus or deny Jesus.  There are only two choices.  Black and white.  One side or the other.  With Jesus, saved.  Without Jesus, condemned already.

He who believes in Him.  Those that truly believe in Jesus are in this select group.  That is not to include people who know of Jesus.  There are plenty who know Jesus, but it is about knowing Jesus.  It is about believing everything that He is and everything that He stands for.  Believing that He is the Son of God.  That He came to die on the cross for our sins.  He lived for us and died for us and for us alone.

Not condemned.  Those who choose to believe in Jesus are not to be judged because when God sees those people, He sees His perfect Son.  No sin.  No failure.  No spots.  Perfection.  It is as if between us and God, Jesus stands tall enough to block us out from view of God.  There is no guilty judgment for those that believe in Jesus.  No jail time.  No prison sentence.  Instead, we receive a ticket to Heaven, the best place not-on-Earth.

He who does not believe.  There are so many doubters that do not believe Jesus is real.  They believe that the stories in the Bible are fiction.  Worse are those that believe Jesus was just a good teacher or prophet.  Those that want to escape the need for Jesus.  Don’t believe that they sin or that they are “good enough.”  There are many reasons why people do not believe in Jesus.  This is their choice.  Jesus will not force Himself on someone who does not want Him.  He gives Himself freely to those who choose Him.

Condemned already.  Without Jesus, God sees us for who we really are.  Sinful, disgusting, filthy beings.  We are blackened by sin.  We are ugly from sin.  We are then not welcome in Heaven in this condition.  Without Jesus, there is no one to stand in for us and show God that we are clean.  The gavel falls and the guilty verdict is rendered.  This is a one way ticket to Hell, eternal separation from God.  God does not want to send us to Hell, but without Jesus, there is nowhere else to send us.

Not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  God only has one true Son.  His name is Jesus.  We need to be willing to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  He was a man, teacher, prophet, and friend as well, but He was also God.  The name of Jesus has power and when we diminish the name of Jesus in our minds, we diminish His power in our minds.  We need Jesus, not the other way around.  We need salvation and that comes from Jesus alone.  God can see Jesus in us and save us or see us without his Son and deny us as we denied His Son.  We do not want to be condemned already.  We want to be with God in Heaven forever.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for all that You do for us including Your Son to this Earth.  Remove any unbelief that we may have.  Restore in us all the faith that we can have.  We want to be in Heaven with You.  Your Son is the key to Heaven.  You love us and care for us.  We need You always.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

 

Deliverer of the World

John 3:17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Jesus is known as the Savior, but why?  Savior comes from the Greek word σωτήρ sōtḗr, so-tare, which literally means deliverer.  A deliverer is someone who delivers, like the postman.  The postman delivers mail but no one would think of him as a savior, especially when he gives a whole bunch of bills.  Jesus is the Savior and deliverer of the world.

God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world.  Jesus did not come to Earth to exact judgment on the world.  That is left to God the Father, who is in Heaven.  Jesus did not come down from Heaven with a gavel in His hand.  No lightning bolts at the ready to be thrown.  Jesus came in the form of a baby.  He grew into a man.  He was a great teacher, prophet, friend, and all the while, God.  Jesus came for a time to show us an example of life as a human.  He came to walk in our shoes.  To show that we can make it through life.  Jesus, though perfect, still had emotions like sadness, anger, and happiness.  He was all human but remained perfect in all things.  He came to be an example to all.

The world through Him might be saved.  At the end of His life, Jesus did what no person has ever done or could ever do.  He saved the world.  How did He save the world?  He died.  Now this seems counter-intuitive.  How can you save the world by dying?  By dying, Jesus took all the sins of the world on Himself.  By dying, He died so that we do not have to die this same death.  The death that is sin-filled and painful.  Anguish and heartache.  Tortuous and sad.  When we die and we have Jesus, our death is sweet and happy.  It means that we will be on our way to Heaven.  A one way ticket to Heaven.  In death, Jesus became the savior of the world.  The deliverer of the world.

Heavenly Father,

You sent Your Son to Earth to die.  I have a son and I would never want to send Him to die.  You choose that for Him, not because You wanted to, but because You knew that the world needed this.  Your Son came and lived and died so that we may only experience a physical death.  We do not have to go through a spiritual death when we have Jesus.  We are saved by Him.  We are delivered by Him.  We owe everything to Him and You.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Nothing in or out of the World

1 Timothy 6:7, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

When a baby is born, they come into the world naked.  Clothed in skin and nothing more.  Any baby that is born, whether animal or human, comes into the world without anything at all.  Over time, people gain more and more stuff that stays with them until they die.  When people die, they are buried with all sorts of things, none of which are taken with them.  Nothing in or out of the world.

We brought nothing into this world.  This can be interpreted as we are born with nothing or that we did not create anything in this world.  God made everything that we can see, hear, smell, touch or taste.  We have not added anything to this world that God did not already introduce.  Even through all our experiments and testing and creating, we really can’t create anything that God has not already created.  God brought everything into the world except for sin.  Sin came into the world through man.  We chose to create sin by going against God.

We can carry nothing out.  As we come into the world, we exit it in the same fashion.  We exit the world without anything.  Dressed in fancy clothes that dissolve underground.  Buried in boxes that degrade and fall apart.  Even our flesh and blood goes away, leaving our bones, which even disintegrate over time.  We are reduced to dirt, just as we were created from dirt.

So what is the moral of all of this.  We should not be concerned with having the latest and greatest of everything.  God is not saying that we cannot have nice things, but those things can’t be saved.  We cannot have them when we die.  We won’t need them where we are going.  God is all we need.  God is all that we will have if we go to Heaven.  We need to make sure that we are investing our time and effort in God, who is worth more than all the stuff in the world.  We may bring nothing in and take nothing out but we need to gain God coming in and leave with God going out.  In that, we will be Heaven-bound.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for all that You do for us.  You have created all things for us so we do not have any needs that You have not met already.  You know us so You know what we need before we ask.  Help us to be thankful for all that we have every day.  Help us to lose our complaining spirits and be happy with what we have.  If we have You, we have everything.  We lack nothing when we have You.  Nothing in and nothing out but we need You throughout our lives so that we may be with You in Heaven above.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Abstain from Sexual Immorality

1 Thessalonians 4:3, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality”

Sexual Immorality is also known as fornication in the Bible and the Greek word for fornication is πορνεία porneía, por-ni’-ah from which we get the English word pornography.  Fornication or sexual immorality means harlotry (including adultery and incest) and sex as an idol.  It also refers to homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals, sexual intercourse with close relatives, and sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman.  This is not a popular topic but one that needs to be addressed as there is becoming a more prevalent amount of fornication in the world.  We need to follow God and abstain from sexual immorality.

This is the will of God.  God’s will does not include fornication because fornication is sin.  God does not want us to sin; He sent His Son to die for sin.  God did not create us to go and have sex with everything that has two legs (or four).  God did not create us to have sex with the same gender.  God did not create us to make sex an idol because an idol is a god and that comes between us and the True God.  The will of God is that we would obey and follow Him, even when it is difficult to do so.

Our sanctification.  Sanctification is a bigger word for purity.  Clean from the soul out.  Our purpose should be to avoid activities that “dirty” our soul.  We should make choices that are “clean.”  When Jesus died on the cross, He took away our dirtiness (sin) and gave us a clean body, soul, and spirit.  When we sin again, we need to go to God for forgiveness but we really need to try to avoid sin altogether if possible.

Abstain from sexual immorality.  God intended sex to be between a man and woman whom are married.  Not to be done before marriage because there is no commitment to God in a relationship that is not sealed by God.  Not to be done with close relatives because there is so many ways that we can taint DNA through this and there are so many more people on Earth now than there was when the Earth was first formed.  Brothers and sisters had to procreate but God protected them.  That protection is lifted, so seek the marriage and sex from another.  Not to be done with someone of the same-sex.  God created man and woman different with different anatomy that works together.  Putting two men or two women together does not have the anatomy work together.  Animals should only be with animals, so they are also not allowed.  We need to observe marriage and sex as God intends, not as we intend.

This is not to judge anyone but merely to state the facts in the verse.  We all sin.  We all do wrong.  These sins are no better or worse than other sins.  If someone you know or yourself are struggling with these sins, ask for help.  You are not alone and you can be stronger than the sin.  There are people in local churches that can help.  There are counselors that can help.  There should be no judgment for these or any sins.  Only God can judge and only God knows the heart.  We need to bring about the change.  Change from the sinful to the sinless.  We can never be completely sinless on our own but we attempt to be as sinless as possible and Jesus covers the gap between God and man.  Abstain from sexual sins and seek God today.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your Word that You give us.  Help us to never judge someone based on their sins.  We sin and we should never make someone feel small because of their sins.  We all need help and that help comes from You, God.  Help us to show Your love to all, regardless of where someone is in life.  We need You and the world needs You.  Help us to draw closer to You in all ways.

In Your name we pray,

Amen