Category Archives: Marriage

God’s Purpose For Your Body

As God has created each of us, He intended for us to live in such a way that honors Him and respects our body as His creation. God wants us to live in such a way that prevents us from hurting ourselves or doing damage accordingly. What happens to our physical bodies that is harmful is the result of sin and sinful behavior.

You were secure in your wickedness; you said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge led you astray. You said to yourself, ‘I exist, and there is no one else.’ But disaster will happen to you; you will not know how to avert it. And it will fall on you, but you will be unable to ward it off. Devastation will happen to you suddenly and unexpectedly” (Isaiah 47:10-11).

Satan has tricked us into thinking that what we do is in secret, but nothing that we plan or do is in secrecy. There are those that go as far as proclaiming that there is no God; in reality, God does exist and is aware of everything that we do. Be aware that sin will ultimately bring about disaster, and you will not be able to escape it. No amount of money or resources will overcome it, and you may not see it coming.

Why? Because God will do and accomplish exactly what He says He will do. “I call a bird of prey from the east, a man for My purpose from a far country. Yes, I have spoken; so I will bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it” (Isaiah 46:11). Furthermore, God will punish. He will discipline each of us where it is needed. “And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or faint when you are reproved by Him, for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives. Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline–which all receive–then you are illegitimate children and not sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8). God’s discipline helps to teach us how to discipline ourselves, which will keep us from doing those things that are harmful to us, especially where we are to abstain from any sexual immorality. Today’s sins of sexually immoral behavior will have dire consequences in the African-American community (250,000 projected deaths from AIDS) and in Africa (over 1 million projected deaths from AIDS) due to a lack of discipline and restraint.

God knows His purpose for giving you a body, because God has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11). It was not to allow you to fulfill your lustful desires. “And he said, ‘I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ Then He asked, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?‘” (Genesis 3:10-11)  Remember that Adam and Eve were naked and knew no shame before the fall (Genesis 2:24-25). Once sin came into the picture, there was the experience of shame and the need to cover up.

God’s desire is for you to fellowship with Him, through Jesus Christ, while you are here on earth. ‘”Food for the stomach and the stomach for food,’ but God will do away with both of them. The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? So should I take a part of Christ’s body and make part of it a prostitute? Absolutely not!” (1 Corinthians 6:13-15)

Many in today’s society believe that you can do whatever you please and for your pleasure–eating, drinking, drug abuse, sex, tattoos, or decorations to make one more attractive–and that everything is permissible. In truth, everything you do is under your free will, but that doesn’t mean that it is good for you. “‘Everything is permissible for me,’ but not everything is helpful. ‘Everything is permissible for me,’ but I will not be brought under the control of anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). “‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything is helpful. ‘Everything is permissible,’ but not everything builds up. No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person” (1 Corinthians 10:23). The one who commits immoral acts sets aside from his or her own legitimate power of liberty, and is brought under the power of sin. “Jesus responded, ‘I assure you: Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever. Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free‘” (John 8:34-36). “For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity with the flesh, but serve one another through love. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit” (Galatians 5:13, 24-25).

We are to run away from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). For the very best of us and even the most disciplined of us, it is necessary to turn away from it (Genesis 39:8, 12). Once you go too far, you will not be able to resist the temptation any longer. This applies to any type of sexual behavior outside of God’s purpose within marriage, no matter if it is of the gay lifestyle or heterosexual fornication. We are to live in such a way that our bodies are members of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:15). God delights in seeing a man and woman, in marriage, loving and caring for one another. Outside of God’s intent, such a relationship is harmful to its participants and the immediate family. God created Adam first, and later came Eve. Note that it is important to develop and nurture your relationship with God before getting into a relationship with another person. God will bring you the person that you desire for your life in that person’s proper place in your life. With Jesus Christ at the forefront of the lives of a man and a woman, it is the best example of how a husband and wife will live in submission to God and to each other (1 Peter 3:1-8).

Sexual sin is against your own body (Deuteronomy 23:17-18). While you may think it is only for your pleasure, consider the fallout. You bring harm to your own body, and it can have an adverse effect on future generations. God tells us, in His Word, what we should not be doing to ourselves. Always remember that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. Make it a point to remove the things from your life that will prevent you from maintaining a strong relationship with God through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Kings 23:6-7).

Lord, continue to speak to me and minister to me as you live within my body. Help me to not live in such a way that defiles me and give me the ability to refrain from sin, for this is Your body, and my desire is to glorify you with my body. You created me to be Your dwelling place. Thank you for loving and protecting me, and for seeing the value of keeping myself pure as Your temple. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Advertisements

Missions Have a Global Impact for God’s Glory

Our guest speaker today is Helen White, who is a missionary serving in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and she and her husband, Doug, have been there for the last 22 years, with their two children. She and her husband have served at the Brazilian Alliance Church group where services are primarily held in the evening. In addition to Brazilians, there is a significant Japanese population in Brazil that is being ministered to. In many ways, like here in the United States, there is a huge international impact with our worldwide ministries, especially in the mission field. The Whites specialize in couples’ ministries and have been involved with marriage counseling and sharing the gospel to lead the people of Brazil to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the midst of their ministry, the Whites have encountered a nation with people who readily believe in reincarnation based upon good works and Spiritism (due to a blending of African and South American cultures with Catholicism).

In service as missionaries, Doug and Helen shared that often they were faced with circumstances that appeared to be greater than their own abilities. Their reliance on Jesus Christ has helped them to overcome obstacles and grow their ministry where lives have been truly changed to and for the glory of God. Their ministry specializes in witnessing to married couples about the saving knowledge and healing power of Jesus Christ, especially in matters of conflict such as unfaithfulness and other marital difficulties. They have dealt with couples on matters of the heart and have provided the testimony that it is Jesus Christ that matters above everything else. In John 4:1-30, 39-42, the Samaritan woman knew of Christ and knew that He was the coming Messiah, but it was not until she realized that He was present and revealed to her about her lifestyle that she began to address the issues, and the sin, that needed to be corrected. In marriage encounters, it takes several meetings with those who attend the counseling to also recognize that Christ allows the freedom to break the bondage of undeclared sin and the ability to forgive one’s offenses. When God is present, there is progress that is made in the efforts to help a couple reconcile their differences. It is the power of Christ, that touches and heals us, which allows us to overcome the conflicts of marriage that seem virtually impossible to resolve. With Christ, all of our problems become virtually nothing when we see His mercy, His glory, His power and His grace (Isaiah 6:3-7). Helen has asked for all of us to become more involved with all of our missionaries through continued prayer and how the Lord would lead in our participation, including our prayers for someone in our midst to get involved in missions. It starts with our obedience to His Word. God can use us for a wonderful and dramatic impact throughout the world in reaching others through His power and glory!


Spring Break 2009 – Thanks!

A special thanks to everyone who attended this weekend’s Spring Break 2009 Relationship Conference!  Our discussion time on marriage, divorce, and remarriage was extremely timely and valuable.  All of the discussion, as always, reverts back to what God’s Word has to say.  He has much to say to us about marriage and divorce, and He even gives us guidelines when it is time to consider remarriage.  While there is much to learn from God, many of us at the conference would readily conclude that it is still up to all of us to study and follow God’s Word closely…we have to work at being obedient to God in much the same way that successful marriages also require work.  Love is not just about our feelings, but it is also about actions.  Communication is just as important as companionship.  Faithfulness in marriage requires a conscious effort to overcome distractions and temptations.  Respect and maturity are also important areas of marital growth.  All of them need the complete effort of both the husband and wife, as well as lots and lots of prayer for strength and guidance!

If you are interested in a hard copy of the seminar notes, please see Melvin or Lynn Gaines or call 330.328.1385.

We also thank the host facility, the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Stow, Ohio, for a beautiful, relaxing experience and for a nice break from the regular routine.  The breakfast was also quite delicious!  We plan to be back with you in 2010!


Sunday School

This month’s Sunday School class at Akron Alliance Fellowship we will be continuing our comprehensive study of the four gospels of Jesus Christ’s ministry on earth.  Each week we follow the events of his life and explore the comparative scriptures in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Join us every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m.  …and yes, we will have coffee, donuts and other assorted pastries.  Don’t forget your bible!