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Saturday, April 1, 2017
Having the Courage to Stand Up for God BY RICK WARREN — APRIL 1 Saturday
“Don’t worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour because you are not speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you” (Matthew 10:19b-20 HCSB)
“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent” (Acts 18:9b NIV).
As you search Scripture for God’s truth, it’s important to understand what the Bible says about three controversial issues. I mention these three because they are the ones you need the most courage to speak up about. Why? Because not only will many people disagree with you about these topics, they will also be very passionate in their argument.
It takes an uncommon courage to stand up against that kind of pressure.
There are a lot of parts of the Bible that people don’t have a problem with, like “You must help the poor.” Nobody disagrees with that. But there are three areas related to sanctity that some Christians avoid talking about. They are:
The sanctity of life: God has a purpose for every unborn child. God planned your life before you were born: “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16 NLT). We are to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves — the unborn, the 70 million Americans who would be here if they hadn’t been aborted. If I claim to be a Christian, then I must believe that every life is sacred.
The sanctity of sex: Sex is only for marriage. Sex was God’s idea. It isn’t dirty or wrong; sex is holy. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4 NIV). God’s instructions never change: Premarital sex is unacceptable to God. Living together without being married is unacceptable to God. Adultery is unacceptable to God. Pornography and the objectification of women are unacceptable to God.
The sanctity of marriage: One man and one woman for life. That is God’s intended, original design. A lot of people ask, “Well, what about all the polygamy in the Bible?” The Bible doesn’t approve everything it reports the Bible. So why do we call it a “holy” Bible? Because it tells the truth, and it is very clear on the issue of marriage: “At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh . . .’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV).
There are many issues of life where people of goodwill can disagree. For example, there’s no economic recovery plan in the Bible, and Christians can disagree on that. But if you call yourself a disciple of Christ, you need to line yourself up with what God says about the sanctity of these three things. And you need to have the courage to stand up for them, even and especially when it’s not the popular or politically correct thing to do.
Talk It Over
When was the last time you spoke up for Jesus in a conversation about one of these three topics? What keeps you from speaking up more often?
How can you better prepare yourself to have effective conversations about these topics?
How do you think a Christian’s worldview should affect how he or she looks at political candidates?