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  • Issue 45:
    Same-Gender Marriage

  • Issue 46:
    Reclaiming Our
    Spiritual Center

  • Issue 47:
    Embracing the Mystery

  • Issue 48:
    Who is my Neighbor?

  • Issue 49:
    Revealing Our Glory

  • Issue 50:
    Everyday Spirituality

  • Issue 51:
    Transformation

  • Issue 52:
    Spirituality of Music

  • Issue 53:
    God and Politics

  • Issue 54:
    Gracious Christianity

  • Issue 55:
    The Good Book

  • Issue 56:
    God

  • More issues ...


  • Check Your Heart

    Stacy Reynolds


    Okay, so you've decided to become a Christian. You've felt the tug on your heart and you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross and rose again in three days. It's the heart that has to believe. So your heart is in the right place and you have signed up. Believe it or not that was the easy part. Becoming a Christian is easy. Living a Christian lifestyle is hard. Especially if you are gay.

    All your life you have had people tell you that you are an abomination. That the God you have devoted your life to, and love with all of your heart, doesn't love you. You wonder how that can be when you have heard from Him so clearly. If anyone tells you that God does not love you then you have my permission to look him or her square in the eye and say, "You are a liar. I don't what god you worship, but my God loves me so much that He knows the number of hairs upon my head." (Matthew 10:30)

    My purpose here is not to go through the entire argument of why homosexuals can be Christians. Instead I am going to tell you how to survive as a Christian. It doesn't matter if you are a homosexual, heterosexual or whosoever. What matters is the second you accept Jesus Christ as your savior then the devil declares war on you and the rest of your natural life becomes a battleground. It's important that you learn how to survive. Your next move will be to check your heart, because God looks at the heart. If your spiritual heart still longs for that close relationship with God then you are going to be okay. God guarantees it. If you protect your heart then God will protect your body.

    Since everything is connected to you however, you have to also reign in your mind. Romans 12:2 says,

    "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will."

    There is a song by the rock group The Who. It is part of their rock opera Tommy. One of the lyrics in that song is, "sickness will take the mind where minds don't usually go." That is what is happening to you. You have been sick, and now you are going to get better.

    An old friend of mine was very depressed one time and spoke to a mental health professional about killing herself. That mental health professional told her one of the most profound things I have ever heard in my life. He told her she was much too sick to be making such an important decision like that. You have had the spiritual flu, and now the antibiotic is on the way. You are getting a physical, and the first thing you are doing is making sure your heart is in the right place.

    One thing survivors have a tendency to do is turn their hearts to stone. Survivors will put up a wall between themselves and the rest of the world to protect themselves from the hurts and arrows of the world. God on the other hand cannot use a heart of stone. God will take that heart of stone and return it to a heart of flesh, even though it will hurt more, it is the heart of flesh a person needs to survive.

    "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." Ezekial 36: 25-27

    Since God looks at the attitude of the heart, if that heart is stone it cannot love God either. That's why you have to have a heart of flesh. Survival as a Christian is not going to allow you to turn your heart to stone and to put a wall up between yourself and other people. You are going to have to be vulnerable and open to people if you are going to survive. Oddly enough this means that people are going to be able to hurt you. And people will hurt you. People will let you down every single time.

    God on the other hand will never disappoint you. Many people labor under this illusion quite often, that they can do anything to disappoint God. Romans 5:5 says:"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

    God loves us and that is where our survival begins. But I can't stress enough that we have to have a heart of flesh to be able to fulfill God's purpose for the world even though it is going to hurt us more in the short term. However in the long term God will give us the desires of our heart. If we can't have a heart of flesh we cannot have the things of God. God has promised us many beautiful things, the fruits of the spirit and the rewards of eternal life. These are also the things you cannot have without a heart of flesh, and without these things there is absolutely no way you can survive.

    But, you say to me, how can God love me if I am a homosexual. There is a lot of stuff out there saying exactly the opposite. What I recommend is getting yourself a good Bible study on homosexuality and what the Bible really says about it. There are actually several of them out there. Go ahead and study up on it and put your mind at ease about your sexuality.

    Another good friend of mine once said that the reason straight people don't do the in-depth studies on the issue is because it is not as important to them. They will just go by what any old person off the street tells them and they think, well surely this person has read the Bible so they would know right? Wrong. The reason it is important to study what the Bible actually says about homosexuality is because to us it is a matter of life or death. Our eternal life is in jeopardy by believing what other people tell us. So get yourself a good Bible, a concordance, and a lot of notebook paper.

    The most important thing a person, whether gay or straight, can do is establish a firm foundation in the Word of God. The Bible is going to be your best friend, and help you develop a closer relationship to God through study and prayer.

    "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

    Pay attention to those last four words, 'attitudes of the heart.' That is what God looks at, the attitude of your heart. If you love God with all of your heart then you can pull out of this depression and get your life back on track to reap the harvest of God's blessings.

    Okay, so now you ask, what are these things that I insist you have to drop your fortress to have?

    Galatians 5:22:

    "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law"

    Tell me what is it that you need that isn't included in these nine things?


    Don't miss Part One of Stacy's series!

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