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Gentle Reprove

August 6, 2023

Dr. Paul Cannings

We live in a time when the politics of the day controls the
culture we are supposed to adopt. If we do not succumb
to the culture, then we are defined as homophobic, closed
-minded, and hateful. This is partly true. Some Christians
have become hateful, downright angry, so nothing about
how they approach this subject represents the attitude
and character of Christ. At Living Word Fellowship Church,
we are first committed to loving each other, which is the
greatest of all the commandments (Matthew 22:36-40),
and without it, the scriptures state we have nothing (1
Corinthians 13:1-3). Without love, Christ is so displeased.
He would rather leave our presence (Revelation 2:1-5).

The issue is that love has been defined by those who write
love novels and Hollywood, so when God defines love, it
appears to be emotionless and therefore insensitive to
feelings and thoughts.

When my parents instructed me to eat vegetables, I could
not stand the vegetables or them. I tried the dog, my little brother, and the trash when they were not looking. So, my parents had to go to different means like belts, stern warnings, and even punishment; like, who takes desert from a kid; mean huh? None of this did I like, but all of it I needed. This is because love is not defined by the receiver; the giver defines love.

When the Giver’s very nature is love, like water is wet, He becomes the person who defines it. As a result, love is defined by God, not our feelings. The LGBTQIA+ community lifestyle goes against the scriptures, but how about how we treat
them? When we address subjects like homosexuality or the LGBTQIA+ community from a Biblical perspective, the scriptures define the attitude and the mindset we must have. We must serve with a spirit of gentleness for the purpose of restoration (Matthew 18:15-18; Galatians 6:1-5). We cannot demonstrate this kind of attitude without the Holy Spirit
dominating our words, the wisdom we provide, and the character we display (Philippians 2:1-5). It is not about us.

First, it is about His purposes for His children. When we serve
based on His purposes, first, we should remove biases, and hate because His nature in us displaces those attitudes shaped by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25), which includes
love and kindness. When we address this issue from the scriptures with the attitude of Christ, it then serves to
build up a believer, not tear them down. This is the purpose of love, and it is for this purpose we strive as we address this very sensitive issue this month. Let us remain in the Word, keep
growing, and trusting because the Lord is our salvation. This way, our feelings do not become our God; it becomes our point of growth as we pick up this cross, committed to following Christ and Christ alone (Luke 14:25-33).