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Miranda Writes: Living for an Audience of One, Part 1




by Omar Miranda



Last week we talked about the importance of being “yoked up” or connected in the right types of relationships. I mentioned that followers of Christ are ruled by the Spirit of God and follow His desires, whereas nonbelievers typically go the opposite route, and therefore a Christian dating a non-Christian is not a good idea. In fact, the Bible strongly discourages this (2 Corinthians 6:14). What’s cool is that when we are walking with Jesus every day, He guides us and helps us make good decisions, especially about whom we date.

This week I want to focus on making that principle clearer and applying it to the important issues of sex and sexuality. In this context, I want to look at this: As a Christian, whom are you looking to please the most? God, yourself, or others? Whom should you be focused on pleasing ultimately?

The power and the passion

The apostle Paul clearly states what he believes that important thing in life is. “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:7-10, NIV).¹

Did you catch Paul’s power and passion? It had nothing to do with himself, but everything to do with who Christ was and getting to know Him better. 

Once you wrap your mind around the incredible sacrifice that Jesus Christ gave at Calvary, then you want to know Him. You don’t want to do anything that will hurt your relationship with Him. You stop trying to earn your way into heaven by learning more facts and information, or by doing more things for Jesus, or by acting “good” and hoping that this will appease God; no, you rest in the love that you have for Christ and for His gift of eternal life.

And you want to—and can—stay away from sin, thanks to the newly acquired Holy Spirit, whom you invited to live inside of you and change you. Furthermore, because you are so thankful that Christ saved you from death and eternal separation (hell) in the first place, you don’t want to sin against Him.

Dead to self

If we are Christians, then we don’t run the show because, well, we are dead! “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, NIV).

The Bible also tells us that our bodies are not our own, and that we are to use them to please and honor God, not ourselves. “Some of you say, ‘We can do anything we want to.’ But I tell you that not everything is good for us. So I refuse to let anything have power over me. . . .  We are not supposed to do indecent things with our bodies. We are to use them for the Lord who is in charge of our bodies. . . . Don’t you know that your bodies are part of the body of Christ? Is it right for me to join part of the body of Christ to a prostitute? No, it isn’t! Don’t you know that a man who does that becomes part of her body? The Scriptures say, ‘The two of them will be like one person’” (1 Corinthians 6:12-16, CEV).²

The body temple


Paul goes on to say that anyone joined to the Lord is one with Him, and thus we shouldn’t be sexually immoral. Your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. “You are no longer your own. God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God” (verses 19, 20, CEV). Sexual immorality is doing anything but that!

“Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God. Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him” (Romans 12:1, 2, CEV).

This sounds so spiritual and easy to do. But it’s actually very hard because we keep getting in the way of ourselves. The problem with being a “living sacrifice” is that sacrifice is painful . . . and we keep getting off the altar! When you are in the process of living your life and come across something that others are telling you is OK, you have to ask yourself, “Am I living my life as a godly sacrifice?” Having sex outside of marriage is not offering your body in a pure and pleasing way to God.

Sex outside of marriage is, short and simple, sin. It is a wrong against yourself, against the person you have sex with, and against God. It shows that you are seeking to please yourself and others before you want to please God. And you don’t need Omar to tell you that’s wrong.

Next week we’ll finish our study. We’ll look at a story in the Bible that specifically answers this question: What does a Christian do when tempted to have sex with a non-Christian (or with anyone he or she isn’t married to, for that matter)? I’ll also point you to a book in the Bible that has a lot to say about God’s view of healthy sex and sexuality.

Until then, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 770-354-2912

1Texts credited to NIV are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
2Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.
   
Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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