JOURNEY TO FREEDOM
UNIT IV Key 5 LOVE
SCRIPTURE PRINCIPLE: The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
Usually when we think of God’s commandments, we think of the 10 that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:1-17). In the New Testament, all 10 were simplified to one commandment: LOVE. The reason for this is in Romans 13:10 “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; LOVE therefore is the fulfillment of the Law.”
If we fail to love our neighbor, we are guilty of breaking the Law of God. James 2:10 states, “For whoever keeps the whole Law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” We all fail at love, and we all are sinners in need of forgiveness. God’s forgiveness toward us unloving people motivates us to show love even when we do not want to or it may seem dangerous to do so.
Take a moment to look at the sins of the world around you. Look at the petty conflicts among families or co-workers; look at the conflicts described on the evening news. Do they not result from a lack of love for others? Ssa/ma/tx people are no exception: we do not love God the right way, we do not love ourselves the right way, and we therefore do not love others the right way. Ssa/ma/tx people are no different from heterosexual sinners; our sins reflect our lack of godly love.
Often we felt that we were not loved well by our earthly parents, we were often bullied by hostile and rejecting peers, and we may have been used sexually by exploitative adults; so we took our love deficit into relationships with partners. We may find ourselves angry at God and wondering why He put us in relationship groups with people who made our lives so difficult. We end up blaming Him for the sins of the people around us.
God’s purpose is to bring us redemption and deliverance through Jesus’ mercy and forgiveness (Titus 2:14). He redeems the whole person. He wastes nothing. He will find a way to make use of every bad thing that we have ever experienced in our lives. When we take our painful memories through the fire of His mercy, when we forgive those who wronged us and make amends to those whom we wronged, when we give love to difficult people, when we surrender our self-will, we find that God makes use of even the worst moments of our lives.
Our greatest weaknesses can become our greatest strengths. When we give up being angry with God for our painful pasts and accept His plan for our lives, we can be transformed into monuments to His glory. It was not God’s will for those people to treat you badly, but when the pain is given over to Him, He will make good come of it (Romans 8:28). He forgives the penitent sinner out of love, and He will teach us to love as we accept His will (I John 4:10-11). When we accept His plan for our total lives, He will reward us for our obedience and our willingness to let Him have His way with us.
In I Samuel, we meet David, who became king. Although we have no reason to believe that his father treated him badly, his whole family obviously overlooked him and did not think him capable of achieving very much. In I Samuel 16, when God sent the prophet to find the next king from among the sons of Jesse, even the prophet was fooled by appearances (verses 6-7). David’s own father did not think it necessary for David to join the family when they sacrificed to the Lord, but God revealed a different plan (verses 11-13). David was anointed, the Spirit came upon him, and he was sent back to tend the sheep.
In chapter 17, we once again see David’s brothers showing their low opinion of him, having evidently forgotten that the prophet had anointed him (verses 26-29). They had also either forgotten or were unaware of David’s fearlessness as a shepherd (verses 34-37), and they did not share his deep faith. Their contempt, however, did not stop David from proceeding to carry out God’s will; the rest of the chapter describes him taking down Goliath with one stone from his slingshot.
Perhaps David was not always well thought of or appreciated by his family. God put a best friend in his life in order to fill the empty spot. In chapter 18, we meet the most unlikely person to become his best friend, Jonathan, King Saul’s son, and heir to the throne. David was anointed by God to be the next king of Israel rather than Jonathan. In verse 4, Jonathan acknowledged that when he gave David his royal robe and military equipment. He had no hint of jealousy, and he accepted God’s choice. The two young men were alike in their willingness to obey God’s will, which was the basis of their bond with each other (verse 1).
Gay theology, trying to justify homosexual relationships, claims that David and Jonathan were lovers. This belief reveals more about ssa/ma/tx attitudes than it does about the text. What ssa/ma/tx people need most, after receiving salvation, is a true best friend. Many ssa/ma/tx people have never had that, so they cannot imagine selfless love, friendship, loyalty, belonging, or trust, without involving sex. By claiming a sexual explanation for the brotherly love of these two young men of God, gay theology reveals its own weakness.
SCRIPTURE: Write what each of these verses or passages means to you and your situation.
I Samuel 18:1
STUDY GUIDE (Feel free to write on the backside or use additional paper if necessary.)
1. On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your self-image (1 is lowest, 10 is highest)? Please explain your answer.
2. On a scale of 1-10, how much has your self-image improved since you began the Keys? Please explain some of the ways in which you view yourself differently.
3. Are there some relationships that God has put into your life to fill what was lacking in your relationships with parents, other adults, authority figures, peers, and other people with whom you have had troubled relationships? If so, who are they, and what did they bring to you that you needed?
4. What did these relationships teach you about love?
5. In what ways did you become more loving as a result?
6. In what ways have you reached out in love to difficult people? That can include family members or anyone else. What was the result?
7. What are some of the situations in your life now where you need to reach out in love?
8. Please read I Samuel 19:1-7, chapter 20, and II Samuel 9. What do these texts say to you about friendships between heterosexuals of the same sex?
9. On a scale of 1-10, how victorious have you been lately? Please explain your answer.
10. Did you use any memorized Scripture to battle temptation lately? What was the result?
11. How is your spiritual life in general, how are your private devotions, and how are things at your church/fellowship group?
Plan of Action: