GODLY LOVE OR CHRISTIAN LOVE - This is God’s kind of love in us for others, especially for believers. John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 demonstrate that God’s love is sacrificial. Since this is true, godly love—Christian love—is also sacrificial. The Holy Spirit produces it in a believer who is controlled by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 5:5). Christian love is not dependent on the person who is loved. It depends on the source. Godly love pleases God (2 John 5-6). The basic idea in godly love is sacrifice for others—thinking of others first and doing for them that which is in accordance with God’s will and God’s good, and that which is needed. Furthermore, it includes responsibility, which is being accountable to God, to doctrinal principles, and to one’s level of spiritual growth; protection of others by way of verbal protection (what we say), mental protection (our thoughts), and physical protection; self control which relates to sacrifice, responsibility, and protection; and thankfulness. First Corinthians 13:4-7 personifies love by saying what it is and does, and what it is not and does not do. Godly love contrasts with friendship love which is for certain people.
ETERNAL LIFE AND THE NEW BIRTH– Man’s first step toward salvation is godly sorrow that leads to repentance. The New Birth is necessary to all men, and when experienced produces eternal life.
(John 3:15; Romans 6:22-23; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 John 3:3-5, 5:12)
THE SCRIPTURES– The Bible is the inspired Word of God – the product of holy men of old who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The new Covenant, as recorded in the New Testament, we accept as our infallible guide in matters pertaining to conduct and doctrine.
(2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21)
I was introduced to homosexuality around the age of 5. As I got older, my attraction for women grew stronger as I acted upon these feelings privately. During my adolescent years, I spent most of my time alone battling depression, suicidal thoughts, cutting, homosexuality and drinking, just to name a few. Although I grew up in church, I struggled with my identity.
As I got older, I began having same-sex relationships, eventually “coming out” as a lesbian at the end of high school. I decided then that I was tired of God convicting me of something I couldn’t change and that I wanted nothing to do with Him.
While in college, I was on the leadership board for an on-campus organization. This organization promoted the acceptance of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community. During my college years, I wrote a 25-page term paper titled “Homosexuality and the Bible,” which attempted to justify the notion that the Bible and God accept homosexuality. I also tried attending a homosexual Christian church, but an unsettling feeling kept me from joining their congregation.
After a series of bad events, I decided that I couldn’t live without Jesus in my life. I found a church in my local area and began developing a personal relationship with Christ. It was then that I gave my life to Christ. I decided to stop being fed the opinions of the Bible and Jesus from others and get to know Christ for myself.
I began to feel a tug on the inside that I had felt so many years ago but had ignored previously, rejecting God. Over time, the tug got so overwhelming that one day I was face to face with God, broken. I finally surrendered.
A few days prior, I read the story of Gideon and the fleece which, at this moment, popped into my head. I thought that if God could answer Gideon in such a direct manner, he could answer me the same way. I told God, “If you’re telling me that being with women, that being homosexual, is wrong, then fine. I’m ready to listen. But first, do these three things so that I know that it is you who is speaking to me.” The next day, God did all three things that I asked Him to do as confirmation. It was at that moment that I had peace that surpassed all my understanding.