Pursued By GodTweet
Posted 11/19/13 at 8:37 PM | Dan Navin
Our present circumstances can often dictate our feelings and emotions. It is easy to get bogged down in our own sufferings, trials, and afflictions. In the midst of pain, God presents us with an opportunity to move closer to Him by dwelling on things eternal, or instead to focus inwardly; consumed by our troubles through our own shortsightedness.
We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 HCSB)
St. Paul writes in this passage of the many troubles he and the other disciples of Christ experienced. From the point that Jesus returned to His Father, the Apostles suffered greatly. They were hated, pursued, and persecuted. Yet they stayed the course…they did not lose heart. FULL POST
Posted 10/23/13 at 10:40 AM | Dan Navin
The divine meaning of a true friendship is that it is often the first unveiling of the secret of love. It is not an end in itself, but has most of its worth in what it leads to, the priceless gift of seeing with the heart rather than with the eyes. To love one soul for its beauty and grace and truth is to open the way to appreciate all beautiful and true and gracious souls, and to recognize spiritual beauty wherever it is seen.
Black, Hugh (2011-03-24). Friendship. Kindle Edition.
Perhaps the area of my greatest dysfunction prior to God's intervention was in my friendships. Often for me, my friendships were formed with sexual motives laying beneath a veil of kindness. In many cases, not all, I befriended others in hopes to one day transform a platonic relationship into one that was sexual. And despite many of my friendships being with heterosexual men, this challenge to achieve sexual intimacy was one I was victorious at, time after time. Whatever the underlying causes for my desire to achieve a measure of closeness and intimacy with other men through sex were, the "closeness" that I did come to have through these means was fleeting and never entirely satisfying. FULL POST
Posted 9/8/13 at 3:50 PM | Dan Navin |
Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them". Luke 11:46
God Hates ME?
As a Christian, it's easy to fall into a legalistic mindset. In the wrong hands, the Bible can be a tool that when misused, can do much harm to others. Before I came to faith in Christ, the words that some Christians threw at me hurt. These words didn't convey a message of my sinfulness coupled with God's love and Christ's sacrifice for my sins. What came across to me was that the God of the Bible was not interested in me, nor was their any hope that I could obtain this salvation that these folks had. While I knew that within the realm of Christianity there were a variety of attitudes toward homosexuality, the messages that dominated my life were those of condemnation and hate. And when all the words settled in my mind, I was left with the belief that I was beyond the saving and transforming power of Christ. Because in the confusion of soundbites and protest signs the message was clear: God hates gays; homosexuals are an abomination; and unless I changed who I was, I had no opportunity to join these "Christians" in Heaven. So, assured of my spot in Hell, I was skeptical when, a little over 3 1/2 years ago, I was intrigued by my conversations with a Christian man who I had recently met. He approached me as a friend, stayed even after learning I was gay, and his words carried a message of redemption, not of hate and hopelessness. FULL POST
Posted 7/21/13 at 5:20 PM | Dan Navin
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10 ESV
Safety. As we navigate the perils, heartaches, and struggles of this world, we are offered many sources of safety. Our family and friends can offer us safety in our times of distress; our government though its military powers provides us with safety against our nation’s enemies. Our local police departments are sworn to keep us safe by protecting us from those who would harm us. And our fire departments and paramedic programs assure us of protection from fire and of help in medical emergencies. But none of these sources of safety are able to ultimately save us. Despite the best efforts of friends, family, government, and hospitals, we are destined to die. But there is a provider of safety whose ability to save us and keep us secure is rock solid.
Safety for the righteous man is found in the Lord’s grace and mercy. Unlike the self-righteous man who seeks safety in his own abilities, the one who places his trust and faith in the Lord receives the cover of His righteousness and the promise of eternal security. When we are seeking God and trust in His Word to us, we are in His Strong Tower. When our decisions, actions, and words are guided by Him, we’re assured that we are safe. And this is not a safety that is merely concerned with the temporary; safety from being disappointed, betrayed, tempted, or lonely; it is safety from condemnation. When we run to the Lord for our protection, we are safe in the only way that matters. He keeps us safe and secure from the condemnation we deserve by our sin, we are safe from Satan and the demons which seek to destroy us, from His coming wrath, and from hell. FULL POST
Posted 7/13/13 at 7:16 PM | Dan Navin
A topic that has interested me since coming to faith a few years ago is that of friendship. I’d never spent much time thinking on the subject prior to following Christ. Once I began reading and studying the Bible, it became glaringly obvious that I had not, up to that point, carried out my friendships with others in a biblical way. Additionally, were I to live out my life in celibacy – something I have chosen for myself – the relationships that I develop with close friends are likely to be the closest and most meaningful relationships I will experience in my time on Earth. That primary bond which others experience with a spouse is not something I am likely to experience, and so I put a lot of value on close friends as they are to be my closest companions until God calls me home.
I’ve had many friendships in the past, several of which I would describe as close. Some based on common interests, some based on similar lifestyles, some on drinking and drugs, and one in particular just seemed to transcend any category. This last friendship I refer to started about 18 years ago and he remains to this day one of my best friends, if not my best friend. For the sake of his anonymity, I’ll call him “Jay” here. ”Jay” is heterosexual but not a Christian (in the born again sense) and the issue of my homosexuality never arose for the first couple years, and in fact I never really had to go through the process of coming out to him – although I was “closeted” at the time, he kind of picked up on it on his own and one day out of the blue just said “you’re gay, aren’t you?”. He was the first person to know. I must admit it took some weight off my shoulders after that, as somewhere in my mind my homosexuality had been a barrier between us and probably prevented me from feeling like we were close friends. After all, how could we really be close friends when he wasn’t even aware of such a major fact about me? FULL POST
Posted 6/23/13 at 6:49 PM | Dan Navin |
A couple of days ago, Exodus International president Alan Chambers announced that the organization would be shutting its doors after nearly 40 years of service to the Christian community. I experienced mixed emotions over this announcement. I am aware of the position that Exodus took for most of its existence regarding reparative therapy. I think much harm and damage was done to people through these tactics. On the other hand, I attended the 2012 Exodus freedom conference in June of that year with my friend and pastor Kerry, and his wife Laurie. That trip remains one of the most valued experiences I've had over these past few years and remains such a positive memory; both because of the special people who accompanied me to the event, as well as the event itself. It stands out, really, as a turning point for me in that I had never before been exposed to so many others who were pursuing a similar path as I was. I know that I am not the only person at my church who is dealing with these issues of same sex attraction, but at that time I did not know of anyone else who was. And so it was good for me to see others with whom I shared a similar struggle, and to worship the Lord together with them. FULL POST
Posted 2/18/13 at 9:21 PM | Dan Navin |
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
(James 4:17 ESV)
This verse in the book of James raises the bar to a high level in respect to how we are to make decisions for ourselves and on behalf of others. Oftentimes, when faced with a decision, I do my best to look for guidance in the Bible and through prayer. I believe this is a wise course of action, however I am still sometimes left wondering what God would have me do in the given situation. And sometimes this lack of direction can leave me unable or unwilling to take any action at all, sometimes out of fear for doing the wrong thing.
Do What You Think Is Good
One of the principles we should take from this verse in James is that my inability to gain clear instruction from the Bible is not necessarily a justifiable excuse to take no action, especially when for the good of another. Sometimes we withhold doing good for another because we believe others are more qualified to help; or perhaps we don't know the best way to help someone in a given situation. But even so, we can do something for a friend in need, and the Bible clearly tells us we should just do what we think is good and helpful. Let's be honest; in most situations, we know the right thing to do. It is often our own laziness, unwillingness to make the effort, or choice to take the easy road rather than put ourselves out there for another person that is the excuse for our inaction. We are all very good at coming up with excuses of why we shouldn't help someone And James is telling us that this failure to do good for another is sinful. Because while we may not be the "expert" in every case, we are still Christians who know the command of God to love others. God doesn't command us to solve all problems for all people, He simply commands us to be kind and do good for our brothers and sisters. And when we do this, we fulfill His command to love one another. When we have done what we were able to do, that we have met God's expectation of us in aiding, doing good, for another. FULL POST
Posted 2/10/13 at 12:00 AM | Dan Navin
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:19-24 ESV)
As God continue's His work in us, one of the qualities, a fruit of the Spirit, that He will develop in us is faithfulness. As Christians, we should seek to be regarded for our faithfulness; a faithful follower of Christ, faithful friend, faithful spouse, faithful brother or sister, faithful leader, a faithful reader of the Bible, faithful in prayer. And much as it is impossible to fully love someone outside of faith in Christ, so too is it impossible to have the faithfulness spoken of in this passage by Paul without this same faith in the Lord. It goes without saying that our faithfulness to God requires our faith. And without this faithfulness to God first, we cannot fully show our faithfulness in relationships with others; because a necessary component of our faithfulness requires us to draw our friends, brothers and sisters, spouses, and others to Him. FULL POST
Posted 2/7/13 at 11:49 AM | Dan Navin |
An Offensive Faith
Matt Moore is a Christian blogger who openly acknowledges his struggle with same sex attraction. He has written extensively of a past spent pursuing sex with other men, drinking, and drugs. He became convinced of the sinfulness of his lifestyle in 2010 and became a follower of Christ. Matt has blogged extensively about Christianity and the sinfulness of practicing homosexuality. You can learn more of Matt by visiting his blog at http://moorematt.com/. He also appears on The Christian Post.
On February 5th, news articles began appearing which told of Matt’s picture and profile on an app called Grindr. According to its website, this app allows users to locate nearby “gay, bi, and curious guys for dating or friends”. One of the prominent uses of Grindr is to facilitate “hook ups” by listing users in order of their proximity to each other. FULL POST
Posted 2/6/13 at 1:56 AM | Dan Navin |
So often we encounter sin in our own lives and in the lives of our Christian brothers and sisters. How does God continue to respond to us in our moments of sin? How are you and I called to respond to our brother or sister who has succumbed to sin? The answer to both questions is with love; God’s love and the application of love, as defined by God, by believers to their brothers and sisters.
God Gives Us An Advocate – Because We Need One!
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2 ESV)
We will sin. God hates sin. God also knows that even the most faithful follower of Christ is incapable of living a sinless life (1 Jn 1:8-10). And because of that, He sent His Son to die for the sins of the world. This is love. Jesus laid down His life for us so that we might join Him in worshiping His Father, have a relationship with Him, and enjoy eternal life. Sin in the lives of His saints is to be expected, but it is not to be embraced. FULL POST