Deacon Arlene Burton presents The Prayer of Encouragement – Voices of Youths Friday – July 2021. Deacon Burton owns the copyright to this post. We reprint here with her permission.
Hi everyone. It is the third Friday of the month and the voices of our youths are here! Today’s encouragement was done by Anjesh Zodge. He is 14 years of age, and currently in high school. He is a member of the Grace Youth Ministries (GYM).
~STAYING TRUE TO YOUR BELIEF~
Today’s world has changed immensely in comparison to how it was some years ago. Some people claim to have more rights. This can be seen when they express their voices on most topical issues. Although it may seem good for people to have a greater impact in addressing certain issues within our society, one could say that the way they are dealt with gave rise to major backlash as it relates to what they claim versus the principles from the word of God.
Now that people have such great power in today’s decisions, they feel like they can do WHATEVER they want. I am of the view that people have now “forced” governments into legalizing many things that are sinful, and harmful to society. One issue that can be considered in this regard is homosexuality. Many people are careful in dealing with this issue and some may avoid it. Nowadays, being homosexual is seen as normal and acceptable. However, as Christians, we must understand that though humankind may see it as right, the Lord our God knows and has taught us that He is not pleased with the act of homosexuality, and this makes it wrong.
We find that there are many arguments that lead to a compromise in dealing with the issue of homosexuality. But what does the Bible say about it? One scripture in Leviticus states “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death. Their blood will be on their own heads.” (Leviticus 20:13, NIV). This was the Old Testament teaching.
What about the New Testament? Paul in one of his writings expressed concern about the sinful act of humankind and the accompanying wrath of God. One of them that he mentioned was about sinful sexual desires. He said “…God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1: 26-27, NIV).
Hence, we must not support or condone the laws of humankind that conflict with the word of God. We should stay true to our beliefs and not fall into the temptation of man and believe that those sinful actions are fine. Some of our boys and girls have experienced abuse because of homosexuality. They are influenced into the act. Some of them have chosen to change but there are others who have kept on the path. I agree that some of them have also experienced abuse from heterosexuals but either way, it is wrong.
Another concern is the legalizing of abortion all over the world. Abortion in its simplest form is murder, and the Bible heavily rejects murder in all shapes and forms. Many people have accepted such acts and it goes to show how far we have been led astray from God as a people. We must try our hardest to keep close to Him and obey His Law. Jeremiah was a young man when the Lord called him into ministry. He could have been younger than me. He was required to speak but nervous to do so. I put forward Jeremiah for two reasons. Firstly, the Lord ordained him to be a prophet before he was born.
The scriptures state, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’ ‘Alas, Sovereign Lord,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak, I am too young.’” (Jeremiah 1:4-5, NIV).
Based on the scriptures, God’s plan for Jeremiah was from before he was born. How can you then determine who should live, and who should die?
The second point is that Jeremiah was afraid of what people would do to him. He was scared but God planned to prepare him to be His speaker to the nations (Jeremiah 1:9-10).
The final issue is one that has been going on for many years and it is the practice of tattooing. The Bible forbids tattoos. Leviticus states “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:28, NIV). When we do this we are defacing the beautiful body that the Lord gave us. Our bodies are supposed to be God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20) but we are destroying the Temple of God in us. Many people endorse tattoos. Some people use it for fashion, others use it to remember lost loved ones, etc., and many other reasons. These reasons make it seem like it is fine to have tattoos, but it is quite the opposite.
When we consider the foregoing, it simply goes to show how humans have fallen from grace. Together as Christians, we must fight our hardest to resist the temptations of this world that go against God’s Law for us. We must continue to stand strong and stay true to our beliefs in our God Almighty.
Jesus Christ came not to abolish the Law of God but through Him, by His grace and mercy, the Law could be fulfilled. There are those people who do or have the tendency to commit wrongful acts but God’s love is for you. The mercies of God are still being extended to you. He did not come to this world to condemn you (John 3:16-17). I do not condemn you. He came so that you and I can be saved, and experience healing. We need to open our hearts to Him and be consistent.
Let us pray:
Dear righteous and Heavenly Father, we thank You for today. We thank You for blessing us, keeping us safe, and providing us with all that we need and even some of what we want. We thank You for protecting us from all evil and danger.
Dear God, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. that You continue to watch over us, be in our hearts and clear our minds of anything that is not of You. Lord, we ask that You will be with us and forgive us of our sins. Cover us from the crowns of our heads to the soles of our feet.
Lord, we ask that You will keep our minds focused on You. We ask that You will lead us away from temptation. Keep us along Your path and protect us from the trap of the Devil. We pray that You will help all of our leaders, our workers especially those on the frontline, our children and youths, our citizens and our countries to see and know that some acts are wrong and sinful. We ask that You will lead them into changing their ways.
Lord, we ask that You guide and protect us. Provide for us, and grant us the wisdom to conduct our lives in ways that please You. In Jesus’s name we pray with thanksgiving.
Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, if you also need prayer or comfort, please contact us with your request. We would be so very happy to share with you.