COLOR RUN: A REFLECTION

I suppose it’s only fair that if my good friend pastor Bryan has to preach twice on the topic of sexual temptation that I should be able to write the blog post (click to hear his sermon). However if I would have known about the topic ahead of time I would have been tempted to trade with another writer.

My hesitance stems from the fact that this is an area that I have struggled with more than any other throughout my life. Starting from puberty the preponderance of sex in our American culture invaded my teenage brain and setup shop. Throughout my adolescent years the temptation consisted of programs on tv, images in magazines and the advent of the internet.

Coming from a very strong faith background and practically growing up at Immanuel I was very aware of the dangers of sex outside of God’s design in marriage. I knew the stories of great men like King David and Solomon who were corrupted by giving into their sexual lusts and was positive that I didn’t want to be counted among them. However every time I resisted by tearing up magazines or smashing DVD’s the temptation would just show up around the next corner. This constant back and forth persisted constantly up until a couple years into college when something changed. Instead of looking for ways I could fight and do battle with the sexual temptation in my life I started pursuing God more regularly and fervently.

Without even realizing it the desire and temptation had by and large disappeared. At times there would inevitably come periods when I wasn’t as diligent in my pursuit of God and like clockwork those were the times when sexual temptation reared its head. Through this experience I learned first-hand that the words Bryan gave us Sunday were absolutely true. “Fleeing sin is less about running away from something and more about running toward someone.”

My encouragement to you as we reflect back on Sunday’s message is when faced with any temptation fix your eyes, thoughts and behaviors on God and His word and the power that sin can have will begin to melt away. For me this looks like spending time regularly in Scripture and in intentional spiritual relationships where I can find accountability and support during times when I may be struggling. Our bodies are a temple purchased at a high price, let’s be sure to honor God with our whole selves and “run from sexual sin” (1 Cor. 6:18-20 NLT).


 

 John Worth is a lifelong attender of Immanuel and husband to Hyacynth. John and Hy are parents of four ranging in age from 4 to 14. When he’s not nose deep in spreadsheets at work John enjoys helping others navigate the waters of life.

 

LIFE IN THE MIDST OF DEATH

One of the more common questions I’ve ever heard non-Christians ask is, “If God is good, why do bad things happen?”

And it’s a good question. Why do mass murders happen? Why do people get sick? Why are there people with no home and no food?

Honestly, I don’t have the answers to these questions either.

But what I do know is that sometimes, God uses terrible events and circumstances to create glorious outcomes.

When I think about this, I’m reminded of a time when I was fifteen years old.

One of my best friends passed away suddenly in a car accident in late June of that year. It was absolutely the worst thing that had ever happened to me up to that point. I constantly asked God why he would take my friend, someone I was supposed to grow up with, someone who had yet to share laughs and jokes and smiles with the world.

What I didn’t know was that God wasn’t done using her, that her life had meaning even after her death. After the accident, her friends became interested in God and even started coming to our youth group. One friend in particular stuck around enough to get connected and ended up accepting Jesus – someone who might’ve never come to church otherwise.

God gave new life to someone in the midst of another’s passing.

I’ll admit, it’s still hard for me to go on without my friend, but at least I know her loss wasn’t in vain. God takes, but he gives too. These moments of confusion and pain will lead us to despair if we take them individually. Yet, God is at work, orchestrating all of these events. When you’re in that dark place, remember: there’s more God in every situation than we think.

 


Gracie Adamek attends the College of Lake County and hopes to one day be a special education teacher. She likes to sing, act, knit, and write. She hopes you enjoy your time here, reading these blogs, and is very grateful for the opportunity to glorify God through her words