Saturday, June 9, 2012

WHAT WERE THE SINS OF SODOM?

Jennifer Slattery, my author friend from American Christian Fiction Writers, is my guest today. Notice a contest and the opportunity to win a free makeover, and other interesting tidbits at the end. 

 One note from me, Ada Brownell: Jesus said, "Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." He added, "Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:31).





WHAT WERE THE SINS OF SODOM?


When most of us think of Sodom and Gomorrah, our minds jump to sexual sin. Isn’t that how we treat most sins? It’s easy to think of the “big ones” like sexual immorality and murder, overlooking those “minor” offenses like selfishness, slander, and greed. But does God follow a similar classification?

 Consider His words spoken to Sodom through the prophet Isaiah:

 10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; 
listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah! 
11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?” says the LORD. 
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; 
I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 
12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, 
this trampling of my courts? 
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. 
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. (Isaiah 1:10-13 NIV).
Those are some harsh words! What were these people doing to make God so upset?

(verse 17) Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. 
Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
God wanted them to be actively involved. He told them to seek justice. To defend the oppressed. To take up the cause—become an advocate for—the orphan and the widow.

 At our local pharmacy, a sign is posted behind the cash register. It reads, “I wondered why somebody didn’t do anything. Then I realized, I am somebody.”


 We know we are to care for the needy. Most of us long to make a difference, but when we look at all the needs in the world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We don’t know how to help. We feel as if our small efforts are insignificant, and so, we get discouraged. Before long, our discouragement leads to paralysis, and if unchecked, paralysis leads to apathy.

 But God never called us to change the world. He has called us to allow Him to love others through us, whether the “others” occupy a neighborhood or a single home. And we’re not alone. He has countless other believers sprinkled throughout the world, each one reaching out to someone else. On our own, our efforts feel insignificant, but if we could but step back and see the world through God’s eyes, we’d realize much is indeed being done. Millions are being fed, educated, helped, comforted.


Today, I invite you to join the love-campaign. You don’t even have to leave the house to do it.

 Simply pop by the Mary Kay website (https://www.mkmakeovercontest.com/gallery.jsp?id=163379 ) and voting for Jennifer Slattery’s not-so-lovely mug shot. If her photo wins, Mary Kay will donate a total of $5,500 GoThreads (http://gothreads.org/) and the Raining Season (http://www.therainingseason.org/). As an added incentive, Mary Kay consultant Sharyline Cochrane (http://www.marykay.com/sharilyne/default.aspx) is giving away $10 gift certificates and free make-overs (in person or via Skype) to everyone who votes then lets us know they did so in the comments of this post. You can vote up to five times per day, so start clicking! J

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Jennifer Slattery lives in the Midwest with her husband and daughter. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the ACFW Journal, Internet Café Devotions, and Jewels of Encouragement. You can connect with her online at her devotional blog at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte