Bible Love Notes: Hard Teachings of Scripture

Many believe God’s commands against premarital sex and homosexuality are “hard” teachings. 

They disagree with Bible passages that define homosexuality as “unnatural” and sinful (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-13). They disagree that sexual intimacy should be confined to marriage (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-13). 

When people think God’s teachings are “hard,” it’s because they don’t understand the wisdom, goodness, love, and purpose of God (Psalm 33:4).

In John 6:25-70, Christ talked symbolically about His death, and many of His followers said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 

They didn’t trust Christ’s love or purposes, so they left Him. 

Afterwards, Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Do you also wish to leave me?”

Our country has approved sexual immorality and our courts have protected it (Romans 1:16-32).  

And we must make a choice: to be ashamed of God’s words (Luke 9:26), or to lovingly defend truth and expose darkness (Ephesians 5:11).

Christ is asking, “Do you also wish to leave me?”

How will you answer?


Revelation 12:11 Commentaries: “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

Revelation 12:11 Commentaries: “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
— Read on

The King Messiah

In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. -Isaiah 40:3-5
Isaiah 40:3-5

God is going to return to his land by crossing the great tract of wilderness that lay between Babylon and Jerusalem. His glorious presence is going to take up residence in the temple once more, as it did in the days of Solomon. This is when the great promise to Abraham of blessing for all nations (remember Gen 12:1-3
Genesis 12:1-3
) will come true. Not only this, but God’s going to lead the Israelite exiles back to their land:

See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. -Isaiah 40:10-11

87 Self-Reflection Questions for Introspection [+Exercises]

These 10 questions are great ways to jumpstart self-reflection (Woronko, n.d.):

Am I using my time wisely?
Am I taking anything for granted?
Am I employing a healthy perspective?
Am I living true to myself?
Am I waking up in the morning ready to take on the day?
Am I thinking negative thoughts before I fall asleep?
Am I putting enough effort into my relationships?
Am I taking care of myself physically?
Am I letting matters that are out of my control stress me out?
Am I achieving the goals that I’ve set for myself?
The following 30 questions are questions you can ask yourself every day to get to know yourself better (William, n.d.):

Who am I, really?
What worries me most about the future?
If this were the last day of my life, would I have the same plans for today?
What am I really scared of?
Am I holding on to something I need to let go of?
If not now, then when?
What matters most in my life?
What am I doing about the things that matter most in my life?
Why do I matter?
Have I done anything lately that’s worth remembering?
Have I made someone smile today?
What have I given up on?
When did I last push the boundaries of my comfort zone?
If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby, what advice would I give?
What small act of kindness was I once shown that I will never forget?
How will I live, knowing I will die?
What do I need to change about myself?
Is it more important to love or be loved?
How many of my friends would I trust with my life?
Who has had the greatest impact on my life?
Would I break the law to save a loved one?
Would I steal to feed a starving child?
What do I want most in life?
What is life asking of me?
Which is worse: failing or never trying?
If I try to fail and succeed, what have I done?
What’s the one thing I’d like others to remember about me at the end of my life?
Does it really matter what others think about me?
To what degree have I actually controlled the course of my life?
When all is said and done, what will I have said more than I’ve done?
Finally, the following 30 prompts and questions are great ways to put your journal to use (Tartakovsky, 2014):

My favorite way to spend the day is . . .
If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is . . .
The two moments I’ll never forget in my life are . . . (Describe them in great detail, and what makes them so unforgettable.)
Make a list of 30 things that make you smile.
“Write about a moment experienced through your body. Making love, making breakfast, going to a party, having a fight, an experience you’ve had or you imagine for your character. Leave out thought and emotion, and let all information be conveyed through the body and senses.”
The words I’d like to live by are . . .
I couldn’t imagine living without . . .
When I’m in pain—physical or emotional—the kindest thing I can do for myself is . . .
Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely support you, and whom you can genuinely trust. Then, make time to hang out with them.
What does unconditional love look like for you?
What things would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally? How can you act on these things, even if you’re not yet able to love yourself unconditionally?
I really wish others knew this about me . . .
Name what is enough for you.
If my body could talk, it would say . . .
Name a compassionate way you’ve supported a friend recently. Then, write down how you can do the same for yourself.
What do you love about life?
What always brings tears to your eyes? (As Paulo Coelho has said, “Tears are words that need to be written.”)
Write about a time when your work felt real, necessary and satisfying to you, whether the work was paid or unpaid, professional or domestic, physical or mental.
Write about your first love—whether it’s a person, place or thing.
Using 10 words, describe yourself.
What’s surprised you the most about your life or life in general?
What can you learn from your biggest mistakes?
I feel most energized when . . .
“Write a list of questions to which you urgently need answers.”
Make a list of everything that inspires you—whether books, websites, quotes, people, paintings, stores, or stars in the sky.
What’s one topic you need to learn more about to help you live a more fulfilling life? (Then, follow through and learn more about that topic.)
I feel happiest in my skin when . . .
Make a list of everything you’d like to say no to.
Make a list of everything you’d like to say yes to.
Write the words you need to hear.

— Read on