Reclaiming Sunday as the Lord’s Day

How often does history repeat itself? It sometimes takes centuries and new generations to forget the past. We observe the world and the culture and think that we are experiencing something new, when actually we are only replaying the scenarios our forefathers knew.

The Christian community is looking at the world through the same lens and blaming our culture for the current ills. We want to point a finger at everyone outside our personal environment.

If we look to the Word of God, we find much to explain why we are in such straits as we are.

In a country that began as “a nation under God,” at first living as those who belonged to God, we wonder how things took a different turn.  As His people, we find that we are not much different from our ancestors that liked what other nations had. In their covetousness, they wanted a king to rule over them.

He gave them what they wanted and so they served and yielded the fruit of their own doing. Without Him, they became like other nations and suffered the consequences of living without His direction, presence, and power.

Even when they worshipped Him, they made their own laws, going their own way in idolatry.

Years after Israel’s exile and deliverance from Egypt, they rebelled against His precepts. We see in Daniel 9:1-19 the ramifications of their disobedience.

In the first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:” Daniel 9:2-5

Prophecy of Jeremiah

“Between the second and the third wave (of their captivity), Jeremiah prophesied that the total time would be 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10). On the one hand this emphasized how serious the sin of Israel was. They would not be saved after a few years, as they expected. On the other hand, it showed God’s grace. For He promised to not forget them, but to save them in the end. And He did. The Persians took over the Babylonian Empire, and released the Jews. As Jeremiah had prophesied, 70 years after the first captivity, the first returnees arrived in Israel. The hard punishment that the Lord gave them for forsaking him, resulted in their repentance.” Biblword

Scripture demonstrates that the Babylonian exile lasted for 70 years and that exile allowed the land to rest for the 70 Sabbath years that the Israelites had failed to observe. (See this link.)

God’s Word for His People

God did not expect the whole world to live by the commandments of His kingdom. He issued His Word to a chosen people for their obedience and dependence upon Him to lead and care for them.

We cannot expect the world to abide by God’s Word but we, as His people, are called to a life separate from the world. When we continue to live as if we are not His people observing the same lifestyle as the world, we are the ones who are in jeopardy. We are the people under His judgment.

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17

What can we do to change the climate of our nation and the world? We cannot change the world. It will continue in rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ until He comes again in victory over all nations.

As His people, we must pray for ourselves to know His rule in our own hearts and lives.

We must fast and pray for His Church in the world; for knowledge of Him, repentance and faith among His people. We must rise up in obedience to Him and His Word ~ to reclaim His kingdom on earth in us.

We can by His power, start by reclaiming and observing the day He gave us for separation from the world, as a prelude and practice for the eternal rest, honoring Him above all else.

We must begin somewhere to make the presence of His kingdom known.

Pray and Prove

We are already in captivity to our own thoughts and desires ~ in exile to the world’s depravity and culture. We must pray and prove that we belong to Him. We must witness of a different state and a different lifestyle as we continue through this wilderness. We must seek His kingdom and His righteousness through the knowledge of His Word and His commandments. We must live by the filling and leading of His Holy Spirit.

Sunday as we know it, is the Lord’s Day, given by the Father to His Son upon completion of His mission to save His people from this world of sin. The Lord’s Day is His Day to gather His people to Himself, to celebrate His victory over sin for us.

For all that He sacrificed for us ~ for His propitiation for our sins ~ we need to show our love and sacrifice for Him. Even if you are the only one who sees the need, be a witness to others of His will for the Lord’s Day. Plan during the week to make the Lord’s Day His day that He shares with you.

How do you spend Sundays?

How would you change how you spend the Lord’s Day so as to honor and glorify Him?

It will change your whole life and make you a testimony of His grace.

Dear Father in heaven, my heart is heavy, burdened for your name’s sake, when I see your people use the Day you planned for your Son’s honor for themselves. Send your Holy Spirit for conviction; by your goodness, bring us to repentance, renewed faith,  devotion, and commitment to our Lord who gave Himself to save us from this present evil age. In His precious name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

What was the Babylonian captivity/exile?

Words of Life ~ Babe(s)

What a blessing it has been since July of last year to be searching the Scriptures for Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian.

How wonderful that our last word AWAKE is a springboard ~ A to B ~ onto our next word BABE. Let us think of waking from the dead in trespasses and sin to new life as babes in the heavenly kingdom.

There are three different words for babe in the Old Testament and two in the New Testament.

From the Old Testament, we find the babe Moses in a basket in the river (Exodus 2:6), and in the New Testament we see Jesus, the babe in a manger (Luke 2:12; Luke 2:16).

Old Testament
H5288 as in Exodus 2:6 (babeMoses)
A masculine noun na`ar nah’·ar meansa; boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer

H5768`owlel ō·lāl’; child, boy
from H5763; a suckling:—babe, (young) child, infant, little one.

“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
hast thou ordained strength

because of thine enemies,
that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” 
Psalm 8:2

 Early church history records many amazing instances of the testimony of children for the truth of God, but perhaps more modern instances will be the most interesting.

Fox tells us, in the Book of Martyrs, that when Mr. Lawrence was burnt in Colchester, he was carried to the fire in a chair, because through the cruelty of the Papists, he could not stand upright, several young children came about the fire, and cried as well as they could speak, “Lord, strengthen thy servant, and keep thy promise.” God answered their prayer, for Mr. Lawrence died as firmly and calmly as anyone could wish to breathe his last.

One more instance is still nearer to our time. In a postscript to one of his letters, in which he details his persecution when first preaching in Moorfields, Whitfield says, “I cannot help adding that several little boys and girls, who were fond of sitting round me on the pulpit while I preached, and handed to me people’s notes–though they were often pelted with eggs, dirt, &c., thrown at me–never once gave way; but on the contrary, every time I was struck, turned up their little weeping eyes, and seemed to wish they could receive the blows for me.

He who delights in the songs of angels is pleased to honour himself in the eyes of his enemies by the praises of little children. What a contrast between the glory above the heavens, and the mouths of babes and sucklings! yet by both the name of God is made excellent. Spurgeon

Psalm 17:14 speaks of men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and who leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

H8586 ta`aluwl tah·al·ül’; wantonness, caprice, vexation
From H5953; caprice (as a fit coming on), i.e. vexation; concretely a tyrant:—babe, delusion.to act severely, deal with severely, make a fool of someone

In their rebellion, Israel would experience fulfillment of the Lord’s promise,

“And I will give children to be their princes, and babeshall rule over them.” Isaiah 3:4

New Testament
G3516 
nēpios nā’-pē-os; an infant, little child;  a minor, not of age, metaphorically, childish, untaught, unskilled.

Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 when the people are shouting “Hosanna.”

“And (the Pharisees) said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babeand sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” Matthew 21:16

Paul speaks in Romans 2:20 of one who is an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

Paul and the writer of Hebrews speak of immature Christians

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babein Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” Hebrews 5:13

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father,
Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21

How blessed are those who come in humility to learn of Christ and the things of His kingdom ~ things not revealed to the wise and prudent of this world.  These words Jesus spoke before His invitation, “Come to me.”

G1025 brephos bre’-fos;an unborn child, embryo, a foetus

The same word is used for infants and children, but especially of the unborn child in Luke 1:41 when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe (John) leaped  in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

“For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation
sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”
Luke 1:44

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby:
1 Peter 2:2

Dear Father in heaven, whose glory outshines the brightest star, we thank you. For new Life in Christ that satisfies more than any earthly joy, we praise you. How can we express appreciation for your Word and Spirit that enables us to grow in grace and knowledge of you? Work it in us, I pray. In Jesus’ precious and Holy name. Amen.
Fran

Jesus ~ Wrapped for our Glory

Still, in the wonderful process of searching the truths of God’s Word for Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory, I am finding more to do with the Lord’s work around us than within us ~ at least a hundred references.~ much of which we are probably not aware.

It is the gleaning of His Word and His promises that bring us to understand His total and complete work on our behalf while we live in this wilderness. His Word reveals His constant presence with us but because we are so inundated by the thoughts, words, and behavior of the multitudes, we have not known and practiced these precious truths of the kingdom.

I had not understood why the term Wrapped in Glory was given in this title. Now, I am delighting in what He is showing me. The first pertains to being Wrapped. (We will share thoughts on His Glory later.) There are three references in the New Testament to Jesus’ being wrapped.

  1. “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;” Luke 2:7

Jesus came from His glory into this world, was wrapped in human garb so that He could wrap us in the swaddling clothes of His glory.

How low the King of glory stoops, and how gloriously he uplifts the lowly to share his glory! Charles Spurgeon

  1. “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,” Matthew 27:59

Jesus was wrapped twice in His human helplessness ~ first, as a baby and last, as the sacrificial Lamb.

  1. “And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.” John 20:7

They were lying there in their regular folds as if the body of Jesus had simply evaporated out of them. Matthew Henry

Plainly the effect of thought, care, and composure; and clearly showed, that the body was not taken away in a hurry, or by thieves, since everything lay in such order and decency; and which was done, either by our Lord himself, or by the angels. John Gill

His resurrection reveals His finished work. The last of His earthly wrappings set aside, He would prove His resurrection to His disciples, then ascend to be robed in His heavenly glory.

From the right hand of His Father, He sent His Holy Spirit, as He promised to His disciples before His death (John 14 -16; Acts 1) The Holy Spirit is now revealing and fulfilling all the promises for His people. Even as we are now learning what it means that we are made to sit in heavenly places in Christ, He will finish His work in and through us, in preparation to bring us home to the glory of the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature
: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17

Gracious Father, how are we to understand these things, except you give us your Holy Spirit to work them in us ~ to bring us by your power into the arms of our Lord and wrap us in your glory. Thank you for the promises that are ours in Christ as revealed in your Word. In Jesus’ name, I praise you. Amen.

A Bloody Crown, a Bloody Cross, a Bloody Sacrifice

After posting Three Crosses, Two Crowns, One Sacrifice I  wanted to do this follow-up. In that article, images depicted everything clean as if the cross of Christ was never used. The crowns were those of earthly kings. The precious sweet lamb was untouched, alive in the green grass.

As the church plans to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ next Lord’s Day, I am reminded that we seldom think about the events that led to this celebration. Too often we skip the crucifixion and the tomb, forgetting the suffering and the sacrifice that made our salvation sure. Some people can look at blood and gore and are insensitive to it. I, like others, avoid it at all costs. Even the sounds of violence from a distance make me cringe.

Still others will not consider their need for a bloody Savior. The rich man of the South who said, “I don’t need anyone to die for me,” didn’t know his own heart.

Understanding how we are reconciled to God through the blood of His own Son is necessary ~ if we are to experience the power of His love and grace working in and through us.

Even as I continue to study the humility of Christ, I desire the Lord to give me a deeper understanding of His sacrificial atonement. I pray that you, the reader, will receive something of what He is showing me; to know the love that was in the blood that was shed for us; to let that love fill us so that we love Him even more.

And as Paul spoke to the Roman church, let us pray that we are so humbled by His mercy that we respond by offering ourselves as “a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1-2) for our God, “who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” Ephesians 2:4

A Bloody Crownimages

Charles Spurgeon said in his sermon The Bloody Crown:

Beloved, I always feel as if my tongue were tied when I come to talk of the sufferings of my Master. I can think of them. I can picture them to myself. I can sit down and weep over them, but I know not how to paint them to others! Did you ever know pen or pencil that could? A Michelangelo or a Raphael might well shrink back from attempting to paint this picture! And the tongue of an archangel might be consumed in the effort to sing the griefs of Him who was loaded with shame because of our shameful transgressions.

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. John 19:2

And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium;
and they call together the whole band.
And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns,
and put it about his head,
And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him,
and bowing their knees worshipped him.
Mark 15:16-19

Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s Gospels record the scourging and mocking right before Jesus was led away to be crucified. But John’s gospel records (and he was an eye witness) Pilate bringing him before the chief priests, the elders, and the crowd before He was led away.

Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! John 19:5

What did Pilate mean by doing this? He may have thought that all the blood would discourage the Jewish leaders and the crowd, but no ~ they wanted more. What they saw from Jesus’ beating and the thorns on His head was not enough. They must have his life. They must see Him destroyed; no matter how much blood it took.

They could not know how powerful that blood would be to save His people ~ and to condemn them. The envy, the anger, the hatred, the malice from the enemy was the very reason that Jesus had to endure such suffering.   God knew what was needed to accomplish our redemption ~ an innocent Lamb, a holy man, Himself in human form. He knew that in the presence of sinful men He would be massacred.

At any point, amid the pain and the humiliation from Pilate, the soldiers, and the Jews, Jesus could have shown His power and position as God. Even in His physical weakness He could have spoken the word, or called down heaven and destroyed all or part of Jerusalem. (That would happen later.) But, all that happened was part of the plan for our redemption. Jesus could not turn back now. From the sweat drops of blood in the garden, the betrayal of Judas, the forsaking of the disciples, the mocking of the soldiers, and the crown of shame, He was well into fulfilling the new covenant.

He was revealing the necessity for blood, the reality of atonement through His own blood. To endure all for our sake was the true manner of humility revealed to us.

The pain which He had endured from the scourges caused Him to throb with exquisite anguish—but we read neither of tears nor groans—much less of angry complaints or revengeful threats. He does not seek pity, or make one appeal for leniency. He does not ask why they torture or why they mock. Brave Witness! Courageous Martyr! Suffering exquisitely, You also suffered calmly! Such a perfect frame as His—His body being conceived without sin—He must have been capable of tortures which our bodies, corrupted by sin, cannot feel. Charles Spurgeon

Bloody-Cross-600x450A Bloody Cross

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11

The beatings and the blood on His head did not faze Jesus. He was the central figure in this greatest event in history. It is His story of redemption. The cross, saturated with His blood, is the main scene ~ the turning point for humanity and the gateway leading to eternal life with Him. In the last decade, I have given up watching mere men do this role in plays and movies. It is but an act. No man but Jesus Christ has done this part. It is better to read and meditate on His word for this reality in our own hearts than to see an imitation.

The cross was the means that God had chosen; that Jesus knew He must bear; it was a revelation of God’s love and grace. It is the symbol for us to remember. We wear crosses around our necks.   Most of them are gold and silver. None are bloody. But we must remember the blood of the cross of Christ; His life that was shed for us.

That blood was the blood of the new covenant. The beatings and the bloody crown were only the preludes to our own lifeline. Without the blood of His hands, His feet, and His side, there would have been no reconciliation and peace between God and us. I use the words ‘God and us,’ instead of ‘us and God,’ because He is the initiator and the fulfillment of the covenant. We must see the blood, even as He had to see the blood, and therefore passed over our sins.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11

Mark his brow-they have put about it a crown of thorns, and the crimson drops of gore are rushing down his cheeks! . . . But turn aside that purple robe for a moment. His back is bleeding. ..They lift up the thongs, still dripping clots of gore; they scourge and tear his flesh, and make a river of blood to run down his shoulders! This is the shedding of blood without which there is no remission…They fling him to the ground; they nail his hands and feet to the transverse wood, they hoist it in the air…Blood from his head, blood from his hands, blood from his feet. . They pierce his side, and forthwith runneth out blood and water.   Charles Spurgeon

A Bloody Sacrificeimages

                “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

After that tremendous struggle, the strength of Love mastered the weakness of Manhood—He put that cup to His lips and never shrank—He drank right on till not a drop was left! And now the cup of wrath is empty—no trace of the terrible wine of the wrath of God can be found within it! At one tremendous draught of love, the Lord drank destruction dry, forever, for all His people. Charles Spurgeon

The blood on the crown of thorns and the stain on the cross was the blood of Jesus Christ. The pouring out of His blood on the ground was more than a sprinkling and spoke better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 13:24) There was life in that blood, the life of the Son of God who lived for one purpose ~ to lay down His life; to shed His blood for us.

“It is finished.” It was done according to His everlasting covenant. He was the bloody sacrifice for His people. We don’t have to look at a bloody cross anymore, but we must remember it. Nor do we need a crucifix with a figure of a man with no bloodstains.

He left us with two ordinances to remember His sacrifice; baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We need but to be baptized into His death once, but His sacrifice is to be remembered when we come together for worship. Blessed are we who celebrate the resurrection and remember His death with the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day.

Peace Through His Blood
Jesus is no longer a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger, or a man on a cross, or wrapped in a linen shroud lying in a tomb. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords living today and forever as our merciful and faithful High Priest; sitting at the right hand of God, having offered the oblation of His blood for His people; making reconciliation for us; and now, as our mediator, interceding for us.

We would be blessed today and tomorrow to read and meditate on the crucifixion of our Lord, so as to come to worship and celebrate this Lord’s Day with a deeper sense of His mercy and grace.

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
through sanctification of the Spirit,
unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
1 Peter 1:2

The blood is one of the strangest, the deepest, the mightiest, and the most heavenly of the thoughts of God. It lies at the very root of both Covenants, but specially of the New Covenant. The difference between the two Covenants is the difference between the blood of beasts, and the blood of the Lamb of God! The power of the New Covenant has no lesser measure than the worth of the blood of the Son of God! Your Christian experience ought to know of no standard of peace with God, and purity from sin, and power over the world, than the blood of Christ can give! If we would enter truly and fully into all the New Covenant is meant to be to us, let us beseech God to reveal to us the worth and the power of the blood of the Covenant, the precious blood of Christ!  The Two Covenants Andrew Murray

Dear heavenly Father, just as we cannot paint the picture of Christ, your Son, for others, neither can we put into words our praise and gratitude for so great a salvation, performed as planned and executed in your timing and place.  Let the blood of Christ, that is efficacious, doing all that you planned it to do, work in us the power over sin.  Cleanse us and keep us always looking to Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith. In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

 

Words of Life ~ ATTAIN(ed)

Every search of God’s Word uncovers a treasure. Let us seek to attain to all that He has for us as His people here, now, and forever.
The Old Testament uses the word ATTAIN in many references as it pertains to man’s inability to accomplish ~ always falling short of ~ what is expected of God’s creatures. The New Testament uses the word in reference to attaining the righteousness of Christ. We will look at different meanings of the word.

Old Testament  H7069
Strong’s concordance defines ATTAIN, qanah kä·nä’; to get, acquire, create, buy, possess by extension, to procure.

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;
and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”
Proverbs 1:5

H5381 nasag nä·sag’; to reach, overtake, take hold upon
This word is used in reference to the duties of the priest in offerings.

“And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock,
and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs
according as his hand shall attain unto,
and an hin of oil to an ephah.” Ezekiel 46:7

<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high,
I cannot attain unto it.” Psalm 139:6

This is a well-known verse in which David speaks of the knowledge of God– whether the truth of God’s knowing him or the wonder of God’s ability to know all things – it is high, beyond his understanding. In search of the meaning of the word attain in this verse, I found a different link from the others.

H3201 yakol yä·kōle’: to prevail, overcome, endure, have power, be able refers to what he cannot do. He is not able to reach high enough, to prevail over his weakness, or to have the power to understand that which is heavenly. In the following quote, we have one of Charles Surgeon’s priceless gems.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. I cannot grasp it. I can hardly endure to think of it. Such knowledge not only surpasses my comprehension, but even my imagination. It is high, I cannot attain unto it. It seems to be always above me, even when I soar into the loftiest regions of spiritual thought. Is it not so with every attribute of God? Can we attain to any idea of his power, his wisdom, his holiness? We are not surprised that the Most Glorious God should in his knowledge be high above all the knowledge to which we can attain: it must of necessity be so, since we are such poor limited beings; and when we stand a tip-toe we cannot reach to the lowest step of the throne of the Eternal.

New Testament H2658
Strong’s Concordance defines ATTAIN, katantaō kä-tän-tä’-ōto; come to, arrive
In Philippians 3:11, Paul desires that he might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

G5348 phthanō fthä’-nō;  to come before, precede, anticipate, to come to, arrive at, to reach

“But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness,
hath not attained to the law of righteousness.”
Romans 9:31

 Phthano referred to Israel who had not attained to the law of righteousness because they trusted only in their own righteousness. But to the Philippian church, he speaks of those who are like-minded in the righteousness of Christ as coming to the same faith as other believers.

“Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained,
let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”
Philippians 3:16

G2983 lambanō läm-bä’-nō; to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it. to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain

“Not as though I had already attained,
either were already perfect: but I follow after,
if that I may apprehend that for which also
I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12

Paul’s purpose was to reach the destination set before him in the gospel. As he continued to preach, teach, and lead others in the way of righteousness, his focus was intentional, not to fall short, but to press on to reach his goal and to train others to follow him until they obtained the promised reward.

G3877 parakoloutheō pä-rä-ko-lü-the’-ō; so to follow one as to be always at his side.

“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things,
thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ,
nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine,
whereunto thou hast attained.”
1 Timothy 4:6

Paul speaks of Timothy having attained the place of a good minister of Jesus Christ through faith and doctrine, following as to be always at His side and bringing others to walk with him.

Dear Father, what joy to know that we have attained to a like-faith with other believers; that we walk together with Christ in our pilgrimage toward our eternal home, encouraging and supporting, as we, like Timothy, are nourished in the words of faith and of good doctrine. Continue to lead us by the presence of your Holy Spirit and power. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

ABORTION

 “For thou hast possessed my reins:
thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:”
Psalm 139:13-14 

(Written years ago, this article was discovered in a notebook among many other notebooks. That I found it in this time of history is interesting. Laws concerning abortion have been passed to the degree that there seems to be no understanding or value of life anymore. The more laws, the more power is given to men and women to decide who lives.)

This was not written to judge those who have had abortions but to speak to a generation that sees nothing wrong with abortion. I ask the following questions to make some sense of the practice of deleting life according to man’s standards.

I use the plural pronoun, not that we all have considered abortion, but as citizens of a nation that has accepted it and made it a normal practice

What are we aborting?
To abort means we have the power to prevent human life from developing in the womb.

Not to abort means we believe that what starts as a seed planted in a physical body will develop into human life.

However we think about it – there is the potential of a full life in a fetus.

Why would we want to abort?
– because we have the power to make this decision?
We also have the power to choose life for one which has no power of its own.

Is it because we would have to bring up a child on our own?

Perhaps this is the means of God’s grace to show us His provisions for us and for the child.

For those who are single — is it because we would have to face the truth of our sin before God, our family, and friends? (This question can only be understood as we know God’s standard for intimacy with others.)

This could be God’s timing to bring us in faith and repentance to Him. He loves, forgives, and proves His care and provision in all things.

Some may say, “Because I have a miserable life.”
It does not have to be that way. This may be God’s plan to start a new life.

There is Help!
There are organizations that support women through pregnancy, for the mother to keep the baby or to consider offering and blessing a family through adoption.*

I would encourage the first and best thing: to keep a baby, to accept God’s provisions of faith in Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, to love and bring up this baby in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). There is no greater blessing than for Him to love a parent and a child, for the mother (and father, if willing) to know His love and to love the child as He loves.

There is a great purpose and a promise in carrying a baby full term. It is believing God is the creator of all life and has given this child as a blessing. He uses even our faults and mistakes for His purpose and His glory.

I pray that the Lord will do a work in hearts to allow Him to lead through full-time pregnancy and to bring children to Him for His instruction and joy.

*If you need help to determine if you are pregnant, want an ultrasound, or considering an abortion, please check at the bottom of this link to find a pregnancy resource center near you. A mobile service is available in some areas.

(IF YOU ARE PRO-LIFE, CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO YOUR LOCAL PREGNANCY RESOURCE CENTER.)

For a look at the truth of Planned Parenthood, please see the movie Unplanned scheduled in theaters on March 29, 2019.

“….. CHOOSE LIFE.”
Deuteronomy 30:19

 Dear Father, we are in need of your Spirit’s conviction; to understand your will for our holiness. We need to know you as the giver of every seed of life and the sustainer of what you give. Search us and know our hearts. try us and know our thoughts. Turn us to confession, repentance and true life in Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

All Things New

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things
are become new
.
2 Corinthians 5:17

In awe for the last decade, I have been given another new year to express the all-glorious presence and blessings of our Almighty God. Ten years ago, I was thinking how close I might be to leaving this planet to be with our Lord. Now in my eighth decade, I sense more and more my weakness and dependence on my Creator and Redeemer as He continues to prepare me for eternity with Him. It is a second childhood I heard about in my first childhood, but, oh so much more than I had imagined. And, I am loving it!

Learning to leave behind those things I thought were so precious years ago, I have been blessed for the Lord to reveal His kingdom of grace in me enabling me to experience a taste of that which is to come.

Trust in the One Who Gives Life
Did I say that these years have been comfortable and pleasant? Not by any stretch of the imagination; they are being spent in trust and leaning upon the One who gave me life twice ~ as Creator and Redeemer ~ a new life that will never end.

Giving me the responsibility as a full-time caregiver for Jerry has been the Father’s way of grooming me as His servant. And there is no greater joy than this. Having served in many roles (too many to list) the role of a servant tops the list for joy and fulfillment in His kingdom.

With one of my favorite verses of His Word, I end my first prayer each day before getting out of bed.

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” Psalm 90:17

There is always new work to do. With this expectation, we know this new year of our Lord, 2019 will be filled with newness of life. With every day and every trial in the last several years, we have experienced a greater sense of His presence and His goodness.

Lovecraft ~ A New Look
After eight years of blogging, we are using a new format. In searching, I chose a fitting theme Lovecraft~ not knowing the name of the theme until afterward. We will be tweaking it until we decide on the final look. One difference in this theme is the overlay of the area for the text. Images are good, but we want to focus on the truths of God’s Word and His kingdom. A physical image cannot aptly portray the spiritual truths of His love and grace.

We have also just published a new book which we will review the end of this week; What the Holy Bible Says about The Word of GOD, second in the series What the Holy Bible Says.

Our God is the Living God, the God of wonders, the God who never leaves us. He desired us before the world began and sired us in His timing ~ to bring us to Himself through His Son’s redemptive work and the power of His Holy Spirit. He continues to show us great and mighty things we have not known (Jeremiah 33:3) ~ to us, in us and through us. All this; all that He does is for His glory and our joy.

Dear Father in heaven, you have called us unto your eternal glory through Jesus Christ, your Son. We thank you for your mercy and grace, by your Holy Spirit, to accomplish all that you have planned for us in this new year. Whether to keep us here to proclaim the legacy of your kingdom or to bring us home with you, we praise you now. Continue to fill us all with the outpouring of your Spirit to speak and write the truth of your Word that others may know you and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image is from Christian Poetry by Deborah Ann. 
You would be blessed to visit her blog.