Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

January 23, 2017 in Abortion, Bible - OT - Ezekiel, Children, Meditations, Politics
Ezekiel 16:20-21 (NKJV)
Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to [your idols] to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to [your gods] by causing them to pass through the fire?
Once upon a time there was a man and wife who longed to have a child. However, for some years the wife could not conceive. Finally, to their great delight, she found herself with child and husband and wife eagerly awaited her birth
It just so happened that the couple’s home overlooked a walled garden that was owned by a terrible witch. As the wife’s pregnancy progressed, she developed an intense craving for the nut lettuce or rapunzel that she saw growing there. She begged and pleaded with her husband to get her some of the rapunzel but he refused, knowing it was wrong to steal and being afraid of the witch. However, when his wife became so desperate that she ceased eating altogether, he relented, broke into the garden, and stole some rapunzel.
His wife was delighted. She made herself a large salad and devoured the rapunzel. But her desire for the rapunzel only increased. The next day she demanded more – and again the next day. But just as the husband was making away with the lettuce, he was discovered by the witch. Great was her wrath as she loomed above him.
“How dare you steal from my garden?” demanded the witch. “Prepare to die!”
“Please,” begged the husband, “have mercy! I would not have dared to steal from your garden but my wife is pregnant with our first child and declared that she would die without this rapunzel.”
At these words the witch’s demeanor softened though her lips curled in derision and her eyes bore a hungry look. “Very well, you may take the rapunzel. But this is the price you must pay – when your wife has borne this child, you must give it to me.”
The man agreed. After all, what else could he do? He had stolen from her garden and would lose his own life if he refused. And perhaps the witch would forget the bargain? So he departed with the rapunzel. Soon his wife gave birth to their child, a lovely daughter. Immediately the witch appeared to claim her prize and the parents watched helpless as she took the child away. They were brokenhearted.
The story of Rapunzel reminds us that when we choose to serve other gods, they frequently give us their goods – even as the witch gave away her rapunzel – but these goods always come at a price; and that price is frequently our children. It was for this abomination, the abomination of handing their children over to other gods, that God exhorted our fathers through His prophet Ezekiel.
Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to [your idols] to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to [your gods] by causing them to pass through the fire?
Today we celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Today is the 44th anniversary of the diabolical Roe v Wade decision. Since then Americans alone have slaughtered over 59 million children, offered them up to our gods and polluted our hands with blood. In America the gods that we have been worshiping – consumerism, greed, immorality, power, influence, convenience, beauty – have been demanding our children. We’ve made a pact with the witch and now she’s taking our children. Even more tragically, many of these slaughtered children were slain by professing Christians. We have taken God’s children and caused them to pass through the fire.
Is there hope? Only in our Prince, the Lord Jesus Christ. He can rescue us and our children from our false gods, deliver us from the madness that has overtaken us, and take us to His own kingdom. For though He too demands our children, He demands them that they may live not that they may die. So let us listen to Him, hear His voice, and turn from the false gods we have worshiped.

Reminded that we have been worshiping other gods and sacrificing our children to them, let us kneel as we’re able and confess our sins to the Lord.

Our Gods are Devouring our Children

January 18, 2016 in Abortion, Bible - OT - Ezekiel, Meditations, Politics, Sanctification
Ezekiel 16:20-21 (NKJV)
Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to [your idols] to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to [your gods] by causing them to pass through the fire?
Once upon a time there was a man and wife who longed to have a child. But for some years the wife could not conceive. Finally to their great delight she found herself with child and husband and wife eagerly awaited the arrival of their first child
It just so happened that the couple’s home overlooked a walled garden that was owned by a terrible witch. As the wife’s pregnancy progressed, she developed an intense craving for the nut lettuce or rapunzel that she saw growing there. She begged and pleaded with her husband to get her some of the rapunzel but he refused, knowing it was wrong to steal and being afraid of the witch. However, when his wife became so desperate that she ceased eating altogether, he relented, broke into the garden, and stole some rapunzel.
His wife was delighted. She made herself a great salad and devoured the rapunzel. But her desire only increased. The next day she demanded more – and then the next day again. But just as the husband was making away with the lettuce, he was discovered by the witch. Great was her wrath as she loomed above him.
“How dare you steal from my garden?” demanded the witch. “Prepare to die!”
“Please,” begged the husband, “have mercy! I would not have dared to steal from your garden but my wife is pregnant with our first child and declared that she would die without this rapunzel.”
At these words the witch’s demeanor softened though her lips curled in derision and her eyes bore a hungry look. “Very well, you may take the rapunzel. But this is the price you must pay – when your wife has borne this child, you must give it to me.”
The man agreed. After all, what else could he do? He had stolen from her garden and would lose his own life if he refused. And perhaps the witch would forget the bargain? So he departed with the rapunzel. Soon his wife gave birth to their child, a lovely daughter. But their joy was short-lived for the witch appeared to claim her prize and the parents watched helpless as she took the child away. They were brokenhearted.
The story of Rapunzel reminds us that when we choose to serve other gods, they frequently give us their goods – even as the witch gave away her rapunzel – but these goods always come at a cost. And that cost is frequently our children. It was for this abomination, the abomination of handing their children over to other gods, that God exhorted our fathers through His prophet Ezekiel.
Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to [your idols] to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to [your gods] by causing them to pass through the fire?
Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday. This week is the 43rdanniversary of the diabolical Roe v Wade decision. Since then Americans alone have slaughtered over 58 million human beings, offered them up to our gods and polluted our hands with blood. In America the gods that we have been worshiping – consumerism, greed, immorality, power, influence, convenience, beauty – have been demanding our children. We’ve made a pact with the witch and now she’s taking our children. Even more tragically, many of these slaughtered children were slain by professing Christians. We have taken God’s children and caused them to pass through the fire.
Is there hope? Only in our Prince, the Lord Jesus Christ. He can rescue us and our children from our false gods, deliver us from the madness that has overtaken us, and take us to His own kingdom. For though He too demands our children, He demands them that they may live not that they may die. So let us listen to Him, hear His voice, and turn from the false gods we have worshiped.

Reminded that we have been worshiping other gods and sacrificing our children to them, let us kneel and confess our sins to the Lord.

God’s Compassion in Sufferings

September 7, 2015 in Bible - NT - James, Bible - OT - Ezekiel, Bible - OT - Jeremiah, Bible - OT - Job, Meditations, Providence, Sanctification, Trials
James 5:10-11 (NKJV)
10
My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
When you think of the compassion and mercy of our Lord, what comes to mind? Perhaps occasions when Jesus stoops down and heals those in pain and anguish? Perhaps occasions when God, despite Israel’s great sin, sends one deliverer after another to rescue them from the predicament that they have gotten themselves into? When we think of God’s compassion and mercy, these are the types of scenarios that come to mind.
But today, James points us to another evidence of God’s compassion and mercy, an evidence that we would be unlikely to see. What is this evidence? The evidence that James cites is the suffering endured by God’s prophets throughout the OT.
Think, for instance, of Jeremiah who is called the weeping prophet – called to bear witness to a people under judgment, his message rejected and refused, he himself thrown into a pit, left for dead, forced to witness the destruction of Jerusalem and dying in exile in Egypt. Take all of this as evidence, James tells us, of the compassion and mercy of the Lord. Think of Ezekiel, taken into exile into Babylon, told to make a fool of himself before his friends, forced to lie on his side for so many days, to play with tinker toys and army men in the city streets as a grown man, forbidden to weep when his wife died. Take all of this, James tells us, as evidence of the compassion and mercy of the Lord. Think of Job, robbed of his family, robbed of his wealth, robbed of his health, lectured by his friends. Take all of this as evidence, James tells us, of the compassion and mercy of the Lord.
Suffering and hardship as evidence of the compassion and mercy of the Lord? What is this? What is James talking about? Evidence of His power, perhaps. Evidence of His inscrutable wisdom, perhaps. Evidence of His mysteriousness, certainly. But evidence of His compassion and mercy? Yes – but in order to see it, we must also see something else. We must see what it is that God is really about in the course of our lives.
You see, if God is all about making us happy, carefree, and successful then suffering is not a sign of God’s compassion – it is a sign only of His discipline and disfavor. But sometimes, James tells us, suffering is a sign of His compassion. Therefore, God is not all about making us happy, carefree, and successful. Rather, His purpose is to make us men and women and children of faith; men and women and children who trust Him, rely upon Him, cling to Him, and obey Him no matter what the circumstance. This is what God is about. And if this is what He is about and if suffering creates us into this kind of people, then truly suffering is a sign of God’s compassion and mercy, is it not? For by suffering God trains us in patience and endurance – the very things James highlights.
So what of you? Have you considered that the sufferings through which God is making you pass right now, and that the sufferings through which He shall have you pass in the future, may be evidences of His compassion and mercy? Or have you instead looked upon them in unbelief, seeing them as evidence of how screwed up the world really is, or how much God hates you, or how little purpose there is in the world?

Reminded of our failure to look upon suffering in faith and even, at times, as a sign of God’s compassion and mercy, let us kneel and confess our sin to Him.

Shepherds in the Church

June 5, 2014 in Bible - OT - Ezekiel, Ecclesiology, Quotations

“There will always be leaders – the issue is whether they are the leaders called and gifted by God to shepherd his flock or those who push themselves forward so that they can push others around.” Timothy Z. Witmer, The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church, p. 23.

Sanctity of Life Sunday

February 7, 2011 in Abortion, Bible - OT - Ezekiel, Children, Meditations

Ezekiel 16:20-21 (NKJV)
Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to [your idols] to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?

Once upon a time there was a couple, man and wife, who longed to have a child. But for some years the wife could not become pregnant. Finally to their great delight she found herself with child and husband and wife both eagerly awaited the birth of their first child

It just so happened that this couple lived near a walled garden that was owned by a terrible enchantress, the Witch Gothel. Each day the wife glanced down into the garden and as her pregnancy progressed she developed a craving for the rapunzel that she saw growing there. She begged and pleaded with her husband to get some of the rapunzel for her but he refused – the wrong of stealing coupled with fear of the witch enabled him to resist her pleas. But the wife became so desperate that she ceased eating altogether and her husband grew alarmed. Soon his fear for his wife overcame his scruples and his fear of the witch. He broke into the garden and obtained his prize.

His wife was delighted. She made herself a great salad and devoured the rapunzel. But her feast only increased her hunger. The next day she demanded that her husband return to the garden for more – and then the next day again. But this time just as the husband made away with his prize he was discovered by the witch. Great was her wrath as she loomed above him.

“How dare you steal from my garden?” demanded the witch. “Prepare to die!”

“Please,” begged the husband, “have mercy! I would not have dared to steal from your garden but my wife is pregnant with our first child and declared that she would die without this rapunzel.”

At these words Gothel’s demeanor softened though her lips curled in derision and her eyes bore a hungry look. “Very well, you may take the rapunzel to your wife. But this is the price you must pay – when your wife has borne this child, you must give it to me.”

The man agreed. After all, what else could he do? He had stolen from her garden and would lose his own life if he refused. So he departed with the rapunzel. Soon his wife gave birth to their child, a daughter. Immediately Witch Gothel appeared to claim her prize and the parents watched helpless as she took the child away. They were brokenhearted.

The story of Rapunzel reminds us that when we choose to serve other gods, they frequently give us their goods – even as Witch Gothel gave the husband the rapunzel – but these goods always come at a cost. And that cost is frequently our children. It was for this abomination, the abomination of handing their children over to their idols, that God exhorts the people of Israel through His prophet Ezekiel.
Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to [your idols] to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?

Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday. Yesterday was the 38th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision. Since then Americans alone have slaughtered approximately 52 million human beings, offered them up to our gods and polluted our hands with blood. In America the gods that we have been worshiping – consumerism, greed, money, power, influence, convenience, beauty – have been demanding our children. We’ve made a pact with the Witch Gothel and now we’re giving her our children. Even more tragically, many of these slaughtered children were slain by professing Christians. We have taken God’s children and caused them to pass through the fire.

Is there hope? Only in our dear Prince, the Lord Jesus Christ. He can rescue us from our insanity, deliver us from the madness that has overtaken us, and take us to His own kingdom. For though He too demands our children, He demands them that they might live not that they might die. So let us listen to Him, hear His voice, and turn from the false gods we have worshiped.

Reminded that we have been worshiping other gods and sacrificing our children to them, let us kneel and confess our sins to the Lord.