January 22, 2017, marked the 44th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision.
While abortion advocacy groups will be celebrating this wickedness, those of us who embrace the truth about abortion will be mourning the loss of countless millions of precious lives. Because of that fateful day, millions of America’s sons and daughters will never see the light of day.
Those of us who escaped the abortionist’s knife have a unique, God-given opportunity to speak out on behalf of our murdered peers. Christian pro-lifers must commit to an even more tireless activism on behalf of the unborn. Driven by the strength of Biblical conviction, we must continue to love the least among us. If abortion is to ever be ended, our fellow Americans need to be exposed to the brutal aftermath of this injustice.
Contrary to the lyrics of a popular Christmas hymn, it was probably not a silent night. As Joseph and Mary walked into the stable, they found themselves surrounded by various loud and dirty animals, each clamoring for food and space in the dingy shelter. The young couple may have wondered why Mary had to give birth in such an unrefined place. Only nine months earlier, they had been visited by an angel who foretold the coming of the long-promised Messiah through Mary’s virgin womb. As Joseph and Mary had come to realize, those angels had not included information about just where this world-changing birth would occur.
Now they knew. But as the new parents laid their precious child in that manger, they probably scarcely knew how symbolic such an act would be. Yes, the Creator of the entire universe — the Master Architect of everything in existence — was now resting in a rough-hewn wooden trough located in a crudely-built animal barn. As the newborn Jesus gasped his first breath in that stable, God knew that His plan for our redemption would be fully accomplished with Jesus’ last dying gasp on the cross.
BEING SENSIBLE THAT I AM UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING WITHOUT GOD’ S HELP, I DO HUMBLY ENTREAT HIM BY HIS GRACE TO ENABLE ME TO KEEP THESE RESOLUTIONS, SO FAR AS THEY ARE AGREEABLE TO HIS WILL, FOR CHRIST’ S SAKE.
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’ s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
In 1749, the preeminent American theologian and preacher Jonathan Edwards published a work that would quickly become his most popular. Called An Account of the Life of the Late Reverend Mr. David Brainerd, it was the diary of a young missionary who had died of tuberculosis only two years earlier in Edwards’ own home.
Edwards saw fit to publish Brainerd’s diary and personal writings after his death because of the young man’s unmatched zeal for Christ as well as his unrelenting efforts to preach the Gospel amongst the heathen, regardless of his seeming lack of converts. The diary quickly made Brainerd a household name and served to inspire a generation of Christians to further the cause of Christ in service of the Great Commission.
We live in an age of sexual scandals. It seems almost every area of society is marked by the stench of lies and infidelity. It’s not that more scandalous activity is occurring than did in the past (Ecc. 1:9), but there is little doubt that in the Internet era such scandals are far more likely to be exposed.
Perhaps no other realm is more infamous and more despised for its sexual hypocrisy than that of politics. The sexual integrity of many of our nation’s politicians has been compromised. And yet many of them still hold their political offices; some even seek higher ones.
Many evangelical Christians are now wondering whether a politician’s sexual history should affect their ballot box decision. Should such scandals matter to Christians seeking to vote in a way that is faithful to Scripture and glorifying to God?
It will help at the outset for me to affirm that the world of the Bible is the real world, where God is free to act within and to interact with His creation. Herein donkeys talk, axe heads float, people are raised from the dead, and fish swallow people.
When most people think of the Book of Jonah, they think of Jonah being swallowed by the “whale.” And yet, the great fish only occupies about 11 verses in the entire account. Thankfully, the Book of Jonah has a more poignantly theological focus than merely chronicling a fish swallowing a man. In reality, the story is not even about Jonah. God is the main character in the book of Jonah, and the real story is about His compassion on a reluctant prophet and a city full of heathens. The Book of Jonah shows Israel that salvation is not only for them.
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2: 20-22)
It seems lately there’s been a lot of talk among Christians centered around the election scheduled for this November. There is a real sense of anxiety over the potential results, with some Christians predicting the increased persecution of those who would speak the Word to a culture that hates God. These concerns are very real, and the results may have very serious implications in our lives. But we must remember our lives do not belong to us, anyway (1 Corinthians 6:19). We can say with the Apostle Paul, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Christians can take comfort in the knowledge that even the most unjust and oppressive regimes have no power but that which God has given to them (John 19:11). Even though political leaders may ignore Him or reject Him, God is the ultimate sovereign wherein all authority is derived. Although Christians may be persecuted, they can rest in the sovereignty of God over the world and the rulers thereof. The Lord will always preserve His remnant.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we are taught by thy Holy Word that the hearts of princes are in thy rule and governance, and that thou doest dispose and turn them as it seems best to thy Godly wisdom: we humbly beseech thee, so to dispose and govern the heart of President Obama, thy servant, our President and governor, that in all his thoughts, words, and works he may ever seek thy honor and glory, and study to preserve thy people committed to his charge, in peace and godliness. Grant this O merciful Father, for thy dear Son’s sake Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The modern church has an imagination deficit. Too often, we read the Bible as a compendium of dictations and writings from various apostles and leaders, divorced from the cultural context and social realities surrounding its writing. We are prone to viewing the Bible as an aloof book, distanced from the everyday events of life.
But the Bible was borne out of the real world. This is a world where donkeys can talk, fish can swallow people, and dead people can live again. But this is also a world where people go to work, people go to the market, and people do ordinary things. God’s power is evident not just in the miracles of the Bible, but also the mundane events, too. His presence is seen not just in the phenomenal, but also in the prosaic.