VIDEO In His Time, Abortion And The Bible

Nov 4, 2008

Lord I ask you to help all who struggle on here be with them encourage them and keep them. Help us all to wait on your time help us not to jump ahead of you I know I have so many times in the past and made a mess I’m asking you even though I want to be impulsive right now I ask you to help me not to and wait on you help everyone who comes on here to wait on your time even when it’s hard and painful. sometimes it’s hard we want our way we want it now not your best but help us to want your best in our lives. Help those who don’t know you to receive you as Lord and help us to develop the way you want us and help us to have obedient hearts. in Jesus Name Amen


Abortion And The Bible

human_fetus_10_weeks_-_therapeutic_abortionI’m not quite sure why some people think abortion is so different from killing babies. The claim is that a baby, to be recognized as human, must be “viable,” meaning that it can live outside the womb. But “live” by what means? A newborn is still helpless. He can’t feed himself. She can’t tell anyone what she wants. She can’t acquire covering or run from danger. He is as helpless and dependent as a newly formed life in his mother’s womb. And science has left no doubt that the fertilized egg is a life.

For hundreds of years, perhaps thousands, killing babies was the culturally accepted way of dealing with unwanted children. Take China for instance. [China has] “a history of female infanticide spanning 2000 years.”

During the 19th century the practice was widespread, readings from Qing texts show a prevalence of the term ni nü (to drown girls), and drowning was the most common method used to kill female children. Other methods used were suffocation and starvation. Leaving a child exposed to the elements was another method of killing an infant, the child would be placed in a basket which was then placed in a tree. Buddhist nunneries created “baby towers” for people to leave a child. In 1845 in the province of Jiangxi, a missionary wrote that these children survived for up to two days while exposed to the elements, and that those passing by, would ignore the screaming child.[13] Missionary David Abeel reported in 1844 that between one third and one fourth of all female children were killed at birth or soon after. (this and the previous quote from “Female Infanticide In China”)

With the one child per family rule instituted in 1980, infanticide is once again on the rise in China, though many babies—girls or ones with birth defects—are also aborted.

So what does the Bible have to say about abortion? Some professing Christians have taken a stand that the Bible is silent on the subject. But that’s not true. The Bible actually says a great deal about life in the womb. For instance, God speaking to the prophet Jeremiah, said

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born, I consecrated you. (Jer. 1:5)

So God not only made Jeremiah, He also set him apart to be a prophet “to the nations” before he was viable.

Other Bible writers call attention to the fact that God creates life in the mother’s womb: Job (31:15), David (Psalm 22:10), Isaiah (45:24; 49:5).

Others also mention God’s call on their life before they were born. Isaiah, speaking prophetically said this, likely about the Messiah:

The LORD called Me from the womb;
From the body of My mother He named Me. (Is. 49:1b)

The writer of Judges recounted Samson’s prophesied birth. The angel who met with his mother before his conception, told her to follow certain guidelines because “the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb.” The Nazrite was someone set apart and dedicated to God, but usually this was to fulfill a vow and was for a short period of time. Samson was different. He was to be a Nazirite from the womb throughout his life.

The Apostle Paul was similarly aware of God’s call on his life before he was ever born:

But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles . . . (Galatians 1:15-16a)

Perhaps the most dramatic example of life and spiritual activity in the womb is John the Baptist who was filled by “the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). Not only did he have the Spirit in his little life, but his spirit responded to the presence of the life of the Messiah in Mary’s womb, and as a result the baby “leaped for joy” in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:44).

Just as compelling, for me is the statement David made, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in Psalm 58. This is one of those imprecatory psalms, “those psalms that contain curses or prayers for the punishment of the psalmist’s enemies” (from Theopedia). They can be hard to read for those of us used to an emphasis on God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. But the significance here is that God identifies the spiritual life of individuals before they are born:

The wicked are estranged from the womb;
These who speak lies go astray from birth.
They have venom like the venom of a serpent;
Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear,
So that it does not hear the voice of charmers,
Or a skillful caster of spells. (vv 3-5)

The point seems clear: not just certain special individuals are alive and fully formed spiritually as they grow physically, but even the wicked have their spiritual direction set in the womb.

Of course, man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7)—and apparently He does so from the womb on, throughout a person’s life.

What does all this mean for abortion?

Throughout Scripture, God informs us of the value of human life. In particular He came down hard on people groups, including Israel, which incorporated child sacrifice as part of their worship of false gods.

[Jerusalem] should be removed from before My face, because of all the evil of the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah which they have done to provoke Me to anger—they, their kings, their leaders, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction. But they put their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Abortion is today’s version of child sacrifice. We don’t offer children on an altar; we don’t make it a ritual incorporated into worship, but we certainly take the lives of helpless humans for the benefit of the mature adult making the decision. Those we should protect, we destroy for our own purposes.

What’s more, we violate God’s first command: Be fruitful and multiply.

Ah, some will say, it’s the multiplying that is the problem. We need to curb human reproduction because the planet can’t sustain us all.

But now we come to the real issue: humans think we know better than God. We don’t know how He could possibly have dealt with overpopulation if we didn’t step in, violate His command to be fruitful and multiply, and solve the problem ourselves.

That’s been the issue from the beginning. Man doesn’t think God is capable of dealing with the problems. God, in His infinite wisdom, says, OK, we’ll try it your way for a while, and when you’re ready, you can come back to me and we’ll get things straightened out.

I don’t see the problems of our times reversing themselves, but who knows? We can only walk in the light of the knowledge we have, and that knowledge points to babies, alive both physically and spiritually in the womb, and God who wants us to protect the vulnerable and to preserve life. To me that’s a pretty clear case against abortion.

https://emotionalpeace.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/abortion-and-the-bible/

https://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/abortion-and-the-bible/

Casting Down Imaginations

casting-down-imagine-2-corth-10-5

 

 

All of humanity was born to worship. We have an instinctive need to reverence our Creator. This is just how God made us. In the beginning, mankind had a close relationship with Him. But in Genesis Chapter 3, we read of how the king of demons, Satan, tempted Eve and caused her to doubt what God said. And the rest, as they say, is history. Adam followed Eve in her quest for forbidden knowledge and power, and together they traded perfect communion with God for a life of pain and toil, of blood, sweat and tears… of thorns and thistles, culminating in death and then the judgment.

But that need to worship never subsided. It’s woven into the very fabric of our souls; that innate need to revere the One who created us — to worship Him, and to somehow return to Him and re-establish that bond that was broken so long ago. It’s the one and only thing that will ever satisfy our souls; and the one thing that we will never find apart from Him.

The problems we encounter in this life begin the minute we depart from our Lord and try to do life on our own. The consequences of this are immediate and devastating. This is what happened to our first parents. This rebellion is the “sin nature” that we are now all born with, so that even today there exists within us a great turmoil, a constant tug-of-war between our desire to know God and worship Him and our desire to stray away from Him and worship something else.

Now, God created us with minds to think and reason. He doesn’t hide from us, and then expect us to have blind faith in a Creator we can never know anything about. On the contrary, He makes Himself abundantly visible to all who have eyes to see. We are without excuse. The Bible makes it clear that we are able to know God, by the things that He made. In other words, by observing His awesome Creation all around us, we know that God exists. What’s more, He provided us with a book, The Bible, the very words of God Himself, so that we can know Him more; and He did not spare even His own Son for our sakes, so that we may RETURN to Him and restore that perfect relationship, as He welcomes us back and draws us close to Himself with loving arms of compassion.

Let’s summarize these points:  We are born with the knowledge of God and with a desire and PURPOSE to worship and glorify Him. This knowledge of God and desire to worship Him is reinforced as we observe His Creation all around us. We also have His written Word to teach us all we will ever need to know. Yet, many of us still prefer to deny Him, to run and try to hide from Him, because His light exposes the darkness of our sinful hearts.

Now, what happens when we do this — when we deliberately choose to deny God?  Romans 1, starting at verse 28: “Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents, they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”  The heart of man, apart from the renewing and regeneration of Christ is hopelessly lost. The Bible says it is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Surely it is obvious that this is true. Even little babies, as precious and as “innocent” as they are, do not need to be taught to sin. We are all born with a self-centered, sinful nature.

Depraved minds. But you see, even depraved minds STILL have that in-born desire to worship that we are all created with. And so, apart from Christ, we begin to invent things to worship that will fit conveniently into our lives without requiring anything of significance on our part. As if we can fulfill our need to “worship” but still live as WE choose, accountable to no one. Deep thinkers with depraved minds will expand on these thoughts to create entire religions and theologies. In other words, we use our IMAGINATIONS to invent things to worship, instead of God.

What is the root word of “imagination?” It is “IMAGE.” We create an image to worship, — one that is to our liking. In modern times, this “image” is usually an unseen thing — an invisible “god,” theology, idea or concept. But in ancient times, man built idols and graven IMAGES to bow down to as a substitute for the real thing… Rather than worshiping the Creator, they worshiped and served created THINGS.

In Exodus, Chapter 20, God gave His eternal laws to mankind, written with His own finger on tablets of stone. The Ten Commandments. And first on the list was: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Why do you think this was the first, and most basic law God gave to us? Because He knows the heart of man, and our need to worship. He also knows how susceptible we are to demonic deceptions.

Let’s read more of this Scripture. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…” But yet what has mankind done?  Turn again to Romans, chapter 1: “…although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for IMAGES made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”  Then in verse 25: “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.”

There is nothing new under the sun. Mankind has been worshiping idols in vain ever since Satan deceived Eve in the garden. It’s our eternal struggle to worship, but yet to worship without submitting ourselves to God’s authority. So we use our imaginations to create a god to suit our selves… ultimately, one that WE, ourselves, control. Most of us no longer carve and mold a golden calf or a totem pole. But we invent gods in our minds that suit us better than the one TRUE God of heaven.

This is what is happening still today. Even professing Christians are not immune from idol worship, and many create a god in their own image that bears little resemblance to the God of the Bible. How many liberal Christians will admonish you if you “judge” or speak firmly about sin, repentance and holy living?  How many will declare it is not “Christ-like” if you confront the evils and wickedness of our day, such as abortion or sexual depravity? “You’ll never win them to Jesus if you don’t welcome them and love them,” they say. Or they’ll declare, “MY god would never condemn anyone to hell…MY god is a god of love.” Religious people are great at creating gods in their own image; in their own imaginations.

Those who do not know God, those who are not diligent in studying the Scriptures are easily led astray and deceived by Satan. Paul warned the Corinthians, “I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily…”

To the Galatians he wrote, “I am astonished that you are so quickly… turning to a different gospel… some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned.”

Today we have many who profess to be Christians, but who deny the truths of Scripture or pervert the word of God by compromising it with their own imaginations. And throughout the history of mankind, Satan has been at war with us, seeking our eternal damnation by luring us away from the pure word of God, with enticing things that appeal to our carnal natures. Paul warned us of angels preaching false religion, tempting us to worship something other than God Almighty. Scripture also tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. This is the same angel that appeared to Mohammed, calling himself “Allah.” This is the same angel that called himself “Moroni” as he appeared to Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion. This is the same so-called “angel,” who appeared to Satanist Aleister Crowley, and declared, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”

What it really comes down to is that we, in our sinful, human natures, are still trying to achieve what Satan promised Eve so long ago in the garden: that we can become LIKE God. In fact, many New Age religions will even teach that we can BECOME gods ourselves if we follow the path of “enlightenment.”

But let me clue you in to something that seems, to me, to be elementary, yet so elusive for so many: as human beings we have two choices: we either worship God or we worship Satan, in any number of disguises he will appear to us in, whichever disguise he knows will appeal to us most. There are NO OTHER alternatives. It is one or the other.

I was speaking to a New Ager recently and she was trying to explain to me how she prays to the Universe and how if she thinks good thoughts and surrounds herself with positive energy, the Universe will reward her with the desires of her heart. Her ultimate hope for eternity is that her body will return to “star dust,” and that her soul will return to the Universe where she will be reincarnated, hopefully to a much higher, developed sentient being on this planet — or perhaps another planet, because as a citizen of the Living Universe, we do not limit ourselves to just the narrow mindedness of Earth.

Now, this woman reveres the “Universe” or the “Living Universe” as the ultimate “higher power” or “thing” that she worships. She rejects the Bible and the God of the Scripture because she tried Christianity and it didn’t “work” for her. In her mind, she cannot understand why anyone would follow a book so full of rules and laws and things that limit her freedom, words written by MEN thousands of years ago… words of superstition and bigotry and things that are clearly so old fashioned and irrelevant. Now she is much more enlightened and on a “path” that appeals to her way more than the narrow-mindedness and confining dictates of a religion that limits her freedom to do as she pleases. And, as the Wiccans say, “if it hurt no one, do as you please.”

Not knowing the Bible, the word of the eternal Creator, she does not realize that Scripture describes her to a tee: in short, this woman “worships and serves created things, rather than the Creator.” You see, in her mind, the Universe is the biggest, most powerful thing she can imagine. (There’s that word again: “imagine!”) But she neglects to remember that the God of the Bible CREATED the Universe!

Why would you worship and serve a created thing rather than the eternal One who created it? Friends, be warned, that those who DO, and deliberately choose to deny God and persist in their rebellion, will eventually be given depraved minds. They will no longer be ABLE to discern the truth, even when it is staring them straight in the face. It will be nonsense to them. Good will be bad and bad will be good. That’s what it means. I believe there are many in the world today, who have passed this “point of no return” already. Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He has turned them over to depraved, reprobate minds.

We are seeing a lot of this lately. In fact, I believe we are nearing the close of time, the last days, and people are choosing now to seal their fate, and pick their eternal destinies. It is a scary thing, but know this:  God has never condemned a single soul to hell who did not have ample opportunity to know Him and return to His loving arms.

The spiritual forces of darkness surround us, unseen as they are, but no less real. Satan and his demons are contending for our souls and many are being led astray and deceived. The most insidious part is that he rarely comes in his true form, but rather, as “enlightenment,” as a more pure, loving “path” to “god.” So now, more than ever, we must remember the words of Paul to the Corinthians: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down IMAGINATIONS, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Study and KNOW God’s word, dear friends, and you will not be deceived by the schemes of the devil.

by 

Audio versions and transcripts of this message are available when you call me at Wisconsin Christian News, (715) 486-8066. Or email Rob@WisconsinChristianNews.com. Ask for message number 153.

http://barbwire.com/2017/01/26/casting-down-imaginations/

Life After Death

Luke 12:16-20

The thought of death frightens many people. But believers have no reason to fear. Jesus’ empty tomb proves that there is life after the physical body dies.

Unbelievers who dread their demise have two different approaches to life. One group piles up wealth, good deeds, or worldly success in the hope of passing it on to their children or to charity. They expect to “live on” in the memories of those who benefit from their hard work. But it’s the rare person who is still remembered a few generations later. And none truly live on.

The other group chooses to laugh in the face of death. Their philosophy is “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Cor. 15:32). Their existence seems pleasurable from the outside, but can you imagine a more futile way to live your life? God does not intend for us to pass the time with such meaninglessness.

Here’s the key to significance: fulfilling our unique, God-given, eternal purpose. In this life, we do not labor to leave a physical legacy or waste our days pursuing pleasure. Instead, we help those in need, influence our culture, and reach out to the lost. And when a believer enters heaven, he or she keeps on working for Jesus.

For the believer, death is not a fearsome end. It is the doorway to a new life of serving the Lord in heaven. Our days on earth are just the beginning of our existence; they will seem like only a few minutes compared to an eternity spent in His presence.

Rest Only in Christ

“But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” (Genesis 8:9)

Unlike the raven, which Noah had sent out first, the dove could not live on the carrion floating on the floodwaters. After nine months cooped up in the Ark, she had reveled in her freedom when Noah first released her from the window of the Ark. Unaware of the outside perils while safe with Noah, she flew gaily off into the open spaces beyond, just like many a professing Christian, eager to cast off the constraints of his or her parental religion. “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness” (Psalm 55:6-7).

But the dove could find no rest away from Noah, whose very name means “rest”! His father, Lamech, by prophetic inspiration, had called his name Noah, saying, “This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed” (Genesis 5:29). So, she finally returned, finding rest once again in Noah’s outstretched hands.

Just so, the Lord Jesus, in His greater ark of secure salvation, is waiting at its open window with arms outstretched, inviting all those weary of the doomed world outside to return to Him. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Christ’s message to the weary wanderer is: “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, . . . return unto me; for I have redeemed thee” (Isaiah 44:22). HMM

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Genesis 18:1-15

Genesis 18:1-5

Abraham here became an example of hospitality, and thereby entertained angels unawares He ran to meet the strangers, he saluted them respectfully, welcomed them heartily, and even made a favour to himself of their resting near his tent. Ungenerous spirits who never entertain either God’s servants or the poor, miss many a blessing. May we never be a churlish household.

Genesis 18:8

The noble old man waited with pleasure upon the strangers. He spoke of a morsel of bread, but he made a feast. He was all kindness, goodness, and humbleness of mind: at once a true nobleman and a believer in God. Such are the fruits of elevated piety. Would to God we saw them in all professors.

Genesis 18:9

Where she should be. She was a worthy wife of her worthy husband, and therefore cheerfully aided him in providing for the guests. She was at that moment busy with household duties. We are in the way of blessing when we are in the way of duty. Abraham must have wondered how the chief one of the three strangers knew the name of his wife.

Genesis 18:12

Here was unbelief, which can express itself as much in a laugh as in a cry.

Genesis 18:14

What an encouraging question is that. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Our family troubles, cares, and needs are not beyond the power and wisdom of our heavenly Father. Let us not despair, but in faith cast our burden upon him.

Genesis 18:15

He who discerns all hearts could not be deceived. See how honest Holy Scripture is, for it records the faults even of the best of the saints; and yet how tender is the Spirit of God, for in the New Testament Sarah’s fault is not mentioned, for it had been forgiven and blotted out, but the fact that she called her husband “lord” is recorded to her honour. We serve a gracious God who, when our hearts are right, commends our good fruit, and leaves the untimely figs to drop out of notice. Let us be careful not to mar the joy of his promises and his grace by any unseemly expressions or actions. It would be a sad remembrance for us amid the recollections of divine love, to have to confess that we laughed at the promise.

 

The thing surpasses all my thought;

But faithful is my Lord;

Through unbelief I stagger not,

For God hath spoke the word.

 

Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees,

And looks to that alone;

Laughs at impossibilities,

And cries, “It shall be done!”

 

Is It Time To Make a Change In Your Environment?

Hebrews 12:1

Your biggest potential enemy in life (besides your own wrong thinking and the devil himself) is the environment in which you live. For instance, if you constantly live in an atmosphere of doubt and unbelief, it’s just a fact that you’ll have a much more difficult time maintaining a walk of strong faith. That doubt-filled environment will try to rub off on you!

It’s just a fact that your environment tends to affect you and the way you think. For example, if you used to smoke or if you used to have a drinking problem, it’s obviously not a smart idea for you to hang around smokers or drinkers—unless, that is, you want to be influenced to return to your old habits. Hanging around people who still do these things may lure you to pick up a cigarette to take a smoke or to allow yourself one more small drink.

However, those little allowances may possibly be the very hook that the devil uses to drag you back into the bondage from which Jesus Christ already delivered you. That’s why it’s vital for you to understand that the environment surrounding you is very important!

With this in mind, look at the phrase “… the sin which doth so easily beset us….” What kind of sin is this verse talking about? The words “so easily beset us” are from the Greek word euperistatos, a compound of three words: eu, peri, and statos. Let’s look at all three of these words.

The word eu usually means well, but in this case it carries the idea of something that feels well or something that is comfortable. The Greek word peri means around or being completely surrounded. The word statos is from the root word istimi, meaning to stand. When these three words are compounded, the new word describes something that comfortably stands all around you, such as a comfortable environment.

 

So this phrase in Hebrews 12:1 could be understood to say:

“… Lay aside the sin and the environment that so comfortably envelops you….”

Sometimes in order to make necessary changes in your life, you must physically remove yourself from an unprofitable situation. If you’re not strong enough in your faith to stay there without being affected, you need to get up and get out of that unbelieving, negative environment—the one you’ve been comfortably living in for a long, long time. If you’re not strong enough to overcome it, it will unquestionably try to reach out and drag you back into your old behavior again.

If God’s admonition to lay aside every weight applies to you, then obey Him and make a break from that unhealthy environment! Perhaps old friends, old places, or wrong believing are trying to exert a bad influence on you and you’re not resisting that influence too well. If that’s the case, get out of there! For you, that environment is sin if it keeps you from fulfilling your potential in Jesus Christ.

Be honest as you consider your workplace, your friends, and your living conditions. Ask yourself, Is this environment conducive to my walk in Christ, or is it dragging me back down into the mire I was delivered from?

Your friends and your job are not so important that you should let them destroy your spiritual life. If you cannot successfully handle the environment you’re in, get out of there. Then watch the Lord provide a better job and better friends than you’ve ever had in your life!

Your Christian life is serious business. Don’t let your environment fill you with doubt and knock you out of your spiritual race! If you can’t handle your environment victoriously, initiate a plan of action to change it today!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I want to stay in an environment that will keep my faith alive and strong. Help me recognize those relationships and places I should avoid to keep my faith from being negatively affected. As You show me places, people, and things I should avoid, give me the strength I need to do what is right—and give me the wisdom I need to know how to avoid those places and people!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I will physically remove myself from unprofitable situations that are not positive for my faith. I make the choice to get up and get out of unbelieving negative environments that tend to pull me down. I am laying aside every weight, and I am making a break from all unhealthy environments! With God’s help, I make right choices and right friends. I do everything I can to stay in environments that help me keep my faith alive and well.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Have you been in any relationships or environments that you should have avoided? How did they affect your walk with God?
  2. Are there any unprofitable situations or relationships that you need to remove yourself from now?
  3. What steps can you take to start making better choices of friends and environments? What do you think the Lord wants you to do with your current relationships and places that you frequent?

 

The Untried Christian Ideal

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” A. K. Chesterton

 

The thought that Christ wants all of me on His terms based solely on the strength of His Word relegates many of us to observer status in what could have been a living drama beyond imagination. We simply find His challenge too “difficult” and consequently “left untried.”

 

After all, how can Jesus be taken seriously when He says,

  • No one of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
  • If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
  • If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyred for his faith in Nazi Germany stated, “When Jesus Christ calls us, He bids us come and die.

 

Many of us would rather live on the fringes of authentic Christianity than “die” to our stubborn will and “risk” everything through total surrender to Christ.

 

When Jesus challenged a mob of wannabe “disciples” with, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in youmanyturned back and no longer followed Him.” (John 6:53, 66 – niv; kjv)

 

In that moment, His call to total commitment… to the “Christian ideal” was “found difficult and left untried.”

 

The question Jesus then posed to the remaining disciples echoes down through the centuries to us today, “Will you too go away?” (John 6:67)

 

Only you, in the depths of your soul know the answer to that question.