October 21, 2022
While the debate rages in our nation about abortion, it is important that we remind ourselves what the Bible says about the unborn. Unborn babies are very precious to God. They are a blessing. They are a work of His hand. They are to be protected.
Listen to the words of this Psalm. “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:13-14 NAS95) The unborn are woven together by God Himself in the womb. God forms their inward parts. This phrase is not only speaking of the flesh, bones, and organs of the child, but it is a reference to the spiritual heart and mind of the child. Though a baby is still in the womb, God has already formed their innermost being. They are a living soul! The work that God does in the womb—that He did for each one of us—is fearful and wonderful!
The truth that unborn babies are living, sentient souls is seen in the account of the unborn John the Baptist in Luke chapter 1. When Mary, the mother of Jesus, visits Elizabeth, the mother of John, we read, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.” John, before he was born, reacted to the voice of Mary, and leaped with joy! Unborn children have awareness. They have emotions. I am reminded of my own children. My wife tells me that they used to jump and kick in the womb when they heard my voice. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences.
Unborn children are the most precious, the most innocent, and the most vulnerable among us. What will God do with a society that refuses to protect them?
What will God do with a society that allows for the slaughter of the innocent in the name of convenience? God cares deeply for innocent children and has risen up in times past to protect them (take a look at 2 Kings 21:10-18)! May God continue to open eyes and hearts. May He strengthen our resolve to help protect the unborn.
Leave a Comment » | abortion, Luke 1:41-44, Psalm 139.13-14, Unborn | Permalink
Posted by Russell Holden
October 15, 2022
The church began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) with the outpouring of the Spirit and the preaching of the gospel. The miraculous manifestations of the Spirit were to confirm the new revelation given by the Apostles (Hebrews 2:4). Although I do not think we should expect to see in our lifetime the things that were marks of the Apostles (2 Corinthians 12:12), I believe we are to be a spiritual church.
We are to be a spiritual church because our faith is based on the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Jesus told the Apostles: “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into al the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:12-13, NASB). Scripture comes to us because of “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21).
We are to be a spiritual church because Christians have received the indwelling Spirit when they were baptized (Acts 2:38-39, Acts 5:32). The Spirit is a motive for holiness (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Spirit aids us in our struggle with sin (Romans 8:13). The Spirit is said to produce in us the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
We are to be a spiritual church because of prayer. One of the hallmarks of the church in Acts is prayer (Acts 2:42, 3:1, 4:24, 6:4, 12:12, 13:3, 14:23, 20:36, 21:5).
What we should be and could be is not always what we are. Paul in addressing the problems in Corinth says that he ought to be speaking to spiritual people, but in reality they were carnal (fleshly), still babes in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:1). May the word of Christ dwell in us richly, may we not grieve the Spirit but mature producing the fruit of the Spirit, and may we learn to pray without ceasing. These are the things that characterize a spiritual church.
Leave a Comment » | Christian living, church, Holy Spirit, spiritual life | Permalink
Posted by Russell Holden
October 11, 2022
On this Lord’s Day, we join together in praise of our awesome God. But it is not us who begin this worship. No, we will enter the throne room of God, in the spirit, to join with worship that is ongoing—that never ceases—in heaven.
“And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’ And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created.’” (Revelation 4:8-11 NAS95)
Our God is worthy of praise! He is the creator! He is Holy! He is the Almighty! Let us join with these heavenly beings in falling down before the throne to worship Him in reverence and in awe.
And let us, throughout the week ahead, take time to praise God individually. His praise should be in our hearts, and also on our lips. Not only should we praise God in our minds, but we should express our praise to him with our mouths; in prayer, in song, in reminding another of His goodness and glory. We should do this when life is good and also when life gets hard. Our God is intrinsically worthy of our praise, no matter what is going on in our lives, and we do not worship Him merely to get something in return. Yet, God is gracious. He gives so much in return as we praise Him. In times of turmoil and heartache, if we would praise Him with our hearts and our lips, we will find help. We will find strength. We will find a renewed perspective on life. Praising God will help us to stop wallowing in our own troubles and to fix our eyes on Him. As we praise Him, we are reminded that He deeply cares for us and that He can handle any problem we may be facing. What renewed vigor and hope worship brings. Let us be people of praise in our daily lives and as we gather together as His redeemed people this Lord’s Day.
Leave a Comment » | God's throne, Revelation 4:8-11, worship | Tagged: God's throne, Praise, worship | Permalink
Posted by Scott Colvin
October 3, 2022
It is very clear in the teachings of Jesus that He is concerned about our faithfulness in little things. As Jesus concluded His parable of the unrighteous steward, He said this: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12 NAS95)
In the parable of the minas in Luke 19, the master said to his faithful slave, “Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.” (Luke 19:17 NAS95)
Two important principles are laid out in these verses. First, we see that those who are faithful in the little things will also be faithful in the big things. Those who will not be faithful in little things will be unfaithful in much. Second, we see that God gives more to those who use what they have been given. The faithful slave had a relatively small amount of money entrusted to him, but because he used it wisely, much, much more was given to him by the Master.
Can you see how these principles will play out in our own lives? If we want to grow in wisdom, we must ask ourselves, are we being faithful with the wisdom God has already given? If we want to be used in greater ways in the kingdom, we must ask ourselves, are we fulfilling the roles we have already been placed in? Are we wondering why we have grown stagnant in our spiritual growth? Perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we are neglecting the little things. Are we being faithful in our speech, or do we let so-called “minor curse words” come from our mouths? Are we being honest with others, or do we think that “little white lies” are no big deal?
The “little things” are a big deal to Jesus. We will never move forward spiritually if we willfully neglect them. But if we will be faithful in little, we will also be faithful in much. If we will faithfully use whatever God has given, He will entrust us with more. Let us strive to be good and faithful servants of our Lord.
Leave a Comment » | faithful, faithful in little things, faithful in much, Luke 16:10-12, Luke 19:17, Parable of the Minas | Permalink
Posted by Russell Holden