Wednesday, April 22, 2009

“Terrorist of Love!”

I love my country and am very interested in what is going on politically in the USA, however I purposely avoid talking about political issues in this blog. This is due to the fact that I believe true change will never come through a political process but only through the power of Gods Word and through the person of Jesus Christ. Voicing a political view is void of power, but Gods Word is “profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, and for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action.) 2 Tim. 3:16 Amp. Therefore I prefer writing about spiritual issues using God‘s Word to infuse life and power into it, however I feel a recent news release is worthy of my attention.

Last week the new head of Homeland Security issued a report that stated that “I” am considered by our government to be a threat as a possible terrorist and should be watched because of my stance against abortion. (According to this report besides pro-lifers, those concerned about immigration, gun control, and recently discharged veterans are all possible terrorists). If the worldview that leads to such thinking weren’t so serious it would be completely laughable. No mention in this report of Muslim extremist groups doing military training within the U.S. borders, but be sure to watch grandma who donates part of her social security check to “Right to Life.” Hello!!!

At first I was quite upset by this report, but as I began to look at it through the lens of Gods Word, I began to see it in new light. This is just a minor form of the persecution that Jesus said would come to all who follow after Him. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18 Jesus is the author of life and so it stands to reason that those of us who stand with Him for life, in opposition to the pro-abortion culture of death, would be opposed and “feared.” But why do they fear us? I doubt they understand it, and certainly wouldn’t admit it if they did, but God puts a fear into the hearts of those who oppose His ways and His people. It was true for the Israelites about to enter into the promise land and I believe it is also true for us today.

“There shall no man be able to stand before you; the Lord your God shall lay the fear and dread of you upon all the land that you shall tread, as He has said to you. Deut. 11:25 Amp

"Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you." Deut. 28:10 NIV

No one would fear someone unless they recognized that they have power; and as born again followers of Jesus Christ, indeed we can and do have power! For Jesus said, “But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,” Acts 1:8a Amp He also said, “Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.“ Luke 10:19 We need not fear those who would oppose us, but stand firm knowing that God will fight for us. For as we just read, if we stand firm in faith, “no man will be able to stand before us” and “we will have power over all our enemies and nothing they do will (in the end) harm us.”

In order to get their worldview redirected, what the officials at Homeland Security need is a good dose of the fear of the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Pm. 111:10 Instead of fearing Pro-Lifers, what Homeland Security should fear is the creator of the universe who will not stand by forever and watch as millions of His most innocent and dearly loved children are being slaughtered each year with the governments full support and encouragement. God loves every one of these children and had a plan and a purpose for each life. But God’s love is not just for the children of abortion, for the women that have these abortions are as much victims of abortion as the babies themselves; for many are wounded and scared for life. It is not enough to just be against abortion without offering the women who are caught in these difficult situations the love and support that Jesus Himself would give if He were physically present upon the earth. We are His hand and His feet and need to use them to offer loving support for the alternatives to abortion, and the emotional and spiritual healing needed for those suffering the painful aftermath.

If loving and standing up for the unborn children who are helpless and have no voice of their own; and if caring about and for the women who are wounded by abortion, makes me a terrorist, than you can call me a terrorist of love. For love is what God has called me to do, and that indeed is what I will do!

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Pro. 31:8 NIV

“Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God” - “If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” 1 John 4:7a, 11

Friday, April 10, 2009

“The Great Exchange!”

When my son was in grammar school, like many kids he loved to play baseball. His dream was to grow up and play professional ball on the same team as Ken Griffey Jr. When he wasn’t playing baseball he collected baseball cards. So as you might imagine his goal was to collect every Ken Griffey Jr. card ever made. Although he loved receiving cards of other great players, he would use them to make a trade to get the Griffey cards he desired. If he got a Mark McGwire or a Sammy Sosa, he would trade it for a Griffey. Though the monetary value of the cards may have been similar, an exchange was made in order to receive a card of greater value to him. As adults we do the same thing on a daily basis, we exchange our money for goods or services that are of value to us. We exchange one thing of value for another thing of value.

When God sent Jesus to earth, in a fleshly body, where he was crucified on a cross, then died and rose again, an exchange was also made. But unlike trading a McGwire for a Griffey, this exchange was not a fair or equal trade in any way. For in this exchange mankind received only benefits, giving nothing of value, while Jesus took all the harm. In this great exchange orchestrated by Gods’ extravagant love and grace, Jesus was made our sin and we were made Jesus’ righteousness. In other words, our sin was exchanged for God’s righteousness.

“For he (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Cor. 5:21

Because Jesus was made sin, and “the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23) Jesus had to then pay the penalty for sin. Thus He was beaten, ridiculed, then nailed to a cross where He died, and descended into hell for 3 days; all to pay for sin that you and I had committed. When He rose from the dead on the third day, He had not only overcome sin on our behalf, but also had overcome death for us. So not only was our sin traded for Jesus’ righteousness, but also our death penalty was traded for His eternal life. The following is just a partial list of what was transferred in this great exchange.

He took our sin. We received His righteousness.

He took our death. We received His life

He took our hell. We received His heaven.

He took our shame. We received His authority.

He took our weakness. We received His power.

He took our sorrow. We received His joy.

Wow! What a deal, what an exchange; you will never make that kind of a trade on Wall Street, or any where else for that matter. Because of His great love for us, Jesus gave up the glory, majesty, and power of heaven and became lowly and poor to make available to us the power, authority, and riches of His kingdom.

“For you know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Cor. 8:9

There is one thing however that God did received from this great exchange, God now has a family. God is holy and just, and therefore cannot have fellowship with sin and darkness; because of man’s sin, our relationship with God was severed. Through the exchange that Jesus made on our behalf, fellowship between God and man has once again been restored. We can now become His children. He no longer has to love us from a distance but can have intimate relationship with us through Jesus Christ. God has done all that is necessary to take sin and death out of the way, making a relationship between He and us both possible and available. The outcome of this relationship is now however dependent upon us; but just like trading a McGwire card for a Griffey card, the exchange cannot take place until both parties agree to it. In order to receive the benefits of this great exchange, we must by faith believe that the blood of Jesus has paid our sin debt and then accept it in trade for His righteousness. There are no unwilling participants in the family of God. You too can participant in this great exchange, the question is, have you?

“But God demonstrated his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NIV

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16