I first ran this post very early in blogging, and got quite a response from people who I’ve never met. Make sure to check out the comments below. Very interesting stuff. I’m re-running this post because I think it’s important and informative.
An 8 week old “fetus” has a beating heart, an EKG, brain waves, thumb-sucking, pain sensitivity, finger grasping and genetic humanity, but under our present laws in the United States is not a human person with rights under the 14th Amendment. This is not right. That’s why I am “Pro-Life.” Watch this video and tell me what you think. Are there arguments for abortion or the right to choose that you don’t know how to respond to or that you find compelling? :
People ask, “What do you want for your birthday?” So here’s a few things that I’ve come up with…
- I really want to know Christ better, to hear His voice clearer than I’ve EVER heard it before. To KNOW what it is like to be completely filled with and consumed with the Holy Spirit and follow Him with abandon!
- That I will be the best husband on the planet, that I will pursue Jennifer for the rest of my life, that I will do all that I can to make her feel beautiful and special, that I will honor the vows I took on June 27, 1992 and NEVER allow the church or anything else to replace her as the love of my life.
- That I will be an amazing father to Reagan, Micah, and Aidan…the kind of dad that after they move away and have families of their own, that they’ll WANT to come back and spend time with me. I want to model for them what it means to follow Jesus.
- To continue to lead FCC where more people are giving their lives to Christ. I want to see what can happen in a church when people are COMPLETELY sold out to Him, refuse to play it safe and do ANYTHING SHORT OF SIN to reach people for Christ. I can do my job but I need the WHOLE church AND ultimately the Holy Spirit. So may God grant me the gifts and wisdom to do my best.
- To be a friend that loves, trusts, forgives, and believes the best about people, even people I disagree with and for some reason “don’t like.” I don’t want to be a complainer.
- To be a great leader worth following–one that refuses to use people, be manipulated by fear and/or throw my integrity away because I want anything more than honoring Christ.
- To write a book. Oh…this is the one that haunts me the second most on here. I’ve got part of it written with ideas galore but how do I do it and not sacrifice anything above? Pray that I would “find more time.”
- To obey God’s voice and live for His praise rather than giving in to the voices of mere humans who want something different than God. I want to please God, not man.
What are the things, memories, observations, dreams, or experiences that fill you with amazement, awe, reverence?
- Seeing the birth of my children.
- Watching someone transform spiritually.
- The changes in my wife during pregnancy.
- The fact that people sometimes follow me as a leader.
- The four seasons.
- Love–particularly agape.
- Watching/experiencing true teamwork where my unique significance makes a difference.
- Contemplating the incarnation.
- Studying the hand of a baby or young child.
- The rhema/pneuma of God’s Spirit in my life.
What would you add?
First, the children of God are known by their actions:
- They love each other (1 John 4:7).
- They believe in Jesus (1 John 5:1).
- They love God and keep his commands (1 John 5:2).
As a result, children of God receive certain blessings:
- We have victory over the world (1 John 5:4).
- We have an intimacy with the Father by which we can call him “Abba” (Romans 8:15).
- We become fellow heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
- We await future blessings when Jesus returns (Romans 8:19-21).
So…are you a child of God? How have you been blessed as a result?
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Romans 8:14
That verse is clear: if the spirit of God isn’t leading you, you are not God’s child, just as you do not belong to God (see 8:9).
The image of “adoption” tells us that no one is born into a true relationship with God. The fact that we receive our adoption status proves that there was a time when we were lost; we were not naturally God’s children. Originally, we were spiritual orphans and slaves.
Second, the image of adoption tells us that our relationship with God is based completely on a legal act by the Father. You don’t “win” or “earn” or negotiate a parent. It is simply received.
This teaching is clear and important because it is common to hear people assert that “All humans are God’s children.” The biblical evidence for this assertion is Acts 17:29 where Paul does call all humans God’s “offspring” (genos=descendant), which is like calling Henry Ford the “father” of the Model T. The Bible reserves all the richness of the term “children of God” only for those who have received Christ as Savior and Lord.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
The status of God’s child is given to those who receive Him. No one has it naturally except Jesus Christ.
Historical Christianity has taught that Jesus was the Son of God, God incarnate (made flesh). If that’s true then it’s fair to expect some evidence to back it up. It’s fair to ask, “Did Jesus act like God? Did he do the things God alone is able to do?” The answer to these questions is a resounding: “YES!”
- He was prophesied (Isaiah 9:6-7 and many others).
- He performed miracles (John 10:25 and many others).
- He taught with authority (Matthew 7:28-29 and many others).
- He had supernatural knowledge (Matthew 21:1-3; 24:1-2; 26:17-35 and many others).
- He was sinless (John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22).
- He was one with the Father (John 1:1-5, 18; 3:35-36; 10:25-30; 14:1-11).
- He accepted worship (Luke 5:8-9; 7:36-50; 19:35-40 and many others).
How can God forgive me if I can’t forgive myself? Why am I struggling to forgive myself if I know God has already forgiven me?
Let me make a distinction that can help us all. Guilty feelings occur when the Holy Spirit convicts us of unrepentant sin. So if I am living out sin in my life, I shouldn’t be surprised if I have guilty thoughts and feelings. That’s from God. And that’s good because it helps us continue to follow and obey him.
Now, once we have repented, guilt should no longer be our status. We should be overjoyed in the forgiveness of Christ. But rather than be overjoyed in Christ, we often feel SHAME. Shame is not a thought or feeling from God.
Now, if you know Christ, you need to know that Satan invests a lot of energy trying to get you to live apart from who you really are. He wants you to remember your failures and feel shame. He wants you to live in discouragement and defeat. He wants to tuck those things in your pocket so he can throw them up in your face every time you try to take a step forward with God. He says, “You’re a loser. You flunked out big time. God’s not very fired up about you.” Everything Satan says to you is bent on your defeat and your ineffectiveness as a representative of Christ. He hates you because he hates Jesus Christ. So when you allow those thoughts to permeate your living, you become useless to God, and Satan wins. It doesn’t mean that you’re not a Christian. It just means you’ll be ineffective until you rid yourself of that shame.
How many of you want Satan to win the battle for your effectiveness? Instead of letting those cancers grow, go back to what God says about you.
What does God say about you?
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and repented of your sins, you are a child of God, a branch of the true vine and a conduit of Christ’s life. You are a friend of Jesus who has been justified and redeemed. You were crucified with Christ and you are no longer a slave to sin, guilt or shame. You will not be condemned by God. You have been accepted by Christ and called to be a saint. In Christ Jesus you have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you. You are joined to the Lord and are one spirit with him. God leads you in the triumph and knowledge of Christ. You are a new creature in Christ who has become the righteousness of God in Christ. You have been made one with all who are in Christ Jesus. You have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. You are chosen, holy and blameless before God. You are God’s workmanship created to do good works. You have boldness and confident access of God through faith in Christ. You are a citizen of heaven who has been made complete in Christ. God loves you and has chosen you so don’t you dare let Satan take any of that away from you.
The truth is: God is fired up about you.