A Chase in the Parking Lot…or Proving the Will of God to Ourselves and Others

Romans 12

1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Test and see.  That’s our invitation.  Try it God’s way and we get a chance to see first-hand what is the will of God and that it is pleasing, acceptable, and perfect.  One great plus…we also get to prove it to those watching us from the sidelines.  I remember being at a restuarant with my children when they were little.  I was about to leave the parking lot after eating and a dear women came running toward me, apparently trying to chase me down before I pulled out of my parking spot.  She wanted to know “what I did” to have my children so well behaved.  I deferred the compliment a few times, but she continued to press for specifics, repeating her request three times, at least..  Finally, I told her we were Christians and tried to teach our children according to God’s way and with lots of prayer. It was a sober reminder that people are watching, and we have a chance to prove to them, as well as to ourselves, that God’s way is good, pleasing, and perfect.

Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg and Eugenics

 

Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg sent chills down the spines of many Americans when she recently advocated abortion to control “populations we don’t want too many of.” She laments the lack of federal funding for abortions because this limits the access of poor women to abortion…of which whose children she  apparently doesn’t want “too many”.  I stuggled with my thesaurus to find a descriptive word for someone with such a view of themselves and their fellow man.  Bigot? I’m not sure.  Elitist? Definately…but that doesn’t go far enough.  Elitists consider themselves better than others but those who advocate the death of people they don’t value are in an altogether different category.  What do we call Hitler, klansmen, Stalin, anti-Semities? We know them more by name…their infamy is so great.  They stand alone, iconic symbols of the depths of cruelty attainable by man. They remind us that the sane and educated can commit insane atrocities when they forget that there is a Lord and He tells us how to treat each other.  As stated in Leviticus 19 the Creator of every man says, “15“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor… and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.”

Chief Justice Ginsberg, in her court, where there should be no injustice, wants deference to the great.  By advocating abortions to control undesirable populations she “stands against the life of [her] neighbor.”   It’s time to reason frankly with one another and to speak plainly.  No one is better than anyone else.  All human beings, rich or poor, smart or delayed, beautiful or deformed, have value because their Creator says they are made in His image. We are commanded not to oppress our neighbors or to stand against their lives.

  Justice Ginsberg is elderly and has cancer, but she is still valuable to God and to me.  I will value her life even if when her disease makes her confused, unattractive, and burdensome.  She needs to do the same for her fellow man. If this is all a nightmarish misunderstanding of her views toward the subject of abortion and certain “populations”,  I hope she won’t hesitate to clarify her stance.  It would be a relief to many.

Could I Ask For More?

What a joy to be a child of God!  What satisfaction is found when, after being reconciled to the Father through Christ, we come under His Kingship.  The greatest Mind becomes our tender Father. We rest in the turmoil of this life because He is wise enough to give us what is best. We clap our hands because we know the best is yet to come. 

4He will choose our inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah   Psalm 47

Surprise…the Final Frontier

“1Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13)

 “Your never safe from surprise till you’re dead”, is at once true and false.  The grandest surprise of my life will be the moment after death, when I see what “no eye has seen or mind conceived.”  But the idea is very true for life here and now and perhaps most for the Christian, who should expect to be surprised by a God of infinite creativity and power. Here the disciples are in prayer and suddenly the Holy Spirit lays out a specific command. It was probably unexpected.  They obeyed and, subsequently, the gospel moved forward into new territory.

Surprise is a great challenge for the church today.  We have things that we know are important to do, such a caring for the poor and teaching the Scriptures.  We can set up a plan to meet these needs and even hire someone to oversee the program.  In fact, we can create such efficient programs that there is very little room for surprise. Worst of all, is becoming so comfortable with something that “works” that we stop expecting surprise or resist it when it comes. It is truly a supreme challenge.  The church needs to strive forward using all her resources and yet be ready, like a sailboat, to tack with the wind, all the while continuing on a faithful course to her ultimate destination.

Keeping the right mindset is probably the best way to be ready for surprise.  Church leaders and laymen, need to watch, and listen to, God’s people expectantly and prayerfully. Obtaining the right mindset, is, of course, done in prayer, Bible study, and worship.  The Holy Spirit moves among us like the wind and is no “respecter of persons”.  We need to be ready to be surprised by what He chooses to do, and by whom He may choose to do it.

“7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[a] must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3)

Iran, Iraq, and Something We Can Do

 

God sees the strife of the nations.  The Bible is replete with passages that talk of His concern for the oppressed.  It is totally within His power to call up leaders who can accomplish His plan and do it well, without falling prey to the vices of ambition.  Let us pray fervently for places like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, etc…anywhere we see people hungering for freedom or striving to protect it.  Let’s anticipate and watch for God’s answer and rejoice when we see it!

I Samuel 12

6Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the LORD who raised up Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt.”

“ 23Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.” (Samuel)