The Choice is Yours

Pro-life? Pro-choice? Pro-me? Pro-you? Pro-what??!

In the last few months we have seen a new wave of controversy pushing the issue of abortion on us once more. There have been states passing laws to ban abortion or restrict it even further. This of course has ruffled many feathers. And I of course got moved to write a message about it.

In thinking of writing this message all I could think of was the word of God and how all my life I have heard Gods voice telling me directly 

““Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.””

Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

God has chosen us since before we were even conceived so how can someone else not choose us before we are even born? 

In discussing this issue with a friend I gave my point of view with love as my support like in almost all arguments but my friend pointed out it is not just love but the fact that we have forgotten the value of life. 

I honestly just think it’s as simple as we have become a selfish society and we have been taught by this warped generation that there is nothing wrong with being selfish and self seeking. 

Many may argue well what’s the point of bringing new life to such a corrupt world or to a place where they won’t be wanted or loved? But that’s just another excuse we make up to cover up our selfishness! You who say you are pro-choice you have the choice to love this new person but you in your selfishness decide to love yourself instead; it is not that you have an inability to love but that you choose not to because it is not convenient to you.

See as far as the pro-choice/pro-life arguments go there are three things that are mainly covered: 

  1. My body 
  2. My time 
  3. My pain

(Note the word my… selfish?)

Most people who argue for abortion say that they if they are the pregnant ones that they just simply don’t want to hurt or burden their bodies with child bearing or birth or they will argue that it is for health issues. So we destroy the body of another for our own? “Oh but they aren’t even formed yet!” That’s the response we get isn’t it. So again I reference you back to that verse in Jeremiah 1:5. Just because you can not “physically” see that body fully formed as your own that doesn’t mean it isn’t there we just choose to see what we want… we choose to see the blob and not the person. Because to you it’s your body but to God it’s His child- His vessel. I always remember this famous quote by C.S. Lewis “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”…. see when we die this body dies yes but our souls are eternal. So you think of this blob as no one but God thinks of His creation and child as the future. We are not willing to submit our bodies through any changes because it is “my body…. and I can do with it as I choose” yes true but your choice for not hurting yourself is to hurt another, no matter how you perceive to see it, and in doing so destroying a whole other future just as easily as your mother could have chosen to do so and in doing so not even giving you the chance to make this choice yourself. See “your choices” are the allowance of the choices of the past that now impact our present and “your choices” now will also be what will impact the future bringing us to that second “My”-my time.

Your time and how you spend it are what are most important and no one or nothing should be allowed to disturb your plans. What about the plans of God? 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Do you not believe in Him? Trust Him? Not a Christian?

Ok then let me put it to you this way…. what would happen if your mother had chosen not to give you life? Then you wouldn’t be here contemplating wether you should give someone else life or the right to make that choice… you wouldn’t have time at all. What if all the greatest characters of history would be wiped because their mothers or generation had made the same choice… how different would our present be? (Though God tells us that His plans always prevail no matter what we choose but we loose out on blessings when we don’t choose Him or His plans… “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?””Esther 4:14 NIV… what if you were born for this moment? For precisely this choice?) And now the last question before “my time… my career/ my future… this is just not the right time for me” kind of mentality completely takes over you. What if every person in this and the generations right behind us who have the ability to conceive and give birth all adopted the same mentality and we all became selfish or self-absorbed and we all choose not to have kids and abort the ones we do conceive because they don’t fit into our plans…. there goes the whole future of humanity! Basically driving ourselves toward extinction.(oh no but let us save the trees and the animals… who you saving them for?) and this leads us to the last of the “My”s- my pain.  

What if this new life was conceived because of rape? Incest? A loveless marriage? An abusive partner? Poverty? Already have too many kids?  Simple. God has a purpose for everything including the pain in your life and for everyone both you and this new life.  See in our life(in this generation)we have been taught to only think of our own pain and suffering and to by any means possible find a relief for it. You ask how can we not be sympathetic toward the poor girl who got raped by her father and is now carrying his child? You are wrong I am and I’m more than sympathetic or empathetic I have compassion for my fellow sister, the circumstances are harsh painful and full of darkness. I love her and want what’s best for her. And so you ask then how can I say that she should bare and give birth to this child that is the mark of so much pain? Because out of darkness we have the ability to  relate life and our of misery we are able to bring out joy. How? See you see your life destroyed and seek to destroy this one too but if you allow yourself in the pain to give life instead you are creating a new life for yourself and this baby. You are becoming better then your assailant or your circumstance and doing good instead of bad for yourself and another in doing so forming a new and stronger character and a new future and kind of life. A life in which you allow yourself joy and happiness for others. Weather you keep the child or give it into adoption for the joy of a barren women who did not have the privilege you did of experiencing the growth of life within her. When we choose life over death it is a choice for yourself truly. Because of your choice for mercy and grace you will receive of as well. And I go back to God has a purpose for everything and everyone. Your pain made you stronger better and a much better kind of human. For this new baby too… perhaps the child you choose to birth will impact the future of humanity in ways you can’t even start to imagine. 

Pain is pain sometimes it’s necessary and we have all felt it. We started this message in the first chapter in the book of Jeremiah where Jeremiah wrote down the story of how God first called him. But it we keep reading we get to a Jeremiah in pain, so much pain he says…

“Cursed be the day in which I was born! Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me! Let the man be cursed Who brought news to my father, saying, “A male child has been born to you!” Making him very glad. And let that man be like the cities Which the LORD overthrew, and did not relent; Let him hear the cry in the morning And the shouting at noon, Because he did not kill me from the womb, That my mother might have been my grave, And her womb always enlarged with me. Why did I come forth from the womb to see labor and sorrow, That my days should be consumed with shame?”

Jeremiah 20:14-18 NKJV

You read this and you might try to say then there you go a man who says he didn’t wish to even be born. But! Jeremiah said this out of pain… and his story does not end there He keeps going and in everything still praises the Lord and continues to do the work of God. The problem with what Jeremiah says here and in the same pained humanity out of which many of us speak is that he wished that he had been killed at the womb but that’s why we should never rely in our own pain or the word of man but the word of God. God had told Jeremiah in that very first verse we read at the beginning that He knew and had a plan for Him even before the womb. So we need to stop thinking of the life within us as just a blob or a small unformed specimen… you as well as them are people, souls, that God created even before consummation. God has created with a purpose and every single life matters. Jeremiah had been chosen as a prophet to speak to the people and speak against the abominations they had fallen into. One of the things that Jeremiah went ahead to fight against was the religious practices of the people in which they sacrificed their children to the god Molech in pursuit of prosperity. Many see this as horrible and barbaric acts of pagan religions of old… but tell me what makes our modern society so different from them when today we are still sacrificing our children is pursuit of our own prosperity. 

So let us choose not ourselves today let us make a change today let us better our own society and go out of this twisted modern norm in which we have all always chosen ourselves and let us choose life for all. Let us choose a future for all. Let us choose prosperity for all. And if you can go so far let us choose God and His plans for they are better than ours. I don’t know about you but I’m pro-Christ!

Christ who gave His life to give you and me a new one. Christ that instead of being selfish with every right to be so (“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV) instead chose self sacrifice for the benefit of all humanity. That’s should be our modern example to follow.

Love is NOT Proud

Love is not proud….

Pride is probably the leading cause of the loss of love. I always try to love with humility because that’s how Jesus wanted us to love. I tend to value people more than myself and I’m always so excited for other people’s accomplishments, especially those closest to me, and I never let pride get in the way of Loving someone to the fullest…. because why waste precious moments being proud when I can enjoy them instead and just be humble.

Pride is basically thinking better of yourself or what is yours. Many times it’s thinking ourselves only right. So when we spend more time thinking of only ourselves better or right where does it leave room for love God or others? 

“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”

Psalm 10:4 NIV

When I use to get into quarrels with my best friend I hated to waste time being proud even if I thought myself right I’d let it go for sake of love and joy…. I would have only wasted precious time of our friendship being proud… pride only gets in the way. And if I spent more time thinking myself better I would have a lot less friends and much worse relationships with my family. Pride only gets in the way. 

God through the wisest man he made once wrote…

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Proverbs 16:18 NIV

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”

Proverbs 11:2 NIV

“Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.”

Proverbs 29:23 NIV

I’d rather be humble and remember like NKJV says “love is not puffed up” instead I’d rather be someone else’s cheerleader. But most of all I’d rather puff up God… He is the only one worthy.

And yet God is Love and so He wasn’t too proud to come in human form make himself like man and not only that he came in the most humble of ways and lived such a humble life… Him being God… and the He died the worst of deaths… because of love for us. He came to serve us. He came to save us. He didn’t waste time being right or better. He knows He’s always right He knows He is infinitely better than all of us or anything… but because of love and our joy He humbled himself and thought of us first.

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

Philippians 2:5-8 NIV

 So in all relationships with others and especially with God let us cast out all pride and let us embrace humility just like Jesus did! Let us love like Him!

Love does NOT Boast

Love does not boast…..

NKJV says love does not parade itself…. what a funny thought isn’t it?  Yet I think we have all failed in this form at one point or another. I hope we have repented and returned to letting God be the love within us loving everyone around us.  But if we have then we know that a love that parades itself or boasts then is not love for others but a love for ones self only. 

It is nothing more than vanity. 

I know I have been accused of vanity before… mostly because I like to take care of my appearance or because my perfectionist gene tries to take over and I try to do things the best I can… I especially love doing this when it comes to the things of God because He deserves my best…but nonetheless these things are sometimes seen as vanity in me so I work hard to show the humility Jesus has taught me in all areas of my life. But I do portray a lot of confidence and strength so most of the time it’s hard for people to see it with the naked eye… especially if they don’t know me too well… so I work even harder because my goal is always for others(everyone) to see Jesus in me… not me! See my goal is not to parade myself and my great deeds or my perfection… it’s to fully show Gods. 

See in reality I think just like Paul when he says..

“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,”

Ephesians 3:8 NKJV

For that’s precisely what we have been called for… not to boast about ourselves but about all the great and wonderful things God has done. But in our humanity we many times fail and we forget about Jesus and only see ourselves and the things of this world which is why the psalmist writes…

“For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD.”

Psalms 10:3 NKJV

When we become selfish, greedy and only follow our own hearts desires all we can accomplish is to hurt ourselves and also those around us. See many times by boasting about ourselves we bring others down and that is not at all what God wants from us… He wants for us to love one another and build each other up. 

[ I love the idea of being good at everything but I never pray for it because I know it would be no good for me to be so because God has created us all uniquely with our own gifts and talents so that we can ALL praise Him]

Let us leave behind our wicked ways and let us walk righteously as the creation of our great God because when we do then just like the psalmist we are able to say…

“In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever. Selah”

Psalms 44:8 NKJV

We are the creation of God… made to worship Him in everything and with everything.

So the word says Love (God) does not boast, or parade itself, well because God doesn’t need to worship Himself… He created, saved and will come for us for that! 

 God deserves all the glory at all times. How can He not? He created you… and He didn’t stop there He also saved you, gave Himself completely for us, so in turn can we not do the same for Him… and what’s more He wants us to join Him for an eternity in His peace and paradise but we can only obtain this if we stop boasting about ourselves and we start boasting Him instead.

 Accept Jesus in your heart and let love in!

Love does NOT Envy

Love does not envy!…

It wasn’t until it came time for me to write this particular message that I realized what a big vise this was for me… sounds so simple doesn’t it? Love does not envy… did I realize what I was saying? I did envy…. and so it stopped me on my track. I asked God how do I write this message and to be completely honest for a long time I couldn’t. See for me it wasn’t that I was envious of a certain person or of certain specific things… it was everything…Everything! I realized in one of my Sunday school lessons as I was teaching my students about Lot and Abraham that I was like Lot and always seemed to me that everyone’s pasture was greener… ever heard that saying “the pasture is always greener in the other side” oh I’ve heard it all my life and it wasn’t until then that I realized how much I thought just like that. I envied other ppls spouse, I envied other people’s children, I envied other peoples family, I envied other people’s careers, I envied other peoples living conditions and the list goes on and on… and again not specific people and it’s not specific things but everything I don’t have. 

 I think this is the biggest lesson we need to learn sometimes…. to be grateful for what we have, and not just be grateful, but fully understand that what we have comes from God so He gives what we have with a purpose and what He doesn’t as well. 

Yes there will always someone who is having it better than us but there will always also be someone who is off worse than us. 

God is love and only wants what’s best for us we always need to keep this in mind. He gave us the commandment in exodus to not covet that which is our brothers. And then in…

“Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.””

Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

And then…..

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Romans 13:8-10 NKJV

See God gives us His word because He always knew what would be best for us and how deceiving our own hearts could be…. so gave us His law and His grace and His love…. because He knew that if we were allowed to covet and to envy we would never reach true joy in Him.

Most people just want to be happy they just don’t know how to go about it. God did. 

So He gave us the best strategy and game plan…. He traced the perfect path for us through Jesus. 

  1. Love Him
  2. Love others 
  3. Let Him (Love) live in us 

In our own human “love” we won’t be able to fulfill this “love does not envy” part but when we let God, who is true LOVE, live in us He and reign in us He can. 

So the moment I decided to love like Him and let Him love though me was the moment I truly became free from all envy…. yeah life is hard and things aren’t always easy and we can’t have all we want but even so God (love) is always with us and He gives us what we need with a purpose for His glory and honor and His will. When we can see it this way we gain joy and peace and true gratitude for the things we have and the things we don’t. Because…“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”

I Timothy 6:6 NKJV

Be content with what you have and you will gain true joy. And true LOVE!

Love is Kind

“… love is kind…”

1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV

Love is kind- I’ve always wanted to think of myself as kind but upon composing this message I had to question myself as to weather that was true. Am I really kind? Do I know what it is to truly be kind? The word kind in the dictionary means : having a good nature or way of behaving; compassionate; considerate or helpful; humane; of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person. So I proceeded to ask myself am I of good nature? Do I behave good? Am I compassionate?  Am I considerate of others? Am I truly helpful? Humane? And then I got stuck in benevolent nature. See for the most part I was all those other things all my life I have strived to be the best kind of human to be good natured to please God and others. I even have my best friend who doesn’t like that I never say no. My best friend tells me that it’s ok not to help in everything and do everything for others because along the path I will burn myself out and not allow them or it grow to it’s full potential. I laugh when told this because it really truly is hard for me to say no but I have learned that sometimes no is a greater kindness. Like when God says no to something…. it’s because He wants what’s best for us.

So it brought me back to that word I got stuck on- benevolent. I had only heard it truly to describe the type of God we have. So what is it to be benevolent? Well I went back to my dictionary and it said almost all the same things as kind (no surprise there) benevolent: desiring to help others: characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings: desiring to help others; charitable: intended for benefits rather than profit.  But what stood out to me was that last part “intended for benefits rather than profit”. And yeah God isn’t just nice and helps us but does everything He does, the good and what we think is bad, for our benefit not trying to reap any profit other than one day having us there with Him for eternity.

So all of this took me to think of one of my favorite verses that has really kept me going on rough or complicate days. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”-Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Our God, and God is Love, is the true essence of kindness and benevolence because He loves us so much that He plans only good things for us, things that will make us prosper, things that will give us hope and increase our faith, things that will help our future both here on earth and our great future with Him in eternity. God only desires to help you and has had such great compassion for your soul that His kindness extended to dying on a cross to give you the benefit of salvation. Yeah you may be in the dark right now and going through some tough times or maybe He has answered you with the no instead of the yes you were hoping for and you may be thinking… why? I know I did…. I even asked why as I was writing this message… and it was as simple as it doesn’t matter how kind I am it’s how kind He is, has been, and will continue to be. The key is trust…do you trust God? Do you believe that perhaps He has left you in the dark, or is letting you go through the difficult situation, or has said no to you because He wants to do you a greater good that is going to greatly benefit you in the future? Well do you? It’s hard to trust when you can’t see but that is where faith comes in play. Have true faith and He will do great wonders in your life.

So Warrior of God take up this great weapon, Gods loving kindness, and use it in every battle. And yeah try hard to embody the same kindness that God has for you so that others may see His love in you and may also reap the amazing benefit of salvation.

Love is Patient

“Love is patient, …”

1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV

Love is patient- easy to say not always so easy to do. Why did God ask us to be patient? The most clear answer to this is because He is patient. Think about your own life… how you are, bow you act, the things you say, the things you do/or don’t do, how you spend your time…. and ask yourself: has God been patient with me? Personally I know He has been super duper patient with me all my life.  He called me to His feet and service since I was seven years old and believe me since then I have deviated, gotten lost along the way and done things my own way only to learn that I should have been patient and done things His way.

People say patience is a virtue and it’s true… but what is patience? If we go to the dictionary the word patient means:  able to control one’s feelings in spite of annoyance, misfortune, etc., without complaining or continuing to work steadily; diligent; steady. With this definition I can tell you my feelings and emotions have not always been to easy to control in misfortunes or difficult situations, and I’m sure a lot of us are guilty of complaining at different times and in our walk there has been times when it has not always been easy to continue His work steadily or diligently when the tides rise against us. But Gods definition of patience goes beyond that because it goes hand in hand, nay it’s flooded, with love. Patience is one of the very characteristics of Gods love. 

You want to know just how patient God has been with you? Just how much He loves you?  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”-Romans 5:8 NIV God knows just how very sinful our nature is, He knows all our sins all our dark deeds  He has known us at our darkest and He knew just how lost we were and sometimes can still be yet He was so patient that from the very beginning of time He had created a master plan of salvation just for you… and since the day you were conceived till this very day He waits for you to execute His plan, to take His mercy and to do His will… that is how patient He is with you.  Now how much does He love you?… He gave the perfect lamb, His only begotten Son, sinless and perfect Jesus, God himself made man to be nailed to a cross and die for all of our sins….. that is how much He loves you!

Now as Warriors for God how can we use this love/patience as a weapon? For those of us who call ourselves Christians don’t think you are too high and mighty that you can’t take the time to be patient with those who have not yet received the gift of salvation. Many let it go to their head and don’t let that type of patient love reach their hearts… you don’t take the time to see the necessity of others or you think the prostitute or the drunkard are not worth your time to extend and share the same gift that you were worthy of.

 Don’t be selfish and take the time with everyone because God has been way more patient with you and He has saved the worst of the worst and called them worthy too. And for those of you who may be afraid or careless of taking such a gift be patient love God and yourself enough to listen to His master plan and to accept and execute it and yes it make time for all of this but it is well worth your time because at the end of the race and the end of time the reward is great… an eternity with Love Himself! 

Warriors of God lastly I ask you to take this love and be patient for God will give us the victory in all things! The devil may come and try to lie to you and pressure you and tell you that you are not worthy that you will never make it out of the storm that the battle will end with your defeat so you might as well give up… but Christ was patient He waited for the perfect time and obtained victory over death and sin for all of us… whatever you are going through or whatever comes against you take your time be patient and wait for Gods perfect timing in all things because victory and peace are secure in Him no matter what… all you have to do is wait! Be patient! 

LOVE

Love- it’s such a powerful word yet there is so many of us out there who don’t truly or fully understand it. If we look in the dictionary the word love is defined as: a deep, tender, passionate affection for another person…. this is the most common used definition. The first part of that definition is mostly true but it is not restricted to that. I remember clearly as if it were yesterday the very first time I truly understood and experienced true love. I was 7 years old and I was in the second row at church (i always love to be the closest I can to the altar…it’s the best place to worship). I knew in that moment that God loved me and that only He could make me feel what true love is and that He had loved me in such a way that no logic, dictionary or human being could ever make me understand… only Him! Only He could love me like that! And only He could help me love like that. I was 7 but I probably wept like a newborn because when you first experience that type of love it’s something so surreal, so amazing and so overwhelming. The only thing I could do was cry and smile, which may sound a little crazy, but it’s like that because what God offers can not be understood by those who don’t know Him. I’m so blessed to have been able to experience God’s love at such a young age because it really strengthened me and helped form the Warrior for God that I would have to be the rest of my life because no one is the exception to problems difficulties and temptations. There is one thing that we always need to remember and that is that love is the most powerful thing in the world…Gods love is the most powerful thing ever! 

Now let me take you to an excerpt from the Bible completely dedicated to showing us just that type of love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV

Most of the time this excerpt is read at weddings and such but this is the type of love that God wants us to have and not just towards our significant other but towards EVERYONE. Why? Because this is the type of Love God has for us…because God is Love. Just replace the word love with God in this passage and you’ll be able to understand just how great and powerful Love truly is and why it’s the greatest weapon a Warrior for God can possess. His word tells us loud and clear: Love(God) never fails!

So in the middle of the problems and tribulations just remember God loves you and you are worth everything to Him… that alone should be able to fuel you up to keep going and to keep fighting for that Kingdom come!

 Now lastly I urge you to use this amazing weapon called love…. but how to process it? Easy accept it it has been freely given in the form of salvation “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16. So today receive love accept love/Jesus I it your heart because salvation is the ultimate victory over the enemy and death.