God’s view of the unborn baby

Psalm 139:13-16 “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they are were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them”

Even at the point of conception God sees the unborn baby as a living being. The Bible says that God sees the substance of the baby, even though it is still unformed – when it’s still a mass and there are no discernible parts.

Not only that, but the Bible talks about the baby being fearfully and wonderfully made – he or she has a Creator  who loves him or her. The child has been created with the skill of the Master Creator – the one who made the Heaven and Earth, who painted the zebra and the giraffe, who created sky-topped mountains and sensational sunsets. He’s the one who gives life to every human being.

In His book are written all the days fashioned for each child, even when it’s just a mass of cells, when as yet there are no days – just the time of darkness, growth and development in the womb – a specific plan and purpose for each specific human being .

God creates no child by accident. He has a plan and a purpose and a story for each one. Even when we can’t see a purpose – God sees it all.

When John the Baptist was in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth,(Luke 1:39-45) he leaped for joy when he heard the voice of Mary, who was carrying Jesus in her womb. He was fulfilling his purpose even in the womb – to be a forerunner and a proclaimer of Jesus, the Messiah.

To abort a child is to go against the very heart of God. Only God has the right to give and take away life. This is not a choice we should fight to have. Indeed, this is too great a  responsibility for us. Who are we to say that a child is unwanted – God loves that child immeasurably. Who are we to say that a child is too great a burden – God can give us strength to do all things. Who are we to say we can’t afford to have another child – God will provide all we need, according to His riches in glory.

If we abort a child, we are aborting the purpose of God in our own life, the life of others and the life of another human being.

What if Mary had decided to abort baby Jesus? To continue with the pregnancy meant that she had to face possible rejection by Joseph and the whole of her community. Not only that, she would have aborted God’s plan and purpose for the whole of mankind. We’d all be facing an eternity in Hell without the birth of Jesus into the world.

What if the child you are carrying is the one God plans to become the one who discovers a cure for cancer? What if the one you are carrying is the one who will carry revival to their generation;who will lead a country; who will invent new and wonderful products?

What if you discover that it’s greater to preserve a life than to destroy it? That in that clump of cells there is great purpose and potential.

All His works are marvellous.

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You have hope and a future

My teenage daughter has a picture on her wall about Jeremiah 29:11,which says

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord  thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope

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I read too regularly about young people who feel they have no hope in this life – so much so that they take their own life. The other day I learnt on BBC News that dark, gloomy messages glorifying self-harm and suicide are easily available on Instagram and once a person has clicked on one it creates an algorithm so the person is bombarded with more of the same messages.

How about we bombard our friends and those on our social media feeds with the powerful Word of God?

You have a hope and a future. Jesus died on the cross and took all His sin upon Himself so you could have a hope and a future – in this life and in Eternity.

You are significant. If you were the only person on the Earth God would still have sent His Son, Jesus, to die for you.

You are created in the image of God and are dearly loved.

No amount of heartache, financial difficulty, loss of friendships, abusive relationships etc. can destroy you if you listen to the One who created you, who has a purpose for you and a plan only you can fulfill.

Jesus experienced rejection – He understands. But He wants to comfort you and help you.

Please, please don’t deprive the world of your presence, your life, your contribution.

You are worth more than that.

 

Shattering the stony heart

In Church two weeks ago and today I felt that God said He was shattering the stony heart. I felt that some people’s hearts are so hard – because of previous hurts, disappointments etc. that there was a layer of concrete around their heart. But God has started chipping away and He is going to shatter it and replace it with a heart of flesh

Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Maybe you only have some residual hardness or to the other extreme maybe your heart feels like concrete right now – Jesus wants to transform your heart so it is soft and pliable and responsive to Him.

He will never let you down like people may do. Let Him do that work in your life – you will not regret it.

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Each one is precious

 

The other day I was involved in a school fire drill. The whole school assembled in the yard in lines – over 1000 students. They were grouped into forms of about thirty. The teachers took registers of their forms and accounted for each person in their form. The senior members of staff communicated on walkie talkies – they asked each Head of House to account for each members of their house. We all stood for about 10 minutes while they enquired about each individual and each person with authority gave the answer, “all present and correct”

They enquired about each visitor to the school by name; the boy in isolation and the girl on crutches studying in the library. When they couldn’t locate one boy they asked repeatedly until he was found.

It reminded me of how God cares passionately about each individual. Even if ninety nine  people are gathered and in God’s Kingdom He will seek out the one who has gone astray until He finds them.

LUKE 15:4-8 talks about the Shepherd going after one lost sheep.

God sees the one who is hurting;the one who is running away and the one who has had such a traumatic life, who desperately needs a Saviour and His heart is yearning for them. His Kingdom is not complete until they have come into it.

Jesus is calling repeatedly for the lost, the broken, the depressed, the suicidal and the bitter and He is relentlessly pursuing them until they are “present and correct” in His Kingdom.

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Meditate on these things

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The Collins online dictionary says that if you meditate on something, you think about it very carefully and deeply for a long time.

One of the keys to having a successful Christian life is having a sanctified mind. The Bible says in Proverbs, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. What we fix our mind on shapes who we are.

If we are constantly dwelling on thoughts of our failure, the person who did us wrong or ungodly activities we aren’t going to know the peace God has for us.

First, God wants us to think about the things that are true. The enemy may try to whisper words of inadequacy to you, telling you that you’re not good enough ;don’t listen to that.

If you read God’s Word you will find out the truth – that if you are a Christian you are a child of God, you are precious and beautiful in His eyes; you have purpose and you can do all things through God who strengthens you.

Rosehip tea

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Rosehips are incredibly high in Vitamin C. They are extremely useful to help with immunity to colds and flu. You can use them to make tea, jam, jelly and cordial, amongst other things  I made my tea from rosehips growing in my garden, so it is completely homemade and organic.

To make my tea (for a few cups) I picked 10 rosehips. I put them in a pan, covered them with about five cups of water and brought the mixture to the boil. Then I simmered it for about twenty minutes. Then I drank it! _20180906_213820I like my tea sweetened with honey.

If you live in the UK and would like me to send you some freshly picked rosehips from my garden you can pay £1.50 for 25kg plus postage of £2.95 via PayPal I will gladly send you some. Please click on the button below.

25g freshly picked rosehips

Freshly picked rosehips £1.50 plus £2.95 postage and packing

£4.45

 

 

In quietness and confidence shall be your strength

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Isaiah 30:15 says, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

Verse 16 is probably our natural human response:”And you said,  No, for we will flee on horses” But the Bible says, “Therefore you shall flee! And,we shall ride on swift horse-Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift”

As humans, many times we don’t like inactivity. We want to feel in control and want to feel that we are doing something about our problems. We might want to run away rather than facing our problems or trusting God with them. But it won’t end well.

The world values natural prowess and people seen as go-getters. But the Bible says about God that, “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior.”

Our natural strength and ability is useful – but it can only take us so far

Zechariah 4:6 says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord”

When we are tempted to run, God’s telling us to return to Him and rest. Let Him give you strength and victory.

The race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the strong. Gideon’s army was small (Judges 7) and God reduced the size further so only God could receive the glory for the battle.

Judges 7:22 says, “When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah by Tabbah”

The battle belongs to the Lord. Stop striving! There are battles you don’t have to fight. They are God’s battles. Only rest in Him. Be confident – you’re on the winning side.

God says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” (Romans 12:19) God will repay the wrongs done to you.

In Joshua 6 we see how the Lord said (verse 2)”See,I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its King and its fighting men” Joshua had to be obedient to God by circling the city seven times – he had a part to play but ultimately it was God who gave the victory.

 

 

 

When God says “No!” Part 3-Yes to Lydia

Acts 16:11-15

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The title of “When God says No!” is perhaps not a very catchy or appealing title  but actually when God is saying, “No” to one thing, He’s saying, “Yes” to something else. God’s  “No” to Bithynia at this time became a  “Yes” to Lydia and Philippi.

Timing is crucial.If Paul had tarried in Bithynia he may have missed the meeting with Lydia in Philippi. This meeting was a divine appointment. The Bible says that Lydia was a worshipper of God. God had been preparing her heart to receive Paul’s message.

God prepares us for a people and a people for us. We just need to trust His direction.

Lydia was a seller of purple. She was a well to do agent of a purple dye company from Thyatira. Purple cloth was extremely expensive – it was a symbol of status and wealth. The dye for purple was made from a juice found in minute quantities in shellfish. It took thousands of crustaceans to make a yard or two of purple cloth. So, to sell this cloth Lydia will have been mixing with very rich and influential people.

Lydia is believed to be the first European convert and the Orthodox churches have given her the title of, “Equal to the Apostles”  which signifies her importance and level of holiness.

The Lord opened Lydia’s heart and her and her household got baptized. Then she invited Paul to stay at her house. Later, when Paul had gone to jail and been released (Acts 16:30) he, along with Silas,  headed straight for Lydia’s house.

So after the  “No!” he received from God, Paul met this wonderful lady, Lydia, whose heart was responsive and open to the gospel  who became a big part of the Church at Philippi – a Church that was a constant source of supply for Paul – financially and spiritually. This connection was extremely significant

God’s  “No!” to Bithynia became a “Yes” to Philippi!

This happened because Paul listened to and obeyed the Holy Spirit

God has a plan for you. Don’t be discouraged if you sense a roadblock. God has a greater purpose.

God has good plans for you – to give you a future and a hope.

 

When God says “No!” Part 2

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Compare 1 Peter 1:1 “To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatians, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.”

So, there was a Church there at some point in time.

Sometimes God’s “No” isn’t a “Never”. It might just be a “Not Now”.

Sometimes in our own understanding we might think, “It can’t do any harm to go there and encourage these people   but the Bible says in Proverbs 3:5,”Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

God directs our steps and our stops.

 

When God says, “No !” Part 1

15230107596911774419437Acts 16:6-10

Jesus said to His disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel  “, so it seems crazy that God would forbid Paul and his companions to preach the Gospel somewhere.

But sometimes what is good is not necessarily God’s will or God’s timing. The Spirit did not permit Paul and his companions to preach the Word in Asia at that time   Maybe the people in Asia weren’t ready to hear what Paul had to say and /or maybe their journey would have been unfruitful – meanwhile God had people ready and waiting in Macedonia who were keen to hear the Gospel, like Lydia  the Philippian jailer and the slave girl who had a spirit of divination and needed to be set free. Individuals are important to God and He knows the divine appointments He has set up for you. God’s timing is also significant

Never be disappointed when God says, “No !” If He does, it’s because there’s a greater, “Yes!” further down the line.

Philip the Evangelist left revival to minister to one person who was travelling.

Sometimes the  “No!” may not make sense to you, but God does not waste His children. There’s too much invested in you for God to send you somewhere that’s not helpful to you or that’s not in His good plan for your life.