Monday, October 28, 2013

Love Letter For Life

Yesterday our church had a Celebrate Life Service. I mentioned this letter and said I would re-post it. This is a blog post from 2009.

Caution: This Is Powerful

Planned Parenthood and their ilk would have everyone believe that abortion is no big deal. They fool women into believing that abortion is just an outpatient medical procedure and they will be back to normal later that afternoon with their life set free. The reality is far different. The reality is that these women(and sometimes men) struggle deeply with what they have done.

A few weeks ago I was priveleged to be a part of a memorial service. This funeral was for 3 aborted children. The local pregnancy center counsels women who are struggling with the abortions that they have had. One thing they recommend and organize is to have a memorial service for the aborted children. At this particular service the woman stood up and read a letter to her children that she had aborted.

This is one of the most powerful things I have heard. Here is her letter.

Womb life (December 1997 - March 1998)
That’s how I imagine you:
Hair: Fine and Brown
Eyes: Blue
Character: Handsome and quiet
Name: Means “God Saves” because He did!
Created: around the holidays of 1997
Aborted: Around March 1998
Joshua would have been born around September 1998. At the time of his memorial on April 6, 2009, Joshua would have been 11 years old.

From your mother (maman):
Dear precious son, we named you Joshua. You would be 11 years old! We named you that because we are so glad that God saved you and kept you safe. God gave you life and I (your mother) took it. You were in my womb only asking for nothing more than a chance to live and be loved. I was so selfish and stupid.

I am so deeply sorry for taking your precious life. I will forever regret it. I am in deep pain and extremely sadden. My pain is so great, my grief so immense that I can’t even describe it. I am only encouraged that God can help me.

I imagine your pain, ,little one; how great yours was, too. I think of you when you felt your little body being torn in pieces… I think about you often. How can a mother inflict such pain to her own baby? How can I have done such a thing? What a catastrophe, a monstrosity? You only got to know a cruel mother.

I am so thankful for God for He has been there for you all that time. He has been taking care of you. I am forever thankful. I am sorry it took me so long to face my sin. I am so sad; I never got to feel you moving inside my tummy. I never had the immense pleasure to hold you in my arms. I know it’s hard to believe but I love little babies. It hurts to know and it’s hard to accept that I will never have the chance to cajole you, to rock you to sleep, to see you smile, to see you and love you. You will never get to know Zi Lin, Jacob, and Evelina. They are your brothers and sisters. They would have loved you! Jacob would have been so proud to have a brother and to follow up and look up to. We will never know who you are until we meet you in Heaven.

But by the grace of God, you are in Heaven! I pray that I will see you one day. I have no idea if you will be a baby or a grown up but whoever you are I will be so delighted and feel so privileged to be reunited with you, Joshua. I will finally feel so complete and filled with intense joy.

It is my deep desire for you to know how much I am regretful of my choice of aborting you. I love you, Joshua. I love you with all of my heart. I feel deep sorrow but I am reminded that God is with you and that you are well.

I imagine you happy in Heaven with our dear Savior, in perfect health, radiant and joyful. What a joy to know that because of our loving God I will see you one day. I will keep preciously the hope in my heart to meet with you that day when it’s time and to hug you and whisper to you the words, “I love you, Joshua; I always did.”
Until then, I am asking you to please forgive me for hurting you so badly … for not loving you the way I should have … and most importantly for taking your precious life.

PS - I did ask and receive permission to share this letter.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Moved By Grace

Amazing grace how sweet the sound!

Are you astounded by the grace of God? I was recently reminded of a great chapter in the timeless tome by J.I. Packer on God's Grace. (Knowing God)

This extended quote is from pages 132, 137.

(Begin quote)

We can only claim from Him justice--and justice, for us, means certain condemnation. God does not owe it to anyone to stop justice taking its course. He is not obliged to pity and pardon; if He does so it is an act done, as we say, "of his own free will," and nobody forces his hand. "It does not depend on man's will or effort, but on God's mercy" (Rom.9:16 NEB). Grace is free, in the sense of being self-originated and of proceeding from One who was free not to be gracious. Only when it is seen that what decides each individual's destiny is whether or not God resovles to save him from his sins, and that this is a decision which God need not make in any single case, can one begin to grasp the biblical view of grace.

The grace of God is love freely shown toward guilty sinners, contrary to their merit and indeed in defiance of their demerit. It is God showing goodness to persons who deserve only severity and had no reasons to expect anything but severity. We have seen why the thought of grace means so little to some church people--namely, because they do not share the beliefs about God and man which it presupposes. Now we have to ask, why should this thought mean so much to others? The answer is not far to seek; indeed, it is evident from what has already been said. It is surely clear that, once a person is convinced that his state and need are as described, the New Testament gospel of grace cannot but sweep him off his feet with wonder and joy. For it tells hour our Judge has become our Savior.

It has been said that in the New Testament doctrine is grace, and ethics is gratitude; and something is wrong with any form of Christianity in which, experimentally and practically, this saying is not being verified. Those who suppose that the doctrine of God's grace tends to encourage moral laxity ("final salvation is certain anyway, no matter what we do; therefore our conduct doesn't matter") are simply showing that, in the most literal sense, they do not know what they are talking about.

For love awakens love in return; and love, once awakened, desires to give pleasure. And the revealed will of God is that those who have received grace should henceforth give themselves to "good works" (Eph.2:10, Titus 2:11-12); and gratitude will move anyone who has truly received grace to do as God requires, and daily to cry out thus--

Oh! To grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be;
Let that grace now, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love
Take my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above!

Do you claim to know the love and grace of God in your own life? Prove your claim, then by going and praying likewise.

(End quote)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lance Armstrong Is A Liar

“All liars will have their part in the lake of fire.”

“Thou shall not lie.” --- God

Lance Armstrong cheated and then lied about it.

I used to be a huge Lance fan. His story (which turned out to be a lie) was so compelling. An elite athlete…sidelined by cancer…fought and beat cancer…came back and won a record 7 times. Winning the Tour de France is an incredible athletic accomplishment. Winning it 7 times is historic. Coming back from cancer and winning 7 times is legendary. Now, it is all a lie.

What makes the story worse is that for years Armstrong was accused and denied the accusations with incredible consistency and vehemence. He sued people who accused him of doping. He was ruthless to those who said he was taking peds. He publicly denied that he used steroids over and over and over again. Now, in an interview with Oprah, he has admitted the lie publicly.

Lance Armstrong is a cheater, a deceiver and a LIAR. Lying is a sin against God. Lying is serious to the Lord. The Bible says that all liars deserve to be thrown into the waves of fire that make up the place called hell.

I am glad I am not Lance Armstrong. You probably are too.

I have never lied about taking performance-enhancing drugs in order to win the Tour de France. You probably haven’t either. But, but, but, but….I HAVE LIED…about other things.

The sad truth is that I haven’t just told one lie in my life, I’ve told more than one. And you know, YOU KNOW, that you have lied too. Hasn’t everyone? Do you think there is one person on this planet that has never told even one lie? No way! We have all told lies. The fact that everyone has told lies does not lessen the offense to the Lord. If everyone were a murderer it wouldn’t make murder less serious. The same is true with our lies.

Let’s try and quantify our lying for just a moment. If we were to estimate the number of lies we have told, would it be: in the hundreds or thousands? It’s hard to truly remember them all, but they are numerous…aren’t they?

So, what do we call someone who has told numerous lies? A human being. Of course, but more specifically someone who tells multiple lies is a LIAR. We don’t just tell lies we are liars. Those who commit sins are sinners.

This is a direct violation against the law of a Holy God. He is infinite in His Holiness, Righteousness and Justice. That means that even the little white lie is cosmic treason and rebellion against a Holy God. When we break His law we deserve the just punishment for our crime.

The Bible says that the punishment for our sin is certain and eternal death. (Romans 6:23) The Bible says that “all liars will have their part in the lake of fire (hell).” (Revelation 21:8)

If God gave us liars what we deserve it would be the punishment of an eternity in hell. That is what we deserve.

Well, maybe we can make up for our lies. Maybe Lance Armstrong can do enough good deeds to pay for his lies. He has, after all, done some incredible good. The Livestrong Foundation has done some great work in battling cancer. Lance should be applauded for his charity and philanthropic works. But, does his good deeds absolve him of his status as a liar? Not with God.

Think of it like this: if a murder comes to the judge and says, “Judge, I know I murdered by I have done all of these good things, and I promise that I will do even more good things in the future…can’t you let me go free because of my goodness?” No good Judge can let a murderer go free of his crime.

God is a just and righteous Judge. He cannot let sin go unpunished.

Uh oh! We are lying sinners and deserve the punishment of God, and there is nothing we can do about it. That is the truth. But, God is also amazing in Love. He loves sinners so much that He has done something for us that we could not do for our self. God has a solution to the problem of our sin, something only God could accomplish.

Sin had to be punished and paid for. We could never pay it to satisfy the demands of justice. Jesus could and did. Jesus, the sinless Son of God, came to pay for our crimes. He did this because He loves you and to satisfy the demands of justice.

It’s like this; suppose there is someone guilty of a crime. They are before the judge and the just penalty is 1 trillion dollars. The guilty man has no money; there is no way he can pay the fine for his crime. The Judge cannot and will not let the man go without the fine being paid. Then a stranger comes into the court. He walks up the judge. He has the full amount that he earned through his own hard work. He pays the judge the full amount for the crime of the guilty. The judge accepts the payment and offers freedom to the guilty.

When Jesus died on the cross He was paying for our crimes of sin against God. He paid, with His life’s blood, for our sin against a Holy God. He took what we deserved. And He rose from the dead on the third day. He lives. And because of Jesus, the demands of justice have been met and God extends the love of His grace towards sinners. It is His free gift of forgiveness that He offers to us.

What do sinning liars have to do? Simply receive the free gift that Jesus purchased on the cross. The Bible says the way we receive the gift of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life is by repentance and faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 3:19)

Repent means to turn. Turn from yourself and your sin and turn TO Jesus Christ.

Believe means to entrust your entire life into the hands of Jesus. You give Him complete control of you. Faith is not just going to church or assenting to certain facts. True faith is giving everything you are over to Jesus to be the LORD and BOSS of your life.

This is the only hope for Lance Armstrong. It is the only hope for all of us liars.

Please consider this and turn to Christ in repentance and faith today.

If you have never done this and would like to, one way you can express your desire to repent and believe is to say a prayer like this:
Dear God,
I admit to you that I am a sinner. I am guilty of sin and deserve Your punishment. I realize that Jesus died for my sin on the cross and that He rose from the dead. I desire to turn from my sin and trust you as my Lord and Savior. I want to give my life over to You today. Thank you for saving me, forgiving me, and coming to live in me. Thank you for the promise of heaven.
I ask this in Jesus’ name,

(if you have just done this, please let me know)