Called To Grow

Grow in the grace & knowledge of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Unplanned life is still a life

It’s not what you think about it, it’s not what they think about it. It’s what God thinks about it. If we keep relying on people’s thoughts on matters of life, we’ll be all over the map with opinions. Even the secular world we live in heavily relies in many areas on morals established by God, although they deny biblical principles as the source.

So what does God think of “fetus”. We find in Psalm 139:13-16 and Jeremiah 1:5 that God has formed a life inside a womb. And in Exodus 21:22-23 we are presented with a scenario which sheds some light on the seriousness of offense of those who perform abortion. If as a result of an outside force, life of a “fetus” would be ended, then the law gave the right to take away the life of offender – “life for life”.

Life begins in the womb and only One has the right to take it away.  1 Samuel 2:6

The word “fetus” does not exactly translate as “baby” from Latin, but it isn’t a clump of cells either. The word in Latin means “offspring”. Offspring that’s been formed by God, and even according to science has all the characteristics of a person. Here’s a great scientific paper  by Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D. from Princeton University that sheds light on “When do human beings begin”.

Often the word “fetus” is used to distance ourselves from the idea that babies are being killed. People use this word to describe something that has no rights, being merely a part of woman’s body rather than a independent life, and thus could be eliminated when desired.

This video shows that when people actually see what happens to the unborn baby during abortion they change they views, or at least they give a little more thought to the issue.

So maybe we’ve distance ourselves too far from the issue of abortion, because if there’s anything humane left in us we would stand up for 3000 lives aborted daily in United States. Think about these things, let them affect you as you take on informed views.

Pro-choice 0r pro-life? God gives each person time to make they’re choices. He also made it clear on what the consequences of our choices are. When we submit our lives to Him, and grow to be more like Him, we will choose life. Deuteronomy 30:19

Inspired by yearly Fundraising Event organized by our friends at Pregnancy Choices  in my family we choose to not be silent but step up and do something to protect those who cannot yet protect themselves. And let’s pray for those mothers who due to their circumstances face one of the toughest decisions when a new life is formed inside of them.

Read the Word, Do the Word

6:30am.It’s still dark outside. Cars one by one pull into the parking lot. Coffee shop opens at 7:00, but today they let the group of young people in half an hour earlier. Smell of great coffee quickly awakens the mind. Edison style light bulbs light up a modern conference room. Russian and English Bibles of all shapes and sizes are spread out on the long wooden table. Modern day disciples of Jesus came to read the Word with the ultimate goal of doing the will of the Father.

I’m excited about the study part, but as we keep diving into the word I realize how important it is for Christians to act on the word they read. There’s got to be a balance between study and application. Real world application.

We’re  a small group of about 10 souls studying the book of James. And the apostle teaches a great deal about growing up, that is maturing as a Christian. And big part of maturing is learning to make the connection between learning what God wants from us and taking it with us to our immediate life circumstances.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

James’ warning to the early Christians is great reminder for believers of any generation. There’s a great danger in deceiving yourself. Agreeing with the Word is not doing the Word.

James learned the lesson from his older brother Jesus who taught that “applying the Word of God is the foundation of your Christian living.” Matthew 7:24-27

One example I heard recently is that knowing the word and doing the word are inseparable as two pedals on the bike. It’s impractical to spin just one. That’s why there’s two pedals. And you gotta keep that balance if you want to keep going.

So now at our morning Bible Study we don’t just write in our notes how we are going to apply what we have learned, but at the end we share with a partner how we’re planning to apply the Word in the upcoming days. And when we meet next time we follow on how we were able to apply it. These questions help bring the subject at hand to reality. This encourages everyone to be intentional about doing the Word, not just studying it.

So how about you? That sermon you hear, or that passage you read, did you act on it? Did you invite the Holy Spirit to work on that part of your life? Read the word, do the word. And you’ll be on your way to maturity in Christ.

Who is called to grow?

We are broken people. Broken beyond repair. There’s no way for an improvement or update. And Jesus is the only solution to this problem. Through Him we are born again into a new family, with new hope and future.

Christianity unlike any other religion is not about fixing up a person. It’s about a complete overhaul. From dead to alive. From sinner to born again. A new creation. (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

And that’s a wonderful thing. Once the spirit comes to life, the person steps on the path of learning, growing and seeing the world in a new way. We are now ready to learn to walk and talk, and walk the talk.

Just like a baby, once born into the family has to grow up, same for disciples of Christ. Even though baby is alive and healthy she is not perfect in all of her ways. As a newborn she begins her learning journey to adulthood. Through careful guidance of parents and through pleasant and painful experiences she grows up and matures.

There’s no other way to receive the benefits of growing spiritually, then to be born into the family of God. The Bible is not just a collection of great advice and principles, it’s a life-changing experience.

So in case you wonder why Christianity didn’t or doesn’t work for you, consider this: before you can grow you must be born. If you want to change your life and to continually improve, there’s only one way: realize that you’re broken beyond repair,  give up your life to Jesus who will give you a new life, and then enjoy the work that Holy Spirit will do in your heart as you continue to obediently walk with the Lord.

We have so much to learn in this life, and God prepared for each so many wonderful lessons that will make us more loving, caring, gentle, wise, humble, patient, strong… Saved people are called to grow!

Some places to meditate on: Romans 3:23, John 14:6, John 3, 2nd Peter 3:18, James 1:2-4

Grow or Die

I’ve heard it before and then many times after, but where this reflection on learning got engraved in my mind is during the training months at Skagit County Fire Academy.

“The day you stop learning and growing is the day you start dying”

That was a phrase one of our instructors shared as he encouraged us – a group of young and old volunteer firefighters. He and others reminded again and again to never stop learning, never think that you know it all. Even after graduation, even after years of experience, even after you become an officer or a Fire chief.

Life is about growing. Growing up. And growing old. Not just getting old. Jesus could have entered the world in many different ways, yet he was born as baby and grew up increasing(read: “growing”) in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and people. Luke 2:52

That’s the course of life. Time goes on. Babies turn into toddlers and toddler into young children. Our bodies and brains grow. But sadly as Paul once observed, and so it is today, there are Christians who remain infants in Christ. 1st Corinthians 3:1

Stalled physical and mental growth often results in various developmental delays and the damage is often irreversible. And so we take care of our health and the health of our kids, making sure that we grow. We do same in our professional lives. And in the areas of our hobbies and projects that interest us. However spiritual growth tends to suffer, since it’s limited to Sunday service or two, an occasional podcast and whatever we catch on the christian radio station on our way to work(if we even tune in). How much more important is our spiritual growth and development, and yet how little attention it gets.

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