Good article from my dear friend David Wegener, missionary in Zambia. He puts into words something that’s been floating around in the back of my head for some time.
ESPN reports that Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey told star basketball player Brittney Griner to keep her homosexuality on the down low…because not doing so would hurt recruiting. You see, Baylor is a Baptist school with this official policy on sexual misconduct. Here’s an excerpt:
Baylor will be guided by the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from the creator God and that the purposes of this gift include (1) the procreation of human life and (2) the uniting and strengthening of the marital bond in self-giving love. These purposes are to be achieved through heterosexual relationships within marriage. Misuses of God’s gift will be understood to include, but not be limited to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication and homosexual acts.
Baylor will strive to deal in a constructive and redemptive manner with all who fail to live up to this high standard.
Coach Mulkey told Griner her sexual deviance was not a problem (before she even got to campus), but it is clear she did not know the University’s policy, right? I’m betting her willful ignorance was promoted by Griner’s unequaled talent (Griner did get Baylor a national championship) and that her request for Griner to stay quiet had more to do with her remaining at Baylor than it had to do with recruiting.
Baylor’s Christian witness is being tested. President Ken Starr (yup, that Ken Starr) should fire the women’s basketball coach. By that action he could send a message to the faculty and assure parents who are considering sending their children to Baylor that their children will not be asked to jettison their Christian faith when they arrive on Baylor’s campus. He should make it clear the University is unashamed of her Christian commitments, particularly in the critical area of Biblical sexuality.
Or…President Starr could follow Wheaton College’s President Ryken and officially promote homosexuality on campus.
Fathers, discipline is not all “No!” You must teach your children what it is you live for, what it is you love, what it is that delights your soul, what blessings you have in the Heavenly Father. As you know, our children generally love what we love. If you love money, your children will love money. If you love corn on the cob, your children will love corn on the cob. If you love the Cleveland Indians, your children will love mediocrity. If you love God, your children will love God. Have you shown your children your great passion for Jesus Christ and the great joy you have in His salvation? Have you said “Yes!” to many good things or any good things? Doug Wilson puts it this way: “True discipline says no in a world full of yes.” Some of us certainly need to learn to say “No!” every once in a while. All of us desperately need to learn to say “Yes!”—to the Philippians 4:8-9 things—most of the time.
Speaking of corn on the cob, here’s a little video I commend from What About Bob?. Fathers, be more like Bob (Bill Murray) and less like Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss)…
The Harris County DA’s office in Houston, TX has begun investigating another murderer of babies (i.e. an abortion provider). His alleged crimes include twisting off the heads of living, delivered babies. Pray that the State of Texas is able to defend the rights of the unborn by convicting Douglas Karpen and putting him to death. Pray that the Gosnell trial and the upcoming Karpen investigation are used by the Spirit to turn the hearts of fathers to their children.
God have mercy on us.
I hope that all of you who are mothers had a joyful Mother’s Day this past Sunday. And if you didn’t and are disgruntled about it, I encourage you to read what Nancy Wilson wisely has to say about our expectations for such occasions.
When one of my children commented recently on the amount of work I try to accomplish on most days, the Lord put this reply into my mouth, “But son, I wouldn’t have so much work to do if I weren’t so blessed.” He stopped to think about that for a moment and then his eyes brightened as he said, “You are right! God has given you so many blessings that you have lots and lots of work to do!” And with that he was off joyfully counting all the ways God had blessed us as a family, and increased our work load as a result: family, church, school, outreach…
Fruitfulness is good. Fruitfulness brings lots of work. Work is good. Work brings lots of fruit. It’s a lovely circle of blessing and purpose which gives us a tangible and obvious way to glorify God with our bodies, our minds, our emotions, our energy, our talents, our money, our homes, our time, and on and on. Work is not a curse; God gave Adam work to do before sin entered the garden. Work is good. It brings fruit. Fruit is good. It brings work.
So as you give yourselves to your labors today, remember that somewhere is a woman who has no work to do and would give anything to have your blessings.
Earlier this year, SC State Senator Lee Bright (Spartanburg), introduced a bill which would require doctors who perform abortions to be board certified in OBGYN and to have admitting privileges at a local certified hospital. Given the murders that took place at the Gosnell abortion mill in Philadelphia, now is the time to bring pressure on the remaining abortuaries in our nation.
The text of the proposed bill:
TO AMEND SECTION 44-41-10 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS CONCERNING ABORTIONS, TO PROVIDE THAT A LICENSED PHYSICIAN WHO PERFORMS AN ABORTION MUST ALSO BE BOARD CERTIFIED IN OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY; AND TO AMEND CHAPTER 41, TITLE 44, BY ADDING SECTION 44-41-25 TO PROVIDE THAT A PHYSICIAN PERFORMING AN ABORTION OUTSIDE OF A HOSPITAL MUST HAVE ADMITTING AND STAFF PRIVILEGES AT A LOCAL CERTIFIED HOSPITAL.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 44-41-10(b) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
“(b) ‘Physician’ means a person licensed to practice medicine in this State who is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.”
SECTION 2. Chapter 41, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
“Section 44-41-25. Any abortion not performed in a certified hospital may only be performed by the pregnant woman’s attending physician who must have admitting privileges at a local certified hospital and staff privileges to replace on-staff physicians at the certified hospital.”
SECTION 3. If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Earlier this month, the bill was slated for committee hearings and parties were given three days notice. The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the doctors who kill babies at the Greenville abortuary all testified. The anti-abortion side was not prepared adequately. The bill was handed off by Senator Harvey Peeler of Gaffney (the chair of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee) to a subcommittee. Recently, this subcommittee voted against the bill, 3-2.
Pressure needs to be brought on Chairman Peeler to reconsider the bill. If enough noise is made, the bill could be brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote. Please take a few moments to contact Senator Peeler by phone (803-212-6430), online form, or email.
Sarah stumbled across this and forwarded it to me…
I don’t know what is more pathetic: that this book was published or the fact that the only negative reviews take the author to task for suggesting that a dog be euthanized if it threatens your baby.
Also notice the bonus CD! So helpful!
We had the biggest crowd I’ve seen witnessing against the slaughter of babies at Greenville’s abortuary. I’m particularly thankful for the presence of a man named Ed (2nd picture below). He was getting a feel for the work to be done there but didn’t leave before he stoked up his loudspeaker and preached. I’m thankful to have another like-minded brother join with us in this work.
We all know that we should be showing hospitality on a regular basis, even to strangers. God has told us in His word to do it (Heb. 13:2), and we know that we will be blessed as we obey Him in this service. But have you ever stopped to consider some of the other perks that come along with having people into your home on a regular basis? Here, in no order of importance, is my Short List of Selfish Reasons to Show Hospitality.
1) Maid Service
Seriously, if I didn’t know that guests were arriving at my doorstep on a regular basis, I would not clean my toilets nearly as often as I do. Showing hospitality is just the impetus this lazy housekeeper needs to stay on top of cleaning. Most of the women I talk to dread the thought of cleaning more than the actual time it takes to do it. Showing regular hospitality is a proven cure for the problem of procrastination! I consider it a real blessing that I have this weekly motivation to do the chores I would otherwise ignore until they became an unpleasant burden nagging on my mind. Without it, I must admit, I would not be intrinsically motivated enough to keep up with the cleaning. Just to be clear, I could never pass a white glove inspection. I probably wouldn’t pass a brown glove inspection! But regular hospitality is a great help in forcing me to keep up with the bare minimum. So if you are ignoring a very messy house, call a family up right now and invite them over this week. I guarantee you’ll have a clean house in no time!
I love having a weekly excuse to bake dessert. While we don’t usually serve anything really fancy for guests, it’s fun to do the little extras: dessert, hot dinner rolls, etc. Yes, I do need to spend extra time in the kitchen cooking for guests. But that means that I also get to eat more! In fact, having people over on Sunday in particular is a great time to feast in celebration of the Lord’s Day. And I certainly do like to feast. Let me be perfectly honest here; if I didn’t have people at my table regularly, that would be fewer opportunities for me to bake and eat brownies. And that, my friends, would be sad for me.
3) Nanny 911
Nothing serves to train our children in manners better than having to put it into practice every Sunday at the dinner table with our guests. We can teach the rules of etiquette to them during the week, but the rubber meets the road when their Sunday school teacher is observing how they eat soup. Of course, the fact that my husband throws dinner rolls to me across the table might be a slight detriment, but our guests have never complained. They’ve also never been hit in the face with a dinner roll. Yet.
4) Home Entertainment System
We all like to be entertained. Some people are entertained by watching other people’s lives on TV. Some people spend lots of money going places to be entertained. Some of us invite entertainment to come over and have dinner with us. Right in our dining room we’ve been able to meet the most interesting people, hear the best stories, and watch the greatest party tricks. And unlike the TV, we get to interact with our entertainment, to ask them questions, or to beg them to tell just one more joke. We may feed their bellies, but they feed our imaginations and our minds as they talk about the experiences God has brought them through.
So that’s my Short List. What would you add?
Those who say God loves sodomy have not read His book. They say Sodom’s sin was not taking care of the poor and needy (Ez. 16:49) as if Sodom could only have one sin. They bring up the egregious sin of Sodom’s negligence because they heard some sodomite professor for a brief moment had reason to believe the book of Ezekiel was truthful at a few points. Leviticus, not so much. The Apostle Paul’s epistles, not. Jesus’ “sayings,” well…
Listening to ESPN radio last week was like sitting in that professor’s lecture hall. Radio personalities, famous sports figures, masculine men known for their masculine pursuits in masculine sports with millions of masculine listeners had to talk about courage and bravery and boldness and triumph without once talking about what Jason Collins does. They kept to the crooked and wide, praising Collins as a hero. Last week’s radio was gloriously awkward.
Chris Broussard didn’t play along, saying homosexuality was “open rebellion” and “sin.” He said,
If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.
Jason Collins assured us of his own Christian faith in his Sports Illustrated article: “I take the teachings of Jesus seriously, particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and understanding.” Jason Collins likes all those passages that address everyone else’s behavior and can be used to protect his gayness. I’d love for him to tell me which ones he has in mind. But what of those passages that touch on his behavior? What does he think of those?
Here’s another question: Would Jason Collins give up sodomy as an act of faith in Jesus Christ? Would he take up that cross and follow Jesus Christ, as those called to Jesus must leave behind idolatry, and fornication, and money, and, yes, even family (Luke 14:26). Every Christian has a testimony to the cost of discipleship. They have learned what this verse means: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).
Consider the rich fool who had taken the teachings of God seriously (“All these things I have kept”–Matt. 19:20). Jesus asked him to give up all that he owned, all the possessions with which God had blessed him: “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possession and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matt. 19:21). The rich man was unwilling: “But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property” (Matt. 19:22). Jesus asked him to give up his property, give up his material blessings, but he would not. Would Jason Collins give up sodomy for Jesus?
God is, as Psalm 25 says, a teacher of sinners:
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. For Your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity, for it is great (Psalm 25:8-11).
Sinners, the poor in spirit, those who acknowledge their sin, love God because he teaches them in the way. They know the preciousness of His covenant and His testimonies. They live for His glory, crying out for pardon. They know Jesus Christ as the pearl of great price. They will not happily coexist with sin because Jesus is all. They know the loveliness and mercy of Jesus asking them to give up everything for Him.
Would Jason Collins give up sodomy for Jesus? Would he make himself a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 19:12)? Would he hear and love God’s “No!”?
Jason Collins serves an idol. Idols do not make demands of their worshippers. The golden calf allows her worshippers to “play.” Jason Collins has found an understanding and tolerant idol. This idol has a great following in today’s apostate church, in the chambers of our Supreme Court, and in every institution of higher learning. Her priests are members of the media who keep the sacrifices coming.
Idols are tolerant, gentle, nice, accepting, understanding. They are memory-foam for our flesh.
God, on the other hand, instructs sinners in the way. He is not tolerant of sinners…He is merciful toward sinners through His Son Jesus Christ.
Jason Collins eyes will likely never fall upon this blog. But should they, I’ll ask again: Would you give up sodomy for Jesus Christ? Which is more precious to you?
God desires our love. We have lost our beauty, and stained our blood, yet the King of heaven is a suitor to us. What is there in our love, that God should seek it? What is God the better for our love? He does not need it, He is infinitely blessed in Himself. If we deny Him our love, He has more sublime creatures who pay the cheerful tribute of love to Him. God does not need our love, yet He seeks it.
-Thomas Watson in All Things for Good
Yesterday Andrew sat in our living room and unfurled a poster of a seven week old human embryo alive in the uterus. Without any prompting, and having never seen a similar picture before, our 28 month old toddler ran up to it with delight and shouted “baby!”
Baby. She knows it’s a baby. Even though the picture didn’t look like any baby she had ever seen before, she knows it’s a baby. Barely more than a baby herself, she knows it’s a baby.
Yet what is so obvious to her is up for debate among the wisest of our lawyers, judges, doctors, and ethicists.
“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants’” (Matthew 11: 25).
God didn’t make woman to be a sex object. But he didn’t make her to be an infantry soldier or tank driver either. He made her to bring the next generation into existence and civilize it, not destroy it. And He made her to keep the present generation from hurtling into hell, through intellect and creativity, spiritual concern and emotion, love and courage.
-Joe Bayly, “Is This What Women Want?” in Out of My Mind: The Best of Joe Bayly, 124.
This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).
It is a complicated process getting a passport when your gender has been “reassigned” or is transitioning toward being reassigned. Note how the picture you submit must “accurately reflect your current appearance.” I don’t think they mean a male/ex-female/transitioning-female should look like a male or that a female/ex-male/transitioning-male should like like a female. That would be hopelessly old-fashioned. I think they just want to make sure that those who are confused about their sexuality aren’t confused by the fact that a photo of you should look like a photo of you. That’s actually helpful instruction for those who look in the mirror and can’t see what’s there.
If you are like me, or like most of the women I talk to, you struggle with at least one of these temptations:
All of these are seated in our hearts or our minds. We know that as Christian women we are not to believe the lie that we can’t control our emotions or the lie that just because we “feel” something means it is right or true. (If this is a new concept for you, then please read Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free today! It will change your life!) But how do we actually go about controlling those thoughts that pull us away from what is true? How do we tame those wild emotions that cause us to act in ungodly ways?
Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” I italicized the verb, because I think it is so important. We are not to let the peace of Christ make suggestions or act as some sort of Dr. Phil; it is to RULE over our hearts! Is the peace of Christ ruling your heart? Are you thankful for the fact that God calls his peace, not his wrath, to rule over your heart? Do you recognize this verse as the enormously-freeing blessing that it is? Christ’s PEACE is to RULE so that we can be free from all the ways Satan wants to use our emotions and our thoughts in order to keep us in bondage to him.
Philippians 4:7 gives us even more encouragement, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” So not only does our Heavenly Father want us to know His peace, but He uses that peace to rule us and to guard us against further attack. What a glorious promise to cling to!
So let’s turn off the mental switch that keeps us constantly feeling, thinking, mulling, and reacting. Let’s lift our eyes up to the peace of Christ presented to us in Scripture. Let’s allow that peace to RULE us. And let’s be thankful.
Joy is setting the soul upon the top of a pinnacle—it is the cream of the sincere milk of the word. Spiritual joy is a sweet and delightful passion, arising from the apprehension and feeling of some good, whereby the soul is supported under present troubles, and fenced against future fear.
-Thomas Watson in A Body of Divinity
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you… (Col. 3:16a)
The Christian, the one who has been chosen by God (Col. 3:12a), is dedicated to the Scripture, to the Bible, to “the word of Christ,” as it is called in the passage. The Christian understands that this word is “of Christ.” It is similar to other books in that it has words, and stories, and exhortations, and beautiful poetry, and form, but it is absolutely set apart from all other literature because it is “of Christ.” The Bible is said to be “breathed out” or “inspired” by God: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16). Other books are the thoughts of men, but this book, the Scriptures are of Christ.
Now, if we think about it for just a moment, we realize how utterly sinful it is to neglect a book like that. God has inspired these words. God speaks to us, and we neither read nor listen? How can it be that we have been in church for 10, 20, 30 years and have not read what God has written?
We wouldn’t dare call ourselves lovers of Shakespeare’s plays if we treated them with the same neglect that we do the Scriptures, would we? Just because I may have brushed up against Hamlet in high school does not make me a dedicated devotee of Shakespeare’s plays. Those who have not devoted themselves to God’s Word cannot be called those who have the Word of Christ dwelling richly in their hearts.
“But,” you say, “I may not have been reading Shakespeare’s plays all my life, but I’ve been attending productions of his plays.” Ah…you got me there. To draw out the analogy: you’ve been coming to church all these years, where you’ve heard the Word read and the Word preached and you’ve attended Bible studies. You’ve been fed the Word, and the church has been your mother. You’ve heard sermon after sermon, attended Bible study after Bible study, listened to passage after passage. You’ve been sitting there year after year.
Some neglect the private study of God’s word; some, on the other hand, read their Bibles with unceasing devotion and see no use for the ministry of the Word in the church. Some have no time to read the Bible devotionally; some have no time to be taught the Bible by anything other than their own vain imaginations. Some devote themselves to God’s Word only when alone; Some devote themselves to God’s Word only when gathered together with others.
Now, it is true that being devoted to reading God’s Word privately and devoting yourself to God’s Word preached and taught in the Church are both necessary, critical. If you would be a lover of Shakespeare’s works you must read the plays and attend the productions, right?
What you may not realize is that you have been cast in the play (to go back to my earlier analogy)! You are Romeo or Juliet or Coriolanus or Cordelia…and now your reading and attending and studying and devotion have a purpose. Not only do you have to know the lines, but you have to know them so deeply that you can speak them as your own words. You, in a very real sense, must live the words, know the very inflections that explain the meaning, following the stage directions with amazing precision. You have to know the text.
Scripture, though, is no play. Your Life depends on it.
Jesus told a parable to the chief priests and the elders of the people who were questioning Jesus’ authority:
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’
“And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They *said, “The first.” Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him” (Matthew 21:28-32).
Here we have two sons, both of whom received a word, a command from their father. One initially rejects the command but ends up doing what his father asked of him. The other initially agrees with the command (or at least feigns agreement) but ends up not doing what his father asked of him. Only one of them did the father’s will: the one who obeyed the command. When we read this passage, that point comes across very readily because of Jesus question. “Which one of them did the will of the father?” “The first.” We get that. He ended up doing what the father asked. But we get caught up in the etiquette of the situation. “How awful that that first son said no to his father!” That in-his-face rejection seems to carry more weight with us than the second son’s “yes” with no action, doesn’t it? The first son’s sin was to his father’s face (he said “no”…); the second son, bless his heart, just got distracted. His intent was good, his execution was a failure. That’s how we read it. But that’s a wrong reading. Jesus is comparing the son who said yes to the scribes and leaders of the people who were always seeking answers to their questions not so they could obey Jesus but so they could trap Him. They had no intent to obey His words. They feigned interest; they hung around Jesus with great devotion but never with the intent to submit to His authority.
Now, which is the better attitude to have toward God’s Word. An initial “no,” followed by obedience. Or a slap-happy “yes,” with no intent to obey. Our flesh often responds to God’s commands with “No!” Yet over time and by the work of the Spirit we put to death those no’s of the flesh. Who hasn’t balked at Christ’s commands for husbands and wives? Who hasn’t balked at Christ’s commands to be generous? Who hasn’t balked at Christ’s commands to entertain strangers? Who hasn’t had to work hard against the flesh at Christ’s commands to forgive those who have sinned against us?
Better the initial NO that understands exactly what God is commanding in His Word than the YES that intends to do whatever it desires (or, more than likely, figure out a way to make God’s commands the opposite of what they are).
Obedience to God’s Word is proof that it is richly dwelling within you. It is the doing of the Word, not simply the reading and hearing of it, that prove it is richly dwelling within you.
Another example from Jesus’ life: a very short moment in his ministry, recorded by Luke:
While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it” (Luke 11:27-28).
Now, Jesus concludes with the point I have just been making. Blessing comes with those who hear and observe. But why do you think the woman said what she said? I think perhaps she was a woman who herself had used her womb and her breasts in raising children. Her significance had been so wrapped up in these things, she even wanted to define who Jesus was by the blessing he had left to the womb and the breasts that had nourished Him. Basically she is saying that just by Jesus presence in the womb and at the breast of her mother, she is blessed of God.This is blessing by proximity. Just because Jesus was there makes these things holy.
Do we seek for God’s blessing by proximity, by closeness to holy things? Of course. We think because we are reading God’s Word every day we are holy. Some think because they are here today under the ministry of the Word that you are blessed. Some think because they’ve devoted themselves to Bible studies and devotional emails and this and that, they are blessed. Some think because you are a member of this church you are holy, blessed, safe, done. We want things cheap and easy…so we think hearing God’s Word is enough.
But, dear brothers and sisters, what does Jesus go on to say…no, blessing does not come from proximity to Him…but by doing what He say: “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and observe it.”
Now, where do you fall?
There are those who aren’t devoted at all to the Word of God—privately or in the church. There is no hope for them. They not only don’t know the Word of God, they have no interest in learning it, let alone submitting to it. They don’t read their Bibles, and they come to church only when they feel like it. They are not the son who said no or the son who said yes. They are not a son and have not received a command from the father.
There are those who may give some attention to God’s Word, privately or in the church, but they believe it is a yawner. They fall asleep when they read it and sleep through sermons and check out with blank stairs during the Bible study. They are not the son who said no or the son who said yes but the son who shrugged his shoulders and said “whatever.”
There are those who are devoted to private devotions but not to the ministry of the Word in the church by those called by God to preach and teach. They are the son who tells the father what he is willing to do and for how much.
There are those who are devoted to the church but leave the word behind the other six days. They consider the call to meditate on the Word day and night (Psalm 1) a burden. They are the son who said yes but have no intent of obeying. They give good outward signs but have no inward life.
Then there are those who “Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within them…”. They live in the Word. They are the son who obeys. They are devoted to the Word of God not like it is some sort of talisman but because it is the loving commands of a loving Father. And though there may be an initial no…it is an initial no that is followed by repentance and conformity.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall” (Matt. 7:24-27).
On the other hand, I was encouraged to speak with a man named Mark who has been going to the clinic for many years. He told me of the work of the Lord in his family, showing me the joy he had in seeing a daughter who was lost and has now been found. May God bring many more believers like Mark to witness outside the abortuary.