Every abortion stops a beating heart

What is more precious than life???  Not one thing!!!!  And when you are sick or hurting or alone or helpless, wouldn't you want someone to help you???  Frankly, I can't think of a more helpless situation than being in the womb.  Your life is totally dependent upon your mother.  No one really knows for sure exactly when consciousness begins, but certainly it must occur sometime just before birth, when the baby is viable.  I wonder what the unborn child must think just before it is murdered by its parent (s)?  Those individuals who authorize such an atrocity will be held accountable for their actions someday.  This passage from Matthew, Chapter 25 applies to this situation.  Read it; carefully, slowly and with the fear of the Creator of the entire universe foremost in your mind!!!

Matthew, Chapter 25

 31  “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.  32  Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.   33  He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.   34  Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;   35  for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in.   36  I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’ 

  37  “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink?   38  When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you?   39  When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’ 

  40  “The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers  , you did it to me.’   41  Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels;   42  for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink;   43  I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ 

  44  “Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’ 

  45  “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’   46  These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” 

What if you did something worse than the things mentioned in vss. 43 and 44?  Could you escape?  I think not!!!!  Hell is the reward for consenting to abortion!!! Only those who have no fear of God and HIS RIGHEOUS JUDGMENT WOULD EVEN DARE TO DO SUCH A THING!!!  And don't try to make excuses- there are none!!!  If you kill- you will experience hell along with those of like-mindedness.   You might say: "I have never done this, so I am innocent".  Question: have you voted for someone who supports the abomination? If so, then you are as guilty as those who do such things!!!  Don't like what I said?  OK, I freely admit that sometimes I say and do things that are wrong.  But, reread the Matthew passage and ask yourself: Do I dare defy Jesus?  For your sake I hope the answer is NO!!!!



The bible is a book fraught with the problems of human suffering that results as the consequences of sin. Once you complete a study of the creation account, you are confronted with the serpent in the garden of Eden - and from that point onward, the rest of the bible is replete with human suffering, dread, doom and - hope.
Those who read the bible and pass it off as so much "fantasy" have failed to consider that last point - hope. A failure to see beyond the present, results in the same outlook that Solomon had as expressed in the book of Ecclesiastes. "'Vanity of vanities,' says the preacher; 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.'" (Eccl. 1:2) His initial view of life was that of hopelessness and therefore uselessness. - an aimless wandering through time with nothing toward which to aim ourselves.
Therefore, he said, "...I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven, this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised." (Eccl. 1:13) Even the effort to search out the meaning of life is described as a "burdensome task" and as being our mission in life to discover. Yet, without a view toward the end of life's journey - and beyond - the answer deludes all of mankind. Why? Because we view life while in the midst of the present. Therefore, because our perspective is limited by our poor vantage point, we, of ourselves, cannot see the purpose beyond the moment. Isn't this the point expressed by Solomon? "What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." (Eccl. 3:9-11)
Man's earthbound, limited vantage point does not allow him to see beyond the boundaries of his five physical senses. If all of life, and what limited purpose it may appear to serve, is limited only to this physical realm, then we must come to the same conclusion as Solomon did; "I said in my heart, 'Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.' For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. Who knows the spirit of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?" (Eccl. 3:18-22)
As long as our knowledge of life is limited only by our physical senses, we will conclude that we are nothing more than animals, seeing only those physical similarities that connect us to them. Jude spoke of those having this mentality, describing them as "...ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." (Jude 4) Of those who are such, he says that "...these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves." (Jude 10) In short, they become like animals.
As Solomon questioned, "Who knows the spirit of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth" (Eccl. 3:21), he was stating a mystery that can only be understood with the help of our Creator. Without the revelation of God that tells us of our beginning, we could not otherwise know that "...God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Gen. 1:27) We could not understand that we are distinct from all of the animals unless our Creator had revealed to us through His word the distinction of man from the animals in Adam's search for a "comparable" companion. "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him." (Gen. 2:19-20) Therefore God had to take a rib out of Adam's side to make another human being (made in the image of God) to become "...a helper comparable to him." (Gen. 2:18)
The answer to Solomon's question of, "...who can bring him (man, gvw) to see what will happen after him?" (Eccl. 3:22) is - God! And the reason this is so is because only God, from His heavenly perspective and eternal nature, has from the beginning of time been, "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, I will do all My pleasure." (Isa. 46:10)
Notice that He does not declare the beginning from the end, but rather "the end from the beginning." God doesn't just give an accounting of history as it unfolds itself, but rather, He tells what the end or purpose is for everything that precedes it. He has pointed us in the direction of that which is beyond the present moment and has called upon us to look ahead with eyes of faith. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10:17)
A reading of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews challenges us to look beyond the moment and our limited vantage point, to see the end toward which we are to be pointed and progressing. The writer calls upon a people - Christians - who are suffering, and he urges them to look beyond the moment. He encourages them to look past their present suffering and the dark clouds that loom ominously before them. He uses the examples of this great "cloud of witnesses" (Heb. 13:1) to spur them on toward an end that their physical eyes cannot see.
The planting of the seed of God's word in a new location is not always a simple effort. The outcome of such work depends in large upon the kind of soil you are working in. Jesus made this clear in His parable of the sower. "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it." (Lk. 8:5-7) Were this the end of the parable, it might seem prudent to go home and not waste any more seed. But the parable doesn't end on such a sad note. He concludes by saying, "But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold." (vs. 8)
In spite of the seed that went to waste or never came to maturity so as to produce a crop, some seed reached its purpose by producing a crop - a hundred times its own amount. The farmer understands the significance of this law of nature. Seed does not only produce the fruit to be consumed - it also produces more seed that is to be saved for planting the next crop. This is the thought expressed by Isaiah. "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isa. 55:10-11)
`As sowers of God's word, we reap the immediate benefits of a crop in the form of new brethren brought into the fold. As the number of our brethren increase, we enjoy the fellowship that we sustain among the tender plants that we watch grow in the faith. As a result, we are encouraged. But that growth in numbers is only the initial blessing that we enjoy. Each young plant has more seed within itself that is intended to be used to plant the next season's crop with a view toward reproducing itself again.
Each of us was planted with a view toward our continued fruitfulness. If we fail in that purpose, we become a liability and our true purpose is not realized. Jesus illustrated this fact in the following parable. "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.' " (Lk. 13:6-9) This is a sobering parable and should make us take a serious look at our fruitfulness and how faithful we are at fulfilling our purpose for living in His field.
Each of us are the product of the seed of God's word that was planted in our heart. When you "...receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (Jas. 1:21), you become a living plant with the ability to "produce after your own kind." That godly seed is what perpetuates the continued growth of God's vineyard. It is the means by which His kingdom is brought from generation to generation. When every "plant" is doing its part, the outcome is destined to become a fruitful field and a testimony to the glory of God's purpose.
But as any farmer knows, a bumper crop doesn't just happen by accident. It is a cooperation with God's providence and our effort in preparing the ground, planting, and watering. But as Paul makes clear, the ultimate outcome of our work is to God's credit. "Who then is Paul, and who is Akpollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Appollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then, neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase." (1 Cor. 3:5-7)
Luke gives ample testimony in the accounting of Paul's ministry to the fact that the work of seed planting is not always an easy one. It is fraught with troubles along the way. One example of this is seen in his first missionary journey at the city of Lystra. Trouble followed him and those who traveled with him when "...Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead." (Acts 14:19) Yet, in the face of such trial, Paul did not give up. But rather, "...he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, 'We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.' " (vss. 20-22)
On Paul's third missionary journey, he came to Ephesus and encountered what seemed to be a setback in the work. It was there that "...he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus." (Acts 19:8-9)
Their place of meeting was lost in the aftermath of an ugly situation that seemed destined to hinder the work that they had come to that city to accomplish. But once again, they did not give up. In spite of evil influence of divisiveness, those who remained faithful rallied around the gospel of truth, separated themselves from the evil influence, and assembled in a school.
Their new location did not hinder that work. In fact, it turned out that in their new location that work "...continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks." (vs. 10)
As we find ourselves meeting in a new, temporary location, this is not a hindrance to the work, but a steppingstone to greater things as the gospel continues to do its work when planted in the hearts of men.
Some years after the challenging experiences of his three year stay in Ephesus, Paul writes from a Roman prison the letter to the Ephesians, admonishing them to "...not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory." (Eph. 3:13) In that letter he made known to them that they were remembered by him in his prayers for them. He prayed that "...according to the riches of His glory" they might "...be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (vss. 16-19)
The last time Paul had seen these brethren was on a brief layover at Myletus en route to Jerusalem (Acts 20:15-16). It was at that time that he had delivered some troubling warnings to them of impending troubles that lay on the horizon of their future, not to mention his own. As for Paul, he said that "chains and tribulations await me" in Jerusalem. (The fact that he was writing this letter from prison was testimony to the accuracy of his prophecy) And as for the church at Ephesus, he warned that "...savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears." (vss. 29-31)
Paul's concern for these brethren with whom he had labored is evident. These were members of his spiritual family that he had worked among, cried with, and patiently encouraged during difficult times. No doubt there were memories of a group of saints who suffered the growing pains of a new work in the midst of troublesome times - such as had forced them to meet together in the school of Tyrannus rather than where they had originally met (Acts 19:8-9).
That concern, fueled by the reminder of more troubles that he knew was coming, prompted the message of steadfastness that he wrote into the words of this letter. "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Eph. 4:1-3)
He called upon them to remember their roots - where they had come from, and the purpose for which they had submitted to the will of the Father. He admonished them to insure the future of that work by their drawing closely together in the "unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace." This was to be their part in protecting themselves from the deadly influence of the "savage wolves" that were certain to come in among them, seeking to scatter them and to undo the work that had been done so far.
Paul called upon them to grow by accepting individual responsibility to perform their part for the good of the whole; "...that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ - from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causing growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." (Eph. 4:14-16)
Their greatest effort in fighting against the coming trouble was their faithfulness to God and to one another in the perfect example of Christ. "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." (Eph. 5:1-2)
Finally, he called upon them to "...be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:10-12)
It was this church (and perhaps some of these very ones who heard the words of Paul's letter read in their hearing), that was sent another letter, written by the hand of John and dictated by Christ. In this final letter the Lord rebuked them, in spite of the fact that He could say, "...you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." (Rev. 2:3-4)
Without our love for Christ - our first love - nothing that we do will have any real meaning. We can do all the right things in the right way and still not accomplish the purpose for which we were called in Christ. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (Jn. 14:15) This is our greatest motivation and our only hope.
Brethren, where do we go from here? Can we relate to the example of those who have gone before us and learn from their experience? Can we look beyond the present and its challenges to the end toward which love points us? Are we willing to commit ourselves to the work that has been set before us? Will the growing community of San Antonio see the glory of God's hand in the love and faithfulness of His children?
Our brethren in Ephesus knew the meaning of trial and faced great obstacles in the pathway toward the goal. Let us not forget our purpose for being where we are. And let us always be mindful of the fact that the outcome of our efforts in this work do not solely rest upon our shoulders. Remember, it is Christ "...who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Eph. 3:20-21)

- Gary V. Womack - August 2005



On July 15th (this coming Thursday to be exact) the Congress of the United States will meet to determine whether or not to add to the Constitution of the United States an amendment that defines marriage as a union that is restricted to that between a man and a woman. If passed, such legislation would make homosexual marriages illegal according to the law of the land. It would be an understatement to say that this marks an extremely important, if not pivotal, moment in the history of this nation. The outcome of their decision will demonstrate whether we, as a nation, give credence to the words "in God we trust," or whether we cast them off as a relic of a bygone conviction that our progenitors once held to.
It is appalling that the moral decay of a nation should reach a point that it requires civil legislation to "clarify" the divine law of marriage. It marks us as hypocrites among the nations, claiming to trust in God out of one side of our mouth and denying Him out of the other. Solomon said it well; "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Prov. 14:34)
This is a shameful day that should cause us to blush before our neighbors of the world. But are we ashamed as a nation? Those who have made it necessary for Congress to take such action - those who reject the divine law of marriage and defy the God of heaven - are anything but ashamed of their deplorable sin and are therefore insistent upon gaining not only public approval, but the sanction of government protection under its laws. Therefore it has become necessary, on the federal level, to "define" marriage so that state governments not sanction homosexual relationships under the protection of marriage with all of the privileges that are otherwise afforded by law. Are these people, and those who support them, ashamed of any of this? The words of Jeremiah are an appropriate description; "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush" (Jer. 6:15).
Regardless of the outcome of this week's legislation, God's people must stand firm in their conviction to truth and not give credence to, nor approval of, those who espouse such a disregard for God's marriage law. This past week, I had the occasion to talk with one who openly embraces homosexuality. His response to my disapproving remarks was to say that, "The Constitution of the United States gives me the right to be a homosexual if I want." In response to his defense, my reply was, "On the day of judgment, it won't matter what the Constitution of the United States says. We are going to be judged by the word of God, not the Constitution of the United States."
Such responses are a clear indication that the masses of people are not thinking on a spiritual level. They are locked into a worldly view of life and can see no farther. As Paul said, ".. the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14)
Many, in defense of their self-proclaimed "alternate lifestyle," will claim that Congress is crossing the lines of church and state. However, their defense has no validity and Christians need to be perceptive enough to see through this, just as we do their argument that claims that they were "born that way,"
Those who will be taken in by this argument fail to recognize that God has authored three institutions in His creation; family, government, and the church. All of these coexist under the authority of God while remaining distinct in their purpose. When government legislates laws that protect the family and the church, it is not "mixing" church and state or family and state. It should be remembered, that God's word commands that "every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God...For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil....For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil." (Rom. 13:1, 3, 4)
It is the work of government to protect against that which is evil and encourage that which is good. But who determines what is good and what is evil? Such implies a standard of right and wrong. God's word is that standard. So regardless of how hard people kick against "moral issues" that government must deal with, they either must submit to this truth or insist on "situational ethics" which denies any standard other than their own individual preferences. Such a demand would render any kind of government dysfunctional and incapable of fulfilling its God-given purpose. The outcome would demand that government "play God" and determine what it decides is right and wrong. However, even this would result in the public outcry of those who did not adopt government's decisions as their own. In short, those who demand that society recognize each ones' preferences as their own individual standard of right and wrong, in actuality, are calling for no government, the result of which would be utter chaos.
God's standard regarding marriage is not an issue that government is at liberty to "define." The responsibility of this or any government is to "honor and defend" marriage as God has defined it. When, as a nation, we become so ignorant of God's truth, that government can no longer discern between right and wrong, we will fail to exist as a nation. Hosea the prophet bemoaned such a plight when he wrote, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hos. 4:6).
God established His law of marriage with Adam and Eve when He said, "...a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Gen. 2:24) Jesus quoted these very words after having pointed out that "He who made them at the beginning, 'made them male and female,'" and then said, "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (Mt. 19:4-6) This is a critical time for our nation, our children, and the church. Pray fervently!

- Gary V. Womack - July 11, 2004

Bible Reading Feb. 28

Feb. 28
Exodus 9, 10

Exo 9:1 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, 'This is what Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 9:2 For if you refuse to let them go, and hold them still,
Exo 9:3 behold, the hand of Yahweh is on your livestock which are in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the herds, and on the flocks with a very grievous pestilence.
Exo 9:4 Yahweh will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt; and there shall nothing die of all that belongs to the children of Israel." ' "
Exo 9:5 Yahweh appointed a set time, saying, "Tomorrow Yahweh shall do this thing in the land."
Exo 9:6 Yahweh did that thing on the next day; and all the livestock of Egypt died, but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died.
Exo 9:7 Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not so much as one of the livestock of the Israelites dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was stubborn, and he didn't let the people go.
Exo 9:8 Yahweh said to Moses and to Aaron, "Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh.
Exo 9:9 It shall become small dust over all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with boils on man and on animal, throughout all the land of Egypt."
Exo 9:10 They took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward the sky; and it became a boil breaking forth with boils on man and on animal.
Exo 9:11 The magicians couldn't stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boils were on the magicians, and on all the Egyptians.
Exo 9:12 Yahweh hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he didn't listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken to Moses.
Exo 9:13 Yahweh said to Moses, "Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and tell him, 'This is what Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 9:14 For this time I will send all my plagues against your heart, against your officials, and against your people; that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth.
Exo 9:15 For now I would have put forth my hand, and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth;
Exo 9:16 but indeed for this cause I have made you stand: to show you my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth;
Exo 9:17 as you still exalt yourself against my people, that you won't let them go.
Exo 9:18 Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as has not been in Egypt since the day it was founded even until now.
Exo 9:19 Now therefore command that all of your livestock and all that you have in the field be brought into shelter. Every man and animal that is found in the field, and isn't brought home, the hail shall come down on them, and they shall die." ' "
Exo 9:20 Those who feared the word of Yahweh among the servants of Pharaoh made their servants and their livestock flee into the houses.
Exo 9:21 Whoever didn't regard the word of Yahweh left his servants and his livestock in the field.
Exo 9:22 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch forth your hand toward the sky, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on man, and on animal, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt."
Exo 9:23 Moses stretched forth his rod toward the heavens, and Yahweh sent thunder, hail, and lightning flashed down to the earth. Yahweh rained hail on the land of Egypt.
Exo 9:24 So there was very severe hail, and lightning mixed with the hail, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
Exo 9:25 The hail struck throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and animal; and the hail struck every herb of the field, and broke every tree of the field.
Exo 9:26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.
Exo 9:27 Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "I have sinned this time. Yahweh is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
Exo 9:28 Pray to Yahweh; for there has been enough of mighty thunderings and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer."
Exo 9:29 Moses said to him, "As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands to Yahweh. The thunders shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that you may know that the earth is Yahweh's.
Exo 9:30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you don't yet fear Yahweh God."
Exo 9:31 The flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was in bloom.
Exo 9:32 But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they had not grown up.
Exo 9:33 Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands to Yahweh; and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth.
Exo 9:34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
Exo 9:35 The heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he didn't let the children of Israel go, just as Yahweh had spoken through Moses.

Exodus 10

Exo 10:1 Yahweh said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I may show these my signs in the midst of them,
Exo 10:2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your son's son, what things I have done to Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know that I am Yahweh."
Exo 10:3 Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and said to him, "This is what Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 10:4 Or else, if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country,
Exo 10:5 and they shall cover the surface of the earth, so that one won't be able to see the earth. They shall eat the residue of that which has escaped, which remains to you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which grows for you out of the field.
Exo 10:6 Your houses shall be filled, and the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; as neither your fathers nor your fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day.' " He turned, and went out from Pharaoh.
Exo 10:7 Pharaoh's servants said to him, "How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve Yahweh, their God. Don't you yet know that Egypt is destroyed?"
Exo 10:8 Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh, and he said to them, "Go, serve Yahweh your God; but who are those who will go?"
Exo 10:9 Moses said, "We will go with our young and with our old; with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast to Yahweh."
Exo 10:10 He said to them, "Yahweh be with you if I will let you go with your little ones! See, evil is clearly before your faces.
Exo 10:11 Not so! Go now you who are men, and serve Yahweh; for that is what you desire!" They were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.
Exo 10:12 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up on the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail has left."
Exo 10:13 Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and Yahweh brought an east wind on the land all that day, and all the night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.
Exo 10:14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the borders of Egypt. They were very grievous. Before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.
Exo 10:15 For they covered the surface of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened, and they ate every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. There remained nothing green, either tree or herb of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
Exo 10:16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste, and he said, "I have sinned against Yahweh your God, and against you.
Exo 10:17 Now therefore please forgive my sin again, and pray to Yahweh your God, that he may also take away from me this death."
Exo 10:18 He went out from Pharaoh, and prayed to Yahweh.
Exo 10:19 Yahweh turned an exceeding strong west wind, which took up the locusts, and drove them into the Red Sea. There remained not one locust in all the borders of Egypt.
Exo 10:20 But Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he didn't let the children of Israel go.
Exo 10:21 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt."
Exo 10:22 Moses stretched forth his hand toward the sky, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.
Exo 10:23 They didn't see one another, neither did anyone rise from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
Exo 10:24 Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, "Go, serve Yahweh. Only let your flocks and your herds stay behind. Let your little ones also go with you."
Exo 10:25 Moses said, "You must also give into our hand sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our God.
Exo 10:26 Our livestock also shall go with us. There shall not a hoof be left behind, for of it we must take to serve Yahweh our God; and we don't know with what we must serve Yahweh, until we come there."
Exo 10:27 But Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he wouldn't let them go.
Exo 10:28 Pharaoh said to him, "Get away from me! Be careful to see my face no more; for in the day you see my face you shall die!"
Exo 10:29 Moses said, "You have spoken well. I will see your face again no more."

Feb. 28
Mark 2

Mar 2:1 When he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was heard that he was in the house.
Mar 2:2 Immediately many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even around the door; and he spoke the word to them.
Mar 2:3 Four people came, carrying a paralytic to him.
Mar 2:4 When they could not come near to him for the crowd, they removed the roof where he was. When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on.
Mar 2:5 Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."
Mar 2:6 But there were some of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
Mar 2:7 "Why does this man speak blasphemies like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
Mar 2:8 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you reason these things in your hearts?
Mar 2:9 Which is easier, to tell the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven;' or to say, 'Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?'
Mar 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -he said to the paralytic-
Mar 2:11 "I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house."
Mar 2:12 He arose, and immediately took up the mat, and went out in front of them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"
Mar 2:13 He went out again by the seaside. All the multitude came to him, and he taught them.
Mar 2:14 As he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he arose and followed him.
Mar 2:15 It happened, that he was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many, and they followed him.
Mar 2:16 The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"
Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Mar 2:18 John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, and they came and asked him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?"
Mar 2:19 Jesus said to them, "Can the groomsmen fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they can't fast.
Mar 2:20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then will they fast in that day.
Mar 2:21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, or else the patch shrinks and the new tears away from the old, and a worse hole is made.
Mar 2:22 No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and the wine pours out, and the skins will be destroyed; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins."
Mar 2:23 It happened that he was going on the Sabbath day through the grain fields, and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of grain.
Mar 2:24 The Pharisees said to him, "Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?"
Mar 2:25 He said to them, "Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry-he, and those who were with him?
Mar 2:26 How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the show bread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and gave also to those who were with him?"
Mar 2:27 He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Mar 2:28 Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."

Your God's too nice (2) by Jim McGuiggan

Your God's too nice (2)

Peeved with too much talk about suffering and God some sensitive and caring believers feel like saying, "Why not just weep as Jesus did at the tomb of Lazarus and actively help where we can? That's kindness! Sometimes I wish we Christians would just shut our mouths." To you sensitive non-believers that makes a lot of sense (and yet you keep demanding an answer from us). Jesus did weep and he did get involved (Acts 10:37-39) but he did more! In Matthew 24 he spoke of God judging a sinful nation via Roman armies (millions died in horrendous conditions). And what’s more, he wept about that judgement (Luke 19:41-44). And when someone comes to us that believe in God through Christ (as very often they do) sobbing and asking why? It may not be right to keep our mouths shut, it may be robbing people of what they need most. Weeping with them and easing their pain is called for (Romans 13:15 and Matthew 25:31-46) but so is speaking words that bring comfort (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Romans 11:32-36). Believers can't say "Jesus Christ" without saying "crucifixion". God subjected him to it (Isaiah 53), it wasn't random (Acts 2:23; 4:24-28). It doesn't matter that there were ten thousand contingent events and thoughts involved in the whole mix that brought Christ to the cross—it was of God, purposed by God for a redeeming purpose (Acts 4:24-28). We tend to say, if it's "random" it can't be purposed. This simply isn't true because it oversimplifies! To break an "event" down into constituent and independent fragments misses the point entirely. What we call the "event" is made up of who knows how many thousands (millions?) of fragments but these aren't "the event" if viewed each in isolation. Whether the "event" is random or not depends on the presence or absence of purpose and not the number of fragments. And that's true whether we're talking about a birthday party in some little backyard or a WWIII that is global. "In and of itself" nothing has "meaning". But if we believe that God knows the number of the hairs on our head, attends the funeral of every dead sparrow, calls the stars by name, makes it rain in the wilderness where nobody lives (Job)—if we believe that, then to say anything exists "in and of itself" is untrue.
And we may not be able to see the meaning of an "event" or that it was purposed unless we see the larger picture. It isn’t hard to recognise this truth when we see it in a novel but in life, pain often leads us to ask about immediate and self-contained meaning. To isolate Joseph’s experience or Christ’s crucifixion is to rip them out of their place in a grand narrative and reduce their grandeur and significance. To isolate the tragic death of a child—however tempting that is, and surely the temptation is near overwhelming sometimes—is to reduce its glory. The raw, searing event is there and nothing will change that. But to deprive it of its place of profound meaning and significance is to trivialise it. This is no kind move. It’s tragedy—of course! But what if it’s more?
Some people are too tired or too busy or too something to want to bother with all this. It irritates them (as a lot of talk about certain issues irritates me). That makes sense to me. But when we throw our hat into the ring it's worth following it. I think that reflection and discussion in this area is of profound global significance. This isn't just about believers with a network of friends to sustain them when the sky falls. This is about multiplied millions that live on planet earth and have lived here and it looked like no one cared a straw about them. There's no need to wring our hands in despair over them. God sees them and knows his plans for them that he wants good for them (compare Jeremiah 29:11 to Israel in prison and under further judgement). I say if we give God a good listening to we can speak to the world'scomfort as well as our own! "Let’s all just talk about a sweet Jesus and a kind God." Well...
To "beat people" with truth and to strut as if we believers are better than every one else is obscene and degenerate! This is not the way of God. But the answer to that lousy spirit is not to avoid the truth about God as he has shown himself in scripture and most clearly in Jesus Christ.
I don't think we should deny that randomness exists in the world God has structured. A drought is random, a famine is random, a tornado is random and yet there's Amos 4 and the book of Job that say the calamities there were purposed and therefore not random. We call a rainfall random and Jesus calls it the generous purpose and work of his Father (Matthew 5:43-48). We mean it's "random" because of this and that—legitimate speech from our perspective. But Jesus denies that what we mean by randomness is the whole story. Joseph goes to Egypt, randomness everywhere and yet...."You didn't send me here, God did." See Genesis 37:17-28; 45:5-8 and 50:15-20.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to  Brother Ed Healy for allowing me to post from his website, the abiding word.com.