Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 19, 2015

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4

Once you decide that humility is important and once you commit to humbling yourself, how do you know if you have achieved it?

Humility is a bit like your shadow, others will see it when you may not.

Someone said, "Humility is a strange thing. The minute you think you've got, you've lost it!"

Another has said, "The ultimate test of humility is when you can say grace before you eat crow."

The purpose of this post this morning is to give you some questions by which to measure your attitude:

"Am I going to be about the team or am I going to make the team about me?"

Humility puts the interests of the team and the welfare of its teammates ahead of it's own needs. Is that you?

"Am I as happy over a teammate's success as I am my own?"

A humble attitude can celebrate the success of others as it would it's own. Are you able to do that?

"How well do I receive correction or instruction from the coach?"

The saying goes, "The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." Anyone who cannot accept criticism, correction or instruction from the coach will not help his team. Are you willing to grow by receiving constructive criticism?

"Am I willing to to give up my rights and pick up my responsibilities?"

Humility does not demand its individual rights but is willing to serve were ever needed.

"Will I resist trying to control others and take control of my attitude?"

There is very little that you can control in life. The one thing you must control is your attitude. No one else can do it for you. You can do it for no one else. Will you take charge of your attitude?

"Do I see a team win and a personal win?"

John Maxwell once said, "Much can be accomplished when we don't worry about who gets the credit." Are you able to share the glory or allow another to receive it in order for the team to win?

Unity is a necessary attitude for a believer and a church. It allows God to move and accomplish His will. Humility is essential to preserve unity. Run your attitude past these questions and humbly see how you fare.

January 18, 2015

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16

With respect to FDR, January 22, 1973 is "a day that will live in infamy." That is the day, 42 years ago, that the Supreme Court handed down their decision on Roe vs. Wade which legalized abortion. Therefore, this moral evil was sanctioned as the law of the land by judicial fiat and not through normal legal procedures. Abortion was made legal via the Court not by the Congress. One of the reasons this law has been so divisive and contentious is because it never got to be debate on the floor of the House or the Senate. It was never drafted into a bill and passed through the channels prescribed by the Constitution. This law that has cost the life of nearly 57,000,000 unborn Americans was decided by just 7 people! God have mercy on their souls.

I came to my first church in Princeton, Illinois on August 22, 1972, just five months to the day before this fateful and fatal decision. I opposed it then and I oppose it now. My primary reason for opposing it is not because it was implemented from the Bench. Although that does bother me. Nor is it because it is a bad ruling that ignores parts of the Constitution and distorts other parts. I oppose it because it is morally wrong. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that issues of birth, life, and death are under the jurisdiction of Almighty God. A nation who was founded on biblical Christian standards should have never been placed in the position of contradicting those principles. The Preamble of our Constitution guarantees the "right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness". What part of "right to life" do they not understand?

In addition to the nearly 57 millions of innocent Americans who never got to draw a breath or exercise their Constitutional right to "life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness", this misguided decision has seriously eroded the moral conscious of America. How long can we believe our own lie that unborn life is just an "un viable fetus"? Once we surrender to moral deception in one area, what prevents us from surrendering in another? For example, if we convince ourselves to believe that unborn life is not worth protecting, what will prevent us from deciding that other forms of life are not viable - such as physically deformed people, or elderly people or mentally challenged people? Where do we draw the line when we don't know where to draw the line? Who is safe and who is at risk in our culture? Who knows? Who decides?

Roe v. Wade is just another manifestation of the original sin - the lie that "you will be like God". Denying a clear and recognized right of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and to replace it with an arbitrarily manufactured right of "a woman to her own body". The desire to be "god over my own body" is motivated by this inner desire to whatever I want and not have consequences for it. It is a old as Lucifer and as unoriginal as Adam and Eve. Still, it is powerful and destructive. Witness the moral and social deterioration of our country since 1973.

Bad law, implemented in a bad way, for a bad reason and driven by a bad motive is doomed to end badly.

So, on this sad 42nd commemoration of Roe v. Wade, we pause to invoke God's mercy on our nation. We pray God's comfort on those millions of mothers who are haunted by guilt and regret. We mourn the 57 millions of innocent souls who never drew a breath and wonder if among them might have been the next great inventor, the next great author, the next great ambassador, or the next great scientist.

Only God knows. And fortunately, by His great mercy, all of them are in His tender care!