Motherhood Is a Calling And Where Your Children Rank

67000000000243936_1920x1080Article by Rachel Jankovic
Guest Contributor

A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”

She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”

Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

A Rock-Bottom Job?

The truth is that, years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.

Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.

If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It’s Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby; it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.

Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another — and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.

Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die — and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.

Run to the Cross

But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to the cross. To death. So, lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.

“We are to imitate God and take pleasure in our children.”

Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.

To read the rest of this excellent article, click HERE

Believer, What Happens When You Sin?

What makes you doubt your salvation? Many will say, “When I sin I doubt my salvation.”

“When I sin there is the worst grief that comes in my heart. I have a heavy grief that I have grieved my Father and that I have grieved the Holy Spirit. But listen to me, my salvation does not depend on whether I sin or didn’t sin. My salvation depends on what Jesus Christ did with my sins on Calvary’s cross.” – Mike Morrow

http://illbehonest.com/believer-what-happens-when-you-sin?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+illbehonest-global-site-updates+%28I%27ll+Be+Honest%29

Sanctifying Grace

26000000000361288_1920x1080(“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

“You shall call His name Jesus–for He shall save His people from their sins!” Matthew 1:21

Jesus! Precious name, how sweet it is! How well it befits Him who bears it–and how glorious is the salvation which He accomplishes!

Misery is the natural consequence of sin. Everything that God enjoins is good–and everything that He forbids is evil. Jesus saves His people from their sins–and so saves them from misery. He died to atone for transgressions. He ever lives to save His people from the power and practice of sin–yes, and eventually from the verypresence of sin.

My soul, let your whole trust be in Jesus, not only for deliverance from guilt and its consequences–but from sin in its manifold workings. You are powerless against your inward corruptions–but Jesus is “mighty to save.” He can subdue your iniquities. Trust Him then, for sanctifying grace, as well as pardoning mercy!

Dwell much on all He did and suffered for you. In His agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross at Calvary–see something of the exceeding sinfulness of your sins, from which He died to save you.

“He will subdue our iniquities–and cast all our sins into the depths of the sea!” Micah 7:19

 Jesus’ blood, for sinners spilt,
Shows my sin in all its guilt.
Ah, my soul, He bore your load,
You have slain the Lamb of God!

Farewell, world–your gold is dross!
Now I see the bleeding cross!
Jesus died to set me free,
From the law, and sin, and thee!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

God’s tools and instruments!
Thomas Brooks, 7 minute video, SUPERB!
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Both Just and Justifier

Colorful buildings in Burano island street Venice“How God can be just and yet justify the ungodly, how he can condemn sin and yet let the sinner go free, how he can declare and manifest his awful righteousness, and yet be righteous in bestowing life on the guilty, how he can magnify the law and make it honorable, while yet its penalty is not borne by transgressors but by their voluntary substitute, are but a few of the hard problems, which find solution in the cross of Christ. For near a half century I have been hearing and reading good discourses from time to time on this theme, yet it is as fresh and delightful as ever. Oh that I may see into it better before I die, and infinitely better after I die.”  –William S. Plumer “Psalms” (Ps. 85:10 “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”) p. 805

https://stilltheyspeak.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/both-just-and-justifier/

You Would Do Well To Believe In Him

Colors of Pokhara lake

Colossians 1. 12-19

12 [k]Giving thanks unto the [l]Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in [m]light,
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son,
14 [n]In whom we have redemption through his blood, that is, the forgiveness of sins.
15 [o]Who is the image of the invisible God, [p]the first begotten of every creature.
16 For by him were all things created which are in heaven, and which are in earth, things visible and invisible: whether they be [q]Thrones, or Dominions, or Principalities, or Powers, all things were created by him, and for him.
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things consist.
18 [r]And he is the head of the body of the Church: he is the beginning, and the [s]first begotten of the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father, that in him should [t]all fullness dwell.

Notes:
Colossians 1:12 Having ended the preface, he goeth to the matter itself, that is to say, to an excellent description (although it be but short) of whole Christianity, which is fitly divided into three treatises: for first of all he expoundeth the true doctrine, according to the order of the causes, beginning from this verse to the 24. And from thence he beginneth to apply the same to the Colossians with divers exhortations to verse 6 of the second Chapter. And last of all in the third place even to the third Chapter, he refuteth the corruption of true doctrine.
Colossians 1:12 The efficient cause of our salvation is the only mercy of God the Father, who maketh us meet to be partakers of eternal life, delivering us from the darkness wherein we were born, and bringing us to the light of the knowledge of the glory of his Son.
Colossians 1:12 In that glorious and heavenly kingdom.
Colossians 1:14 The matter itself of our salvation, is Christ the Son of God, who hath obtained remission of sins for us by the offering up of himself.
Colossians 1:15 A lively description of the person of Christ, whereby we understand that in him only, Godhoweth himself to be seen: who was begotten of the Father before anything was made, that is, from everlasting, by whom also all things that are made, were made without any exception, by whom also they do consist, and whose glory they serve.
Colossians 1:15 Begotten before anything was made: and therefore the everlasting Son of the everlasting Father.
Colossians 1:16 He setteth forth the Angels with glorious names, that by the comparison of most excellent spirits we may understand how far passing the excellence of Christ, in whom only we have to content ourselves, and let go all Angels.
Colossians 1:18 Having gloriously declared the excellent dignity of the person of Christ, he describeth his office and function, to wit, that he is that same to the Church, that the head is to the body, that is to say, the prince and governor of it, and the very beginning of true life, as who rising first from death, he is the Author of eternal life, so that he is above all, in whom only there is most plentiful abundance of all good things, which is poured out upon the Church.
Colossians 1:18 Who so rose again that he shall die no more, and who raiseth others from death to life by his power.
Colossians 1:19 Most plentiful abundance of all things pertaining to God.
Colossians 1:20 Now he teacheth how Christ executed that office which his Father joined him, to wit, by suffering the death of the cross (which was joined with the curse of God) according to his decree, that by this sacrifice he might reconcile his Father all men as well them which believed in him to come, and were already under this hope gathered into heaven, as them which should upon the earth believe in him afterwards. And thus is justification described of the Apostle, which is one and the chiefest part of the benefit of Christ.

Why Should I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ?

The_Garden_Tomb_2008

It is a fairly well-established fact that Jesus Christ was publicly executed in Judea in the 1st Century A.D., under Pontius Pilate, by means of crucifixion, at the behest of the Jewish Sanhedrin. The non-Christian historical accounts of Flavius Josephus, Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, Maimonides and even the Jewish Sanhedrin corroborate the early Christian eyewitness accounts of these important historical aspects of the death of Jesus Christ.

As for His resurrection, there are several lines of evidence which make for a compelling case. The late jurisprudential prodigy and international statesman Sir Lionel Luckhoo (of The Guinness Book of World Records fame for his unprecedented 245 consecutive defense murder trial acquittals) epitomized Christian enthusiasm and confidence in the strength of the case for the resurrection when he wrote, “I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

The secular community’s response to the same evidence has been predictably apathetic in accordance with their steadfast commitment to methodological naturalism. For those unfamiliar with the term, methodological naturalism is the human endeavor of explaining everything in terms of natural causes and natural causes only. If an alleged historical event defies natural explanation (e.g., a miraculous resurrection), secular scholars generally treat it with overwhelming skepticism, regardless of the evidence, no matter how favorable and compelling it may be.

In our view, such an unwavering allegiance to natural causes regardless of substantive evidence to the contrary is not conducive to an impartial (and therefore adequate) investigation of the evidence. We agree with Dr. Wernher von Braun and numerous others who still believe that forcing a popular philosophical predisposition upon the evidence hinders objectivity. Or in the words of Dr. von Braun, “To be forced to believe only one conclusion… would violate the very objectivity of science itself.”

Having said that, let us now examine several lines of evidence for Christ’s resurrection.

The First Line of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

To begin with, we have demonstrably sincere eyewitness testimony. Early Christian apologists cited hundreds of eyewitnesses, some of whom documented their own alleged experiences. Many of these eyewitnesses willfully and resolutely endured prolonged torture and death rather than repudiate their testimony. This fact attests to their sincerity, ruling out deception on their part. According to the historical record (The Book of Acts 4:1-17; Pliny’s Letters to Trajan X, 97, etc) most Christians could end their suffering simply by renouncing the faith. Instead, it seems that most opted to endure the suffering and proclaim Christ’s resurrection unto death.

Granted, while martyrdom is remarkable, it is not necessarily compelling. It does not validate a belief so much as it authenticates a believer (by demonstrating his or her sincerity in a tangible way). What makes the earliest Christian martyrs remarkable is that they knew whether or not what they were professing was true. They either saw Jesus Christ alive-and-well after His death or they did not. This is extraordinary. If it was all just a lie, why would so many perpetuate it given their circumstances? Why would they all knowingly cling to such an unprofitable lie in the face of persecution, imprisonment, torture, and death?

While the September 11, 2001, suicide hijackers undoubtedly believed what they professed (as evidenced by their willingness to die for it), they could not and did not know if it was true. They put their faith in traditions passed down to them over many generations. In contrast, the early Christian martyrs were the first generation. Either they saw what they claimed to see, or they did not.

Among the most illustrious of the professed eyewitnesses were the Apostles. They collectively underwent an undeniable change following the alleged post-resurrection appearances of Christ. Immediately following His crucifixion, they hid in fear for their lives. Following the resurrection they took to the streets, boldly proclaiming the resurrection despite intensifying persecution. What accounts for their sudden and dramatic change? It certainly was not financial gain. The Apostles gave up everything they had to preach the resurrection, including their lives.

The Second Line of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

A second line of evidence concerns the conversion of certain key skeptics, most notably Paul and James. Paul was of his own admission a violent persecutor of the early Church. After what he described as an encounter with the resurrected Christ, Paul underwent an immediate and drastic change from a vicious persecutor of the Church to one of its most prolific and selfless defenders. Like many early Christians, Paul suffered impoverishment, persecution, beatings, imprisonment, and execution for his steadfast commitment to Christ’s resurrection.

James was skeptical, though not as hostile as Paul. A purported post-resurrection encounter with Christ turned him into an inimitable believer, a leader of the Church in Jerusalem. We still have what scholars generally accept to be one of his letters to the early Church. Like Paul, James willingly suffered and died for his testimony, a fact which attests to the sincerity of his belief (see The Book of Acts and Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews XX, ix, 1).

The Third and Fourth Lines of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

A third line and fourth line of evidence concern enemy attestation to the empty tomb and the fact that faith in the resurrection took root in Jerusalem. Jesus was publicly executed and buried in Jerusalem. It would have been impossible for faith in His resurrection to take root in Jerusalem while His body was still in the tomb where the Sanhedrin could exhume it, put it on public display, and thereby expose the hoax. Instead, the Sanhedrin accused the disciples of stealing the body, apparently in an effort to explain its disappearance (and therefore an empty tomb). How do we explain the fact of the empty tomb? Here are the three most common explanations:

First, the disciples stole the body. If this were the case, they would have known the resurrection was a hoax. They would not therefore have been so willing to suffer and die for it. (See the first line of evidence concerning demonstrably sincere eyewitness testimony.) All of the professed eyewitnesses would have known that they hadn’t really seen Christ and were therefore lying. With so many conspirators, surely someone would have confessed, if not to end his own suffering then at least to end the suffering of his friends and family. The first generation of Christians were absolutely brutalized, especially following the conflagration in Rome in A.D. 64 (a fire which Nero allegedly ordered to make room for the expansion of his palace, but which he blamed on the Christians in Rome in an effort to exculpate himself). As the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus recounted in his Annals of Imperial Rome (published just a generation after the fire):

“Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.” (Annals, XV, 44)

Nero illuminated his garden parties with Christians whom he burnt alive. Surely someone would have confessed the truth under the threat of such terrible pain. The fact is, however, we have no record of any early Christian denouncing the faith to end his suffering. Instead, we have multiple accounts of post-resurrection appearances and hundreds of eyewitnesses willing to suffer and die for it.

If the disciples didn’t steal the body, how else do we explain the empty tomb? Some have suggested that Christ faked His death and later escaped from the tomb. This is patently absurd. According to the eyewitness testimony, Christ was beaten, tortured, lacerated, and stabbed. He suffered internal damage, massive blood loss, asphyxiation, and a spear through His heart. There is no good reason to believe that Jesus Christ (or any other man for that matter) could survive such an ordeal, fake His death, sit in a tomb for three days and nights without medical attention, food or water, remove the massive stone which sealed His tomb, escape undetected (without leaving behind a trail of blood), convince hundreds of eyewitnesses that He was resurrected from the death and in good health, and then disappear without a trace. Such a notion is ridiculous.

The Fifth Line of Evidence for Christ’s resurrection

Finally, a fifth line of evidence concerns a peculiarity of the eyewitness testimony. In all of the major resurrection narratives, women are credited as the first and primary eyewitnesses. This would be an odd invention since in both the ancient Jewish and Roman cultures women were severely disesteemed. Their testimony was regarded as insubstantial and dismissible. Given this fact, it is highly unlikely that any perpetrators of a hoax in 1st Century Judea would elect women to be their primary witnesses. Of all the male disciples who claimed to see Jesus resurrected, if they all were lying and the resurrection was a scam, why did they pick the most ill-perceived, distrusted witnesses they could find?

Dr. William Lane Craig explains, “When you understand the role of women in first-century Jewish society, what’s really extraordinary is that this empty tomb story should feature women as the discoverers of the empty tomb in the first place. Women were on a very low rung of the social ladder in first-century Israel. There are old rabbinical sayings that said, ‘Let the words of Law be burned rather than delivered to women’ and ‘blessed is he whose children are male, but woe to him whose children are female.’ Women’s testimony was regarded as so worthless that they weren’t even allowed to serve as legal witnesses in a Jewish court of Law. In light of this, it’s absolutely remarkable that the chief witnesses to the empty tomb are these women… Any later legendary account would have certainly portrayed male disciples as discovering the tomb – Peter or John, for example. The fact that women are the first witnesses to the empty tomb is most plausibly explained by the reality that – like it or not – they were the discoverers of the empty tomb! This shows that the Gospel writers faithfully recorded what happened, even if it was embarrassing. This bespeaks the historicity of this tradition rather than its legendary status.” (Dr. William Lane Craig, quoted by Lee Strobel, The Case For Christ, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, p. 293)

In Summary

These lines of evidence: the demonstrable sincerity of the eyewitnesses (and in the Apostles’ case, compelling, inexplicable change), the conversion and demonstrable sincerity of key antagonists- and skeptics-turned-martyrs, the fact of the empty tomb, enemy attestation to the empty tomb, the fact that all of this took place in Jerusalem where faith in the resurrection began and thrived, the testimony of the women, the significance of such testimony given the historical context; all of these strongly attest to the historicity of the resurrection. We encourage our readers to thoughtfully consider these evidences. What do they suggest to you? Having pondered them ourselves, we resolutely affirm Sir Lionel’s declaration:

“The evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

https://www.gotquestions.org/why-believe-resurrection.html

Only Jesus

download-001“In every sense of the term Christ sanctifies his people; he expiates their sins, he sets them apart to a holy use, and by his word and Spirit and providence he makes their natures holy (Hebrews 2:11). He is made unto them wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). Sanctification in every sense of the term is as surely by the obedience and sufferings of Christ as is justification. Men have never been redeemed from guilt, have never been devoted to God, have never perfected holiness but by the work and  death of Christ.”  –William S. Plumer “Hebrews” p. 106

https://stilltheyspeak.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/the-work-and-death-of-christ-justifies-and-sanctifies/