We may bring more questions to these verses than they were meant to answer, though one general theme permeates every line: God is somehow involved in every detail of our lives, including our formation. Poetic language is used to express the unfathomable fact that God sovereignly crafts us according to his will.
This general theme of God’s role in our development can at least set the stage for understanding how to approach some of the difficult issues concerning the unborn. Difficult issues such as: Are birth defects God’s will? What about miscarriages? Are some methods of birth control acceptable or are they all just attempts to control what belongs to the Creator of life?
Certainly, prenatal and neonatal technologies have extended the range of ethical concerns for our day (such as abortion on demand, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and cloning). Psalm 139 provides a good foundation on which to build a Biblical framework for addressing these tough issues. But more than anything else, these verses assure us that God is deeply and personally concerned for each human life—even before birth.
Life is made up of many different seasons that come and go, and Solomon articulates this well in Ecclesiastes 3. As I write to you today, God has moved me forward into a new season.
A couple of times over the past few months, I’ve mentioned in my blog that I was in the process of starting a new business of baking and selling gourmet cookies and that I was waiting on God’s timing to take it to the next level. Well, that time has come. In just the last four weeks, God has opened doors in a mighty way, which means that I will be opening a fulltime storefront soon (thank you, God!).
But with this new season, another season is coming to an end. I am forever grateful for the opportunity God has given me with Powered by 4 for over ten years. Authoring P4 has stretched, challenged, and grown me spiritually, and it has brought me incredible joy. For each and every one of you who are or have been part of P4, thank you for allowing me to speak into your life and for joining me in this Bible engagement journey. I am going to miss our daily interactions.
So here’s my signing off final challenge:
Please continue to make spending time in God’s Word a top priority! God is not distant, nor is He silent. He has given us His Word, and He will guide, direct, teach, encourage, and sustain each of us when we open up our Bibles and spend time with Him there. Tami
Powered by 4 is all about engaging God’s Word and living it out–in community. So if it’s encouragement you want or motivation you need, join the discussion on the P4 Blog–a place to weigh in on the daily scripture as well as share thoughts & questions.
I would like to invite you to walk with me on holy ground. That Holy Ground is the verses in which we find our Lord Jesus Christ in all His glory. Our goal is to have a strategic grasp of the Bible. That strategic grasp comes as we find that ALL THE Scriptures speak of Him. In John 5:39 that is exactly what Jesus said, and that is what we aim to see.
First join me in a quick overview of how God laid out the plan of salvation so clearly in the detailed plans for the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle portrays a seven-step plan of salvation:
A sinner is outside the Tabernacle, kept away by a 7 ½ foot high white fence, set of posts held up by 60 solid brass sockets. There is only one way or gate into the enclosure, which opened directly in front of the Brazen Altar. That altar is the Cross of Jesus, which is where our spiritual life begins at salvation.
The next step after salvation is the regular cleansing at the Brazen Laver.
After being cleansed the next door leads to the Holy Place [about the size of a large living room (30 x 15)] where we find the Golden Table of Bread as we fellowship with Jesus through His Word.
Then guided by the light of the Golden Lamp stand we are able to walk confidently as I John 1:7 says.
Then and only then can we understand the power of prayer as portrayed by the Golden Altar of incense.
Through prayer we enter the Holy of Holies of God’s very presence.
In that Holiest Place we find the peace and security of the Ark of the Covenant, the blood sprinkled mercy seat and the glow of the Shekinah of God’s presence.
A 450-foot long fence made of white linen surrounded the Tabernacle. This wall that was higher than anyone could see over had a strong message “stay out”. The posts that held the fence were set in solid brass post holders called sockets. The brass always speaks of judgment. This pure white fence set in sockets of brass says be perfect or God will judge you, and spoke of our inability to qualify on our own to come to God, and represented the law which says:
· Romans 3:9 “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.”
· Galatians 3:22 “But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”
· James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”
There are plenty of biblical directives about making ourselves accountable to one another. But for many, the idea of revealing personal information seems restrictive or even an invasion of privacy. Such confession seems a hindrance to the pursuit of pleasure, prosperity, and prestige. Most people prefer to keep to themselves and not involve others in their business.
The Bible, however, makes it clear that Christians are to support each other in this regard: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
Accountability in the body of Christ is a biblical principle. Church members take direction from their pastor (Heb. 13:17). Paul tells us to be subject one to another (Eph. 5:21). Yet he was answerable to the church (Acts 14:27), just as Timothy was subordinate to him (1 Tim. 4:13-16). The apostles were certainly under the authority of Jesus (Luke 10), even as Jesus was subject to the Father (John 8:28-29). Of course, the Bible tells us that the whole church is obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:24). Regardless of one’s position, everybody is accountable to somebody. And this holds true for the entire family of faith–from the congregation to the ministers to Jesus Himself, who served God the Father.
People avoid accountability for various reasons, including pride, ignorance, fear, and self-reliance. This is a dangerous approach to life. Our Enemy knows our weaknesses and how to exploit them. But we can prevail with the support of friends. There is strength in the body of Christ.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.