Category Archives: Ministry Resources

Oppression

In Nehemiah 5, we read about the oppression of people. God’s Word tells us it is good to “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly” but do we (Micah 6:8)? Isaiah even tells us to “correct oppression” (1:17). Sadly, people are still being oppressed today.

During the time of Nehemiah, people who were redeemed were being sold back into slavery (v. 8). There was a famine in the land so they mortgaged their fields and homes to just be able to make it (v. 3-4). They even had their children forced to be slaves (v. 5).

When Nehemiah found out about the oppression, he was angry and considered the situation carefully (v. 6-7). He then rebuked the people for exacting interest on their brothers who were already struggling (v. 9). At that point, everything was restored and paid back to the people. Nehemiah reminds us to help as we are led and to not take advantage of each other. He never took the food allowance. He understood the people were already burdened (v. 18). It is God’s desire that we build each other up, rather than tear each other down. Let us do and seek justice always.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8 [NASB]

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” – Isaiah 1:17 [ESV]

 

 

 

Opposition

 

When we look at Nehemiah 4, we see that Nehemiah faces opposition led by Sanballat & Tobiah. We can see three things about opposition in this passage. Opposition focuses on doubts. Opposition breeds conflict. Opposition discourages progress.

Again and again the people ask “will they” (v. 2). WILL THEY restore their wall? WILL THEY offer sacrifices? WILL THEY finish in a day? CAN THEY bring the stones back to life? Then verse 8 says they “plotted together” to fight and stir up trouble. Even though they finished half of the work, the people became discouraged. In verse 10, we read that people began to complain and believed that there was too much rubble to move. They began to stall.

Whenever we are doing a “great work” for God, we will face opposition. The devil doesn’t want us to continue forward and finish the work. He doesn’t want God to get the glory. He doesn’t want us serving God. Remember that the Lord is with you (v. 14) and He will fight for you (v. 20). No opposition can stand against God.

 

The Response of Nehemiah

In Nehemiah 1, we read about a report that Nehemiah receives from Jerusalem. When he hears about what is happening to God’s people and to the state of Jerusalem, he weeps. Not only does he mourn for days, but he fasts and prays continuously. He is more than a little upset. He is unsettled. He is grieved.

When I read about this grief, this mourning by Nehemiah, I cannot help but wonder if we ever grieve like that because of the spiritual state of others. Are we uncomfortable because God is not honored, when we know He alone deserves all honor, glory and praise? Is it upsetting when we see something that once glorified God, now broken and in disarray? When we see brokenness, do we seek out God to heal, restore, and redeem?

Today we are not looking to rebuild a wall. Nehemiah took care of that great work. But God has put a vision in your heart. He wants to do great things through you to glorify Him. Seek Him. Ask Him to reveal this great work. Ask Him to strengthen your feet. Ask Him to help you speak boldly. Press forward and watch Him move in mighty ways.

“When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” – Nehemiah 1:4 [NASB]

 

 

Ephesians Study: Prepared for Battle

[Ephesians 6:10-24]

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

“He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.” (Isaiah 59:17)

11, 13 – Put on the WHOLE armor of God – Don’t walk around half-dressed, under-dressed or naked

WHY? You put on the whole armor of God TO STAND AGAINST THE SCHEMES OF THE DEVIL (v. 11), to WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY & TO STAND FIRM (v. 13) [SATAN]

12 – The battle is not against flesh and blood. It is against: rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over present darkness, spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places [DEMONS]

14-18 – The Whole Armor:

  • Belt of Truth (v. 14) – Ephesians 4:14 – “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”
  • Breastplate of Righteousness (v. 14) – Righteousness of Jesus – Romans 3:22 – “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.”
  • Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (v. 15) – Inner peace and readiness – Confidence of God’s union with – Ephesians 2:14 – “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.”
  • Shield of Faith (v. 16) – Trusting God – walking in faith – Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
  • Helmet of Salvation (v. 17) – Salvation through faith in Christ – Great hope of salvation – 1 Thessalonians 5:8 – “But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.”
  • Sword of the SpiritWord of God (v. 17) – Countering deception and accusation – Hebrew 4:12 – “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
  • PRAYING AT ALL TIMES (v. 18) – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”

With JESUS – VICTORY [STANDING FIRM]

But it’s not automatically passed down – must take possession. Even after conversion Satan can still defeat you if you disobey God.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7)

Stand firm – “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

 

Bible Study Questions

The Helmet of Salvation (v. 17) is crucial for battle. A soldier does not enter battle without proper headgear, just as a football player would not run on the field without his helmet. A helmet is crucial to life, protecting your head from fatal blows. Why is the Helmet of Salvation crucial to battle?

Read Ephesians 6:16. This verse speaks of the flaming darts (fiery arrows) of the devil.

  • What are the flaming darts?
  • How does the shield of faith stop them?

Righteousness is important. We cannot be righteous. We clothe ourselves in the righteousness of Christ. We are called to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness for battle. Read Colossians 3:2 and Philippians 4:8. What does this have to do with putting on the Breastplate?

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace are the footwear for battle. The Bible reminds us that because of Christ we are at peace with God. God is for us. Through Christ we are no longer separated from God. How do the Shoes fit us for battle?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

 

 

 

Ephesians Study: Submission

[Ephesians 5:21 – 6:9]

21 – Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

  • To submit oneself
  • To be subject
  • To be obedient

21 – submitting – to one another

22 – submit – wives to husband

24 – is subject unto – Church to Christ

Must have the Spirit (see verse 18) – can’t do it alone

God puts people in position of authority

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” (Romans 13:1)

Different ways of submission

  • Submission to God (James 4:7)
  • Submission to government leaders (Romans 13:1-7)
  • Submission to church leaders (1 Peter 5:5)
  • Submission of wives to husbands
  • Submission of children to their parents
  • Submission of slaves to masters

Reason We Submit

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. This is a fear that acknowledges that Christ is Lord of all, and everything is under His rule.

  • To Accomplish His Purposes
  • To Develop Godly Character & Grow in Wisdom

Even God submits

God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All are equal. But they submit to each other to fulfill the Divine Plan. The Son submits to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28). The Spirit submits to the Father (John 14:26) and the Son (John 16:13-14).

Submit Joyfully

  • Know & trust God’s great plan
  • Submission to human authority is submitting to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-24)

 

Bible Study Questions:

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Submission”?

How does the world define submission? How is this definition different from God’s definition?

Romans 13:1 says that we are to submit to our government leaders. What makes this difficult? Why must we do this? When should we object if ever? How?

We read that within the Trinity there is submission. What does this mean?

What are the benefits of submission? How does submitting benefit the Church? What have you personally learned from submission?

Read Philippians 2:1-11. How does this passage tell us to submit? How did Jesus demonstrate this best?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

Ephesians Study: Exposed by the Light

 

[Ephesians 5:1-20]

8 – For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. [NIV]

9 – For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. [NLT]

11 – Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. [ESV]

13 – But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible. [ESV]

15 – Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise. [NASB]

16 – Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days. [GW]

17 – So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. [NASB]

18 – And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit. [HCSB]

Taking the Next Step

  • Share Truth with Grace – this exposes the darkness
  • Make the most of your opportunities – even if you are a small flicker, it’s light
  • Understand the will of God – Prayer and Bible study crucial
  • Allow the Spirit to move through you rather than the world deciding your path

Bible Study Questions:

GOD IS LIGHT:

  • Read 1 John 1:5. This verse says that God is Light. Further it says that in Him there is no darkness. What does it mean when John writes that “God is Light”?
  •  God is Light but He is also the Father of Light (see James 1:17) and the Possessor of Light (see 1 Peter 2:9). What does this mean? How has God shined His light in your life? Consider this and share on the rays of light paper.

UNAPPROACHABLE LIGHT:

  • In 1 Timothy 6:16, it says that God lives in unapproachable light. This passage is a great reminder that God is pure and holy. We read in the Bible that no one can set eyes on God. When God passed by Moses, recall how God had to cover Moses until He passed (see Exodus 33-34). We are able to approach God now through Christ Jesus alone. The veil is torn. Remember that nothing can stand in the way of you and your relationship with God. Jesus has bridged the gap. Consider what gets in the way of you and God. Take a piece of paper. Write down what gets in the way. Tear the paper, remembering that the veil is torn. Nothing need come between you and your Father.

UNEXTINGUISHABLE LIGHT:

  • In John 1:5, we read that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. What does this mean to you? Why can’t the light be extinguished? Pray for the Spirit to reveal how you can shine His light in the darkness.

REBELS OF LIGHT:

  • Read Job 24:13-14. There are people who are rebels of light. They do not know the ways of God. These people walk in the darkness.
  • Read Isaiah 5:20. This verse speaks about those who call evil good and good evil. We see these people so often in the world. How can we share some light in this dark world? Take a candle. Light it using one of the lit candles at the table. Place it with the other candles and pray for this light to multiply out into our streets.

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

Ephesians Study: Anger Management

[Ephesians 4:17-32]

25) Don’t lie

26) Don’t act in anger – James 1:20 – Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. [NLT] Anger motivated by pride. Anger that lingers.

27) Give no opportunity to devil

28) If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. [NLT]

29) Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. [MSG]

30) Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for Himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. [MSG]

31)

  • Bitterness, harshness, embittered resentful spirit
  • Wrath, passion, rage, bad temper
  • Anger, resentment, animosity
  • Quarreling, brawling, clamor, contention, shout
  • Slander, evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language
  • Malice, spite, ill will, evil behavior, wickedness, vicious disposition

Proverbs 29:11 – A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back. [NASB]

Proverbs 29:22 – An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins. [NIV]

Proverbs 30:33 – For the churning of milk produces butter, And pressing the nose brings forth blood; So the churning of anger produces strife. [NASB]

1 Timothy 2:8 – Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument. [HCSB]

Holy Spirit – common to each believer – Spirit of God ties each of us together

Acting in a negative matter breaks the binding of the Body. It is the opposite of unity. Anger can divide a church (2 Corinthians 12:20)

Never let anything bring division to His Body. Speak life. Look out for the best interests of others…

Bible Study Questions:

Ephesians 4 focuses on the unity of the body of Christ, the Church, and living as children of Light. What are some of the items Paul tells us to refrain from to promote unity and righteous living?

Ephesians 4:27 says not to give the devil an “opportunity” or “foothold” or “place.” What does this mean? Why is this so important?

The passage says, “Be angry” but in some verses we read that a fool loses his temper, commits many sins, and stirs up conflict. Where do we draw the line? How can anger be okay?

What Fruit of the Spirt do you think is important to live out these words Paul has written in this passage? (read Galatians 5:22-26)

Why does Paul spend so much time talking about unity?

What have you seen be most divisive in the Body?

What can you do to promote unity?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

 

 

 

Ephesians Study: Unity of the Body

[Ephesians 4:1-16]

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (v. 2-3 ESV)

 

  1. 2 With ALL

humility, lowliness of mind, modesty

gentleness, mildness, gentle strength (power with reserve & strength)

patience, forbearance, longsuffering, steadfastness, staying power

bearing with one another in love, enduring with, suffer, admit, persist

 

  1. 3 Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace

ONE BODY – all part of one body

ONE SPIRIT – united by one Spirit – the Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit

ONE LORD – one Lord of all

ONE FAITH – one faith in Jesus Christ

ONE BAPTISM – one baptism in Christ

ONE GOD & FATHER OF ALL – one God, one Father of all

 

“To a true child of God, the invisible bond that unites all believers to Christ is far more tender, and lasting, and precious; and, as we come to recognize and realize that we are all dwelling in one sphere of life in Him, we learn to look on every believer as our brother, in a sense that is infinitely higher than all human relationships. This is the one and only way to bring disciples permanently together. All other plans for promoting the unity of the Church have failed.”

– A.T. Pierson

 Bible Study Questions:

  1. Verse 7 mentions “grace given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” What does this mean?
  2. Verse 11 mentions a list of different titles.
  3. What type of people were mentioned?
  4.   What does Paul say these different people are responsible for?
  5.  Verse 14 mentions what can happen to us.
  6. What can happen to us if we stay infants? What does this mean?
  7.  How does this happen? (v. 14)
  8.  How can we prevent this? (see verses 15-16)
  9.   What happens when we each are united working together? (see verses 15-16)

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

Overwhelming Joy

JOY is all about JESUS and the gift of salvation He offers. Because of JESUS, we wanderers can come back home to our Heavenly Father. This relationship was always God’s plan for us. It is only possible through CHRIST JESUS. Only through faith in JESUS are we children of God. Salvation is a gift from God. JESUS, our greatest gift – this is the cause of our “Overwhelming Joy.”

When you live with the Overwhelming JOY of JESUS, this JOY will become Overflowing JOY.

Luke 2:10-11 – But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. [NIV]

What JOY isn’t:

  • Positive thinking
  • Happiness because things are going your way
  • A glass half-full attitude

NO ONE WILL ROB YOU OF YOUR JOY – John 16:22 says “So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will rob you of your joy.” No one can rob you of your JOY because it is founded in JESUS, in your salvation.

What is JOY?

1 Peter 1:8 – “You love (Jesus) even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.” [NLT]

  • Glorious joy – ascribing weight by recognizing real substance/value – personally acknowledge God in His true character – JOY [POINTS TO GOD]
  • Inexpressible joy – unable to fully describe, impossible to adequately convey with words, unspeakable – JOY [WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE]

Definition of JOY:

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” – Kay Warren

The JOY OF JESUS

The JOY of JESUS was His absolute surrender and sacrifice of self to His Father. He had JOY in doing what His father sent Him to accomplish. Hebrews 12:2b says, “Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”

Why did this all happen….

  • God loves youJohn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” JESUS WAS BORN TO COMPLETE A MISSION – A SINLESS LIFE, A SACRIFICE, SALVATION FROM THE WAGES OF SIN.
  • God is for you – Romans 8:31b “If God is for us, who can be against us;” John 3:17 “God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him” (NLT). JESUS CAME TO SAVE YOU
  • God is with you – Joshua 1:9 “wherever you go;” Deuteronomy 31:6 “He will not leave you or forsake you;” Isaiah “(He) is with you;” Matthew 28:20b “I am with you always, to the end of the age;” Immanuel means “God with us” – prophesied in Isaiah 7:14, mentioned in Matthew 1:23. THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS SENT TO US.

IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS AND RELATIONSHIP

 What Jesus say about JOY:

  • All of heaven celebrates those who repent. Luke 15:7 – Parable of Lost Sheep – “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” [JOY OVER REPENTANCE]
  • Jesus celebrates faithfulness with you. Matthew 25:21 – “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” [JOY OVER FAITHFULNESS]

REPENTANCE IS THE FIRST STEP

FAITHFULNESS IS ALL OF THE STEPS AFTER

JOY is grounded upon God Himself:

  • Joy is glorious gladness & deep delight in the person of Jesus
  • Joy is greater and stronger than any trouble in life
  • Jesus is the source of all JOY (Psalm 43:4)
  • In His Presence is fullness of JOY (Psalm 16:11)
  • His Word is a JOY & delight of heart (Jeremiah 15:1-6)
  • Faith in Him causes us to brim with JOY (Psalm 33:20-22)

JOY is Good News – Entire Gospel is full of JOY at every turn:

  • Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:10) – Good news of GREAT JOY that will be for ALL the people.
  • Triumphal Entry (Mark 11:9, Luke 19:37) – Whole multitude of disciples began to PRAISE GOD.
  • After the Resurrection (Matthew 28:7-8) – So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled WITH JOY, and ran to tell his disciples.
  • The Promise Yet to Come (Isaiah 51:11) – Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

How does the JOY fade?

  • Sin – going against God – Pastor Miles spoke the first week about Repentance
  • Past – focusing on past mistakes – I spoke about the past – about how we should only look back when we are remembering what God has done.
  • Fear & Doubt – not believing/trusting God, doubting God – Pastor Ryan spoke about trusting God
  • Selfishness – pride tries to control rather than rest in Him. Pastor Matt spoke about our need to surrender control and admit we need Jesus.
  • Lack of prayer – JOY is fruit of the believer. (Galatians 5:22). Every believer is to share in the JOY of CHRIST by walking with Him daily. Prayer & Bible reading. JESUS said in John 15 that it is MY JOY IN YOU – JESUS’ JOY in you – if you abide in HIM. You cannot produce this JOY alone. It needs to be cultivated. It’s linked to your relationship with JESUS.

Great Example of JOY in the Bible

Churches of Macedonia – 2 Corinthians 8:2 – “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.”

This doesn’t make sense if you define JOY using the world’s definition. But it certainly makes sense when you have encountered JESUS and you walk with Him.

If you haven’t taken that first step to JESUS, do it now! Enter into His JOY!

If you already have taken that first step, where are you at with the steps that follow? If you are walking with JESUS, where is your joy?

2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” He did this so we could do life with JESUS, so that we could be in the presence of God. JOY is wrapped up in His presence.

Romans 14:17 – the Kingdom of God is RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, & JOY in the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God is about righteousness, peace & joy—and it’s all from the Spirit of God. No one can take the Spirit of God from you. No one can take the joy & peace & righteousness.

Psalm 16:11 – “You will show me the way of life, granting me the JOY of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever.”

May this be your prayer.

Sanctity of Life

The Sanctity of Life

“I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.” – excerpt from the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, 1984 Ronald Reagan

Life is HOLY

“When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4 ESV)

Why is human life holy?

WE ARE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE (Genesis 1:26-2:25)

If we are made in the image of a HOLY GOD, then we too should be holy.

We are image bearers of God – created in the image, shadow, likeness of God.

We are imprinted with godlike characteristics.

“To be fully human is to fully reflect God’s creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capacities.” (Relevant Magazine)

WE ARE SET APART – that means we are holy

We are set apart above all creation (Genesis 1:26-28)

We are handmade

Only part of Creation made with God’s hands. Remember, He took the dirt and formed Adam. He took Adam’s bone and made Eve. He gave us breath (the breath of God). Other parts of Creation were spoken into existence but humans He handmade.

We are set apart as God’s chosen people

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

We are set apart for fellowship with God

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16b)

We are set apart and crowned by God with glory and majesty

What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:4-5).

GOD VALUES ALL LIFE

You are valuable. “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” (Matthew 6:26)

He values new life – He creates new life. He knit you together (Psalm 139). It’s all a part of God’s great plan.

He values young ones – He blesses them and says to let the little children come when the disciples rebuked them. (Matthew 19:13-15)

He values teens & young adults – Paul writes that youth should not be looked down on for being young. Instead, be an example to believers in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12)

He values the mature adults – You shall stand up before the gray head & honor the face of an old man, & you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:32)

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

He values the poor, the widows, the strangers – For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:17-18)

If Life is Holy, how is Life Not Worth Living?

The world is filled with

  • Murder
  • Abortion
  • Suicide

This is unnatural death. God’s ways are life, not death.

  • Murder
    • Cain murders Abel (Genesis 4:9-15)
    • Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:13)
    • Eye for eye (Leviticus 24:21)
    • Cities of Refuge (Numbers 35)
  • Suicide
    • Abimelech (Judges 9:52-54)
    • Samson  (Judges 16:29-30)
    • King Saul  (1 Samuel 31:4-6)
    • Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:1-29)
    • King Zimri  (1 King 16:15-20)

What does God say about death?

See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

LIFE AND DEATH IS IN HIS HANDS

The world is filled with abuse of life

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Economic
  • Mental
  • Sexual

Abuse steals peace. Abuse kills joy. Abuse destroys hope.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Equip others. Empower others. Encourage others. Embrace others.

Speak life. Stand up for and speak for those who cannot stand up or speak for themselves.

The world is filled those who misunderstand the purpose of life

            What is the purpose of life? To glorify God.

Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them. (Isaiah 43:7)

            Our greatest desire is to know God, to have a relationship with God.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

The Most Important Life – Eternal Life

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” (John 3:36)

God values life so much that He sent His one and only Son to die on the Cross so we could live forever with Him.

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The worth of a human soul can be estimated only by the light reflected from the cross of Calvary. … It was the joy set before Christ in accomplishing so great salvation, that led him to submit to shame, agony, and death. How do all the treasures and the glories of earth sink into insignificance when compared with the value of a human soul! – Ellen White

  •  Value Life – everyone is valuable to God’s Kingdom
  • Celebrate Life – praise the Lord for your life and for the lives of others
  • Embrace Life – seek out what God has for your life
  • Speak Life – speak life to others
  • Share Life – share the Good News of Eternal Life

May your life bring glory to God

Also see Sanctity of Life message focused on Abortion