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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Kelsie and Kristie (middle front) Yes, that's Ester on the right and the girls' cousin, Joey, on the left! Of course, everyone recognizes Larry the Cucumber (VeggieTales)
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"When Jesus Was Indignant"
"When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these'" (Mark 10:14).
We've met a lot of interesting people in the course of our ministry and though the years collected quite an assortment of stories. Kelsie and Kristie were two cute little blond twins with huge smiles, who often came up to me and waited for their "pastor's hug" when I pastored in Taunton, Massachusetts. They have an interesting testimony. In fact they had it before they were even born.
In 1994 their mother, a teenager with one child already, sat in an abortion clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts just outside of Boston. She had been advised by pro-abortion advocates, who stood to gain financially, that an abortion was her best option in the occurrence of her unplanned pregnancy.
She was there with her mother who had recently rededicated her life to Christ and was strongly opposed to the abortion. They sat through the "counseling" phase at the clinic, which was nothing more than hearing pro-abortion propaganda. As she was waiting for her name to be called she had enough time to contemplate the fact that she was nurturing a little person, not just dealing with unwelcome tissue.
Suddenly she turned to her mother and said, "Mom, you know, this baby already has fingernails." Just as the nurse called out her name to enter the "procedure room" they got up and proceeded to walk out of the clinic. In a matter of weeks tests would show that there was not just one baby with fingernails saved that day, but two!
I had the blessing of watching those little twins grow as they attended our church. The smiles they prompted on the faces of those in attendance was priceless.
Today's text is the only time in the gospels the word "indignant" ("much displeased" in the KJV) is used to describe Jesus' attitude. The word in the Amplified Version is described as "indignant and pained."
This was directed to the disciples who rebuked those who were bringing little children to Jesus. They thought they were doing the Lord a favor by protecting Him from the nuisance of these little children. His time was limited, crowds took up valuable space, children were noisy and pampers were yet to be invented so babies could also be smelly. He had many pressing "adult" issues to deal with that were surely more important.
Yet Jesus responded, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
I am particularly intrigued by the phrase, "for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." The phrase "such as these" refers to the children and those who brought them. Jesus wanted them to come to Him and not be hindered by unauthorized screening from the disciples.
The living Lord continues to proclaim to our generation, "Let the little children come unto me." Of course I am aware that this passage is not specifically related to an unborn child but the principle remains the same.
Those who are created by our Maker are to be cherished by His children. May we never hamper these innocent lives but instead let us embrace them in our affections, in prayerful intercession, and in helpful intervention when the need arises.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You welcome all to be a part of Your kingdom: the young and the old, the weak and the strong, those born in ideal circumstances and those conceived in the worst imaginable setting. All the days ordained for our lives were written in Your book before one of them came to be. Because You take broken vessels and piece them back together with Your miraculous healing touch no soul is without hope. For those dedicated to spreading this message of life and hope to mothers and fathers of the unborn we pray that they will be spurred on by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May their voices make a welcoming difference to innocent lives in our hostile world, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen.
Note: We moved from New England in early 2001 and lost touch with Kelsie and Kristie, who would now be about 18 years old. Perhaps we'll get an update from a reader in New England.
Tomorrow Brooksyne and I will join tens of thousands of dedicated pro-life supporters gatheringing in Washington as they do each year. We will be peacefully protesting the 1973 Supreme Court decision that overruled state laws restricting abortion here in America. I joined this march on several occasions in the 80's and early nineties when I pastored in northern Pennsylvania and once when we lived in New England, believing it to be a just cause. For many years my Aunt Mary traveled to the rally in a bus all the way from western Missouri. I believe these peaceful "protesters" are among God's finest.
A testimony from a reader: Thank you for yesterday's message! I just wanted to say this was the perfect message for me today!
Today is my eleven year anniversary. Eleven years ago today I left my filthy, dingy motel room full of drug paraphernalia and trusted Jesus enough to go to the detoxify unit of the Freeman Center in Waco TX. This was the start of my new life in Christ!
A week or so before this date a person I smoked crack with had given me his Bible and then left to search for drugs. I recoiled from the Word at that moment. But the Holy Spirit was calling to me from within those sacred pages. I picked it up and flipped to Psalms and started reading. I spent a couple of hours reading Psalms, Gospel of John, and more.
I started weeping uncontrollably and knelt on the floor and asked God for help. I heard a male voice say, with love and warmth, and I don't know to this day if it was audible or simply heard in my heart, "You are never alone." and after a short pause, "You are always loved."
Present tense just like that. I was overcome with a feeling of well being and peace and I crawled into the bed and slept like I had not slept in years. When my friend came back and said he could not find any drugs, (I knew he was lying he had smoked it all up) I told him honestly that I did not want any that my life was going to be different from that moment on. He looked at me with concern, certain I had lost my mind and left.
It took me a week of waiting to be admitted to the Freeman Center, but I knew with certainty in my heart that I was loved and not alone. There have been many ups and downs over the past eleven years. But I have had my Savior there with me through it all and He tells me the best is yet to come!!!
Your message describes what He did for me and for so many others perfectly. Thank you again. I still think about the girl at the workplace struggling with addiction that you wrote about sometime ago, and pray someone gives her a BIble! Please know how your messages each day enrich and encourage me!
Note: We have shared some of this material before when we addressed this topic but we have many new readers and others may need reminded anyway.
The church I pastored in Massachusetts was located on US 44, a very busy highway that was the main east/west route through the city of Taunton. We had a lighted message sign along the highway that was changed virtually every week by Bill and Veda, a very dedicated couple in the church. Scores of people were regularly exposed to spiritual truth in a very spiritually desolate region of the country. Through the years we got a number of positive remarks from passersby concerning these messages.
However a message we placed up in January one year got some very interesting feedback. We posted this simple, unambiguous, irrefutable message: "Abortion Stops A Beating Heart." A lady who'd seen the sign called my office extremely upset. She thought there should be a law against posting such a message and threatened that she was going to check into it. She said her children were so upset they cried. Truth really hurts and in this case illustrates the awful blindness that sin causes.
Abortion does stop a beating heart. See this video that I just came across.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Those Who Never Were" Video Lindsey Thompson
"Sanctity of Life" Video Musician not specified but beautiful song!
"Let Them Be Little" Video Billy Dean
"Give me A Chance" Video Karl Kohlhase
"Stunning videos with musical background" Video
Note: This week marks the fortieth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision regarding abortion. Here are some good blog article on the topic. "Forty Years After Roe, Human Dignity Hangs in the Balance" or this Roundup from the Eternity Matters blog
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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