Tag Archive: birth


Frequently, one of the lessons in Sunday School classes would pose the question,

“If the law of the land was contrary to the law or will of God, which would you obey; the laws of God or the laws of man?”

Looking back at the Supreme Court reversal on baby killings (June 24, 2022), it occurred to me that throughout the years, some local churches faced that decision. Though many fervently prayed and relentlessly protested, unfortunately (for millions of babies), too many local churches, in their silence, failed the test. We always said we would obey God, but too many corner churches left that lesson on the pages of the Sunday School textbooks.

In the beginning, self-proclaimed leaders of the Black community vehemently cried out in protest

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(https://nypost.com/1999/10/10/the-racist-roots-of-pro-abortionists/ ). They have since changed their tune. Choosing money and position (Matthew 26:15), they loudly support baby killing over obeying God’s law (Exodus 20:13).

There are many events told in the Bible; like Daniel praying in plain view (Daniel 6:11) though it was unlawful, three Hebrew boys standing (Daniel 3:17) rather than obeying the law of bowing before the government’s graven image, and the time Pharaoh ordered midwives to kill the Hebrew baby boys upon their birth, but the midwives chose to obey (Exodus 1:17) God’s law rather than Pharaoh’s law. I think that at times we “Christians” have sadly treated those examples as enriching readings of no relevance today.

Josephus recounted in Jewish Antiquities 18:3 the time that the Romans occupied Jerusalem. One night, Pilate rolled into Jerusalem erecting the ensign of Caesar. The Jews made an outcry that it be removed because it was against Jewish law. Pilate refused. So, the people protested relentlessly. Pilate threatened to kill them all if they continued their protest. Here we had a dispute between the government and their law with the Jews and God’s law (the Sunday School lesson come to life). As the Roman soldiers surrounded them with drawn swords, at Pilate’s threat to kill them, they did an extraordinary thing. They all lay on the ground and exposed their necks, giving the Roman soldiers a clear view for the blades of their swords. Rather than accommodating the laws of government, they preferred death over breaking the law of God. Wow!

It may pale in comparison, but when the southern government said that it was unlawful for Black Americans to eat at the same lunch counter as White Americans, or it was unlawful for them to position themselves first in line or sit in the front of the bus, the ministers and the congregations relentlessly publicly protested. They had prayer meetings, staged sit-ins at lunch counters, and faced firing, jail, and some even death. But when the government said that it was unlawful to pray in the schools, unlike Daniel, too many ministers and churches were silent.

I had a disturbing dream one morning. In the dream, people had assembled in a Bible study classroom. The minister was trying to teach us how to survive our captivity and be comfortable in an anti-Christ ruling administration. Finding it unacceptable, I began running and fleeing the area. As ghastly demonic beings chased me, they collapsed. They no longer had breath in them. I yelled back to those still in the classroom,

“This is How You Defeat Them! They Have No Breath!”

The dream was disturbing because, sadly, that is the attitude of some ministers in the corner churches. They teach their congregation how to be comfortable with ungodly laws rather than resist them.

I don’t know if many of us would be as brave as the midwives in Egypt or Daniel facing the lion’s den, the three Hebrew boys facing a fiery furnace (you might say that they staged a stand-in), or those who exposed their necks to the Roman soldiers. Heaven knows how many ungodly laws we all obey and have obeyed without protest. We face a dilemma today, and the stark-naked truth is that too many of us don’t give enough thought to whether “we or government laws” offend God. Some of us choose where we stand, based on church leadership, popularity, culture, traditions, trends, or whether we maintain our lucrative status or position. Sadly, religion has quietly, softly taught us a life of submission to the ungodly rather than resistance (James 4:7). Consequently, many end up not only obeying but also defending unrighteous laws though offensive to God.

We can and should repent and give God thanks for His grace. It truly is as Jesus expressed.

“…for we know not what we do. (Luke 23:34).”

Thankfully, He is faithful to forgive us (1John 1:9).

When did pulpits suddenly go silent about abominable unrighteous laws or decisions? Tiptoeing around the issues, religious pastors’ passive sermons leave their congregation ignorant and with no apparent reason to actively resist evil laws. There is one thing we can do and are doing without much deliberation: pray. We can each bombard heaven with our prayers for righteousness and justice.

Something Happens When You Pray. Daniel prayed and emerged from the lion’s den unharmed, and his enemies perished instead. Isn’t it obvious why the government doesn’t want you or your kids to publicly pray in government-run schools? Things change and enemies of righteousness and the unrighteous perish when the righteous and the children of the righteous pray. If we at least do that, we change things; nationally and locally. Friday, June 24, 2022, is a day that exemplifies what resistance and prayer, individually and collectively, can do.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”  James 5:16

That’s Today’s Single Focus

D.J. Martin  (SingleFocus Ministry®)

One spring, I took the opportunity to spend my vacation in Israel. While there, I boarded a boat on a pleasant sunshiny day with a group of people. We wanted to get to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. The Sea was blue and calm as we started to cross over. The day was clear so that I could see the other side. When we entered the middle of the sea, the wind began to blow. At first, it was a gentle breeze then it became more intense. The boat was rocking so much that I was sure a storm was coming soon. I began wondering if we would have to walk on water, and hoping and praying that we would reach the other side before the storm hit.

stormy seaThankfully, we made it to the other side before the storm came. There were palm trees whose leaves rustled in a gentle breeze as we approached the shore. We passed the trees into a city where the sunshiny sky was clear, blue and calm. There were no signs of an approaching storm. In fact, I don’t remember rain at any time during my stay in Israel.

Thus, this is similar to the life of the saints of God. God gives directions, and we follow them, only to occasionally be in the midst of a brewing storm: family and friends not acting right, relationships fizzling, money is funny, coworkers acting insane, the car is falling apart, or the body is aching, etc.

It looks like smooth sailing as doors open with little effort on our part. Until all these things and more begin shaking and rocking our boat. The storm seems to get so bad that if we weren’t saints, not only would we be angry, we would sin. But instead, we pray and cry, cry and pray. The fierce storm makes you wonder if God called you and if you heard right.

Unfortunately, sometimes it makes us stop forging ahead. We get caught up in trying to fix the boat and calming the sea ourselves: working overtime to get the money right, take vacation days to fly across the country to mend relationships, whatever.

Summer used to be the most frightening season for me because rainstorms could be very violent in Texas. Since my new birth in Christ, I wake up, hear the storm, and whisper “Peace. Be still,” then go back to sleep. Oh, to be able to do that with life’s storms. I found out that when I am in the middle of a storm, there is calm on the other side if I trust in God. I remind myself that I know He loves me and has forgiven me.

Storms also shape character and spiritually prepare you for victory in the task He has for you. Spend more time with God, so that He can encourage you when in the storm. He will open doors. And remember that it’s all about His glory. Focus on Him and His calling. Pray and press on. Put all affairs in the Master’s hands, and do what He has called you to do because only Christ can calm the storm.

Believe me, if a storm is brewing and you are in God’s will, a blessing is on the other side.

Be of good cheer. Christ can give you peace in the midst of a stormy sea. Ask Him for it. Christ can calm the storm.

 

“…He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” Mark 4:39

 

That’s Today’s Single Focus

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