The Only Love That Can Fully Satisfy

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The Only Love That Can Fully Satisfy

James R. Aist

“Consider how much love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.” (1 John 3:1)

Before I jump into this subject with both feet, it is important to first bring to mind just who this God of the Bible really is. Perhaps you have never really taken to heart just how authoritative, powerful and supreme God is. The God of the Bible is often referred to as “God Most High” or “Most High God” (e.g., Genesis 14:22 and Hebrews 7:1). Psalm 97:9 declares, “For You, O Lord, are Most High above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.” Thus we derive the Christian doctrine of the “sovereignty” of God, His absolute rule and reign over all of His creation, including the affairs of men. Nothing happens that He did not either do Himself or allow to be done. There is no higher authority than the God of the Bible, He always gets it right the first time, and nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). His opinions trump the opinions of mere mortal men – and the devil – every time.

That said, when God created Adam and Eve, there was, I believe, a built-in need for this creator-God to approve of them. They were, after all, the only created beings who God made in the image and likeness of Himself (Genesis 1:26). And, because of the infinite greatness of God, their “parent-child” relationship, if you will, was far more highly valued and essential than even the best parent-child relationships we can experience with each other. I reckon that Adam and Eve became accustomed to the unqualified approval that they experienced as God walked with them in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). And, ever since they forfeited this intimate and unchanging approval by lusting after the knowledge of good and evil, mankind has longed for God’s approval to be restored. However, our attempts to replace this divine approval by such things as wealth, fame and/or power, or even human relationships, are all in vain, because all of these fall short, leaving us with a built-in, inner longing for the infallible approval that only God can satisfy.

I have learned over the years that a person has to know someone to really love them. A newborn baby can soak up the personal attention of its mother and respond affectionately when its mother fulfills its basic needs for breast milk and a sense of security. But that isn’t really love, but a positive response to having its needs met. The baby knows nothing of the mother’s character and integrity. It doesn’t know what kind of person its mother is. It is not even aware of the degree to which the mother is committed to its well being. So, the mother may assume that the baby loves her with a perfect love, since the baby has no basis for judging her. But, as the baby grows and develops and gets to really know its mother as a person – both the “good” and the “bad” – the capacity for real love develops, and so does the capacity for judgment. When the child has grown enough to love its mother despite her perceived flaws and weaknesses, then real love has made its debut. The love of God toward us is like that. Only God knows us completely; He knows everything about us, good and bad (Psalm 139:14), yet He still loves us. Why is that?

Why does God love us?

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness – Genesis 1:26. God loves us because we are uniquely made in His image and likeness. We may not know for sure just what that “looks like”, but we do know that God does not have that kind of relationship with any other of His created beings, including even the angels!

You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. – Hebrews 2:7. Again, we don’t know for sure in what ways we were created a little lower than the angels, but we do know that we are the pinnacle of His creative juices manifested during the six days of creation (Genesis 2:4-23). And, we know that God must have a very high regard for us in order for Him to crown us with glory and honor and set us over the works of His hands!

We are the only earthly beings created to be able to know God and to glorify Him intentionally (click HERE). This fact makes us unique in our ability to freely love and sincerely glorify God.

We were created to glorify God (click HERE). There is no greater calling than to glorify the God of the Bible!

In short, God created us to be capable of loving Him and worthy of His divine love! Therefore, He loves us.

How great is God’s love for us?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16. Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8. There is no greater love than God’s love for us. God said so, and He proved it!

…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:17-19. The love of God for us is so unimaginably massive that it must be experienced to be fully capable of satisfying our hunger for divine approval.

Consider how much love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. – 1 John 3:1. Your biological children are related to you in unique and precious ways, too numerous to quantify and too special to measure. Ponder that for a moment, and then let it sink in that the God who created the Universe has declared us who follow Jesus to be His spiritual children, children of God, no less!

How secure is God’s love for us?

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. – Romans 8:35, 37. Unlike any merely human relationship, our relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ is guaranteed, by God Himself, to never fail, not ever. Now that is absolute, fully trustworthy security!

How authoritative is God’s love for us?

God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He spoken, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? – Numbers 23:19. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31. God, and only God, has the authority and the power to declare those who believe in Jesus to be the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) and, therefore, worthy of His divine and everlasting love!

Whose opinion will you believe?

What, then, is the “take home” message in all of this? Simply put, if you have put your faith and trust in Jesus, then don’t believe the opinion of the devil when you are experiencing doubts about God’s love for you. His love for you is the only love that can fully satisfy. Believe God’s opinion of you, not the opinion of the devil, for “When he lies, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44).

(To read more of my articles with a biblical theme, click HERE)

Is It OK to Be “Pro-choice”?

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Is It OK to Be “Pro-choice”?

James R. Aist

“Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.” – Romans 14:22b

On February 25, 2019, forty-four Senate Democrats blocked a vote in the U.S. Senate that would protect the life and health of babies who survive botched abortions in the United States. Apparently, they prefer to either let such living, breathing, babies die slowly and painfully for lack of care, or murder them with a lethal injection. In effect, these Democrat Senators voted to legalize infanticide! This despicable, cold-hearted act of pure evil was a tragic fulfillment of Jesus prophecy in Matthew 24:12, “Because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” In view of this development, I am compelled to address here the Christians who support and approve abortion and/or infanticide, despite the clear teaching in the Bible condemning such acts as the sin of murder (click HERE). Moreover, the biology of human reproduction informs us that human life begins at conception (click HERE), thus confirming that abortion and infanticide are, in fact, murder. God clearly condemns murder (Exodus 20:13) and declares that “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in His own image” (Genesis 9:6). This is how thoroughly evil God considers murder, including abortion, to be; it is a grave offense against the very image of God Himself! And to murder an innocent, helpless baby either before or after delivery is diametrically opposed to the sovereign will of almighty God who declares that “…children are a gift of the Lord…” (Psalm 127:3). God did not create us to murder babies, who are precious human beings that are made in His image and are His gifts to their parents!

People who are “pro-choice” believe that they are just defending a presumed “right” of the mother to decide whether her unborn or newborn child lives or dies; thus, they identify as “pro-choice.” At the same time, they deny that they have any responsibility for the death of the unborn or newborn child if the mother decides to terminate. This is nonsense. By supporting a mother’s so-called  “right to choose”, you are, in effect, implying that you believe either choice, life or death, is equally good and moral, and to the extent that you influence them to agree with you, you share in the moral responsibility for whatever decision they make. Let’s be honest and realistic for a moment: Every time you say, “It’s a woman’s right to choose”, you’re also saying, “It’s OK to murder unborn or newborn babies, either male or female.” Do you really believe that a woman has a right to murder another woman? How does it promote “women’s rights” to deny unborn or newborn women the most basic human right of all, the right to live? And, what if the choice were up to you? Would you choose to murder your own unborn or newborn baby? If not, then why would you support someone else’s choosing to do it? The only way you can avoid a shared responsibility in a decision to terminate is to take a stand against abortion and infanticide, i.e., to be “pro-life”, for “Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves” (Romans 14:22b; see also Romans 1:28-32)!

Does the Bible have anything else to say about this issue? Indeed it does. The Bible has stern rebukes and dire warnings for those who approve of sin or encourage others to sin (Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 1:28-32; and Romans 14:22b). Thus, anyone – including born-again Christians – who even approves of or otherwise encourages in any way, the sin of abortion or infanticide will, someday, have to answer to God for it. It’s high time born-again Christians stand up for the protection of the unborn and the newborn whose parents do not want them!

So, here is the conclusion of the matter: No, it is not OK to be “pro-choice”, because if you are “pro-choice”, then you are condemning yourself in what you are approving; namely, the sin of murder. Think about that for a while: God will hold you accountable for approving someone else’s choice to abort the unborn or the newborn! We have His word on it (Romans 1:28-32; and Romans 14:22b).

Key Bible Passage: “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not proper. They were filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, proud, boastful, inventors of evil things, and disobedient toward parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, calloused, and unmerciful, who know the righteous requirement of God, that those who commit such things are worthy of death. They not only do them, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” – Romans 1:28-32. (bolding mine)

(To read more of my articles on abortion, click HERE, and on other biblical topics, click HERE).

Abortion: A Biblical Perspective

 

Abortion: A Biblical PerspectiveJewish torah scroll in cover

 James R. Aist

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)

Introduction

Although abortion has important social and political ramifications, to those of us who are born-again Christians, the most basic issues have to do with what God has to say about it. For that information, of course, we turn to the Word of God, the Holy Bible. But, can we find in the Bible the spiritual guidance we seek and get a clear understanding of the moral issues surrounding abortion, as well as God’s opinion of it? Let’s find out.

God Knows When Human Life Begins

Who could possibly answer this question better than the God who created human life, the God of the Bible? What does the Bible have to say about when human life begins?

Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” God knew Jeremiah before He formed him in the womb (i.e., before he was conceived). In the mind of God, Jeremiah existed as a human being even before he was conceived.

Psalm 51:5 – “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Let’s think about that for a moment. Could David have been sinful before he was a human being? Of course not; the curse of original sin applies only to human beings. It follows, then, that if David was sinful from the moment of conception, then he must also have been a human being from the moment of conception.

Luke 1:36 – “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.” Note that, here, the angel of the Lord states that what Elizabeth conceived was already a “son” (i.e., a male human offspring). The implication is that John the Baptist was already a human being at the moment of his conception.

Conclusion: In the mind of God, we exist as human beings even before we are conceived. Moreover, the Bible speaks of the product of human conception as being already “sinful” or a “son”, both of which are distinctively human attributes. Thus, in the Bible, human life is understood to begin at conception, because the God of the Bible says it does.

When Does God’s Plan for Our Life Begin?

Luke 2:21 – “And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” God’s plan for Jesus was already in place before he was conceived, as the name given by the angel, “Jesus”, means “Savior.”

Jeremiah 1:5 – “…before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” God ordained Jeremiah a prophet before he was born.

Isaiah 49:1 – “Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.” Isaiah received his calling from the Lord before he was born.

Judges 16:17 – “I have been a Nazarite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb.” Samson was dedicated to God as a Nazarite before he was born.

Galatians 1:15 – “… God… set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace…” Paul was set apart, by God, to be an Apostle before he was born.

Conclusion: According to the Bible, God has a plan for our lives before we are born!

Why Does the Bible Condemn Abortion As “Sin”?

First, we must understand that God created us, all of us, in His own image: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them….” (Genesis 1:27). This fact means that we human beings are the pinnacle of God’s creation and are the only living beings that bear the very image of God in themselves.

Second, God said that “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6). Abortion is undeniably the “shedding of human blood”, and as such it is an act of utter and total disrespect for the image of God himself, a grave offense to the very being of God.

And third, as the shedding of innocent human blood, abortion is the sin of murder and, therefore, a violation of God’s 6th Commandment, “You shall not murder.”

Conclusion: The Bible condemns abortion as sin, because it is murder.

Is It OK to Be “Pro-choice”?

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. – 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

People who are “pro-choice” believe that they are just defending the right of the mother to decide whether her unborn child lives or dies; thus, “pro-choice.” At the same time, they deny that they have any responsibility for the death of the unborn child if the mother decides to abort. This is nonsense. By supporting their so-called  “right to choose”, you are, in effect, implying that you believe either choice, life or death, is equally good and moral, and to the extent that you influence them to agree with you, you share in whatever decision they make. Let’s be honest and realistic for a moment: Every time you say, “It’s a woman’s right to choose”, you’re also saying, “It’s OK to murder babies – either male or female – in the womb.” Do you really believe that a woman has a right to murder another woman in the womb? How does it promote “women’s rights” to deny unborn women the most basic human right of all, the right to live? And, what if the choice were up to you? Would you choose to murder your own baby in your womb? If not, then why would you support someone else choosing to do it? The only way you can avoid a shared responsibility in a decision to abort is to take a stand against abortion, i.e., to be “pro-life.” Does the Bible have anything to say about this point? Indeed it does. The Bible has stern rebukes and dire warnings for those who approve of sin or encourage others to sin (Leviticus 19:1; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 14:22). Thus, anyone, including born-again Christians, who even approves of or encourages the sin of abortion in any way will, someday, have to answer to God for it. If that’s you, then now is the time to repent!

Conclusion: It is not OK to be “pro-choice”; according to the Bible, it is a sin.

An Appeal for the Rights of the Unborn

If you want to make me cry, then remind me of the accidental traffic death of my daughter, Liesel, when she was only 20 years old. Or, remind me of the accidental drowning deaths of twin toddlers in Knoxville a few days ago. But, if you really want me to weep and mourn deeply, then remind me of the intentional deaths of tens of millions of innocent, helpless, unborn babies, murdered in their mother’s womb, in America since Roe v. Wade. The United States will have no claim whatsoever to any moral high ground concerning anything, unless and until we, as a nation, rise up against this, the most despicable of man’s inhumanity to man, and legally declare it to be what it is: murder of the worst kind. And that’s why we need more and more pro-life justices, judges, governors, legislators, presidents and God-fearing voters to lead the charge against abortion. America, bless God and stand against this national tragedy!

Summary

According to the God of the Bible, human life begins at conception. God has a plan for our lives before we are even conceived, and abortion thwarts the plan of God. We are made in the image of God, and He condemns abortion as sin because it is murder, an act of utter and total disrespect for the image of God himself and a grave offense to the very being of God. And, it is a sin to be “pro-choice”, because a pro-choice position, in effect, approves of and encourages the sin of abortion, even though it is the mother who makes the decision.

You might also want to read this article by John MacArthur (click HERE)

(For more articles on ABORTION, click HERE)

Abortion: Biology, Bible and Forgiveness

A 3D ultrasound taken of a fetus at 17 weeks.Abortion: Biology, Bible and Forgiveness

James R. Aist

 “I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.” (Psalm 37:25-27)

Introduction

There is no moral issue that grieves and saddens me more than abortion. I believe that abortion is, perhaps, the most egregious example of man’s inhumanity to man. But I am not writing this article to preach, judge or condemn. My purpose and motivation are to have a positive influence, to help save the life of at least one unborn child and to encourage at least one regretful mother to find forgiveness and peace.

Biology

When I took my first formal course in high school Biology in about 1960, everyone seemed to know that human life begins at conception, the union of a man’s sperm with a woman’s egg. Without uniting in the womb, the egg and sperm have no human life at all and do not develop into anything; they remain just an egg and a sperm and soon die. The part of the human “life cycle” that we universally agree includes all of the developmental stages of human life from babies to teens to adults actually begins with conception in the mother’s womb. Those are the basic, biological facts of human reproduction. So, from a biological perspective, human life begins at conception and proceeds on an uninterrupted continuum of developmental stages, first in the womb, and then outside of the womb. There is no identifiable point in this continuum at which an unborn child becomes suddenly human; the unborn child is a human being all along. The idea that there is a moment when a developing child changes suddenly from non-human to human is a fantasy that has no basis whatsoever in the science of biology. Rather, it is purely a figment of the human imagination, designed to rationalize the termination of innocent human life in the womb and, thus, avoid the enormous emotional toll that routinely follows in the aftermath of an abortion.

Ultrasound images or videos — especially the new 3-D versions, see above — of a developing child in his/her mother’s womb will provide conclusive and convincing evidence that the unborn child is, indeed, a human being in the early stages of development.

Bible

To receive the guidance of the God of the Bible – the Creator of human life — let’s have a look at some Scripture passages relating to abortion:

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5)

How could David have been sinful before he was a person? If he was sinful from the moment of conception, then he must also have been a person from the moment of conception!

  • “Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.” (Isaiah 49:1)
  • “I have been a Nazarite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb.” (Judges 16:17)
  • “… God… set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace…” (Galatians 1:15)

God has a plan for each of us, before we are even born! What is God’s plan for your unborn child?

  • “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them….” (Genesis 1:27)
  • “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6)

Abortion is an attack on the very image of God himself.

I would guess that very few people are aware that the Bible has stern rebukes and dire warnings for those who approve of sin or encourage others to sin, but it does (Leviticus 19:1; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 14:22). Thus, anyone, including born-again Christians, who even approves of or encourages the sin of abortion will, someday, have to answer to God for it. If that’s you, then now is the time to repent!

Forgiveness

Abortion is, first and foremost, a sin against God (see above). So, forgiveness and peace will come only through and from Him. Here’s how you can receive God’s forgiveness and peace:

  • Repent (turn away from your sins): “The Lord … is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
  • Believe and Trust in Jesus: “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.” (John 3:16)
  • Accept His Forgiveness: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
  • Receive the Peace of Christ: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

It’s important to keep in mind that there is no sin that is so big and so bad that God will not forgive it. In fact, God wants to forgive you and bring you peace. He has made this promise to you: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). He is “faithful” to forgive you because He has promised to do so, and God does not lie or break His promises (Numbers 23:19); He is “just” to forgive you because Jesus paid the full price for your sins when He suffered and died for them, in your place, and, therefore, it would be unjust to not forgive you. And He doesn’t stop there. He will also cleanse you from the stain of your sin and of the guilt and shame associated with it; God will separate your sins from you “as far as the East is from the West” (Psalm 103:12), and he will not keep bringing it up and holding it against you (Isaiah 43:25). You have God’s word on it (Numbers 23:19), so take Him at His word, receive His forgiveness and move on with the peace of Christ; God has a wonderful plan for your life.

An Appeal for the Rights of the Unborn

If you want to make me cry, then remind me of the accidental traffic death of my daughter, Liesel, when she was only 20 years old. Or, remind me of the accidental drowning deaths of twin toddlers in Knoxville a few days ago. But, if you really want me to weep and mourn deeply, then remind me of the intentional deaths of tens of millions of innocent, helpless, unborn babies, murdered in their mother’s womb, in America since Roe v. Wade. The United States will have no claim whatsoever to any moral high ground concerning anything, unless and until we, as a nation, rise up against this, the most despicable of man’s inhumanity to man, and legally declare it to be what it is: murder of the worst kind. And that’s why we need more and more pro-life justices, judges, governors, legislators, presidents and God-fearing voters to lead the charge against abortion. America, bless God and stand against this national tragedy!

(For more articles on ABORTION, click HERE)