Monday, January 30, 2023

Jesus Lord of All 5: Lord Of My Daily Life - Colossians 3:5 - 4:1


Lord Of My Daily Life

Paul now begins the practical section of his letter to the Colossians. He begins the practical section of his epistle with a summary of what the first two chapters have taught us.  

Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

The old man, we once were, is gone and now Christ is our life. In the Greek there is no italicized words in vs. 4. It simply says, “Christ our life!”  Now because we are no longer who we once were, now because our life is hid with Christ, now because Christ is our life, let us live our lives every day in the power of these truths. All our actions to do right. All our choices for good, all our refusals to act wrongly. All our choices to resist evil. All these are based upon who we are in Christ. It is not outward legalism, it is the inward power of Christ that directs us, moves us and inspires us to do right.

 Put Down The Old Man – Colossians 3:5-7

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

Spiritual Slaying

Paul begins his list with the worst, the most deadly things which must be put down, mortified. The word mortify is from the Greek nekrow nek-ro’-o : to make dead, to put to death, to slay, to deprive of power, to destroy the strength of

Mortify these things which may be a part of us

fornication: sexual sin

uncleanness: sinful lifestyle

inordinate affection: lust

covetousness, which is idolatry: sinful desire

God’s wrath comes upon the children of disobedience because of these things. You know this because you used to be just like them. (You have seen what happens to those who live this way.)

Kill ‘em dead!

These terribly dangerous sins must not have any place in the Child of God’s life. Slay them, bury them, walk away and never bring any flowers to the grave.

The child of God has died to these and no longer under the power of those things which used to dominate them. This is a consistent theme with Paul.

Romans 6:4-6 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

One of the hardest passages of scripture to understand in the New Testament is Matthew 5:29-30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

But it fairly easy to understand when you listen to Paul in Colossians 3:4 and Romans 6. What Jesus was teaching in Matthew 5 was not physical maiming but spiritual slaying. Put them down, mortify them, is the same truth as pluck them out or cut them off. You have died to these things old sinful thing that once dominated you so now they shouldn’t have any part of your daily lives.

Why then do we still see these things in our lives?  Well, it probably because we never held the funeral. We need to stop and go back to what happened to us at salvation. As Paul tells us “Reckon yourselves dead indeed to sin.”

You must believe that the person who once was dominated by those sins, that weakness, that flaw, that bad habit. That person and those sins were crucified with Christ, buried with Christ and now we are risen new in Christ. That new man is no longer dominated and controlled by that old sin!

Too many times we simply don’t believe this is true. We are like Lucy in the "Peanuts" comic strip, she asks Linus, "Do you think people ever really change?" "Sure," replies Linus, "I feel I’ve changed a lot this past year." Lucy says, "I meant for the better."

Everything that is born of God is no shadowy work. God will not bring forth a dead fruit, a lifeless and powerless work, but a living, new man must be born from the living God.-Johann Arndt (1555-1621)

In the natural world it is impossible to be made all over again, but in the spiritual world it is exactly what Jesus Christ makes possible. - Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the captain of the ship sought to turn him back. "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages," he cried. Calvert only replied, That is alright, "We died before we came here."- David Augsburger, Sticking My Neck Out,

Next Paul moves on to those things that must be put off daily.

Put Off The Old Ways – Colossians 3:8-9

8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

Spiritual Pruning

In addition to spiritual slaying, we must also practice spiritual pruning.

These are attitudes and actions that constantly recur in our life, they sprout up like  weeds in a garden, therefore we must constantly keep cutting them off.

Anger: the attitude of getting and acting mad. It is not harmless, it is not benign. Cut if off.

Wrath: This is the stronger even more dangerous attitude. It takes control and causes us to act in that anger we were just feeling but now we say or do something, instead of just feeling angry which is bad, now we lash out and that is worse.

Malice: Anger becomes wrath and wrath become malice. It takes ona  life of it’s own. It is not just a passing storm but the constant climate of a person’s life.  This is a bitter person.

Blasphemy: Slander and gossip which is false and hurts another.

Filthy Communication: Obscenity, foul language. Which dishonors the Lord we love.

Lying: Speaking or spreading that which is not true.

Nip It In The Bud!

When we find these traits and attitudes, these sins cropping back up in our lives and they always will, then we must take the advice of the great philosopher, Barney Fife, who said, “Nip it in the bud!”

Don’t wait, don’t let it take root in your life again. When the seeds of anger, wrath, malice, gossip, foul language or lying sprouts up like a weeds in our daily life then stop and listen as the Holy Spirit convicts us and go to the Lord. Ask for his forgiveness and strength. Reckon, count it as true, that you are dead to those sins and instead are alive and new in Jesus Christ. If He is Lord of All, then He certainly is Lord of the actions and attitudes of my life.

This is not the end of what we must do to let Jesus be the Lord of our daily living. Not only are we to put to death and put off the old man and his undead life, but we must also put on. Both the negative and the positive is necessary. We have seen the negative and now Paul says, lets leave that behind and go on to the positive things of Christ that we must, “put on.” Look at 3:10-11

Put On The New Man – Colossians 3:10-11

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Spiritual Planting  Vs. 10

Paul says we must put on the new person who is renewed every day in the knowledge and after the image of Christ. By planting this new person every day in the attitudes and actions of our daily lives we don’t give room for the weeds to find the fallow ground of our daily lives and begin to take root again.

In vs. 11, We see the extent and the extremes of this new person. This new man in Christ is so new that even his nationality, his race and his station in life no longer exists. The new person is so new that those old things, those old labels that once defined us are now overwhelmed by the new person we are Jesus.

Paul says this new man has moved passed from all those things to a new reality, an new understanding, “Now, all that exists is my identity in Christ. Christ is life!”  He has become our ultimate reality, our consuming passion and our overcoming power. Colossians 3:11 “Christ is all, and in all.”

New as a Shiny Penny

My grandmother used to have a saying, “Today, I feel good, like a brand new, shiny penny. That is how we are every day the new person we are in Jesus.

The key is seeing ourselves as God does, in His Son now, not as we once were in our sin. But as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

I believe this is the knowledge Paul says renews us every day. The knowledge of who we are in Jesus Christ. The newness we can experience every day in His love and forgiveness. In that love and forgiveness, we strip off the old person with his sin and failure and are renewed in our knowledge that Jesus Christ is our all in all.

The more we know Him, the more real and effective this is in the reality of our daily living. In other words, You can only be as new as your last walk with Jesus. You can only be as close as your last prayer to Him. You can only be as powerful as your last battle fought through Him. The more you know Him, the more you are renewed in Him daily.   

Isaiah’s Mission of The Messiah

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

This the description of the new person we are in Christ. Our broken hearts are mended, our captivity has been replaced with liberty, our prison of sin with the freedom of forgiveness. We have comfort instead of pain, beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning. We wear the garments of praise instead of the rags of heaviness. In Christ we are trees of righteousness not the weeds of our own destruction. We are the planting of the LORD, not the tares of the enemy.  

Paul then expands this theme of “put on” by listing several attributes that come with the new man. He likens it to putting on new clothes.

 Put On The New Clothes – Colossian 3:12-17

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Spiritual Dressing

Paul tells them, as new people in Christ, to make a conscience effort, to commit to a consistent action to put on the clothing of the new man each day. In the same way a person is conscience of putting on fresh clothes in the morning we must be conscience of putting on these renewed attitudes.

Bowels of mercies (tender mercies) this was the seat of the emotions to the people of the new testament. They were to be clothed with a compassionate heart on the inside.

Kindness: clothed with that compassion on the outside that reaches out to others

Humbleness of mind: clothed with humility, no pride in self, no ego or power trips

Meekness: clothed with the gentleness of real strength

Longsuffering: clothed with the patience through the events of my life

Forbearance: clothed with the patience towards the people in my life

Forgiveness:  clothed with the true character of Christ

And above all put on charity (agape, self-sacrificing, Christian love) which binds everything perfectly together: and shows us as mature and complete.

Paul ends with two submissions:

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts: this is unity, the outward uniform of a child of God that the world can see.

And then, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly: this is inward guidance of the Lord that leads us daily in all wisdom.

Don’t get the wrong idea as did a certain Ethiopian emperor named Menelik II.  When he would get sick, he'd eat a few pages from the Bible. He believed it would restore his health. Or perhaps he was taking Paul literally when he said let the word of God dwell in you. Anyway, the emperor died in 1913 after a particularly bad illness which he tried to cure by eating the entire book of 2 Kings. No, don’t be that guy, be the guy that Paul goes on to describe here.

Paul goes on in vs. 15 and tells us when we have put on the clothing of the new man and submitted to unity and the word of God, then we act wisely, by teaching and admonish one another is psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

This is corporate worship, all of us together. In other words the new man, dresses in new clothes, the new spiritual attributes and actions. This new person submits to the peace of God and is led by the word of Christ. And you know where that submission and that guidance leads them? To church to be with the people of God. The wisdom that is now ours as new ones in Christ, won’t let us miss church or make excuses for being absent from the Lord’s house, because then you can’t teach and admonish one another if you are not with one another in God’s house.

Final admonition

Finally, Paul says in Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Everything you do, in speech or in actions, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Jesus. 

If only we could apply that principle to every action we take, every word we say or every decision we make, what a God honoring, spiritual difference it would make.

If we stopped and thought, “If I do this, am I acting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I expressing my thankfulness to God the Father by Jesus Christ the Son, in what I am doing, saying or choosing, right now?

My life, my family, my church would so change for the better and we would better glorify our Savior if we just applied the guidelines of this chapter to our daily living.

How Will I look today?

When I used to work at United Parcel Service in Dallas. In the driver’s locker room was a mirror. And etched into the glass of that mirror were these questions. Starting at the top. Hair combed? Smile? Clothes Ironed? Shoes Polished?  The last thing every driver was to be aware of as he left to meet the public was, “How well do I represent UPS.”

As Christians we have a much more penetrating, powerful mirror. A spiritual mirror that we look into and that asks us, “How do I, a child of God, a follower of the Lord, a disciple of Christ, a member of His body the church, look to others this morning?  How well am I representing my Lord to the lost world?” That spiritual mirror is the Word of God.

We look into the mirror of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit reveals who we are.

James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Put It All Together – Colossians 3:18 - 4:1

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Paul Gets Personal and Practical 

He addresses the Christian family because on the family is the church built. One the family is society built and through the family the world is changed.

Paul gets personal and tells wives to submit this is worthy of the new person you are in Christ. Husbands love your wives. Sacrifice for them.  Children obey your parents in all things, this is honoring the Lord. Fathers, notice men we are the only ones dealt with more than once, fathers be very careful in the way you raise your children. If you provoke them instead of love and lead them, they will be discouraged, disheartened, dispirited, and broken in spirit. Servants, Paul says, obey your masters not with only the outward visible actions but with the inward heart as though you served the Lord. No matter who we serve or work for on earth in heaven’s eyes we are actually serving the Lord Christ. Finally, Paul talks to the Masters and tells them to treat their servants, their workers, their employees justly and fairly because they even though they are the bosses here on earth they have a much greater Master in heaven.


In Colossians Chapter 3 we are given Guidelines For A Godly Life. If each one of us would just commit ourselves to live Colossians 3 in our daily lives. If we would just weigh every action, every thought, every choice in the light and wisdom of this chapter, what a difference that commitment would make. What a new person I would be daily. What a more forgiving, more loving, more compassionate child of God I would be. What a different world I would then live in. What a different family I would then love and raise. What a different church we would then grow.

I was saddened just this week by a situation that hurts my heart as a pastor. A situation that would never have arisen if the new person in Christ, just acted in the love, forgiveness and wisdom Paul talks about in this chapter. Instead, the old man put on the old rags. Pulled them out of the grave and put those filthy things back on. Don’t let that happen to you, don’t let that happen to our church. That is not who we are in Christ. He is our All in All and we should be His new people dressed in the fresh, clean clothes of a spiritually new man in Him.


Monday, January 23, 2023

In the Image of God: Sanctity of Life - Genesis 1:26, 9:6, Psalms 139:14-16


In the Image of God: Sanctity of Life

Genesis 1:26, 9:6, Psalms 139:14-16

Holocaust, Human Sacrifice, Infanticide and Abortion

Today is National Sanctity of Life Day first declared as a national observance by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 on the 11th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade that made abortion legal and accepted in our nation. This year is the first Sanctity of Life Day that is post- Roe v. Wade. Just last year on Friday, June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Something I had never thought to see in my lifetime if ever. The truth is that the belief that human life is sacred throughout history has been held among a very small minority of nations and peoples.

In ancient times among the pagans of the world the killing of infants was not uncommon. In the lands of the Philistines and the Canaanites, the worship of Moloch and Baal reached its highest devotion with the sacrifice of a child. The worshippers of Baal would take a child and place it into a larger clay pot and then bury that pot in the corner of their home in order to receive the blessing of their bloodthirsty god. The worship of Moloch was much worse. In a ceremony called passing their children through the fire, they would place a living baby in the hands or lap of a bronze idol of Moloch which had been heated by an oven built into the base of the metal idol and the child would literally be fried as the worshippers watched. Is it any wonder that God had Joshua drive out and destroy the inhabitants of that blood polluted land?

Among the Greeks, a child born with deformities would be taken into the hills, wilderness or to a cave and left for the animals and scavengers to devour. In ancient Rome, babies weren’t considered fully human upon birth, instead they gained humanity over time, first with their naming a few days after birth, and later when they cut teeth and according to some sources up to 3 years old.

The so-called refined and educated Cicero (106-43 BC) in his On the Laws 3.8 states: “Deformed infants shall be killed.” The “deformity” could simply be an unwanted child, a sickly child, a deformed child or the wrong sex. The Stoic philosopher Seneca (4 BC-65 AD) comments On Anger 1.15: “…mad dogs we knock on the head…unnatural progeny we destroy; we drown even children at birth who are weakly and abnormal.”

Even the preeminent and to this day influential Greek philosopher Aristotle recommends that parents should be compelled by law to expose deformed or handicapped babies. In Politics 7.1335b Aristotle says: “As to exposing or rearing the children born, let there be a law that no deformed child shall be reared;  but on the ground of number of children, if the regular customs hinder any of those born being exposed, there must be a limit fixed to the procreation of offspring…

Nor was the life of a child consider of no value in the ancient world, all human life was simply something to be given to the bloodthirsty pagan gods. In the 1500s, when the Spanish Conquistadors came to America and conquered the Aztecs, they observed the daily sacrifice of humans atop the great pyramids. A firsthand account of the sacrifices was written by Bernal Diaz del Castillo's. "Hardly a day passed by that these people did not sacrifice from three to four, and even five Indians, tearing the hearts out of their bodies, to present them to the idols and smear blood on the walls of the temple. The arms and legs of these unfortunate beings were then cut off and devoured, just in the same way we should fetch meat from a butcher's shop and eat it: indeed I even believe that human flesh is exposed for sale cut up in their markets." 

Human sacrifice had a long history in Mesoamerica, long before the rise to prominence of the Aztec Empire. The Toltec, Mayan and Teotihuacan civilizations all practiced human sacrifice, it was a common practice, accepted and even looked upon as an honor.

In one special year, 1487, the Great Pyramid in what is now Mexico City was complete. They held a massive celebration to inaugurate their great temple—and by the Aztecs own count they sacrificed 84,000 people over a period of four days. Overall, it is estimated that 250,000 people were sacrificed by the Aztecs across Mexico during an average year.

Do you know what stopped such horrific Pagan practices as human sacrifice and infanticide? (Hold up the Bible) This stopped it. The Word of God declared that human life was sacred and the people of God began change the world.

One of the resources I copied said this, “The catacombs are filled with very tiny graves with the epitaph “adopted daughter of…” or “adopted son of…” inscribed on them. These inscriptions refer to the many babies and young children Christians rescued from the trash over the centuries. Tertullian says Christians sought out the tiny bodies of newborn babies from the refuse and dung heaps and raised them as their own or tended to them before they died or gave them a decent burial. The Christian idea that each individual person has worth because they were created by God was foreign to the lies of pagan society where the State, the tribe, the collective was the only value they knew.”

So lets turn to Genesis 1:26 and begin to see who that God’s book and God’s people of the book changed the world and are still capable of changing it today.

Sacred In Creation - Ge 1:26–28.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God’s Touch on The Creation of Man

Psalms 8:4-5 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;

What we read in God’s word, the Word that elevated society and mankind past the horrors of human and child sacrifice, is that God directly created man, in a unique way, completely different from the way He created the animals.

The Bible lets us enter into the counsel of the Godhead before man was created on the sixth day of creation. Genesis 1:26-28 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…

We are given the exact process of this creation in Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

God specially created man in His image. He did this by using the elements of His existing creation, the Bible says the dust of the ground, but He also did something that was unique to humankind. God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life and he became a “living soul.”

There are two truths of man’s creation that you must take note of because upon these two truths hinge the difference between the horrors of the ancient pagan world, the modern neo-pagan world and the hope of the Judeo/Christian world.

The Image of God: Two Truths

First truth: Man was made in the image of God. What does that mean? What is the image of God?

First it was not a physical image. The Jesus Himself told us, John 4:24 God is a Spirit. Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. 1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The image of God in man instead is a moral image. As Henry Thiessan writes, “it consists in both man’s rational nature and in his moral conformity to God. The theologian Hodge said, “He is the image of God, and bears and reflects the divine likeness among the inhabitants of the earth, because he is a spirit, an intelligent, voluntary agent…” - Henry Clarence Thiessen and Vernon D. Doerksen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979), 155.

It was also a mental image, capable of freewill. To quote Hodge again, “God is a Spirit, the human soul is a spirit. The essential attributes of a spirit are reason, conscience, and will. A spirit is a rational, moral, and therefore also a free agent. In making man after his own image, therefore, God endowed him with those attributes which belong to his own nature as a spirit. -Henry Clarence Thiessen and Vernon D. Doerksen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979), 155.

Finally, it was a social image. Thiessan again, “God’s social nature is grounded in his affections. He finds the objects of his love in the trinity. As God has a social nature, so he has endowed man with a social nature. Consequently, man seeks companionship.

The Second Truth: God breathed in the physical body of man and that physical body becomes something much, much more. God breathed into a senseless, soulless body and man then become a living, sentient, self-aware soul.

Only man has this. I’m sorry but instead of all dogs going to heaven I have to tell you, no dogs go to heaven. Nor do cates, horses, cows or turtles. Only man has a living soul that can commune with God in heaven just as Adam and Eve did before they sinned.

John MacArthur says it well, “We are not mere mortals. We are not merely flesh. We are immortal. The shell of skin, and bones, and muscle is only a vessel, it’s only a repository in which something of the very image of God resides.”

So originally man was created by God, in the image of God for the plan and purpose of God. Is that still true today? Is it true for every child born into this world and this modern age. Again, God’s word tells us that it was not just Adam that was a living soul special designed and created by God, but that all of Adam and Eve’s descendants also share this same unique touch of God.

Sacred In Procreation - Psalms 139:14-16

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

God’s Touch On The Birth Of Man

David says in vs. 15 “My substance was not hid from thee,” literally, substance is “my strength, my bones and my sinews and my muscles.” Was not hidden from God “when I was made in secret.” God saw the child in the secret place of his mother’s womb and in His divine design of procreation he made the child. This was skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.”  The Hebrew could be translated “when I was interwoven of various colored threads,” when I was knit together. We can now look into that secret place of the womb with cameras and sonagrams and what we see is a miracle only a little less amazing that the creation of Adam.

Timeline in the “Secret Place”

Stages of Baby Development From Conception to Birth By: Norma DeVault  13 June, 2017

In the week after conception, cell division and multiplication has already resulted in 100s of cells that are differentiating into the parts of the body they will be by birth. By two weeks the embryo has attached to the uterine wall.

In the first four weeks from conception, the baby develop the spinal cord, nervous system, gastrointestinal system, heart and lungs. By eight weeks, the face is forming, arms and legs move, the baby’s heart begins beating and the brain and other organs form.

By 12 weeks, the baby grows to 3 inches long and weighs 1 ounce. She can move fingers and toes. Fingerprints are present. The baby smiles, frowns, sucks, swallows and urinates. The sex of the baby can be discerned by this time.

During the second three months of pregnancy, the baby kicks, can hear and has a strong grip. At 16 weeks a strong heartbeat is evident. The skin is transparent and fingernails and toenails form. The baby can roll over in the amniotic fluid. At 20 weeks, the heartbeat can be heard with a stethoscope. The baby has hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. He can suck his thumb and may have hiccups. By 24 weeks, the baby is 11 to 14 inches long and weighs 1 to 1 1/2 pounds. His skin is covered with a protective coating, his or her eyes are open

At 28 weeks initial breathing movements begin. She is adding body fat. By 32 weeks, the baby experiences periods of sleep and wakefulness and responds to sounds. A six months supply of iron is accumulating in the liver. By 36 to 38 weeks she is 19 or more inches long and weighs 6 pounds or more. At this point he or she is less active and gains immunities from her mother.

Now, I could have used one of those timeline that is popular today that compares the size of the baby at different times to things you have in your kitchen or garden. You know what I’m talking about. Today the baby is the size of a pea, then a walnut, then I don’t know and acorn squash and then of course toward the end every mother is sure their baby is the size of a watermelon and were not talking about a seedless fridge melon. No, we’re talking about a Texas Black Diamond monster melon. I could do that kind of timeline but sorry, to me its just weird. Its probably one of those difference between men and women or old school, new school things but to me its just strange. Nothing at all wrong with it, just doesn’t work for me, personally.

And by the way this idea that kidney stones are harder on men than childbirth is on women. That is a total joke. I’ve had kidney stones, bad ones and I’ve also been in the delivery room with all my children and believe me, what LeeOra went through in delivering that Texas Black Diamond Watermelon was a lot tougher than me passing a pebble of a kidney stone. Again, that’s just me, but I know I’m right.

Before we leave this point, I want to look at one other important scripture because it specifically deals with how God views the child in its mother’s womb. Go to..

The Child In Womb from God Perspective - Exodus 21:22-25 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

What this verse clearly tells us is that God sees the child in the womb as fully human, with the same rights as the parent even before it is born. Do you see it? Its right here in the phrase if any mischief follow. The word means if any harm comes from the injury to either the mother or the unborn child. If the woman is hit or knocked to the ground and her child comes early or if she is injured then the penalty shall be appropriate to the crime, “life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

That’s not barbarism, that is justice, that is appropriate. The punishment should fit the crime. This penalty written into the laws of the nation Israel, shows that God considered the unborn child fully a human being while still in the mother’s womb. Not as some say after it is born, not as some say with its first breath and certainly not as the Romans believe after months or years.

And what about today, in our modern enlightened, Oh so benevolent society? What do many, many people believe today? Let me give you a couple of quotes.

In 1993, ethicist Peter Singer suggested that no newborn should be considered a person until 30 days after birth and that the attending physician should kill some disabled babies on the spot. Years before in 1979 he wrote, “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons”; therefore, “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”

American University philosophy professor Jeffrey Reiman has asserted that unlike mature human beings, infants do not “possess in their own right a property that makes it wrong to kill them.” He explicitly holds that infants are not persons with a right to life and that “there will be permissible exceptions to the rule against killing infants that will not apply to the rule against killing adults and children.”

In 1973, when the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal in all 50 states based upon a new, made up, right to privacy, women now had the right to kill their own babies while still in the womb. This ruling resulted in abortion becoming a multi-million dollar a year industry with the yearly average of 1.5 million deaths a year, just in the United States alone. children. This ruling basically said that a child in the womb was not a human being and had no right to life.

It is estimated that as many as 75 million babies will be killed this year around the world. To put that in perspective, that is more than all the deaths, in all the wars, in all the history of the world, combined. It is more deaths than Hitler’s Holocaust, Lenin and Stalin’s starvation of their own people, more than the Chinese peasant deaths of Mao and the killing field of Cambodia.

Thank God and God’s people who refused to give up the fight here in the United States.

After the ruling that nullified Roe v. Wade there has been a dramatic reduction of abortions nationwide and in states like Texas that percentage is as high as 99% less. We will never fully realize the blessing that will come from saving innocent lives and we will never fully realize the terrible curse that followed the slaughter of millions of innocents.

That brings us to the last consideration of the Sanctity of Life that we need to understand, defend and stand for, it also involves the taking of an innocent human life but not in the womb. Turn to … and look consider the Sanctity of life as seen in retribution.

Sacred in Retribution - Genesis 9:5-6

And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man.

God’s Touch On the Murder of Man

Leviticus 24:17 And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.

Numbers 35:30-31 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.

There is really no explanation, no exposition, needed on these verses is there? They are very plain, clear, succinct in what God is saying. I mean it can’t be any clearer than, “Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.”

The principle, which God codified into law, is this, if you intentional take an innocent human life then your life is forfeit. You might think, well this is universal, all societies and civilizations understand this, but if you thought that you would be wrong. Among ancient people and especially today, you’d be wrong.

This was often not the case with pagan people, people who did not acknowledge the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Often among those people, murder was compensated by a blood price. The family of the victim would be paid off. This was acceptable because human life was not a gift from God, but instead was cheap, inconsequential, random. Sure, it would be nice to see your dead relative alive, but a little silver, gold or some cattle meant a better life for you.

 Why was it different for God’s people? Why did it become the law in the nations that looked to the Word of God for how to live? It the principle we are talking about today, the Sanctity of Life, the understanding that the penalty for murder was life for life because humans were created in the image of God. God set this value and it could not be satisfied with a material payoff. God places his highest value on His highest creation and when one of His highest creation is murdered then the only just penalty is the life of the one who took that innocent, God breathed life, made in the image of its Creator.

 I don't have to tell you that this aspect of the Sanctity of life is no longer a part of our society. Our civilized world kills babies but protects murderers. Today, there are only 26 states with the death penalty, the others have outlawed it or placed a moratorium on it. Only 26 states that believe life is sacred. I imagine it is about the same number of states that have restricted or outlawed abortions.

Consequence of Ignoring The Sanctity of Life

What has been the consequence of ignoring the Sanctity of Life, of disregarding and willfully disobeying the Word of God? It is not hard to see is it? The proof of God’s removal of His blessing on our nation or even His curse upon us is too apparent to ignore.

I’ve already told you about the 75 million babies being killed by abortion. It is the most easily recognized consequence of forgetting God and His word. But today we see nations that once called themselves Christian making euthanasia legal. Sometimes for nothing more than depression. We have seen the holocausts and genocides of the Nazis, Communist and Islam. I don’t believe we are past those things and if fact we may be seeing another kind of holocaust occurring all over the world today. Much more subtle and hidden that a gas chamber or mass starvation. Today suicide is not longer abhorrent but something that is okay if you just can’t stand to live any longer. The world believes it means the suffering ends, it does not and in many if not most cases it means the suffering will be worse than ever. Murderers have no fear of the death penalty and therefore the rate of murder has soared in city after city. Where once we could let our children play outside until the street light came on, now we don’t even let them go in the front yard for fear someone will stop and snatch away. We have mass shooting after mass shooting. We have parts of aborted babies being sold for so called scientific research. We have drug being legally sold on our street corners and the illegal drugs are so rampant that we can’t prosecute the drug dealers much less the drug users. If you look on the internet you can find stories about how once great cities like San Francisco, Detroit, Philadelphia and so many others have become havens for drug use. So much so that they call the streets where they live in cardboard boxes and makeshift tents, The Streets of the Walking Dead.

What has happened? We have turned from God to Darwin. We have turned from the Bible to the Origin of the Species. We have turned from a religion that worshiped the God of heaven to a religion that worships the creature more than the Creator. And life to the majority of people you will meet is not a gift from God because there can be no such gift since there is no God. To most of your friends, coworkers and yes your family, man is not unique, he is not a living soul, God did not breath into him and create an image of Himself. Today man is considered a plague on the world at worst and at best a parasite and many are working to stop the plague of mankind and bring Mother Earth back to health with as few people as possible alive at any one time.

What is the remedy? Or is there even a hope left to us? Let me give you one final proof of the value of man and in this proof we will also find the remedy and the hope.

The final proof and hope

The final proof of the true measure of the sacredness of life and the hope we still have in this very Godless world is this. We can see how much God values mankind in this truth, Jesus, God’s own son, gave his precious, pure sinless life to purchase and redeem ours.

 Romans 5:6-8 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (proved) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

How much is your soul, made in His image, still worth to God? You are precious and priceless because even for that sin scarred soul, God sent His own son to die and pay the price to redeem you. No greater measure, no more convincing proof can there ever be of your worth to God than what Jesus did on the cross of Calvary.


Monday, January 16, 2023

Memorials - Joshua 4



Christians should always have a strong sense of remembrance of history of the need to celebrate and honor days like this. We are people whose faith and life is built around a book that took 1500 years to write and that writing began almost 5000 years ago and ended about 2000 years ago. Every time you read this book you are remembering; you are celebrating a memorial of what God has done and is still doing. We attend church on Sunday to honor and remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ who gave his life on the cross, paying for our sin and then 3 days later rose from the grave taking death captive.

Memorials are important and I want to challenge you today to consider that each of us is building our own memorials. The letters are being etched and the stones are being set with each act of our life, each decision and each commitment. Turn to Joshua the fourth chapter and look at a very strong example of two memorials built as the children of Israel crossed the Jordan and camped at Gilgal.

The Command - Joshua 4:1-3

And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying,  Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,  And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

God commands Joshua to build a memorial

God's call and command to Joshua is clear. He did not need to pray or seek a sign. He understood exactly what God wanted, for God had told him plainly. “Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,  And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.”

Joshua did not question, hesitate or wait. He simply acted as God had commanded and he and the nation of Israel built the first memorial of the Promised land.

God Commands Us to Build Memorials

I believe based upon the word of God, that we are still to be building memorials. God speaks directly to us from His word and his instructions, His commands are never vague or difficult to understand. They are crystal clear and supernaturally recorded without error for us in scripture.

Isaiah 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

Deut 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

When we hear God speak to us in His Word and submit to His authority, then just like Joshua and Israel the actions that follow our obedience is how we build memorials, not with stones but with our lives, our sacrifices, and our commitments.

I believe we should understand that every commandment of the Lord and our obeidance to that Word is the way in which we build a memorial with our life. Something that is lasting, glorifies God and tells others of our love and devotion to Him.

What are some of those commands that God gives us today. In a sense, these are the commands that we as Christians will act as we build our memorials to God.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Luke 17:3-4 If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Other scriptural commands that tell us to grow, to give, to raise up our children and love our spouses. Commands that like the memorials at Gilgal, will change the shape of our world.

Joshua and the Israelites were instructed by their God and they carried out those commands. Obedience to our God is not something that can be lightly passed over, it cannot be ignored, or pushed to the bottom of our list of priorities. God expects us to act, to obey

Here is what God said through Samuel, notice this sharp comparison.

1Samuel 15:22  And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

The Creator and Sustainer of the universe, our Redeemer, Savior and Lord speaks to us, calls on us, gives us commands, and commissions us. Dare we not listen? Dare we not obey? Or do we think that obedience and commandments is just an old Testament thing. All that legalism is past.

The Last Lesson Jesus Taught the Apostles Before the Crucifixion.

Look what Jesus told the disciples in John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.

That’s not legalism. That’s not the Old Covenant, that is the love of the New Testament written in the shed blood of Jesus, my Savior. A love that is seen by our obedience to the Word of God.

Jesus’ love enables and moves us to obey His commands. When we do what He asks us to do,  then like the people of Israel that day in Joshua 4, build a memorial for others to see what God has done and what He is doing in and through us.

Look at the cause, the reason for the memorial God told Joshua He wanted built.

The Cause - Joshua 4:6-7; 21-24

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

21-24  And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:  That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever. 

The Memorial Would Let the Past Touch The Future

There were two reasons for the memorial. To serve as a reminder for their children in the future and as a sign for the people of the earth to know the hand of God. The memorial would serve as a catalyst, a spark to ignite an quest from those in the future who weren’t there on the day that God stopped the Jordan and the Hebrews crossed on dry land.

When the future generations, even the lost nations around Israel, would ask, “Joshua 4:6 What mean ye by these stones?” Then the past faithful generations of leaders, fathers and mothers would tell the story of God delivering the children of Israel from Egypt, the miracles He had done in the wilderness, the great leaders like Moses, Joshua, Caleb and others that God had used to deliver them to their Promised Land.

They would “know the mighty hand of the Lord” and they would fear, honor and respect Jehovah their God forever.

By the memorial, the future would shaped and changed by the past. The memorial was to be a foundation upon which the future could be built. The memorial meant that the goodness and greatness of God would not be forgotten. The memorial at Gilgal was part of God’s plan to reach from the past,  into the future and impact it.

Building Our Own Memorials

Let me make this simple and direct application. Our actions or lack of action, our obedience, or our disobedience to God, either erect a memorial or they tear the memorials down. What we do in obeying God everyday builds or lets decay the memorials our life, words and actions should build and maintain.

We must weigh every action or inaction, every act or inaction, in the light of what will this show to others about God? Especially we need to ask what will it teach that next generation, my children, my grandchildren. What will they see and learn about  the power, the love and the grace of God?

What will the lost world see in the memorial I am to build? Will those who are the most in need of being touched and inspired by a transcendent, powerful and living God, see Him in my memorials?

Two Memorials - There were two memorials built that day, one at the campground at Gilgal, near the river bank and one in the river. One that would be seen and one that would be personal and private to Joshua. I want you to first consider the one on the riverbank, built by the 12 men from every tribe that picked up carried the stones from the river to the camp.

I think a proper application of that visible memorial would be what we are celebrating today, the Lord’s local, visible church.

The Lord built and established His first church during His earthly ministry, but we are called to obey and build churches wherever God leads us. Now the church is not the physical building but is actually every person who assembles themselves and covenants themselves together to carry out the work of the Gospel.  

1 Peter 2:5-6 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:12-13  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

If you want your life to count, if you want a memorial that will stand the test of eternity and one that will bridge the past and the future, then pick up your stone and continue to build our church. Be the living stones, be the holy priests gathering stones from the Jordan river and bringing them to the memorial of the Lord’s local visible church. Bring yourself and bring others to Calvary Baptist Church. This is our memorial, showing our children and the lost world, that we serve a mighty God and a loving Savior.

This same Joshua at the end of his life stood before the nation he had lead and told the people to choose the kind of life they would live, the kind of memorial they would continue to build with that life.

Joshua 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Dear God, give us more Joshuas. Joshuas to fill our churches. Joshuas to lead our families. Joshua’s, who will stand up and say “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord!” We will vow to build the memorial of the Lord’s House by our obedience, our love and our submission.

Now the story of the memorials moves us in a different direction, a different focus. Go with me to verse 9, of chapter 4.

The Construction -  Joshua 4:9

And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.

Joshua Constructs An Extra Memorial

What just happened? What is Joshua doing? Did God command Joshua to build a second memorial in the middle of the Jordan River? Did we miss that verse?

Joshua, on his own initiative, as a token of his love and thankfulness to God who had delivered them to the Promised land, now builds an extra memorial. At the place where the priest who carried the ark of the covenant across stood and waited for the people to pass. He does more than God asked him to do, more than just the minimal in fulfilling the command.

Is that allowed? He erects a hidden, private memorial. Once the waters flowed back it wouldn’t be seen. The visible memorial would be in Gilgal in the campground. All would see it there, it would be a public memorial. But this extra, personal memorial Joshua built just for the Lord. It would be covered by the river, seeming lost, but God would know exactly where it stood. And even to this day, no matter how many floods have shifted and swept the stones that Joshua used that day, God knows where every single memorial stone is in that river.

Constructing Your Personal, Extra Memorial

What a lesson Joshua teaches us here. I can admire Joshua as the leader of God’s army. I can watch with amazement as he tells the people to shout and the priest to blow the trumpet and the wall of Jericho falls flat. But I’ll never do those things. But this action, this memorial building, I can do.

Is my desire to only do the minimum for God? Is my devotion used up after only doing the least that God asks me to do?

Is church attendance on Sunday morning all there is? We are not commanded to attend more than one service on Sundays. And many today do not bother. The minimum is enough for them.

What about our worship? Are personal devotions, Bible reading and prayer at home asking too much. Is Sunday the only time I really look into God’s word, pray or sing praises to my Savior.

What about salvation itself? Is mine enough? Do I have to do more than just believe for myself. Are there not others who need Jesus, and need to know the peace of forgiveness and the joy of worship our Savior? The minimum, the nominal, the path of least resistance will get you into heaven, but it is not they way our own personal memorials to the God we love, are built.

Look at Joshua there standing in the dry Jordan river bed. As the whole nation of Israel passed by. As the men of the tribes gather the stones to build the visible memorial in Gilgal, he quietly and purposely searches for just the right stones to build into his own personal, extra memorial. I can’t help but think that with each stone, he gathered and built into his own memorial, he thought of a work of God, a miracle of deliverance, a day of manna, a fountain of water spring from a dry rock. The memorial he built was his thanksgiving, it was his act of worship and it was a visible act of his love assembled in the sight of God.

Can you understand the heart of Joshua? For the follower of God, the minimum is never enough. God didn’t deliver His people with just the minimum. Jesus did not save us with just the minimum. In the love and grace, God overwhelmed the wilderness and the enemies of Israel. In that same love and grace Jesus gave all, His life, His suffering, His promise of eternity.

What of us? Are you willing to erect both the hidden and visible memorials, the expected and the extra, the public and the private in your commitment and devotion to God?

D. L. Moody had a famous life quote, “The most I can do for God is the least I will do for God.” – D. L. Moody

The Memorial Jesus Built

Centuries later there was another Joshua who built the greatest memorial of all time and eternity. He was named Joshua by His Father in Heaven but we know Him by the Greek equivalent of that name, Jesus. Like the Old Testament Joshua, Yeshua built both a hidden and a visible memorial. He built the hidden memorial with his apostles and friends lives. With people like Peter, John, James, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. He also built the public in his peaching and miracles. The hidden there in the Garden of Gethsemane and the public on the Hill of Calvary. He gave His life completely and with his death built a memorial of grace for all mankind, for all eternity.

He declared in John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

His life poured out on the cross was the ultimate memorial. When we see that memorial in the Gospel, we realize what God has truly done.          

Can we, who have seen that eternal memorial, then only give the minimum to the One who has given us His only begotten Son? Can we give only what is visible to the One who gave us forgiveness of sin? Can we give only some of our life to the One what has given us eternal life?


I want you to ask yourself, what kind of memorials are you building with your life and with your obedience? What will you leave behind for others to see? what will they know of God by the memorials you build are building with the stones of your actions, decisions and commitments?