MICHAEL ANTHONY BLOG
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Bad math? Does the morning after pill really provide a healthy option after a night of passion? Two poor decisions do not add up to one healthy outcome. Amazon.com now offers the “emergency contraception” pill. The online company has come a long way in what it offers to consumers.
[I]f you are considering this solution for a pregnancy you didn’t expect, or know of someone who is, here are some things to carefully consider in the midst of your unexpected “emergency.”
1. Many people have had “unwanted” or unplanned pregnancies and lived to be glad nonetheless. Life is full of surprises that cause pain at first, but have unexpected blessings. Are you more interested in controlling your life, or in rolling with the punches, and allowing God to make something beautiful out of chaos? He is a Master at doing this. Give Him a chance – perhaps more of a chance – than you have up to this point. My wife and I met because she extended her time in college to contend with her mother’s diagnosis of cancer. Had her mother never had cancer, she would not have protracted her stay in college – and we’d never have met. It’s not true to conclude that nothing good can ever happen after something unexpected, bad or painful. In fact, life teaches us that the exact opposite is often true. Good things often come after “bad.” Remember that one poor decision is not made better by another poor decision. This simply adds up to two poor decisions, and sets a precedent for more poor decision-making.
2. One poor decision after another does not make for good math or reasoning.Instead of one painful decision, you may now be choosing to make two, and they may both haunt you for the rest of your life. Be careful you don’t add insult to your perceived injury by making a rash decision to abort the life within you. If you are pregnant, it means that life is inside of you. It may seem like the end of your world, but it isn’t. You may not be thinking rationally now, any more than you were when you did something designed to create life. But now is the time to think rationally, practically. It must not be forgotten that pregnancy means a human life has begun. A decision to end life is the most significant decision a person will ever face. Nothing is greater.
3. Once life is terminated, the person making the decision will forever be reminded of it. The convenience sought by a termination of life will be overshadowed by a lifetime of perpetual reminders that someone, perhaps you, made that decision. Think about this, because if you terminate life, you will always, perpetually, be reminded of this – at inconvenient, unexpected times – forever.
4. Consider what trend you may be starting, or furthering, by a decision as drastic as ending a human life.If you are willing to do this, what pattern does this establish or reinforce in your own life? Are you willing to set that kind of pattern in stone, with the only life you have this side of eternity?
5. Consider the thoughts that will very possibly haunt you about the child you could have had.You may very well wonder what the child inside you would have become had you let him or her come into the world.
6. Consider another morning-after decision: adoption.Your unwanted, unexpected, undesired pregnancy could be the answer to prayer for a couple who wants, expects and desires a little boy or girl to raise, love and cherish. If you think abortion of any kind is the only solution, you are incredibly wrong. Your surprise could be the biggest blessing in the world for someone else. You have before you one of the greatest opportunities you may ever have in your life – to turn something seemingly tragic into something “magic.” You can make a decision that will be a huge blessing to others, to you, and to the life now inside you. The child could grow up to be a remarkable blessing to others as a teacher, a doctor, a social worker, a kind and loving person who is so needed in today’s world where only me, myself and I seem to be of importance. Your child can be part of a solution we all need so desperately at this time in world history.
Your thoughts? Don’t be rash in your decision. You have your whole life ahead of you, and another one – perhaps even two – within.
Momentum = Driving power or strength.* Right now, you have momentum. It’s just a matter of what kind and to what degree. Creating and sustaining positive momentum takes careful, prayerful tending. Momentum, different than speed, takes time and attention.
We all want momentum – in the right direction. The question is: how do you create and sustain it? Here are three things you can immediately do to create and sustain positive momentum:
1. STOP LIVING LIKE IT’S ALL UP TO YOU. God usually births and develops momentum among groups, or teams, of people. Yes, you might be a key leader – and God may use you to spark momentum in your team or group – but it is not all up to you, alone. If you’re not a team player, you’re not on God’s side of history. The momentum is up to your team, not only you. Take a breath of relief and realize that insight into what comes next may not come from you. And that is a very good, healthy thing. Be open to solutions coming from others. Be open to God using someone else, not just you. In fact, you must do this if you are a leader. If you’re doing God’s work, it’s not just your work.
2. BEHAVE AS IF IT’S ALL UP TO YOU, AND THEN REST AS IF IT’S UP TO SOMEONE ELSE. If a team of people adopt this attitude, momentum is an absolute certainty. Act responsibly. Own up to your God-given potential. Do what you can with what you have. Do ALL you can, as if it ALL depends upon you. Then move on and rest. One secret to creating and sustaining positive momentum is to take personal responsibility for it, and to refuse to allow the outcome – for better or worse – to keep you up at night. Work hard. Work smart. Give it your ALL. And rest in the same way. When you rest, really rest. Rest hard. Give your times of rest ALL you have. Behave as if it’s all up to you, and rest as if everyone else has it under control.
3. STOP RUNNING WIND-SPRINTS. Life is a marathon, not a series of wind-sprints. In 1 Corinthians 9:24, God says “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” Pace yourself. Run life like the marathon it is. Exchange your idea that momentum must be created quickly for the idea that momentum that lasts often takes time to create. Yes, there are certain things in life that must be started quickly, but the majority of things that are worthwhile take time to build, time to sustain, and time to enjoy. Pace yourself. If you don’t you’ll soon find yourself on the sidelines. You will have lost your momentum – all because you confused speed with momentum. Momentum is not about speed. Speed is about speed. Momentum is about forward motion. Think about that.
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:11. Through the resurrection, we have God’s definitive statement on the life, message and identity of Jesus Christ. To dismiss the resurrection is to dismiss not merely Jesus Christ, but God Himself.
Man’s opinion of God is fluid; God’s opinion of man is fixed. Trust and obey or rust and decay. These are the words Leonard Ravenhill wrote to me in a letter years ago. Though dead, through his words, Ravenhill lives. God’s verdict is unchanging. He made his statement on the ministry, the message and the Messianic identity of Jesus Christ with the resurrection. The resurrection and the cross join hands to make God’s definitive statement about the human condition – and His solution.
We have a problem called sin. But God handled that problem through the cross of Christ. How do we know? Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrection is God’s definitive statement of approval of the ministry, message and Messianic identity of Jesus. Jesus was sent by God, is God’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin, and is THE way God provided for the forgiveness of sin.
Here are some Bible verses to explore, which reveal God Himself raised Jesus from the dead, and that Jesus, therefore, had the full endorsement of God:
1. John 2:19-22 2. John 10:17,18 3. Romans 1:4 4. 1 Corinthians 6:14 5. Acts 2:24 6. Acts 3:15 7. Acts 4:10 8. Acts 5:30 9. Acts 10:40 10. Acts 13-30-37 11. Galatians 1:1 12. Ephesians 1:16-20
You may ask “so what?” Let me answer that question with a few questions of my own:
1. If God raised Jesus, what statement was He making?
2. Would God resurrect someone who misrepresented Him? Why would God resurrect a liar, or a crazy man making false claims about Him? Consider 1 Corinthians 15:14-22
3. How could Jesus predict His own death and resurrection, speaking on behalf of God, if He didn’t have certainty that God would act on His behalf, and raise Him up?
It’s no small thing to dismiss the resurrection. Before you do, think deeply about the above. Consider that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is not only the greatest event in history, but that it is also the greatest verdict, the greatest statement made by God. Through it, we understand that the message of Christ is true: repentance is necessary. Accepting Him as Messiah, Savior, is essential. Doing so, and only doing so, removes all of our sin. The verdict is in. Jesus is God’s messenger, with God’s message. It’s time to consider the verdict of the resurrection, and what it means for you.
Listen to the companion podcast, The Verdict, through iTunes or our free Godfactor App.
About the Author: Michael Anthony is the Founder of Godfactor, the creator of the free Godfactor App (search for “Godfactor” in your app store), and the Lead Pastor of Grace Fellowship in York, Pa. He loves the resurrection of Christ, because it’s God’s verdict – that belief in the ministry, the message and the identity of Jesus as God’s Messiah, leads to the forgiveness of sin, every single time, for every single person.
Escape was within reach. Why didn’t Jesus RUN?
We have two free, sharable resources for Good Friday and Easter. They are a sampling of some of the new, free resources we’re beginning to churn out through Godfactor.
Watch Why Didn’t Jesus RUN? by clicking here.
Or, watch it and other videos on the go with our free Godfactor App.
(Get the app in your iTunes or Google App store.)
With the Godfactor App, you can also enjoy more three minute videos – and forward them to friends:
- Enjoying Jesus.Understand how enjoying Jesus is where life starts.
- God’s Calling On Your Life.God has plans for you. Embrace it. Live it.
- Did Jesus Call You To Do It?Many “voices” may be calling you, pulling you, distracting you. Only One voice is important.
- Our True Revival series shot on location in the Solomon Islands. Renew your life, your family or your congregation buy watching these brief videos on spiritual renewal.
We also want to thank our Ministry Partners who make these kinds of resources possible through their prayers and financial support. Thanks to you, we’re reaching people globally, for the glory of God. To support this ministry or learn more about being a Ministry Partner, click here.
Enjoy our resources, and enjoy Resurrection Weekend! And, if you live in or near York, Pa, come and visit us at Grace Fellowship for what we call the “Grace Awakening.” God is moving, and we are moving with Him.
With Passion Week here, I’ve decided to encourage a good listen to my most recent podcast, “The Death of Death.” You can find it in the “Recent Sermons” area of our free Godfactor App, on iTunes, or in the “Sermon” area at graceyork.com. Take some time to comprehend the death of death. Doing so could help you live.
You might think you understand what Jesus went through on the cross. But have you considered what He endured beforehand? And why? “The Death of Death” podcast will help you appreciate what Jesus went through, so you can soar.
I’d love to hear your comments, too. And, don’t forget to join us this Friday night (April 18), for our special Good Friday Awakening Concert at 7 pm, and again on Easter Sunday at Grace Fellowship in York, Pa.
Everything the devil does is reactive. The best he can do is react to what he sees God doing. But that’s nothing to belittle. It’s serious. You need to understand the devil’s tactics – and your own – which seek to undermine the abundant life God has in store for YOU. All of us have our own understanding of what an “abundant” life is, but God’s definition is the one we need to embrace and enjoy.
GOD STILL DOES MIRACLES, and yesterday we witnessed a real one at GraceYork.com. To relive it, listen to the companion podcast to today’s blog post (see below). You’ll be blessed, significantly. It involves the true story of a woman who stole money from the church offering basket on two occasions – and was caught. She repented, and then experienced the blessing of God in a dramatic, life-changing way. In turn, we were all blessed. It was a huge win for everyone, as repentance often is. Repentance opens the door to reconciliation, healing, wholeness and the blessing of God. Try it and you’ll see what I mean. I’m still jumping with joy over the black eye the devil got yesterday as God’s people at Grace Fellowship did the right thing, the right way, and pursued the glory of God in a difficult scenario. Had we not, the abundant life that is found only in Jesus Christ would have eluded not only the person who stole, but also our whole church.
Most of the time we hear of church “discipline”, and it’s more akin to a church brawl than “discipline.” I prefer the word “restoration” over “discipline” because only God can really discipline His children. It’s our job to pursue restoration and reconciliation. Restoration and reconciliation are hard work – but they are God’s work, and therefore the most important work. There is nothing more important in life than restoration and reconciliation. Life is relationships. Try to separate any area of life from relationships and you will see that it is difficult to do. Eventually, everything in life has a way of impacting relationships, for better or worse. When we prioritize healthy relationships, everything in life gets better.
Some of us have a hard time with Jesus’ words in In John 10:10. This is where Jesus says something that should stop us in our tracks. We may have heard it before, but that’s the problem. The more familiar we are with the words of Jesus, the more we think we understand what He means – when we really are only scratching the surface. Jesus’ words deserve to be read, re-read, applied and re-applied perpetually – or we will miss out on God’s best. Read the words of Jesus, again, for the first time:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
We have a problem with the word “abundant.” But we need to get over it, and embrace God’s deepest desire. God’s desire is, indeed, to give you an abundant life. To really understand what that looks like, you really need to read and apply the blueprint for living that He authored, the Bible. It’s where God’s definition of abundance is defined and offered to us again and again and again.
What about you? Do you want an abundant life – the kind of life Jesus envisioned for you before the beginning of time? How badly do you want it? It’s yours for the taking. Jesus wouldn’t offer you something He can’t deliver. Read the Bible – but don’t stop there. Put it into action. This is what makes all the difference in the world, and the world to come. The Bible is God’s blueprint for an abundant life. Why wait to fulfill your destiny?