All posts by David

Revelation 1:1-3 – Open Devotions

Rev 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

Interesting that this revelation belongs first to Jesus, and was given to Him by the Father, so that He can give it to us. It comes from God, to Christ, to us, just as all God’s blessings flow. All of God’s grace flows to us through His Son, without that connection we are cut off from God’s grace.

Rev 1:2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

This is John’s introduction of himself. Lest some reader stumble across this letter and wonder, “John? John who?” John gives a short introduction. It is the John who bore witness to God’s word and Christ’s testimony, and all that he saw. John sees his place as simply this, one who witnessed God to amazing things, and who tells others about those things he saw. He is nothing more than that. He doesn’t introduce himself as a great church leader, or one of Jesus 12 apostles, or “The one Jesus loved [most],” no, he is simply a witness. Likewise I also ought to view my entire worth as being derived wholly from God and His gifts, and my highest calling that as one who simply bears witness of what God has done, to His praise, and in the hopes that others will be lead to praise Him as well.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

Huh. Well, ok. Here you go.

Of course the hard part is to keep what is written, probably ought to focus more on that as application.

In this verse, and in 1 we are reminded that the things John is about to talk about “must soon take place,” and that “the time is near.” I suppose I should wait till I get to what is prophesied, but I suspect that some of the things foretold will appear to be taking longer than expected. But nonetheless, this assertion does lend a sense of urgency to John’s writing.


In this prologue, the thing that really strikes me the most is how everything really flows from God, through Christ, to us, and then our responsibility is to share it with the world. That is how this particular book is conveyed. John is one link in that chain, and here we are to this day still repeating and proclaiming the words of this book almost 2,000 years later. But this is God’s message, and it is revealed to His Son. God is showing Jesus what the future will look like, when He will come into all the glories and promises that the Father had conceived to bestow upon Him from eternity past. And Jesus deigns to share this with His church, whom He redeemed, and sends us out to share it with others. The book of Revelation is incredibly complicated, but above all it is the message that one day God will set everything right, that the wicked will be judged, and that His Son will reign and be worshiped for all eternity.

No matter how great we may think ourselves, or how prominent we become in the minds of the people of this world, as a Christian our most important role is that of a witness. We are not the creators, the planners, the builders, we are simply the ones who bear witness to the One who Created, to the One who has a plan from eternity past, to the One who is building His kingdom. And on the opposite side, even the Christians who think the lowest of themselves, need only be reminded that their calling is to be a witness. We need not change the world, or even those around us, but only testify to them what God has done.

Why I believe Abortion is Murder

Let’s make this simple. This is a picture of my son. He’s 3 years old.

3 years
3 years old child.

Here he is when he was 1.

1 year
1 year old child.

And here he is 2 days after he was born.

2 days old child.
2 days old child.

And this is him at 19 weeks gestation.

19 weeks gestation
19 weeks gestation

And here he is again at about 9 weeks.

9 weeks gestation.
9 weeks gestation.

All of these are, without question, pictures of my son. In each photo, he is alive. He has his own DNA, his own heartbeat, his own cells. He is at every stage of his development, a human being. If a doctor terminates my son’s life now, it is murder. If a doctor terminated my sons life when he was in my wife’s womb, without her consent, it would have been murder. If a doctor terminated my sons life, while he was in my wife’s womb, but with her consent, I argue that still would have been murder, however in this specific case, the law does not recognize it as such. To me this is a ludicrous contradiction.

Many people argue that my son, in those final two ultrasound photos, was somehow not alive, or not a human, or not a person. They might have a number of explanations for why my son was a person the moment he was born, but not one in the weeks and months leading p to that event. I’d like to address some of the more common ones.

An embryo is not a person, it’s a clump of cells. This argument applies to very early abortions, which are the most common. If this is your only argument, than you must conclude that second trimester abortions ought to be outlawed, because in that stage the fetus is essentially a fully formed, yet tiny, human being. He or she has an identifiable gender, possesses limbs, fingers, a heart, lungs, liver, a functioning circulatory system, and a brain. If you’re only ok with destroying “clumps of cells” then a child at this age no longer qualifies, and it cannot be killed.

But what about those “clumps of cells” which are so commonly and callously destroyed? I would argue that you and I were both at one time a clump of cells. If someone killed you when you were just a clump of cells, I would call that murder. Furthermore, you are still a clump of cells. Those cells have just gotten further along in their development. I concede that there is a great difference between an embryo and second trimester fetus. However there is also a huge difference between a newborn baby and a full grown adult. We don’t have the right to draw an arbitrary line and say, when a person is at this stage of development, it’s OK to terminate their life without their consent, but once they reach a certain stage of life we can no longer do so.

A fetus doesn’t have consciousness and therefore it’s not a person. To begin with, we have no idea what stage of development consciousness arises. Newborns have very little mental capacities, they will not retain any memories from their first few years of life, they can barely process and understand their surroundings, yet no one argues that it’s OK to kill them before they realize what you’re doing to them.

But the greater question is, on what basis can one decide that consciousness is the defining characteristic of humanness? We don’t say that it’s acceptable to kill coma patients, certainly not if we knew that a person in a coma was 100% guaranteed to wake up and regain their consciousness, which is really the closest parallel we have to an unborn child. That embryo, that fetus, that baby, is essentially guaranteed to acquire consciousness. To kill it before it does is no different from killing a newborn child.

A fetus that can’t survive outside the womb can’t be considered a human yet. Medical science continues to push back this boundary, to the point that even baby born at 22 weeks has a shot at survival. So if this is your argument, you must support a ban on all abortions past 22 weeks. And as medical science continues to push back this boundary you must support earlier and earlier bans on abortion.

But even this misses the obvious point, which is that this view is perhaps the most callous and heartless reason of all. Essentially you are arguing that it is ok to kill this child because they are helpless. A newborn also is incapable of surviving on it’s own. It continues to rely upon it’s mother in particular for food and nourishment during it’s first 6 months of life, and on it’s parents and caregivers for much longer. Yet no one is so depraved that they would argue that 3 month old infants should be allowed to be killed if their mother doesn’t want the burden to feed them.

Abortion brings up many other complicated questions. What if the mother can’t provide for her child, or the father refuses to help? What burden and responsibility does society bear to help care for these unplanned children? What if the child was conceived because of rape or incest?  If we want to consider abortion as a solution to these problems, we must be absolutely certain that we are not ending the life of an innocent baby for our own ease and convenience.  All of these questions need to be addressed, however, abortion can never be considered a moral option, if abortion is indeed equivalent to murder, which it is.

Won’t we eventually get bored in Eternity?

So, this post is for a bit of fun.

It’s been argued by some that eternal life will eventually become unbearably boring and repetitive. The problem lies in the fact that if you literally live for an infinite amount of time, not only will you eventually do absolutely everything that can possibly be done but you will ultimately repeat everything that can possibly be done an infinite amount of times. The boredom would become so severe that every subsequent endlessly repeating experience would amount to a form of eternal torture. The theory goes that eventually heaven would be little better off than hell. So as Christians who believe that we will one day become immortal and spend an eternity in heaven with the Lord, how might get around this problem? Or rather, how might God, since really there’s not much we have to say in the matter.

Possibility 1: Maybe there is no time in heaven.
It’s possible that eternity doesn’t mean an infinite length of time, but rather that in eternity time does not exist. If God created time, then He must exist outside of time. He experiences time differently than we do, or rather, He doesn’t experience it, because He’s not inside it or limited by it.  If there is no time in Heaven, then there is no perception of repetition or boredom, one thing doesn’t happen before another, nor does the same thing happen at a later time, because, there is no time to order these things. There would be no difference between having just arrived, or having been there for 9 trillion years, because years are measures of time, and don’t exist without it. It’s nearly impossible for us to comprehend what this would be like, having lived our whole existence within time, but if this is the case maybe God will give us the ability to make sense of this when we arrive.  If there is no time in Heaven, then the way that we experience events in eternity may never result in what we think of as boredom. The main challenge I find here is that all descriptions of heaven in the Bible seem to describe a place where time continues to exist. Personally I don’t subscribe to this theory, rather I think that it’s more likely that a combination of the following two will keep us eternally interested.

Possibility 2: Limited memory.
There’s no reason God needs to give us the ability to store an infinite amount of memories in the brains of our new, resurrected bodies. And if it would eventually make things tedious to us, why would He? For example, let’s say God gives us the ability to recall 1,000 years worth of memories, but let’s say there’s 1 billion years worth of possible experiences and things to explore and learn in heaven. In that case even if we did many of the same things over and over again, they’d still seem new because we wouldn’t remember the last time we did them. God need only give us enough memory capacity to remember what we need to and continue to enjoy heaven for eternity. Of course the third option renders even this limitation unnecessary.

Possibility 3: God is infinitely interesting.
This is not so much a possibility but rather a fact. The argument that we’ll get bored assumes that there is a finite amount of things to experience or learn. However we understand God to be completely limitless. Given an infinite amount of time I believe we will still find new, surprising wonderful things about God that we never knew. God’s infinite power and creativity means that He can keep us infinitely interested in Him.

So personally, I think that heaven will never get boring because God is there, and heaven is all about Him, knowing Him, serving Him, worshiping Him, coming to understand Him better and yet never fully comprehending Him. It’s about watching the amazing things He continues to do, and better understanding the incredible works He has already done. It’s about participating in all manner of activities centered around and proceeding from Him. Perhaps He continues to create new worlds full of new experiences in order to display His creativity and help us understand His character. Perhaps He continues to do new and surprising things, or give us new and exciting challenges in our service to Him. I don’t know exactly, but it’s impossible to ever get bored when Heaven is literally an opportunity to know our infinite Lord, something that by definition can never be fully completed, and must therefore be endlessly fascinating.

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

John 17:3

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:15-23

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1:15-23

The more that we come to understand what God has done for us, and what He is planning to do, the more we will be filled with awe and admiration for Him. This understanding of God’s blessings leads to a greater faith in Him. Our faith is small and shaken because we do not fully understand what He has done, or what He is doing. We may question His ability, or His goodness as we face trails and loss, yet as we struggle through them and begin to understand God’s plan for the future, which very much includes our being blessed to an incredible degree, as well as the blessings which He has already lavished upon us in Christ, we are drawn into a position of peace, security and trust in God, which then leads to an unshakeable joy and love for Him, which finally erupts in genuine, joyous praise to Him. This is what God seeks to instill in us, this is what He is making us in to.

It is only right and just that God be praised. He is God, who created us. He is God who is perfect. He is God who is just. He is God. And yet the way that He goes about securing and cultivating and orchestrating that praise is the most loving and graceful act that can be conceived. In His wisdom He decided that the most effective heralds of His greatness, would be His enemies whom He forgave, redeemed and won over to Himself with His own power, love and incomparable riches and blessings.

It is for this reason that Paul prays that we might understand that, and it is for that reason that God, in speaking through Paul, puts down in words a taste and a glimpse of His grace, which can only fully be understood by the experience of His love for us, poured out through Christ, and secured by the Holy Spirit.

Part 5 in a series on Ephesians chapter 1.View Series

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:11-14

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:11-14

Furthermore, for us there is an inheritance that is promised to us. At the coming of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom, we are said to inherit it, to in someway share responsibility for this kingdom, to receive from it the benefits as members of God’s royal family of sorts. Christ will rule over all, but we will share in His blessings and glory. Our own lives will be enriched to an unimaginable degree. We may be poor and suffering many wants now, but in the end, under Christ we will be rich in every way, suffering no lack and having perfect and complete happiness through the constant streams of blessings flowing from Christ as our King. This inheritance is guaranteed by God’s promise of predestination and by the giving of the Holy Spirit, as a sort of down payment, the promise of more to come.

Through the Holy Spirit we begin to partake in the joys and riches of eternity. We still suffer, we still struggle, but the Holy Spirit blesses us, reminds us of God’s goodness, corrects us, leads us in the ways we ought to go and begins to implement the promises of renewal and purification which God has given to us. Among the first blessings we receive from God upon believing in Him is that He begins to change us, to remove from our lives the sin which has brought us so much misery and death.

And yet again we are reminded that this inheritance is promised and given, so that God’s glory will be praised.

Part 4 in a series on Ephesians chapter 1. New posts on Mondays and Wednesdays.View Series

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:7-10

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Ephesians 1:7-10

The blessings Paul speaks about elicit praise not only upon The Father, the Master Planner, who orchestrates all things, but also upon Christ, His precious Son, who came and died in our place, taking upon Himself the punishment for our sins, and thus securing our redemption at the incalculable cost of His own life and blood. This thrusting forth of Christ as a focal point of our praise is in turn another part of God’s masterful plan, for God in His wisdom and infinite insight, has revealed to us the end result of His plan for this world, the ultimate reason for which He has done so much for us. It is to unite all things things in heaven and things on earth, in Christ and under Christ.

This unity is not yet realized. There is much division. The earth is divided against Christ, the majority of it’s inhabitants staunchly rejecting Him and His rule. We are also divided against each other, fighting, hating, even killing one another. We are divided against the spiritual realm, with many even questioning the existence of anything beyond the natural world. Yet God’s plan is that Christ will be the unifying factor of all things. One day all the world will recognize Christ, and Christ will bring total unification among all the inhabitants of the earth. There will be no more hatred, no more racism, no more misogyny, all will recognize one another as children of God, and thus as brothers and sisters, members of the family of God.

Part 3 in a series on Ephesians chapter 1. New posts on Mondays and Wednesdays.View Series

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:4-6

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:4-6

Paul is not talking about material blessings here, but spiritual ones. He goes on to list the some of the most amazing of these blessings. First, before the foundation of the world God chose us to become Holy and Blameless before Him. Before the world existed God saw and understood the fall of His future creation, the fall of me, and every other human, and He chose and predestined to restore a portion of our fallen race. He chose each believer before they were ever born, before the Universe was made, to one day receive His blessings, be freed from sin and made holy and blameless by the sacrificed blood of Christ. In other words He predestined to adopt us as sons. He determined whom He would adopt, and then carried out His plan of redemption and brought us into His family.

All this is done according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace. And He wields this grace in order to bless us. There is an order here. God will’s to do these things. The shape of these mighty works begins with Him. He creates this master plan, incorporating all of humanity’s short falls, wickedness and atrocities, and determines through them a path of redemption, victory and joy. This is the end result, Satan wreaks unfathomable destruction and misery throughout the course of this age, and yet somehow in the end finds himself utterly outplayed, so that the end result is beautiful, joyous and to the praise of God’s glory. So He works His will, in order to bring praise to Himself for His glorious grace.

This praise is our response. And not only ours but all the angels in heaven, all the creatures of this earth, all nature itself. All turns, beholds the magnitude of God’s grace, and praises Him for it. It is our response in particular because to us in particular God has extended in Christ this amazing gifts of predestination and adoption. Because He chose us, when we did not deserve to be chosen, we praise Him. Because while we were sinful and guilty, He determined and succeeded to convert us into holy and blameless sons and daughters, we praise Him.

Part 2 in a series on Ephesians chapter 1. New posts on Mondays and Wednesdays.View Series

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:1-3

First part in a series on Ephesians chapter 1. New posts on Mondays and Wednesdays. View Series

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Ephesians 1:1-3

Paul begins by praising and proclaiming a blessing upon God, because God has blessed us. This is exactly what God’s blessings are meant to do. God blesses us, and in turn we rightfully ought to praise and bring blessings to Him, this is the intended and only proper response to God’s blessings. So Paul begins by demonstrating what we ought to do as believers, and then goes on to point out why every believer ought to join Him in praising God.

If there were one word to sum up the reason we ought to praise God, it is “grace.” When we deserved God’s anger and punishment, He instead showered upon us love and blessing. We are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. It is in Christ and through Christ that these blessings are given. Those who are not in Christ do not receive these blessings. Those of the world indeed receive some blessings from God, for He is the giver of all good things, yet the lavish and comprehensive blessings spoken of here are reserved only for those who are in Christ. We who are in Christ are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.