Tuesday, October 21, 2008



“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15).

In two weeks from today, many of us will head to the polls to exercise our rights and freedom to vote and choose the next leader of the United States of America that we think would do the best job for us and our beloved Nation. Along with choosing the next President of the U.S., we also have the privilege of voting on many issues in our own states that affect our lives and the lives of the people of SD.

One of the issues that we will be privileged to vote on is Initiative #11. This initiative deals with ending abortions in our State. Initiative #11 promotes the end of the holocaust that has been going on in our country since Roe V. Wade in 1973. Since that day over 40 million innocent, unprotected and helpless human beings lives have come to end. Almost 3,000 babies are run through the abortion mill daily. In our State last year there was almost 800 babies whose life was cut short because of abortion.

I will be the first to admit that this bill is not the perfect bill to end all abortions. There are some exceptions for incest and rape. I would have liked to see all abortions in SD come to end. But since we can’t at this time do so, this is the best alternative we have and I support it wholeheartedly to bring about 98 - 99% of all abortions. And Pray that some day all abortions in this State and in this country would cease.

Some might say, Pastor Nour this is not a church issue, but a choice a woman has. Please permit me to speak from God’s Word, this is not a choice issue, it is not a political issue it is a spiritual issue. For on the many issues on the ballot this fall, we have wiggle room to vote one way or the other, but in this matter God’s Word doesn’t give us any wiggle room. God’s Word is very clear without any confusion–“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). God doesn’t say there are exceptions to this rule such as, “unplanned pregnancy,” “alters my life style,” “don’t want any more children,” etc. etc. God states emphatically “YOU, shall not murder.” God’s Word must be held above everyone else, since He is the Author of life Himself.

Therefore, on this issue we must remember there is not debating the point or trying to wiggle our way out of it for abortion is not a political issue but a spiritual one. After all, we must not forget what abortion is. All the rhetoric surrounding abortion has deceptively blinded us to the truth. We hear it described as a “right,” a “choice,” or “medical procedure.” It becomes to easy–even for the Christian–to see abortion as just another one of those “elected issues.”

Think about it! What is a candidate who supports abortion rights really supporting? Abortion is not on a par with a woman’s right to equal employment and equal pay. Not on par with a woman’s right to vote or not vote, or be able to drive or car or not drive. It is a matter of life and death.

Let’s be honest! The candidate who supports abortion rights supports a woman’s right to have innocent child murdered through a mean cruel machine–either by burning that baby with a salt solution, tearing the baby piece by piece or allowing the babies head to come out of the birth canal and insert a metal object in the back of the brain to end life. What a cruel method for a choice.

Abortion is not an “election issue.” Abortion is a grave sin. Abortion assaults God’s Word of truth about the sanctity of human life and, therefore, assaults the Word Himself Who became flesh that we might have life and have it abundantly. Abortion is a sin against God who is the Author and Redeemer of Life. Abortion is not an “election, choice, or political issue.” Because abortion destroys human life–a life created in the image of its maker–the Lord Almighty. Abortion is a SPIRITUAL issue.

Not only does abortion end the life of a child, it forever wounds and maims a woman. Although she may at first feel a sense of relief that her “problem” has been solved, eventually their reality of this unnatural choice sinks in. When it does, the guilt and shame can be devastating. This is awful reality can bring the same devastation to fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. Abortions is not an election or political issue. Because abortion can destroy relationships within families as well as between God and an individual, it IS a SPIRITUAL issue.

THEREFORE, a Christian cannot debate the pros and cons of abortion any more than he can debate the pros and cons of rape or stealing or adultery. Abortion cannot be a “right” because in God’s eyes, it is a fundamental wrong.

As Christians, we CANNOT say that I will live my Christian life-style only on Sunday and the rest of the week, live to serve myself. The words of Joshua are an excellent reminder for us especially during this upcoming election time, But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15b). To live for Christ is not a matter of choice but a life of service to the Master and Author of life.

For us Christians we can make a difference when we go to the polls on November 4th. We can stand up with Joshua and say we will serve the Lord. We will obey His Word. We will do His Will and protect the life of the unborn and the innocent.

Why? Because abortion is an atrocity, abomination and sin against the Author of LIFE–Jesus Christ. Therefore, I encourage you to be on your knees and ask God to help you vote for the end of this butchering era to come to an end. For after all, abortion is not an election, political or a right issue, but a SPIRITUAL issue.

* Abortion is a spiritual issue.

* Abortion is a SIN

* The Christian should NOT vote for the sin of abortion.

* The Christian should vote for life and be a messenger of life.

God grant us the grace to end all abortions.

In Christ’s love and in His service,

Rev. Nabil S. Nour Pastor and Foot Washer Phil. 1:6

The Mighty Deeds of God

S‑1076 10/19/2008 23SAP/3A Hymns: (O) #2; (S) #43; (C) #508

Texts: Isaiah 45:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22

Theme: “The Mighty Deeds of God” (Isaiah 45:5-6).


Question: “What is the most AWESOME thing you have ever seen?”

Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen! Indeed! Alleluia! The text for our meditation is from the Old Testament: “I Am the LORD, and there is no other, besides Me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know Me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides Me; I Am the LORD, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:5-6).

Saints in Christ, I have just returned from visiting my country. It was a wonderful trip to be sure but at the same time, a sad one. The reason I say “SAD” because many of my countrymen speak of God, but limit His deeds. They put Him in a box and limit what He can and can’t do. For example, while visiting with family members they would say, “God is big!” Yet they attempt to help Him out by delving in His business and trying to change the affairs of the world. They speak of the downfall of the American economy and put their trust in that economy instead of God’s mighty power and deeds of deliverance.

Everywhere I went people wanted to know how things are going in America. What will happen to the Stock market? What will become of them since they rely heavily on the Almighty dollar? And who will win the election this fall? I informed them that God is bigger than any economy, any candidate and any stock market. And if you have your stocks in Jesus Christ, the market will never go down, but always up because He is mighty indeed.

The people of my old country today and the people of Israel of old have the same mentality—that God has abandoned them and that He has forgotten them. The people of Israel had been taken captives to Babylon because of their disobedience to God and His Word. They forsook His Word and His will. They no longer listened to the prophets’ warnings and as a result God had His fill with them and now find themselves slaves again. And while there, they wonder where is God in all of this. I heard the same thing on my visit to Israel recently, “Where is this big God you speak about?”

I attempted to speak of the powerful God, whose love was displayed for all the world to see on Calvary, but that was something in the past, and not connected to the future. They ignored these words and looked to something more tangible than the God of the Universe, the One who created all things.

Isaiah tells us with the words of the text today, of God’s mighty deeds as He enters the stage of human history and what He will do—He will use a foreign leader to bring about great deliverance. He will use Cyrus as the servant of God—to serve God and His people by protecting them and bringing them back to the Promised Land from which they were taken captives.

Our Awesome God uses Cyrus without his knowledge to bring about a change in history. He will deliver His chosen people by using the treasury of this foreign enemy to bring about peace and prosperity and safe travel to His people. He declares “I Am the Lord, and there is no other”. This statement alone ought to be printed on the hearts of all people of every age so that they may know Him as the ONLY true and mighty God who goes before us and does what is needed to bring about deliverance. PAUSE.

What are the mighty deeds of God you might ask? Consider but these few examples:

1. God did mighty deeds in Egypt the 10 plagues to bring about deliverance [fulfilling His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob]

2. God parting the waters of the Red Sea so the people could walk across on dry ground! [God providing for His people – keeping His Word to them.]

3. God closing the mouths of the lions and keeping Daniel safe.

4. We think of the battle of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane when He is facing death on the cross. And there, too, is one of the “MIGHTY DEEDS OF GOD. [For us]

5. It looked like the end. But Jesus willingly gives Himself into death. And yet even in His death on the cross, Jesus is the One who is acting. And when He dies, the Bible says: “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised…” (Matt. 27:51-52). Another of the “MIGHTY DEEDS OF GOD!”

6. We carry a child to the baptismal font. It may not seem like very much. But we speak the name of the Triune God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We apply water to the head of a child that child that was born in sin and was lost becomes a child of God—another of the “MIGHTY DEEDS OF GOD.”

7. We are invited by God’s command to come to His table. The elements on the table appear to be of no value, but as you look closer, you see and hear of the miracle by which Christ gives us forgiveness of sins and salvation. Another of the “MIGHTY DEEDS OF GOD!”

8. We are spared from an accident. And God in His grace has likely sent angels that we couldn’t even see to keep us safe—another one of the “MIGHTY DEEDS OF GOD.”

9. We speak our prayer when we are hurting and desperate. And God answers—another one of the MIGHTY DEEDS OF GOD.”

These are but a small sample of what God in His divine wisdom has done, and continues to do for His people today and in every age. And we, who have known this Awesome God and His mighty deeds, are privileged to pass this on to others so that they too might come to know the loving God who is mighty in Word and deed. Our gracious God wants others to know that because Jesus died to pay for our sins and rose again from the dead, we are and always can be sure of our life in Christ and the promise of heaven. Our God wants all people to know and believe that at any time they can come to Him in prayer, with whatever burden they are carrying and He will hear their prayer and answer!

To be honest, the people of Israel of old and today, along with us at times don’t put our trust in God. Oh, we too, as Christians declare that God is big, but we also put Him in a box and limit what He can do and what He can’t do. But by the Holy Spirit’s power we come to God’s house to be awaked from our slumber and see anew the mighty deeds of God our Savior.

This is what Isaiah the prophet tells us today in this text that our powerful and mighty God will go before us (vs. 2). For indeed He has gone before us into death and by His resurrection, and by these mighty deeds, He guarantees that He will always lead the way for us to get us to the Promise Land—Heaven. PAUSE.

The title of the last chapter of a book is called, “The Roar.” The book, No Wonder They Call Him Savior, is by Max Lucado (pages 163-164) (read from the book).

The door is locked. Dead-bolted. Maybe even a chair under the doorknob. Inside sit ten knee-knocking itinerants who are astraddle the fence between faith and fear.

As you look around the room, you wouldn’t take them for a bunch who are about to put the kettle of history on high boil. Uneducated. Confused. Calloused hands. Heavy accents. Few social graces. Limited knowledge of the world. No money. Undefined leadership. And on and on.

No, as you look at this motley crew, you wouldn’t wager too many paychecks on their future. But something happens to a man when he witnesses someone who has risen from the dead. Something stirs that is hotter than gold fever and more permanent than passion.

It all started with ten stammering, stuttering men. “Though the door was locked, he still stood in their midst. “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).

And send them He did. Ports. Courtyards. Boats. Synagogues. Prisons. Palaces. They went everywhere. Their message of the Nazarene dominoed across the civilized world. They were an infectious fever. They were a moving organism. They refused to be stopped.

My, wouldn’t it be great to see it happen again?

Many say it’s impossible. The world is too hard. Too secular. Too post-Christian. “This is the age of information, not regeneration.” So we deadbolt the door for fear of the world.

And as a result, the world goes largely untouched and untaught. Over half of the world has yet to hear the story of the Messiah, much less study it. The few believers who do go out often come home weary and wounded, numbed at the odds and frustrated at the needs.

What would it take to light the fire again? Somehow, those fellows in the upper room did it. They did it without dragging their feet or making excuses. For them it was rather obvious. “All I know is that He was dead and now He is alive.”

Something happens to a man when he stands within inches of the Judean Lion. Something happens when he hears the roar, when he touches the golden mane. Something happens when he gets so close he can feel the Lion’s breath. Maybe we could all use a return visit. Maybe we all need to witness His majesty and sigh at His victory. Maybe we need to hear our own commission again. “Will you tell them?” Jesus challenged. “Will you tell them that I came back … and that I am coming again?”

“We will,” they nodded. And they did….

Will you? Will you tell them of the Mighty Deeds of God? God grant us the joy and privilege to do so. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Now the peace of God…