Choose Life

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English Service on October 18, 2015
Messenger: Pastor Jim Allison
Title: Choose Life
Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:11-20
message151018jim.mp3
MP3 オーディオファイル 32.0 MB

Deuteronomy 30:11-20

 

“Choose Life”

 

The message I have for you today may not seem connected to your daily life.  You may hear it as a message for other people but not you.  But God doesn’t speak to us just as individuals, right?  He also tells us what we need to know as groups of friends, families, churches, and other communities. 

 

So here’s a question.  What would the world look like if God answered all the prayers you have been asking recently?  Would your bills get paid and a new car appear in front of your house?  Maybe you would get your dream job or suddenly become the best-looking and most talented and most intelligent person in the room wherever you are?  In other words, if God did what you are asking Him to do now, would your life change and the world be left pretty much the same as it is now?  Or would there be more and more people who get enough food to eat, a safe place to live, skills that lead to a good job?  Would many people come to know God as their Father through Christ and come into a saving relationship with Him?  What would change?

 

Today’s message might lead you to help someone else more than it will help you.  But like perhaps all messages from the Bible, the challenge is to plant it in your heart and ask God to help it grow in His time and way.  If you do, He will find a way to bless it, bless you, and bless people through you.

 

The Bible’s God talks to us most about eternal life and the life of the spirit.  But He also gives us physical life and teaches us to value and protect it.  Let’s focus on that in today’s message.  There are various important and difficult moral questions in modern society that relate to the sanctity of life

 

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We don’t have time to look at them all, but let’s look first at decisions about beginning a human life, then about choosing to continue or end one

 

First about beginning a life.  More and more in the news, we are hearing how new technologies and treatments are making it possible to bring people into the world who could not have been born for most of human history.  Stem cell research is beginning to make it possible to grow new body parts.  Will some people be born or made so that others can buy or otherwise use their body parts?  People have already cloned sheep and dogs.  How long will it be before someone succeeds in cloning a human?  How will God feel about that person?  How will our Lord want us and our societies to treat these people?  These will very possibly be important questions for us as Christians in the future.   

 

And for many years people have been making choices to let a baby be born or end a pregnancy.  The debate over abortion is one of the most emotional ones people have today.  At the heart of all these issues is the question, When does human life begin?  The way you answer that will guide much of your thinking about this whole matter.  In case you don’t already know, sorry to say, there is no super-clear answer in Bible.  God does not say, “Do not have abortions.”  He does say, “Do not commit murder” (Exodus 20:13).  But He does not spell out exactly when human life begins.  Some Christians believe that means God leaves the choice with the woman to make with Him on a case-by-case basis.  Probably more Christians think that is much the same as the fact that God does not say, “You must not use addictive drugs.”  He does not say it because it goes without saying.  But the basic principles against it are clearly presented in God’s word, in this view.

 

Maybe the closest the Bible comes to a clear word on this is Psalm 51:5.  The writer, by the inspiration of God’s Spirit, says, I know I've been a sinner ever since I was born.  I've been a sinner ever since my

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mother became pregnant with me.”  Can something not yet human have sin?  Does someone become a human with a moral and spiritual and fully-human identity only when we first have a heartbeat?  When we can first feel pain?  When we could live if taken from our mother’s body?  When we are

actually born?  In the debate over abortion, people on the pro-choice side often say that in the early stages, what is growing inside the woman’s body is no more than a group of cells, simply some tissue, the same morally as a tonsil.  If the combination of the man’s sperm and woman’s egg are no more than an unnecessary part of the woman’s body, then these words of the Bible seem to make no sense.  It seems very difficult to support any of these dividing lines between human life and non-human life with the Bible’s teachings except the one separating the moment before and after the baby is conceived in the mother’s womb. 

 

Next let’s see some of the effects that people’s decisions about abortion are having in our world today, then what God does clearly teach His people.  These truths can help us face this problem in ways that show both honor for His gift of life and compassion for people with unwanted pregnancies.  Abortion has been part of human life for many centuries, but it has become legal in many societies only recently, in historical terms.  In Japan, it became legal in 1948 (after first becoming illegal in 1880).  Since the year 2000 about 300,000 abortions a year have been performed in this country.  In the U.S., the Roe v. Wade court decision in 1973 made it OK under the law for women to have abortions.  Since then, there have been over 50,000,000 abortions in the U.S.  So the rate of abortions is roughly similar in the two countries.  According to many who support the right to choose abortion, legal access to it has brought greater freedom, power, and happiness to women.  According to many who believe abortion is wrong, this is a horrible crime, and the struggle to stop abortion is the great human rights struggle of our time.  Many see it as the same type of

 

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thing as the struggle to end slavery in William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln’s times and the struggle to end racism in Martin Luther King’s time.           

             

When Mother Teresa visited Japan, one of the things she talked a lot about was the high number of abortions done here.  I’m not sure the media chose to focus on that in its reporting, but she saw it as a great problem, as many Christians, especially the Catholic church, have.  Many people have linked Japan’s population decline and the great problems it is creating for the future to the widespread acceptance of abortion and other birth control techniques that have come to Japan in recent decades.  The choice not to have children is not only an economic one, an unavoidable one about the high cost of raising a child.  It is also about choosing to use birth control. 

 

To some Christians, all birth control is wrong.  We should leave all questions of life in God’s hands, and birth control is interfering with His creative work.  For probably more Christians, some types of birth control are fine if used inside the kind of husband and wife committed relationship that God set up in forming human society.  But many Christians object to using types of birth control that stop a pregnancy after the sperm and egg have joined, such as the IUD or abortion-causing (abortifacient) drugs.  One of the hotly debated questions now in my country is whether it is OK for the nation to require everyone to pay with tax money for drugs that end pregnancies, even when it goes against their beliefs to do so.  Under Barack Obama’s leadership, the U.S. government has begun doing that as part of the health care program put in place a few years ago.  Some Christian schools, Christian-led companies, and others have been fighting that law in courts, challenging it as a violation of religious freedom.  It is not yet clear how all the cases will be decided.

 

 

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As one of your pastors, I don’t see it as my job to make moral decisions for you.  I do want to help you listen to God’s voice so you can learn to understand when His Holy Spirit is speaking to you and follow His leading.  And even on these very difficult and deeply emotional issues, it is important for us all to know that at Open Door we will be accepted and valued, even if we don’t see things the same way as everyone else in the group.   

 

So I encourage you to make time to think and pray through these matters.  I pray that you will make your decisions about them before you are in a difficult situation and have to decide while under emotional stress or maybe under time pressure or pressure from people.  Especially if you think there is even a possibility that human life begins at the moment of conception, then I strongly urge you to support the Bible’s teaching to keep sex inside marriage.  God’s word is clear on that, and it may be the best thing you or someone you love can do to keep from having to make a terribly painful decision to continue or end a pregnancy.  In this way, let’s follow God’s command to “choose life” (v. 19b).

 

Especially in approaching very divisive issues like this one, Christians must take seriously God’s command in James 1:19.  Everyone should be quick to listen.  But they should be slow to speak.  They should be slow to get angry.”  If those of us on the pro-life side of this problem listen to those on the pro-choice side, what we often hear them saying is that they want freedom, health, and power for women.  These are not concerns with no connection to the Christian gospel.  They are not things the God of the Bible cares nothing about.  Many women for many years have suffered greatly physically, emotionally, professionally, and otherwise through unwanted pregnancies.  Christians believe in the God who suffers with people in trouble.  We need to show compassion and care and honor and respect for women, as God does.  That will not easily solve the moral

 

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question of abortion.  But it will help us keep us from misrepresenting the God we are trying to present to the world as the God of love.

 

Pro-life Christians need to show that we are pro-life because we are pro-woman.  We need to show that we are not against abortion because we care about our religious laws more than we care about women.  We can show this, for example, by actively working to support women’s health and prosperity in ways that do not require abortion. 

 

Many leaders in today’s abortion rights movement say that these rights are necessary for democracy, equality, and full citizenship.  Women need abortion to have freedom and power.  Pro-life Christians need to show that freedom, power, and all these issues are important for us because we belong to Christ.  We believe that women and all people can find our true freedom and power inside a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  He gives liberation and empowerment that go deeper than the right to abortion can. 

 

It is also fair to question whether the lives of women have really become freer, richer, and fuller since abortion became legal and easy to get.  Many Christians believe that abortion harms the women it claims to be empowering.  If we really care about women, we have to take into account the grief and guilt that many women feel long after having an abortion.  There are studies that show an increased risk of suicide among women after having an abortion.  When was the last time you heard that openly discussed by the mass media?

 

Another thing God does tell us clearly is to find ways to face the problem of abortion with grace and mercy.  Even if our honest conclusion is that abortion is a sin before God, that does not give us the right to condemn people who choose it.  God has treated every one of us with incredible

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kindness, despite our many bad choices.  If we refuse to pass on that love to others because they make a poor moral choice, we are refusing to follow Christ.  If the church is ready to condemn abortion but not ready to help find homes for the babies of women with unwanted pregnancies, we cannot expect the problem to go away.  People who have abortions need our understanding and support more than they need us to tell them that abortion is wrong.  As Christ-followers, we stand together with Pope Francis in making the call he did recently, for forgiveness for people who have chosen to have abortions. 

 

People on the pro-choice side of this argument have often used the slogan, “Every child a wanted child.”  Christians on the pro-life side could join them in making this dream come true without abortion.  As one woman on the pro-life side has said, many women do not go to an abortion clinic because they want to have an abortion.  They go because they are alone.  If the church can be a community that is ready to show them they are not alone, to stand with them in doing whatever it takes to raise that child well, many abortions will never happen.  “ . . . Choose life.  Then you and your children will live” (v. 19b).

 

Now we have spent most of our time today wrestling with the problem of abortion.  But as we have seen already, there are other issues receiving more and more attention in our world today that also link closely with the sanctity of life.  Many of the moral and religious questions wrapped up in them are the same as in the matter of abortion.  From where does human life come?  To whom does your life and mine belong, anyway?  Who should have the right to choose to begin or end a life?  Christians answer all these questions with one word.  You know what it is, don’t you? 

 

 

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If we had more time, we could think together about capital punishment and find many of the same key questions guiding us through that problem.  We have to think about the question of euthanasia (or mercy-killing) in today’s world, perhaps more and more as people are living longer but not necessarily with greater quality of life.  What is the difference between allowing a natural death and actively ending a life?  With greater and greater technology that can lengthen life, the lines of division can be amazingly thin. 

 

Just this month, in California in the U.S. it became legal for doctors in certain cases to give patients drugs that end their lives.  Physician-assisted suicide may become a bigger part of our world in the future.  We hear the stories of people facing life-ending illnesses and feel their great suffering.  If we or someone we loved were in that situation, surely we would want to end the suffering as quickly as possible.  Yet Christians and others also look at this problem from the viewpoint of the Bible teaching in Leviticus 24:17.  If anyone kills another human being, he must be put to death.”  Why would a merciful God say that?  How do we balance God’s compassion for suffering people with His command to place our lives in His hands?  How can we avoid both being uncaring on one hand and playing God on the other?

 

Part of the answer may lie in the cases we can already see from the past.  When people have put in place laws that made it OK to choose death instead of life, a quicker end to the suffering of dying people has not been the only result.  In the Netherlands, for example, laws have supported physician-assisted suicide since 2002.  But perhaps as a result, the hospice system has been very weak.  In that situation, reports show many patients have asked for death not because they wanted to die but they were afraid of the poor care and great suffering waiting for them if they didn’t.

 

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If you read the history of the Eugenics Movement of the 19th and 20th centuries, including in North America, Europe, and Japan, you may be shocked to learn what happened.  Scientists at that time were supporting with their research the idea of protecting and building stronger societies by forcibly sterilizing people they thought were “inferior.”  That included people with physical handicaps, the mentally ill, and people of ethnic groups judged less desirable.  In the U.S. alone between 1907 and 1963, 64,000 people were forcibly sterilized.  The Nazis in Germany took the U.S. government’s work in California as an example to follow in choosing who was fit to continue living and who was not.  As a result of all this, of course, some people were not born with various illnesses and weaknesses.  But on the whole did that make a better world?  Or did it lead to spreading the culture of death?  

 

If our cultures more and more give people the right to choose death, there will no doubt be some plusses and some minuses.  In the short-term, some people will escape a certain amount of terrible suffering.  But will these laws be handled with fairness and purity of heart when money and race and other issues come into the picture?  For example, if continuing medical treatment will cost the family a large amount of money and a grandparent has the choice of a quick, painless death with the support of a doctor, will there be no pressure to choose the cheaper, easier way?  If the pressure does not come from the government, hospital, or family, who can say that it will not come from the grandparent himself or herself?  Will the lives of all ethnic and economic groups be treated as having equal value?  The long-term losses to human life could easily outweigh the short-term gains.  That may be what God had in view when He told us to “choose life.”     

     

As we close, let’s hear once more the challenge God lays before us (vv. 15b-16a).  “Today I'm giving you a choice.  You can have life and success.  Or you can have death and harm.  I'm commanding you

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today to love the LORD your God.  I'm commanding you to live exactly as he wants you to live.  You must obey his commands, rules and laws.  Then you will live.”  Let’s pray.

 

God of life, we feel so small wrestling with problems so great and so complex.  Please help us face them with the truth of your word, the wisdom to handle it well, and most of all the love to treat people with deep care and understanding.  In the actions we choose for ourselves, in the things we teach our children, in the ways we ask our leaders to guide us, in all our thoughts, words, and deeds, help us to know what it means to choose life.  And give us the courage and will to live each day in line with that knowledge.  In Christ’s name, amen.

 

References

Caldwell, S. (December 9, 2009). “Now the Dutch Turn Against Legalised Mercy         Killing.” MailOnline. Retrieved October 11, 2015 from http://www.       dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1234295/Now-Dutch-turn-legalised-mer          cy-killing.html

Kato, M. (October 20, 2009). “Abortion Still Key Birth Control.” The Japan   Times. Retrieved October 11, 2015 from http://www.japantimes.co.jp/   news/2009/10/20/reference/abortion-still-key-birth-control/#.Vhn9v            Ch7mcM                                                 O'Donnell, C. and McEvers, K. (October 6, 2015). “California Gov. Jerry           Brown               Signs End Of Life Option Act.” National Public Radio (NPR).   Retrieved October 7, 2015 from http://www.npr.org/2015/10/06/            446370876/california-gov-jerry-brown-signs-end-of-life-option-act Wikipedia. “History of Eugenics.” Retrieved October 11, 2015 from  https://en.               wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_eugenics                       Yoest, C. (April 3, 2015). “Abortion and Public Policy.” Wheaton College Chapel.              Retrieved October 11, 2015 from  http://www.wheaton.edu/WETN/        All-Media/Chapel/Undergraduate?page=11

 

Deuteronomy申命記30:11-20

“Choose Life”「いのちを選びなさい」

 

What would the world look like if God answered all the prayers you have been asking recently? 

もし神様が私たちの祈りの全てに答えられたら、世界はどのようになるのでしょうか?

 

Today’s message might lead you to help someone else more than it will help you. 

今日のメッセージは、皆さんを助ける以上に、皆さんが他者を助けるように導くかと思われます。

 

the sanctity of life

命の尊厳

 

 . . . Decisions about beginning a human life, then about choosing to continue or end one. 

命を授かる決意、その命を守る、もしくは命を断つ選択。

 

about beginning a life

命を授かることについて

 

The debate over abortion is one of the most emotional ones people have today.  At the heart of all these issues is the question, When does human life begin? 

現代において、中絶に関して論議することは難しく思われます。人間の生命はいつ始まるのでしょうか?

 

God does not say, “Do not have abortions.”  He does say, “Do not commit murder” (Exodus 20:13).

神様は(出エジプト記/ 2013節)「中絶をしてはならない」とは言っていません。「殺してはならない。」(新改訳、新共同訳)と言われているのです。

 

Psalm 51:5.  The writer, by the inspiration of God’s Spirit, says, “I know I've been a sinner ever since I was born.  I've been a sinner ever since my mother became pregnant with me.”  Can something not yet human have sin? 

 (詩編/ 051005)

「ああ、私は咎ある者として生まれ、罪ある者として母は私をみごもりました。」(新改訳)

あなたに背いたことをわたしは知っています。わたしの罪は常にわたしの前に置かれています。」(新共同訳)

まだ人間として成さない者が罪を犯すことができるのでしょうか?

 

. . . Let’s see some of the effects that people’s decisions about abortion are having in our world today, then what God does clearly teach His people.  These truths can help us face this problem in ways that show both honor for His gift of life and compassion for people with unwanted pregnancies. 

現代における中絶が引き起こす影響、そして、明確である神の教えについて考えましょう。神様から頂いた生命という贈り物に感謝する、望まない妊娠をしてしまった人々に対し思いやりを持つ。両方の気持ちを持つことにより、この問題に直面することができます。

 

Since the year 2000 about 300,000 abortions a year have been performed in this country. 

2000年以降、日本では年間30万件もの中絶が行われています。

 

Many people have linked Japan’s population decline and the great problems it is creating for the future to the widespread acceptance of abortion and other birth control techniques that have come to Japan in recent decades. 

過去数十年における中絶の容認、避妊技術の引用が日本における人口低下、将来への問題を引き起こしていると多くの人が考えています。

 

To some Christians, all birth control is wrong.  We should leave all questions of life in God’s hands, and birth control is interfering with His creative work.  For probably more Christians, some types of birth control are fine if used inside the kind of husband and wife committed relationship that God set up in forming human society. 

一部のクリスチャンにとって、避妊は誤った行為です。命に関する質問は全て神の御手に委ねるべきです。避妊は神の御業を妨げかねません。神が定めた信頼ある夫婦関係を築く者であるならば、多くのクリスチャンにとって何らかの避妊行為は問題ではないでしょう。

 

I pray that you will make your decisions about them before you are in a difficult situation and have to decide while under emotional stress or maybe under time pressure or pressure from people.

感情が引き起こすストレス、時間が引き起こすストレス、人間関係が引き起こすストレス。そのような難しい状況に陥る前に決断されるようにお祈りします。

 

. . . Let’s follow God’s command to “choose life” (v. 19b).

(19節) 命を選ぶ (新共同訳)「いのちを選びなさい」(新改訳)。主が私たちに求められていることに従いましょう。

 

James 1:19.  Everyone should be quick to listen.  But they should be slow to speak.  They should be slow to get angry.”

(ヤコブの手紙/ 0119節)

「だれでも、聞くには早く、語るにはおそく、怒るにはおそいようにしなさい。」(新改訳)

だれでも、聞くのに早く、話すのに遅く、また怒るのに遅いようにしなさい。(新共同訳)

 

. . . freedom, health, and power for women.  These are not concerns with no connection to the Christian gospel. 

自由、健康、女性への権力。これらは福音へと繋がります。

 

We need to show compassion and care and honor and respect for women, as God does. 

神様がなされるように私たちも女性を思いやり、大切にし、尊敬する必要があります。

 

Pro-life Christians need to show that we are pro-life because we are pro-woman. 

人工中絶に反対を唱えるクリスチャンは、私たちは女性を思いやり、大切にし、尊敬するからこそ、そのようにしていると示す必要があります。

 

We can show this, for example, by actively working to support women’s health and prosperity in ways that do not require abortion. 

例えば、中絶を必要としない方法で女性の健康と繁栄を支援する活動によって示すことができます。

 

Pro-life Christians need to show that freedom, power, and all these issues are important for us because we belong to Christ.

イエス様に遣える者であるからこそ、自由、権力、これらの全ての問題は大切であると人工中絶に反対を唱えるクリスチャンは示す必要があります。

 

Many Christians believe that abortion harms the women it claims to be empowering.

中絶という権限を女性に与えていますが、中絶という行為が女性を深く傷つけると多くのクリスチャンは信じています。

 

As Christ-followers, we stand together with Pope Francis in making the call he did recently, for forgiveness for people who have chosen to have abortions. 

最近、フランシスコ教皇は中絶をした女性を許そうと呼びかけられました。教皇と共にキリストの使徒である私たちもこの問題に立ち向かいましょう。

 

“ . . . Choose life.  Then you and your children will live” (v. 19b).

(申命記30:19b

「いのちを選びなさい。あなたもあなたの子孫も生き・・・るためだ」(新改訳)。

あなたは命を選び、あなたもあなたの子孫も命を得るようにし・・・なさい(新共同訳)。

 

. . . other issues receiving more and more attention in our world today that also link closely with the sanctity of life.  Many of the moral and religious questions wrapped up in them are the same as in the matter of abortion. 

現代において、命の尊厳に密に関わる多くの問題があります。中絶問題と同じように、それらの問題も多くの道徳的、宗教的な問いを抱えます。

 

capital punishment

死刑

 

euthanasia (or mercy-killing)

安楽死

 

physician-assisted suicide

医師ほう助自殺

 

Leviticus 24:17.  If anyone kills another human being, he must be put to death.”  Why would a merciful God say that?  How do we balance God’s compassion for suffering people with His command to place our lives in His hands?  How can we avoid both being uncaring on one hand and playing God on the other?

(レビ記/ 2417節)「・・・人を打ち殺す者は、必ず殺される」(新改訳)。

人を打ち殺した者はだれであっても、必ず死刑に処せられる (新共同訳)

なぜ、情け深い神はこう言われるのでしょうか?苦しむ人々への神の慈悲と、神の御手の中で生きなさいという神様の命令、私たちは二つのバランスをどのように考えればいいのでしょうか?思いやりを持たず、神を冒瀆する、このような事を避けるには、どうすればいいのでしょうか?

 

When people have put in place laws that made it OK to choose death instead of life, a quicker end to the suffering of dying people has not been the only result.

命よりも死を選択できる法律がある場合、死の苦しみを断つことが唯一の結果ではないのです。

 

If our cultures more and more give people the right to choose death, there will no doubt be some plusses and some minuses.  In the short-term, some people will escape a certain amount of terrible suffering.  But will these laws be handled with fairness and purity of heart when money and race and other issues come into the picture?

私たちの文化において死を選ぶ権利が多くあればあるほど、プラスとマイナスが生じます。短期的に恐ろしい苦しみから逃れることができます。しかし、金銭、人種や他の問題が生じたとき、これらの法律は公正であり、純真でしょうか?

 

The long-term losses to human life could easily outweigh the short-term gains.  That may be what God had in view when He told us to “choose life.”

長期的に命を損失することは、短期的な逃れを簡単に上回ります。それこそが主が考える命を選ぶということではないでしょうか。

 

(vv. 15b-16a).  “Today I'm giving you a choice.  You can have life and success.  Or you can have death and harm.  I'm commanding you today to love the LORD your God.  I'm commanding you to live exactly as he wants you to live.  You must obey his commands, rules and laws.  Then you will live.”

(申命記/ 30 15-16a節)

「見よ。私は、確かにきょう、あなたの前にいのちと幸い、死とわざわいを置く。私が、きょう、あなたに、あなたの神、主を愛し、主の道に歩み、主の命令とおきてと定めとを守るように命じるからである。確かにあなたは生きて、その数はふえる。」(新改訳)

見よ、わたしは今日、命と幸い、死と災いをあなたの前に置く。わたしが今日命じるとおり、あなたの神、主を愛し、その道に従って歩み、その戒めと掟と法を守るならば、あなたは命を得、かつ増える。 (新共同訳)

 

God of life, in the actions we choose for ourselves, in the things we teach our children, in the ways we ask our leaders to guide us, in all our thoughts, words, and deeds, help us to know what it means to choose life.  And give us the courage and will to live each day in line with that knowledge.  In Christ’s name, amen.

生命の神様、私たちが決断する行動において、子供たちへの教えにおいて、主に導きを求める中で、私たちの思考、言動において、私たちが命の選択が持つ意味を知るように導いてください。その知識を念頭に置き、私たちが日々を生きる勇気を与えてください。イエスキリストの御名によってお祈りします。アーメン

  

 

Deuteronomy 30:11-20

Choose Life

11 What I'm commanding you today is not too hard for you. It isn't beyond your reach. 12 It isn't up in heaven. So you don't have to ask, "Who will go up into heaven to get it? Who will announce it to us so we can obey it?" 13 And it isn't beyond the ocean. So you don't have to ask, "Who will go across the ocean to get it? Who will announce it to us so we can obey it?" 14 No, the message isn't far away at all. In fact, it's really near you. It's in your mouth and in your heart so that you can obey it. 15 Today I'm giving you a choice. You can have life and success. Or you can have death and harm. 16 I'm commanding you today to love the LORD your God. I'm commanding you to live exactly as he wants you to live. You must obey his commands, rules and laws. Then you will live. Your numbers will increase. The LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to take as your own. 17 Don't let your hearts turn away from the Lord. Instead, obey him. Don't let yourselves be drawn away to other gods. And don't bow down to them and worship them. 18 If you do, I announce to you this very day that you will certainly be destroyed. You are about to go across the Jordan River and take over the land. But you won't live there very long. 19 I'm calling for heaven and earth to give witness against you this very day. I'm offering you the choice of life or death. You can choose either blessings or curses. But I want you to choose life. Then you and your children will live. 20 And you will love the LORD your God. You will obey him. You will remain true to him. The LORD is your very life. He will give you many years in the land. He took an oath. He promised to give that land to your fathers. He promised it to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

 

Psalm 119:13-17

13 You created the deepest parts of my being. You put me together inside my mother's body. 14 How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful. I know that very well. 15 None of my bones was hidden from you when you made me inside my mother's body. That place was as dark as the deepest parts of the earth. When you were putting me together there, 16 your eyes saw my body even before it was formed. You planned how many days I would live. You wrote down the number of them in your book before I had lived through even one of them. 17 God, your thoughts about me are priceless. No one can possibly add them all up.