"Life: Precious, Sacred, Miraculous" PDF Print E-mail

FIG4Jeremiah 1:5

First of all, you should know that this is most heart wrenching sermon I have ever prepared. Secondly, you should know that the content will be of a mature nature. And finally, know that, just as with any other area of our life that falls short of God's desire for us, there is grace, forgiveness, and healing available to each and every one of us.

We don't have to go back very far to recall the devastating earthquake in Haiti that, for countless people, turned the world upside down. 200,000 people lost their lives; 1 1/2 million became homeless in less than a minute. What overwhelming numbers!

But here's another number: 50 million. That's approximately how many have died in America since 1973 when the Supreme Court made the decision to make abortion legal – 50 million.

Here are some more numbers:

~Abortions per year in the U.S. – 1.4 Million; per day – 4,000

~Abortions per year worldwide – 42 Million; per day – 115,000

~24% of abortions in the U.S. are obtained by women with no religious affiliation; 31% Catholic; 37% Protestant, and of that ... 18% identified themselves as Evangelical.

~Reason for abortion: 1% occurs because of rape or incest; 6% occur because of potential health problems regarding the mother or child; 93% occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

~ Likelihood of abortion: An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old.

~ Every fourth baby conceived in America is killed by abortion

Your psyche may recoil at the topic of abortion. Mine does, just as it does when I think of concentration camps, human trafficking, and kidnapping. It simply wants to go someplace else. But what my mind shrinks from, my spirit will not ignore. Mothers and babies need us to step forward and help them. Human life, conceived by a miracle of God, is something to be celebrated and protected. A mother's love and heart are to be honored and respected. And God our Creator is to be worshipped and praised as the Giver of Life.

This is Sanctity of Life Sunday. And on this Sunday, as with every Sunday, there are a couple things we must do. First of all, we need to pray. We need to pray for wisdom to know the truth, know the need, and respond to it. We need to pray for a heart of love, compassion, and grace ... the heart of God. We need to pray for all those who are faced with a decision – a decision that will affect many – a decision between life and death. We need to pray for those who have already experienced pain and loss because of their decision. We need to pray for the healing of lives, and the protection of life.

The other thing we must do is know the Word. And the Word says that our Lord hates the shedding of innocent blood. And who is more innocent than the life that has not even entered this world? The argument from the other side is choice. But the Apostle Paul says that even our freedom, our right to choose, is to be put aside when the welfare of another is at stake. And here, there is someone's welfare at stake – their very existence is at stake!

Proverbs 31:8-9 – "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are desperate. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of all in need." We are talking about precious little ones who have no voice; so we need to be a voice for them. Violence is not the solution, but we have the opposite problem – apathy and forgetfulness. But our Lord has not forgotten. He will never forget His children.

Life is precious, sacred, and miraculous. Why?

I. Life is sacred because God created it. "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully & wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together ... your eyes saw my unformed body (Psalm 139:13-15). "Did you not clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life..." (Job 10:11-12). "This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens who spread out the earth by myself ..."(Isa. 44:24). From the grandest canyon to the smallest clenched fist – God!

Medical authorities determine a person to be "alive" if there is either a detectable heartbeat or brain-wave activity. It is eye opening for some to realize that unborn children have detectable heartbeats at 18 days (2 1/2 weeks) after conception and detectable brain-wave activity 40 days (a little over 5 1/2 weeks) after conception. What is so shocking is that essentially 100% of all abortions occur after the 7th week of pregnancy. [P]

Have you ever made something that you were proud of – a painting, a quilt, fixing up a car, adding on a deck? Maybe there is a ministry you helped to start? Something that is of worth, that has great value and purpose, something that is meant to bless others. Now imagine how God feels when He creates a precious, purposeful life, but then it is simply discarded? Life is sacred because God created it.

II. Life is sacred no matter what its condition might be. Life is a challenge in a sin-tainted world. It would have been wonderful if Adam and Eve had taken God at His Word and simply enjoyed the life they were designed for. But unfortunately sin came into our world and with it came pain, imperfection, and injustice. Thankfully, God has not abandoned us; but rather, empowers us as we trust in Him.

Our Lord Jesus says, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33). Through Him, we too can overcome! As followers of Christ, we must not overlook those who have challenges in this life. Jesus showed special concern for the lame and the disregarded. We must follow in his footsteps.

A professor in a world-acclaimed medical school once posed this situation to his students: "Here's the family history: The father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already have had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. Now the mother is pregnant again. The parents come to you for advice. They are willing to have an abortion, if you decide they should. What do you say?" The professor asked them to break into small groups for "consultation." All of the groups came back to report that they would recommend abortion. "Congratulations," the professor said, "You just took the life of Beethoven!"

Studies show that as many as 90% of couples faced with an amniocentesis report of probable Down's Syndrome will choose to abort. And yet, do you know anyone with a Down's child that doesn't tell you that child is the most loving person they've ever known?

In The Applause of Heaven, Max Lucado tells about a sweater that hangs in his closet. It's too small, the sleeves are too short, the shoulders too tight, some of the buttons are missing, the thread is frazzled. Logically, he should throw out that sweater, since it seems to be of no use. It simply takes up space in his closet. That's what logic says. But love won't let him. Why not? What's unusual about that sweater? To start with, it has no label, no tag telling you "Wash in cold water." That's because it wasn't made in a factory or produced on an assembly line. Rather, it is the creation of a devoted mother expressing her love – his mother. That sweater is unique, one of a kind, irreplaceable. Each strand was chosen with care, each thread selected with affection. And so, even though that sweater seems to be of little use, it has lost none of its value. It is valuable not because of its function, but because of its maker. So is each life.

III. Life is sacred because it comes with purpose. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart" (Jer. 1:5). We are given life for a purpose. We are created with a special God-given make up that comes to fruition in and through life.

Nine-year old Christina Green was shot and killed on January 8th, outside a supermarket where she went to meet Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. "Cristina was all about helping people and being involved." She had already told her parents she wanted to choose a career that involved helping those less fortunate than her. "I can't believe how a beautiful young life was taken in such an awful, awful way." Let me read that last line again: "I can't believe how a beautiful young life was taken in such an awful, awful way." The Lord creates every one of us with great significance, with great purpose. It is no wonder that we are heartbroken when a precious little life is cut short.

So what can we do?

1. Pray. This is bigger than any of us. And only One can provide true direction, wisdom, change, restoration, and healing. Don't think that there is nothing you can do. Pray, and keep praying.

2. Be informed. We can't ignore what is happening every day. It is not just an issue, a hot topic. This is altering lives forever in our own communities & throughout the world.

3. Be a voice of counsel if and when the time comes. Offer guidance and encouragement from the Word to those faced with a critical decision.

4. Extend compassion to those who have gone through an abortion, and all the pain and heartache that goes with it. Remember what we talked about last week. Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners – and that includes every one of us. We can't be a stiff people, quick to condemn. We must be a people led by the Comforter. Our Savior has offered us His grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love; we are to offer the same.

And if you or someone you know would like to talk with someone in confidence, we would be happy to make that available. And always remember, your life is precious and sacred to the Lord. You are one of His miracles. Let us pray.


This sermon was preached  on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (January 22, 2013) by a Presbyterian pastor who wishes to remain anonymous. If you would like confidential counseling regarding pregnancy or abortion recovery, please contact us and we will put you in touch with those who can help in your area.

 

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