Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sanctity of Life

Some information adapted from Intercessors for America
Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed. Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
This past Sunday was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  On this day we, as a church, declare our belief that human life is of inestimable worth and significance in all its dimensions, including the unborn, the aged, the widowed, the mentally handicapped, the unattractive, the physically challenged and every other condition in which humanness is expressed from conception to the grave. We believe life is sacred.
Every expectant mother and father has fears.  It is a common thing for parents to be to think about all the things that could go wrong.  Most of the time those fears are unfounded but there are instances where a parent’s worst fears come true; those cases where the excited expectant parents are given the diagnosis they dread.  They hear the words from their doctor’s mouth that their baby has a problem, a birth defect.  Anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of babies who are diagnosed in the womb with Down Syndrome are aborted.  Very often these doctors will also try to talk the parents into aborting the imperfect life of their baby on the grounds that it will make life more difficult for the mom and dad. Tragically some of these cases are misdiagnosed and there is no disease at all.       
In addition to Scripture's very clear admonition against the murder of preborn babies who are made in the image of God, abortion eliminates the blessings that come from unexpected circumstances, including disabilities.  One mom of a little boy with Down Syndrome shared on Good Morning, America recently about her initial fears and the challenges experienced in the first six months after her son was born.  But she concluded, "He has brought me more joy in his short life than I ever thought possible."
Every life is a gift from God, no matter the circumstances that we are born into or experience. And if God made you that baby’s parents it is no mistake.  We should never downplay the struggles and suffering that unexpected situations bring to life, but we must remember that they produce perseverance, character, and hope (Romans 5:4). We can find comfort and joy in knowing that each step is watched over by our Maker.
PRAYER FOCUS: DECIDING BIRTH PARENTS (Adapted from Intercessors for America)
Read Isaiah 55:8-9. God's ways are never unplanned. Reflect on how His plans for you so far may have been unexpected from your human perspective, but they came with a purpose. Think about the things that you have learned through surprising twists and turns. Praise God for these circumstances, remembering that Paul tells us that our momentary troubles are nothing compared to the eternal glory that will be revealed in us with Christ! (Romans 8:18)
 This January, during Sanctity of Life Month, pray for parents who are facing an unexpected pregnancy or a poor prenatal diagnosis, that they would have the courage and support to embrace God's unexpected plan for their lives. Pray that they might realize that every life is a gift, and that God has a plan for their children too.
Finally, ask the Lord to give all of us strength when we experience suffering and difficult circumstances in our lives so that we can trust God's ways.
Scripture to Claim:
You knit me in my mother’s womb . . . nor was my frame unknown to you when I was made in secret… Psalm 139:13,15

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