Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Friday, March 18, 2016
For 40 Days For Life: DAY 38: It was a busy day
Dear Deacon John,
Everyone, it seems, is busy these days. That’s often why your peaceful prayers at 40 Days for Life vigils are so powerful ... because you took precious time to be a witness to life and a sign of hope to a stranger.
Tomorrow is Saturday ... and Saturdays are especially busy for one particular business – the abortion industry.
More abortions take place on Saturdays than any other day of the week … so if you’ve been looking for an opportunity to go pray at a 40 Days for Life vigil, go for it!
We have stories today that include the words “it was a busy day at the abortion center.”
Of course, even on the busiest days, when faithful people ask God to change hearts … there’s always hope!
Grand Rapids, Michigan
“It was a busy day at the abortion center,” one of the volunteers observed. The people praying at the 40 Days for Life vigil did catch the eye of a young woman who was driving into the parking lot.
As she pulled up, the volunteer told her, “I'm not sure why you came, but I would love to help you in any way possible.”
The woman said she really didn’t know what she wanted.
“You haven’t made up your mind have you?” the vigil participant asked. “Would you be interested in a free ultrasound? I can call the pregnancy center right now and help you schedule one if you want me to.”
“Yes, I would like that,” she said … and her tense face relaxed as she showed signs of hope.
The key word here was “free.” She had tried to set up an ultrasound the week before, but had reached a business that would charge $100 and would not accept her insurance. She was discouraged … and had come to pick up a 24-hour consent form for an abortion.
A quick call to the pregnancy help center let them know the free ultrasound could be set up right away.
“I can't describe the feeling of knowing that she was on her way to see her little one for the first time,” the volunteer said. “It was utter joy.”
“It was a busy day at Reproductive Health Services,” said Michelle, the 40 Days for Life leader in Montgomery.
One of the volunteers was able to meet a young woman and offer her an information packet as she pulled into the driveway.
“She parked and sat in her car for about ten minutes,” he said. “Then she got out and walked directly toward me.”
She said she wasn’t sure why she was considering an abortion. She has been praying and asking God for a sign as for what to do. She noted that as she pulled in and stopped, the volunteer told her, “God says to trust Him.”
“You were my sign,” she said.
She stood there with two vigil participants for almost half an hour, openly sharing her story, weeping and hugging them.
They gave her a baby blanket and encouraged her to continue trusting God.
“She has my contact information and promised to stay in touch and send me pictures,” the volunteer said. “Please pray for this young woman and her family.”
Today’s devotional is from Carmen Pate of Alliance Ministries.
Day 38 intention
Pray that those standing in peaceful vigil will extend mercy and grace to others as they remember that Christ did not treat us as our sins deserve.
“You have heard it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
— Matthew 5:43-44
Reflection from Carmen Pate
Perhaps it is obvious by now that not everyone thinks this campaign is a great idea! In fact, those on the front lines standing in peaceful vigil are perhaps being cursed and hated for what God has called you to do.
Because we are all fallen creatures, our natural response may not be as Christ-like as we would hope it would be.
So, how do we keep our natural response in check, while allowing the Holy Spirit to empower us to love, bless, do good, and pray for those who hate us or would do us harm?
Consider first the Holiness of God.
It seems that sin has clouded our ability to think clearly about God's nature. We simply don't have a clue of how outraged God is by our sin, what an insult sin is to His person, or how sin fires the flames of His wrath.
Praise God that He didn't leave us in our depravity destined for His divine wrath!
Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sin, made us alive together with Christ; by grace you have been saved.”
Because of God's mercy and grace towards us, we who receive Him receive eternal Hope.
Those who curse you, hate you, spitefully mistreat you and persecute you need that same Hope.
That is the only way we can ever expect them to behave differently.
Ask the Holy Spirit to love them — through you — so they are drawn to the Hope that is in you, that is Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, may we reflect your character of grace and kindness to those who hate us and curse us.
Guard our hearts and our tongues as we respond in love to words and actions meant to rile us or cause us harm.
Let others see the Hope that is Christ in all we say and do. In His precious name we pray, Amen.
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