Freedom Devotional (April 30)

Recently, Hillary Clinton, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2016, said this: Religious beliefs (plus a couple of other things) need to be changed to allow women access to reproductive health care. Translated into plain language, she is saying that people who hold to a Biblical moral standard need to alter their beliefs to allow abortion on demand for any reason at any time. After all, it’s a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body, isn’t it? And the fetus growing inside of her womb isn’t really a person until the second it is delivered, is it? Therefore an unwanted pregnancy can be taken care of by getting rid of the mistake with a medical procedure. You will hear that rationale used often these days to justify abortion.

Ms. Clinton is right at one point. Those who oppose abortion as a means of birth control because of their religious convictions are a problem for those who support it. Are you one of those who are saddened by the taking of the lives of unborn children because of your belief in what the Bible teaches about when life begins and when it ends? Do you know why you believe what you do? Can you state your point to someone who is asking you why it’s wrong? What are you teaching your children and grandchildren about the value of every life from its very beginning? Do you know what they are hearing and learning in their everyday social connections to the contrary?

This is obviously a huge topic that covers a lot of ground in terms of moral ethics. Besides the abortion agenda there is also a big push for freedom to take someone’s life without penalty or consequences. Is suicide, assisted suicide, euthanasia or capital punishment one person’s right to choose for himself or for someone else, or is taking a life wrong in any instance? Who does have the final say about your life or mine?

Certainly the reality and difficulty of suffering plays into the debate and is often used as justification for ending a life before it does so naturally. But does a life have no further usefulness at some point or should there be greater effort made to help alleviate the suffering? Is the value of personhood somehow diminished through suffering or can there be a purpose in it?

Wow….there is a lot to think about here. I firmly believe that God has an answer for us in every ethical situation we face. The Bible, God’s Word, illuminated to us by the Holy Spirit in us, reveals what God thinks about everything. Sometimes it is a clear instruction on the matter while other times it is a timeless principle rooted in the character of God that guides our understanding. As a follower of Christ we have a moral standard to base our convictions on. We are not the arbiter of life’s issues – God alone is. We look to Jesus and ask what he would do in our place. Of course that requires us surrendering ourselves to him and making choices based on what he wants, not what we want. However, by doing so we live under authority to the one who knows what’s best.

The world around us doesn’t live this way. Society says that you are in charge of what’s best for you. As a result, everybody is doing what’s right in their own eyes and that creates moral ambiguity and societal chaos in increasing measure.

This Sunday I will be speaking about the value of a life according to God. I encourage you to take time over the next few days to think through what you believe about when a life begins and when it ends. Who’s the one in charge? Who gets to decide someone’s future?

Read and meditate on Psalm 139:13-16. Picture yourself in those words and think about how God sees you and what he has planned for your life. I will be making the case that God is pro life – pro yours and everyone else’s. We will also be sharing together in worship and communion, always a great time of connecting with God and one another.

See you Sunday…..

Pastor Del