LIFE SUNDAY: You/Children are a blessing.
“Every living soul belongs to me…” Ezekiel 18:4 In the WORLD, but not of it. When the Bible makes reference to the the “World”, it is usually talking about the sinfulness in the world. “I have given them your word and the WORLD [Sinful people of the world] has hated them, for they are NOT OF THE WORLD any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are NOT OF THE WORLD, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify [Set them apart, make holy] them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me INTO THE WORLD, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” -John 17:14 Children Know Right from Wrong Q: How do children learn what is right and what is wrong? A: Children acquire the cognitive understanding of right and wrong by observing the behavior of the people most important to them, usually (and hopefully) godly parents. A: Research shows toddlers understand right from wrong at just 19 months Source: “Psychological Science”, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science. - Stephanie Sloane It was found that babies aged between 19 and 21 months understand fairness and can apply it in different situations based on observation. Researchers say babies will watch a scene for longer if they think it contains something unfair. In two experiments the tots were timed on how long they watched a live scenario about fairness. In the first experiment, 19-month-olds saw two giraffe puppets given one toy each (Fairness). And then they children. Saw both toys given to just one of the giraffes and not the other (unfairness). Longer looking times indicated that something was odd or unexpected to the toddlers. In this experiment, three-quarters of the infants looked longer when one giraffe got both toys. In a second experiment, two women faced each other with a pile of small toys between them and an empty plastic box in front of each of them. In one scenario, one woman put the toys away, while the other kept playing, but both women were given rewards. In another scenario, both women put the toys away and both got a reward. [Fairness] The watching 21-month-old infants looked much longer when the worker and the slacker were rewarded equally. [Unfairness] Psychologist Stephanie Sloane, who led the study at Illinois University, said: 'We found that 19 and 21-month-old infants have a general expectation of fairness, and they can apply it appropriately to different situations. 'We think children are born with a skeleton of general expectations about fairness and these principles and concepts get shaped in different ways depending on the culture and the environment they’re brought up in. “This innate moral sense might also explain the power of early trauma… Aside from fairness, research has shown that small children expect people not to harm others and to help others in distress. If they witness events that violate those expectations in extreme ways, it could explain why these events have such negative and enduring consequences.” While it is true that everyone is born “By nature sinful” [Original Sin], it is also true that… EVERYONE HAS A CONSCIENCE Con/Science With/Knowledge An inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior. Ie. “Guilty conscience” Your conscience reacts subconsciously, [“under your knowledge.”] Our conscience will give us a good feelings if our actions agree with what we know to be right. But, our conscience can give us a horrible feeling when we do something we learned to be wrong. Unless someone has a serious psychological or chemical diagnosis, everyone has a “conscience.” They may be based on different values, but everyone has a conscience. Our conscience can be trained. It changes, as our knowledge changes. This can be for the good, or the bad. We have all heard of a seared conscience, consciences that can become hardened. They can become callous. They can become desensitized. EVERYONE STARTS OUT KNOWING THE 10 COMMANDMENTS IN THEIR HEART. “… The requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness…” -Romans 2:15 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the TRUTHby their wickedness, [Like a cough suppressant pushes down a cough, these people press down/suppress God’s truth.] 19 since WHAT MAY BE KNOWN OF GOD IS PLAIN TO THEM, because God has made it plain to them… 21 For although THEY KNEW GOD, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. [They allowed this to happen by continuing to fight against or suppress God’s truth. Talk about censorship. They censor God.] 22 Although they claimed to be wise, [They claimed they were right. Note: Be very careful that what you think you know to be right, is actually true according to God’s Word.] they became fools…” 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind…” 32 Although they KNOW God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” -Romans 1:18-32 OUR CONSCIENCE CAN BECOME DESENSITIZED “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. -1 Timothy 4:2 CHRISTIANS ARE OFTEN WRONG ABOUT THINGS [Either partially or fully] Christians can still be Christians, even though they might be partially of fully wrong about certain things. That is one of the reasons that we have different denominations. Of course, we better not get the “Jesus is the only way to heaven” teaching wrong, for it is what defines us as Christians. It is by his grace through faith and trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [Through his righteousness won for us on the cross where he paid for our sins] – John 14:6 “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8,9 Jesus is the SOURCE of forgiveness and TRUTH. Notice what Jesus meant when he said in Mt. 7:1-5 DON’T BE JUDGEMENTAL “Do not judge, [Jesus is talking about not being JUDGEMENTAL. If someone is judgmental towards you, you will get the sense that they are unlovingly nailing you for thinking or doing something wrong. It will feel like that person Is coming from a higher or superior place than you, that is what is at the heart of Judgmentalism] or you too will be judged. [Do you really want to be judged by God according to the same unloving, elitist, condemning attitude that you may be showing to others? The answer should be, “no”! ] 2 For in the same way [The warning is about THE WAY that we are dealing with others] you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. [Again, the warning is about the WAY that we are dealing with others, not about whether we should of not deal with them. Whether we should or should not will be a matter of God’s leadings. For example you cannot change everyone in the world.] 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust [A very small thing] in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank [a very big thing] in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, [Double Standard] FIRST take the plank out of your own eye, [Understand your own failures and sins, before you attempt to help someone else deal with theirs.] and THEN you will see clearly to remove [Where and when God leads us to help others in areas where they are thinking or doing wrong, we ARE supposed to. We ARE to judge, just not be judgmental. A judge in the court of law comes up with a conclusion/a judgment based on the facts and the law. That is the job of a judge. Jesus is not saying in this verse that we should not have judges. Judges should be fair-minded, compassionate and understanding of tough circumstances, yet at the same time, law-abiding, and trusting that upholding the law is best for everyone. This is doing the right thing, which is obeying God’s Word.] the speck from your brother’s eye.” This is how Jesus wants us to handle the “Sanctity of Life” [Sacredness of Life] issue in the world as well. We can be used as a judge. [Someone who is trying to help someone else come to the same conclusion as God on a matter. But always doing so in love and support without being judgmental, or making the person feel devalued. We never want to devalue a person, while we are trying to point out that they are devaluing a person. We are to love and support others who are faced with the temptation to view some life as not valuable. We are not to hate or demean them. All life has value, even in a fallen world. If people do not believe that a life is a life from conception on, then they are being deceived. The very nature of deception is that one doesn’t know that it is happening. If they did, it would by definition not be called deception. So, remember that many people who don’t highly value all life, are not people-hating people. They may be deceived as to the definition of “Life” based upon some criteria that the Bible does not give. For example, many people today evaluate the value of a life based on production. [How much a person produces for society.] This can lead to the wrong conclusion that anyone who does not produce for society is not worth much, whether they are recently conceived all the way to the other end of life including the elderly. How many wrong conclusions are made with respect to the value of people with any degree of what some call a disability. Some perceive the unborn as so “unproductive” that they are actually viewed as “destructive” to society, or at least to the mom. After all, the inconvenience of the unplanned pregnancy seems to be a threat to the mom’s future. [College, Career, Relationships, Reputation, Finances, etc because of the pregnancy] To support life as the “Choices Pregnancy Center” does, is to understand these fears and to help meet the needs that these perceived threats and challenges bring. Thank you for continuing to support this ministry to real people and families through; Prayer, the Baby Bottle Drive, the Baby Shower Collection, Volunteering at the Center, and other financial ways through fundraisers etc. The lives of children and families who are served are eternally grateful. As it relates to abortion, everyone is in at least one of these three categories. 1. You had an abortion. 2. You know someone who had an abortion. 3. You know someone that had an abortion, but you did not know they had one. EVERY HUMAN LIFE IS IMPORTANT TO GOD BECAUSE HE CREATED IT AND OWNS IT God loves and cares for all of his creation. And wants us to as well. Where there are “complications” God says; To trust in him with all of our heart, and to not lean on or count on our own understanding of things. He can always work it out – His way. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. -Proverbs 3:5-8 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number...’” -Genesis 1:1, 26-28 “The Son [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For IN HIM ALL THINGS were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and IN HIM all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17 “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who MADE US, and We ARE HIS; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” -Psalm 100:3 “EVERYONE BELONGS TO ME, the parent as well as the CHILD—both alike belong to me.” -Ezekiel 18:4 “You CREATED my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s WOMB. [Unborn baby] 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; [You have been and always will be you, even when your body was UNFORMED before birth, and even if your body becomes DEFORMED at another time in your life.] all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” -Psalm 139:13-16 “Did not he [God] who MADE US in the WOMB make them? Did not the same one form us both WITHIN our mothers?” -Job 31:15 "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.” -Exodus 23:1 GOD FORGIVES ALL SINS “If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Ps 130:3-5) “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Ps. 103:12) “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” -Romans 12:15 Part of rejoicing and mourning is the work of the Choices Pregnancy Center. Prayer: Lord, we thank you for life, all life. We pray that those who do not believe in you, would stop fighting your Holy Spirit which is trying to draw them to you. We pray for those who are Christians, that they would uplift life in every way. Help all of us to value all life and “Be Jesus to others” in His place. Bless those who have sinned, to know that they are forgiven in Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Pastor Dave Word of Life Church 17525 W. Bell Rd. Surprise, AZ 85374