As believers, do we truly comprehend the ‘sanctity’ of life? We all say we stand for this, but do our lives, thoughts, and actions reflect this? Do we value some lives more than others? Do we value earthly life more than eternal life?
As the ministry of Lifeline goes deeper into this broken and sinful world, I am thankful the Lord has burdened me with these questions. He has forced me to do some self-examination about what my thoughts and actions actually reflect (Psalm 139: 23-24). I love that Lifeline stands for the sanctity of life, because I know our Lord stands for it.
Praise the Lord, he has convicted and compelled me to see my own wickedness in how I was picking and choosing the lives I thought did and did not have value.
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness” Genesis 1:26a
I liked knowing God created ME in his image, but ALL people are made in his image? All people are image bearers of our Lord? Even those that are not like me? That is a little harder to swallow.
I would imagine that most of you would agree that the life of the unborn has value. We like to put Psalm 139:13-14 on baby clothes and walls of nurseries. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” This is a scripture we do and should celebrate. These are two of many passages that show us that God stands for the sanctity of life, including the life of the unborn.
So, what if the mother or father of that unborn child does not want to be a parent or is not ready to be a parent? We, the church, should show them that the life inside the mother’s womb has value and point them to the Creator and Savior by either helping them parent, or pointing them towards adoption.
But wait, what about a child conceived by rape, incest, or some other foul act? This is where the questions start getting tougher. Does this child’s life have value?
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
“So, all children are a heritage from the Lord. All fruits of the womb are a reward. All children are created by him and for him. David, who was not conceived by rape or other foul act, knew that we are all guilty and sinful (Rom 5:12) from the moment of conception. In Psalm 51:5, he admits “Look, I was guilty of sin from birth, a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.” Even if the thought of parenting a child conceived in this manner is too much of a reminder of the trauma inflicted on the mother, Praise the Lord for many Christ-exalting couples that desire to be parents to these children. Ones who will adopt and point the child to Christ; showing them that what others meant for evil, God can use for good.” Genesis 50:20
Now that we have established the unborn child has value, what about the drug addicted woman who prostitutes herself and becomes pregnant? What about her? Does her life have value too? After all, she got herself in this situation, so surely her life does not have the same value as my mine. Or does it?
“Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”? Proverbs 20:9
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” Romans 3:21-24
Ouch! How self-righteous was that thought! She is also an image bearer of our Lord. I am a sinner. I have fallen short of the glory of God. So, does anything make me different than this woman living in sin? Why, yes, but one and ONLY one thing. It is the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Her earthly life has value, but more importantly her eternal life is so much more valuable. My role as one who has been made new by the saving grace of Christ is to teach her who she can find satisfaction in, teach her who can redeem and reconcile her life. After all, the only thing good in me is Christ, so this is who and what I need to reflect.
“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20
Okay, so I can accept this and Praise the Lord for the women who choose to lovingly parent or choose adoption as a loving plan for their child. They made a choice to not take the life of their unborn child. But what about the women who thankfully choose life and parenting, but then abuse or neglect their child(ren)? What about the man who beat his girlfriend and then raped her?
Do the same truths in scriptures apply to these horrid acts that even the world views as evil?
Do this mom and this dad’s life have value? Do they deserve to know about a God who makes all things new? Well, what does this God show us? We know he used those who were primarily faithful to him (Moses, Abraham, Mary, etc), but he also shows us he has purpose for all life. And that we can not and will not know exactly how each life will be used. Would we have picked David, the adulterer and murderer? Would we have picked Saul/Paul, the murder of followers of Christ? Of coarse not! Would we have picked me? Ouch again!
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:32-36
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5: 1-2
“Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2: 3-5
So, the Lord has shown me that ALL people are made in his image.
ALL life has value. ALL people, including myself are sinful at the moment of conception. ALL people deserve to hear about the Lord who can redeem them and erase their sinfulness. And God has called me to be concerned about the eternal life of ALL people and to point them to our Rescuer.
I am thankful the Lord has opened my eyes to my own self-righteousness and my own wickedness. I am grateful to be part of a ministry who reaches out to these, not to point them to something within themselves, but to point them to the One who can redeem and who promises to make all things new.
You can be a part of this ministry as well.
You can pray for more women who are in an unplanned pregnancy to reach out to us so we can provide Christ-exalting counseling.
You can become a mentor for a birth parent who is working towards reunification with their children, and you can help us point them to the One who can reconcile all situations. Click HERE.
You can watch and share this video about the life of a child conceived through violence and how the Lord used this for His glory.
You can become a foster parent who cares for children temporarily while their birth parents are working towards reunification. Click HERE.
You can provide financially to support any of these ministries HERE.
You can pray for the Lord to search you and examine you and show you where you may have a spirit of self-righteousness and how He wants to use you. I know I will continue to do this and am scared and grateful for what He will continue to reveal.
Christie Mac Segars, Director of Domestic Programs
For more information and resources for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on January 18th, visit our website HERE.