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Monday, January 18, 2021

"Sanctity Of Life"

Message summary: The living Lord continues to proclaim to each generation, "Let the little children come unto me".

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"When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these'" (Mark 10:14).

Twins about 1999Yesterday was "Sanctity Of Life" Sunday and many churches, including ours, had a portion of the service devoted to this. Pastor Scott Messner remarked to the effect, "I wish we didn't have to set a Sunday apart for this cause, as supporting 'life' should be the proper and expected response of all people", to which we respond heartily, "Amen!"

We've met a lot of interesting people in the course of our ministry and through the years collected quite an assortment of stories, some heartening and others not so much.

We had two energetic and bubbly blonde twins in the church we served in New England in the nineties. They had huge smiles and often came up to me and waited for their "pastor's hug" back in the day. They have an interesting testimony. In fact they had it before they were even born.

Planned Parenthood signIn 1994 their mother, a teenager with one child already, sat in an abortion clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts just outside of Boston. She had been advised by pro-abortion advocates, who stood to gain financially, that an abortion was her best option in dealing with her unplanned pregnancy. 

She was at the clinic with her mother who had recently rededicated her life to Christ and was strongly opposed to the abortion. They sat through the "counseling" phase at the clinic, which was nothing more than hearing pro-abortion propaganda. As she was waiting for her name to be called she had enough time to contemplate the fact that she was nurturing a little person, not just dealing with unwelcome tissue. 

Unborn babySuddenly she turned to her mother and said, "Mom, you know, this baby already has fingernails". Just as the nurse called out her name to enter the "procedure room" (killing room) they got up and proceeded to walk in the opposite direction, both mentally and physically. In a matter of weeks tests would reveal; that there was not just one baby with fingernails saved that day, but two!

The next five years we had the blessing of watching those little twins grow as they attended our church. The smiles they prompted on the faces of those in attendance was priceless.

Today's text is the only time in the gospels the word "indignant" ("much displeased" in the KJV) is used to describe Jesus' attitude. The word in the Amplified Version is described as "indignant and pained."

Jesus with childrenThis was directed to the disciples who rebuked those who were bringing little children to Jesus. They thought they were doing the Lord a favor by protecting Him from the nuisance of these little children. His time was limited, crowds took up valuable space, children were noisy and pampers were yet to be invented so babies could also be smelly. They reasoned that He surely had more pressing "adult" issues to deal with. Isn't that a similar reasoning the abortion industry touts, "Children can be a nuisance, expense, an unnecessary distraction or inconvenience for the mother who has planned a future without the added burden of a baby to raise."

Yet Jesus responded, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these".

I am particularly intrigued by the phrase, "for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these". The phrase "such as these" refers to the children and those who brought them. Jesus wanted them to come to Him and not be hindered by unauthorized screening from the disciples.

Jesus with childThe living Lord continues to proclaim to each generation, "Let the little children come unto me". Of course I am aware that this passage is not specifically related to an unborn child but the principle remains the same.

Those who are created by our Maker are to be cherished by His children. May we never hamper these innocent lives but instead let us embrace them in our affections, in prayerful intercession, and in helpful intervention when the need arises.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You welcome all to be a part of Your kingdom: the young and the old, the weak and the strong, those born in ideal circumstances and those conceived in the worst imaginable setting. All the days ordained for our lives were written in Your book before one of them came to be. Because You take broken vessels and piece them back together with Your miraculous healing touch no soul is without hope.  For those dedicated to spreading this message of life and hope to mothers and fathers of the unborn we pray that they will be spurred on by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May their voices make a welcoming difference to innocent lives in our hostile world, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen.

Note: We moved from New England in early 2001 (twenty years ago in February) and lost touch with the twins, who would now be about 25 years old. We hope and pray that the latter part of their story is just as heartening.

Coach busFor many years beginning in the 80's I joined tens of thousands of dedicated pro-life supporters gathering in in Washington as they do each year peacefully protesting the 1973 Supreme Court decision that overruled state laws restricting abortion here in America. I believe these peaceful "protesters" are among God's finest. This year due to the political turmoil the "march for life" has been cancelled.

Note: We have shared this experience several times before but we have many new readers and others who may need reminded again:

The church I pastored in Massachusetts was located on US 44, a very busy highway that was the main east/west route through the city of Taunton and the main road between Providence, RI and Plymouth, MA. We had a lighted message sign along the highway that was changed virtually every week by Bill and Veda, a very dedicated couple in the church, who are now both with the Lord. Scores of people were regularly exposed to spiritual truth in a very spiritually desolate region of the country. Through the years we got a number of positive remarks from passersby concerning these messages.

However a message we posted in January one year got some very interesting feedback. It has this simple, unambiguous, irrefutable message: "Abortion Stops A Beating Heart."

A lady who'd seen the sign called my office extremely upset. She thought there should be a law against posting such a message and threatened that she was going to check into it. She said her children were so upset at reading this message they cried. Truth really hurts and in this case illustrates the awful blindness that sin causes.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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