Summary: Use your influence to make an impact for the preborn.
The Posture of Growing
Rev. Brian Bill
January 16-17, 2016
Play Brit Hume Commentary on Abortion
We stand with thousands of other churches this Sanctity of Life weekend and proclaim that human life begins at conception and is therefore worthy of protection. This Friday marks the infamous anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing the murder of unborn children.
Here are some stats that I hope just don’t stay in your head but make their way to your heart…
• There are approximately 1.1 million abortions each year in the U.S. On average, that’s one baby snuffed out every 20 seconds.
• Since Roe v. Wade, over 56 million babies have not been allowed to take their first breath. That’s the combined population of 26 states.
• Nearly 1 in 4 (22%) of pregnancies end in abortion.
• 50% of women now seeking abortion have had at least one previous abortion.
• Approximately 1/3 of American women have had an abortion by age 45.
• Abortion disproportionately affects black and Hispanic women.
To put these stats in perspective, check out this graphic that compares deaths from the various wars we’ve fought to the accumulated deaths from the war that’s taking place in wombs across our country [show graphic].
Before we go much further, please know that there is no sin beyond God’s forgiveness. If you’ve had an abortion, there is forgiveness and healing for you. If you’ve paid for an abortion, you can find forgiveness in the One who paid for your sins.
You may wonder what this topic has to do with our series called GROW. Actually, it has everything to do with it. Two weeks ago we learned that we must develop the practice of growing by standing firmly, becoming stubbornly faithful and by sacrificing fully in 2016. Last week we pondered the Paradox of Growing as we established that we have more than we think when we offer the little that we have. And today we’re going to discover that we must maintain the right posture for growth by living our lives with conviction and purpose, fulfilling the unique roles that God has for each of us.
I have preached on the Sanctity of Life every January since I became a pastor and each year I try to take a different approach and preach from a different passage. I was greatly helped in my preparation from a sermon by Salim Suh called, “The Infanticide of Exodus and Abortion of Today,”
Before we dive in, here are a few preliminary comments.
• Because of your outrageous generosity and sacrificial giving, over $47,000 has been given toward the purchase of a Mobile Ultrasound Van for Pregnancy Resources! Our goal was $45,000. To God be the glory!
• Because the mobile ultrasound campaign is just finishing up, the Baby Bottle Project will begin on Mother’s Day this year and continue through Father’s Day. This is a project where we fill baby bottles with change for the ministry of Pregnancy Resources. Last year, over $9,000 was given!
Use Your Influence
Here’s the sermon in a nutshell: Use your influence to make an impact. Influence refers to having “the power to change or affect someone or something.” We like to celebrate difference-makers in our society, don’t we? TIME magazine announces a Person of the Year “who for better or worse…has done the most to influence the events of the year.” A couple years ago Christianity Today highlighted “Fifty Women You Should Know,” showcasing influential Christian women who are making an impact in politics, the church and public life.
We’re going to look at some extremely influential women who made an incredible impact. I believe there is a special calling that God is placing upon women on the issue of abortion (don’t worry I’ll address men at the end). Please turn to Exodus 1:15-2:10 (page 57 in the pew Bible). We’re going to see how God used women of different ages and stages of life to stand up for life.
Here’s a bit of background to put our text in context. The Israelites are in Egypt to avoid a severe famine and have begun to multiply greatly. A new king had come to power and became threatened by the increase of the Israelites so verse 13 says that he “ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service…”
I see four pro-life roles in our passage. As we go through each one, ask God which role God is calling you to play in order to use your influence to make an impact.
1. Save those who can’t save themselves by fearing God (Exodus 1:15-21). After the Pharaoh did everything he could think of to make life miserable for the Israelites, he eventually turns to euthanasia. Let’s pick it up in verse 15: “Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah.” Since there were no OB doctors back then, it was common for a woman to use a midwife. The word literally means, “One who helps to bear.” The name “Shiprah” means, “beautiful or brightness” and “Puah” means, “blossom or splendor.” It’s interesting to note that their names are given, but not the name of the Pharaoh.