From the beginning of time, God has always been straightforward in His communication with mankind — particularly when it comes to what is right and what is wrong. We see God’s first example of this simplicity when He created Adam and Eve. In the Garden of Eden God did not set up a complicated code of laws, or even a set of 10 commandments. He had just one law:
Don’t eat the apple!
While God’s law was simple and unambiguous, it was quickly complicated by the first couple. When Satan came slithering up to Eve in the form of a serpent to tempt her, Eve embellished God’s law. Eve complicated God’s simplicity by adding her own new requirement and interpretation:
Don’t eat the apple… or touch it!
From that day to this present one, man has continued to add to, embellish, interpret, and complicate God’s laws. We have attempted to “perfect” what cannot be perfected. By doing so, we have complicated what is simple. And we have altered what God established.
In our day, there is perhaps no greater example of man’s altering and complicating God’s simple and perfect law, than in the battle for Life.
The second major sin ever recorded by God in the Bible was the taking of an innocent life. We read in Genesis 4 that Cain killed Abel, his righteous brother. Since that day, man has been prematurely ending the most precious gift ever given to man: Life.
God was so displeased with man’s evil actions that He “complicated” His original law, and established 10 commandments. Amongst that list of 10 laws is this one simple command:
Thou shalt not kill!
Simple. Unambiguous. Direct.
Yet man has debated, argued, defined, redefined, and will continue to complicate, a simple standard.
What is life? When does it begin? When does it end? Under what scenario is it right to end life?
While man confuses, Jesus, the Son of God, simplifies and uncomplicates. Man muddies. Jesus clarifies.
When Jesus walked the earth, He regularly confronted the leaders of His day, both political and religious. As He did, Jesus would dismantle the complicated systems that these leaders had built up. And when it came to Life, Jesus could not have been more clear about the standard God established.
One day Jesus was confronted with the opportunity to heal a man. But doing so would have violated the complicated requirements that the Jewish leaders had established. These leaders had taken one of the original 10 commandments, “Keep the sabbath holy” and they had built around that simple standard an entire laundry list of codes and requirements. By doing so, the elite “interpreted” what man could and couldn’t do.
But Jesus, the very Author of Life, obliterated the complicated reasoning of the elite, when He had this to say:
“Then he (Jesus) turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.” Mark 3:4
In one sentence, Jesus destroyed every argument, debate, and discussion about the worthiness of every child in the womb. And this is the question every politician, judge, activist, and expectant Mommy and Daddy in America should ask themselves:
“Is this a day to save life or destroy it?”
Simple. Uncomplicated. Clear. Unambiguous.
When a heart is beating, we have two options:
Save Life: Allow the heart to continue to beat.
Destroy Life: End the beating of that little heart.
Last week I wrote about Annie, a little girl whose life was destroyed, because her mother allowed politicians, laws, peers, and her own personal desires, to complicate God’s simple standard. Since the writing of my story last week (An Aborted Life: The Thoughts & Dreams of Baby Annie), 30,000 little Annies and Johnnys have been lost in America — their lives destroyed because the hearts of 30,000 mothers and fathers were confused. They were deceived into believing that taking a life in the womb is okay because man’s law allows them to do so.
But there is only One Righteous Standard for life. It is God’s, not man’s. So when God established the standard, “Thou shalt not kill” there is a very clear and uncomplicated way for knowing if we have violated His law, as it applies to little Annie in the womb:
Do we save life or destroy life?
Regardless of whether you believe you have a right to control what goes on inside your body, if you end your pregnancy, are you saving life or destroying life? Is the heart beating? Will your “pro-choice” belief stop the beating of that little heart?
If you are a Mommy with a little heart beating inside your womb, I pray you will call out to God for His strength to Save Life and reject the temptation to Destroy Life. If you will call upon God, He will offer you the grace to help in your time of need.
It was the period before Time… better known as Eternity Past. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit opened the Book of Life. In it they wrote down her name.
Her beauty was angelic. Her features were flawless. Her heart was tender. Her birth was predestined. Her parents were chosen. Annie’s life to come was joyfully celebrated. The triune God along with the angels of heaven were eager for the day when little Annie would be conceived.
Annie’s future was to be a bright one. Not only would she bring extreme joy to her parents, she would also be the one to reconcile them to God, through the miracle of her birth. Annie would bring hope and relief to millions. As she grew she would become a medical doctor, and God would use Annie to discover the cure to a cursed disease that had taken the lives of so many in the world.
But wait. Eternity Past would first need to intersect with Time — for a few short millenniums.
As Time briefly took center stage, the day of Annie’s conception approached. And then it arrived. Annie’s first moment of life began as her parents, yet unwed, succumbed to their desires. While their passion was driven by pleasure, it resulted in the blessing of Annie’s life. God had ordained her precious life. As He looked upon that moment, knowing that Annie was not conceived according to His laws, God still loved Annie and her parents. In fact, it had been known in eternity past that Annie’s life would begin in this manner. It did not change God’s master plan.
Those first moments of Annie’s life turned to days, and days to weeks. As they did, Annie’s little body began to take form. As she began to grow, the first hints of thought began to materialize. Annie’s little brain, not yet completely formed, was nonetheless beginning to recognize sensations, warmth, sounds, even light. She was unsure of what she was sensing, but she felt safe… secure… wanted… loved. It was a feeling that she could not yet describe, but she relished it. She felt at ease. She instinctively knew that she was where she belonged.
The weeks passed and as they did she began to hear sounds. Melodious sounds. Music that gave her pleasure. She also heard a steady continuous sound that never ceased. In fact it was two sounds… one faster, the other slower. One louder, the other softer. Thump… thump… thumpity-thump. Her heart and that of her Mommy’s often lulled her to sleep.
But she also heard what she would soon come to know as voices. The higher one was always with her. The lower sound would sometimes be there — although it sounded a little more distant. Annie instinctively knew that the higher sound would always care for and love her. But that lower sound was mysterious, one she also longed to meet. Annie’s heart accelerated whenever she heard those two sounds together. They were sounds that she loved deeply.
As Annie became more aware of these sounds and emotions she became even more at ease. She felt so peaceful in this warm place. She would sleep often and as she did, she would dream.
Annie wasn’t quite sure how to relate to what she dreamed of since the thoughts she had were not borne out by any experience. But it was as if Someone was supernaturally guiding Annie’s thoughts and interpreting her dreams for her. She envisioned the smile of her father. She dreamt of the caresses of her mother. While she felt safe inside her mother, she also longed to see and touch the one who was bearing her. She sensed that this warm place was temporary… that there was a better place for her. Her dreams affirmed this. And so she began to grow restless to see the ones she had dreamt of often.
As the weeks had now turned into many months, Annie longed for something else. She felt confined. It was becoming more difficult to stretch her legs and arms. The continuous thumpity-thump she now understood was her heart and her Mommy’s. The sounds she now knew as voices. The low one was her Daddy’s and the higher one was her Mommy’s. Her dreams had revealed these things to her and so she longed to meet them. She could sense that the time was growing near.
As she began to sense the day was approaching, she suddenly heard the thumpity-thump sound of her Mommy’s heart accelerate to a pace she had never heard before. Instantly she felt something she had never sensed. It’s as if the fear of her Mommy had been transferred to her. Annie’s own heart began to speed up. She knew something was not right. For the first time in her existence she felt fear. She no longer felt secure, safe, or protected.
And then it happened. An intense moment of pain. Her cry was silent. No one heard her. Annie writhed in pain. She attempted to pull away from the pain. She tried to grasp her Mommy but the pain just grew exponentially. The sound of her own heart had accelerated to such a rapid pace that it seemed like one continuous thump. She thought her heart would explode. The pain was more than she could bear. She screamed one last time, hoping her Mommy would save her. And once more, no one heard Annie.
And then it stopped………..
The thump was gone. The sounds were gone. The feeling was gone. No more. Annie was gone. Her body was limp… bleeding… lifeless… apart…
Annie’s Mommy lay there, weeping as the procedure continued. For an instant she almost thought she heard her little baby crying. The physical pain Annie’s Mommy felt was dwarfed by the emotional trauma and guilt she was enduring. What had she done? Why had she done this? The precious life inside her was gone… forever… never to be restored.
Just as quickly as all had stopped for Annie, God’s little one instantly found herself in the presence of the Author of Life. Annie’s delicate rosy cheeks were wet with the tears of loss. Her life inside her Mommy was over… but her eternal life had just begun. The dreams she’d had were not to be. The joy she would bring to her parents would not occur. The cure that God had desired for her to bring to the world was lost — and many more would die because of her own death. As she thought of her Mommy and Daddy, whom she had never met, her body quivered with emotion and the tears continued to flow.
But as Annie looked up, she saw the face of a Glorious Man, and His voice said, “Come to me little child.” As Jesus spoke, He stooped down and wiped Annie’s tears dry, and as He did, Annie felt the embrace that she had dreamt of so often. She knew she was now safe, secure, forever.
“Oh that you would choose life…” Deuteronomy 30:18
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalms 139:13, 15-16
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalms 127:3
What if I told you that the Key to Life was just one word? Would you believe it? Could you guess the word?
I believe most, if not all, of humanity has often wondered what that Key is. The fact is most who have searched for the Key have never found it because they have gone down the wrong path looking for it. Without the Truth to instruct them, they invariably realize the key they’ve pursued has failed to open the door to Life.
So just what is that Key? I believe we can find it over and over in God’s Word, but perhaps the following verses are as plain as it can be made:
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life…”(Deuteronomy30:19-20)
Did you catch that? The Key to Life is a Choice. And that Choice is a deliberate decision: “…loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him.”
It’s really that simple. A Choice.
But to be honest, while simple, it is quite hard, as far as I’ve discovered — hard because we live in a difficult, broken world.
This “Hard” is realized each day because, while we may make this Choice in the morning, by noon, or even earlier, the enemy (Satan) has likely tempted us to forget that Choice. And because we are frail, and our “spirit is willing but our flesh is weak” we may fall, again and again.
But God recognized this trait of humanity. He understood that “the godly may trip seven times, but he will get up again.” (Prov. 24:16) To be clear, this is not because the godly are good, or better or stronger than others, but rather because God promised that “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
In my own life, I have found myself failing and falling way more often than succeeding. Why is this? I believe it’s because we are truly engaged in the war of the ages. It has been going on since the beginning of time “for we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
I have often met to discuss God, the Bible and spiritual matters with friends who question, scoff at, or even reject God. My heart is often heavy for them. But I believe if they are honest with themselves, they too will admit that they are engaged in an inner struggle — one which they most likely cannot understand or explain. Yet God did not desire us to be ignorant concerning Life or these deep personal struggles. Because God “is not willing that any should perish…” (2 Peter 3:9)
But God is also not one to demand or force someone to do something they do not want to do. And so we come back to that simple truth:
🔑 The Key to Life is a Choice.
And it’s our decision. No one else’s. But even though we choose God once and for all for our eternal destination (heaven), we must also continuously choose God moment by moment in order to have the “rich and satisfying life” that Jesus promised (John 10:10).
“Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” (James 4:14)
God has been impressing on me for some time now of the need to always be prepared to meet Him, whether through death or His return. Even so, I struggle daily to keep that moment by moment focus which inevitably results in my 1) getting distracted with all manner of things (both good and bad, big and little), and 2) making choices that would render me woefully unprepared to meet the One I love and to leave the ones I love.
So, in an effort to bring better focus and to increase awareness of my need to continuously “be ready,” I’ve begun to work on what I’m calling my “30 Days to Live” Plan, or #30D2L. It is not a complete or static plan, but rather it will be a growing and changing one, as: 1) I hopefully continue to mature and grow closer to God, 2) I better understand His plan for me and those I love, and 3) I continuously seek to maintain a relationship with God that is unhampered by sin in my life
In essence, the #30D2L Plan is a list of priorities that I would likely have were I to visit my doctor someday and be told that I had 30 Days to Live. Sadly, such news comes to people everyday. But when it does, those receiving the dreaded news, in a sense, have the “benefit” of living out their final days with a knowledge that they are within their final days.
Because of this raised awareness of one’s imminent death, there is no doubt that the choices such individuals make are drastically different than the choices before they were confronted with their own mortality, as well as the choices I make everyday.
So, it seems to me both logical and wise, to take a positive, deliberate and planned approach to living out each 30 Days as if they were to be my last. I’ll confess though that while it may be logical and wise to maintain this mindset, it’s also very easy to stray from living this way each day and very hard to maintain this daily focus, much less hourly. (I know this to be true as I have been attempting to live in this manner for several 30 day periods so far… and failing miserably at maintaining the proper focus.)
But here’s a truth that we should all consider: If the next 30 Days are not my final ones or yours, at some point you and I will wake up for the last 30 days of our life. When this happens in my life, I want to arrive at my last day with no regrets, no items left unchecked, and a clear conscience before God and man.
With this in mind, I want to echo the Psalmist’s attitude when he wrote: “Teach us to number our days.” (Psalm 90:12)
So here’s an initial checklist that I’ve started. But as God continues to give me another 30 day period, I hope to continue to fine tune this list. I’d love to hear if you have other items that you would add to your list.
→ Relationships in order; reconcile any broken ones → Sins confessed → Maintain a clear conscience before God and man → To do list sorted, prioritized and the essentials completed. → Make sure that those closest to me know that I love them, every single day. → Life insurance in order → Finances in order → Will/Estate plans up to date → No “secrets” in my life → Make sure any comments that I want to make to folks are made → Spend daily time in God’s Word → Always seek to simplify and unclutter my life. → Seek opportunities to share God’s Truth in Love
As I begin each new month, treating it as if it could be my final one, I am looking to these thoughts and verses to keep me grounded in the brevity of life. I hope you will be challenged to consider a similar approach. For God has this to say about those who regularly reflect on their own mortality:
“A wise person thinks a lot about death.” (Ecclesiastes 7:4)
May God help me to truly live til I die. And may my outlook always be as Paul shared when he said:
“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
Here are a few more relevant verses to maintaining the proper mindset about our final days:
“You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” (Matthew24:44)
“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11)
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” (James 4:14)
“All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.” (2 Samuel14:14)
“About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.’” (Isaiah38:1)
There are deep divisions today in our nation that are seen in issue after issue.
But perhaps there is no greater divide, with such irreversible consequences, than the Pro-Life/Pro-Abortion battle. On one side are the voices of those who claim that the life in the womb is precious, of immeasurable value, and worthy of defending. On the other side are the shouts of those who claim the choice of the mother outweighs the right of her little one to simply live. And most recently the pro-abortion voices have embraced a new mantra: #shoutyourabortion. So a tragic choice that ended a life, has now become a movement that pridefully celebrates ending the life they conceived.
Since the beginning of time, the dominance of the stronger over the weaker has been a dreadful trait of mankind. We see the first example of this evil philosophy when Cain took the life of his brother, Abel. It’s worth rereading the short account of this story:
“One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. Afterward the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?” “I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s guardian?” But the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!” (Genesis 4:8-10)
Since that first murder, the strongest have sentenced to death millions of lives over thousands of years, with this culture of death continuing today. But there truly is no greater example of the strong taking the lives of the weak than in the loss of our nation’s little ones in the womb. These innocent lives, formed by their Creator, are tragically being silenced by their mothers. No words can adequately describe the sorrow, loss and permanence that abortion does to its greatest victim.
But, for all the words that have been written and the voices that have been raised in decrying the curse of abortion, there is one voice that has never been heard. And yet it is this voice that counts the most.
When God reproached Cain over murdering his brother Abel, He convicted Cain with these words: “Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me…”
Were God to confront our nation today about the awful scourge of abortion, I believe He would say something similar: “Listen! Your childrens’ blood cries out to me…”
This is the missing voice: The Silent Cry.
We’ve all heard the cry of a little baby shortly after birth, as it simply longs for the cuddle, caress and love of her mother. But have we stopped to hear the silent cry of the one that was snatched from the womb before she took her first breath? Have we paused to consider her voice? While her voice is silent, her message is loud, clear, and convicting, if we will be still and listen.
This matter of eternal consequence has divided our nation into three groups.
The first group is perhaps the most pressing one. If you are carrying an unwanted pregnancy and considering an abortion even today, will you stop and listen? Will you hear the silent cry of the little one in your womb, who longs to look in your eyes, to feel your embrace, to know your love, and to simply have the opportunity to live?
Before you add one more cry to the millions of silent cries that rise up across our nation, I pray you will stop and listen. Listen to your child’s heartbeat. Envision him or her in your arms. Consider the beauty of her face. Trace the outline of his features. And embrace life today.
The second group within our nation includes those women and men who have already chosen abortion. You may be one who succumbed to the lie that your choice trumped the life in the womb. If so, then you know your choice was irreversible. But your guilt over that choice can be reversed. God, the Author of life, is also the One who forgives. There is no choice that you and I have made that God does not offer to forgive — even the one that ended the life of your little one. Go to Him. Confess your sin. As you do, He promises to forgive you and to grant to you the peace that passes all understanding.
The final group within our nation is where most of us reside. We are not pregnant. We have not had an abortion. But we have a choice to make. Will we stop and listen? Will we hear #thesilentcry? Will that silent cry cause us to reevaluate our thoughts, our actions, and our choices? As we listen to #thesilentcry, will we decide to make the following choice?
“Do to others what you would have them do to you.”
As we apply the Golden Rule to the life in the womb, may our nation collectively and each of us individually do to the little one yet unborn, what was done to us by our mother and father.
Embrace life. Reject death.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalms 139:13-16
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death… Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your children might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19
This last weekend the nation’s elite journalists came together at the White House Correspondents Dinner, for an evening of roasts and toasts, all under the guise of humor. But while the night featured laughs at the expense of others, Michelle Wolf, the comedian hosting the WHC Dinner, stooped to a new low as she belittled Americans whose crime is simply supporting life over abortion.
While Wolf’s attack was crass and deplorable, what was likely lost in her comments was an inadvertent admission that few pro-abortionists have been willing to make publicly.
It has been a long standing argument from those supporting the taking of innocent life, that the child in the womb isn’t really a child… rather it is simply tissue, just a “fetus” or some other “sub-human” entity. However, those standing on the side of life have accurately referred to the child in the womb as simply that, a child or a baby. Logic would suggest that if a child is a baby outside the womb, she is also a baby inside the womb. And since this is true, then the baby in the womb is as deserving of the right to life as she is the moment she’s in her mother’s arms.
So here’s what Ms. Wolf said:
“He (Mike Pence) thinks abortion is murder,”Wolf said,“which, first of all, don’t knock it ‘til you try it — and when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you’ve got to get thatbabyout of there…”
Webster defines “baby” as “a very young child.” By her use of the word baby, Wolf acknowledged what her own conscience had no doubt already informed her of. I have no doubt that millions of other pro-abortionists, if they were honest, would also admit the same. That little body inside a mother’s womb is a baby, receiving the same gift of life from her Creator as every other individual walking the face of this earth received.
So on this I agree with Michelle Wolf. The baby outside the womb is also a baby inside the womb. The life held in the mother’s arms moments after birth is also a life moments before, when she is held in the mother’s womb. So if we can agree on this truth, then can we not also agree that all life is deserving of protecting and nurturing?
Finally, God’s Word, the Bible, has something to say about what Michelle Wolf did this last weekend when her words spoke what her conscience knows. In Romans 2:15, we read, “They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.”
At the end of the day, God has made each of us so that our own internal conscience affirms to us certain basic truths. What could be more basic than the truth that a baby is deserving of love and life, regardless of where she makes her home?