August 23, 2013

L.I.F.E. – Living In Faith Everyday! How do you do it? Let’s reverse things and find out how:

Educate! Education begins with you! You cannot speak with confidence and authority unless you are educated. Most people won’t speak out on an issue they care about because they are afraid of being challenged and unable to answer a question that is thrown at them. So read and get all the information you can on the issues in the public square. Don’t be intimidated if you can’t answer a question. Issues are numerous and complicated. It’s okay to say, “I don’t think you are right about that. Let’s get together and talk about this next week.” And then do your homework and get the answer. When you are equipped with knowledge, you can bring truth to others. (Matthew 10:16)

Feel It! Knowledge is not enough. Compassion brings credibility to your words. Do you demonstrate compassion in your life and care for people who find themselves struck down by the weight of an abortion or unplanned pregnancy? What about the pregnancy resource center in your area? Do you get your church involved by collecting needed diapers and other baby supplies? Do you help neighbors who are caring for elderly parents or a sick child? What about your words? Are they harsh and judgmental or do people come to you and share their secrets because you are known as a person who is forgiving and understanding. Care!!!! (Galatians 6:1)

Immersed! Maintain a constant connection to the Lord of Life through Scripture and prayer. You are a warrior engaged in a spiritual battle with the Father of Lies. He is the one who tells a young girl that her Christian parents will never forgive her for being pregnant. He is the one who accuses her after the abortion, telling her that she can never be forgiven for what she has done. He is the one who whispers words of frustration to a tired caregiver overwhelmed by caring for an elderly relative. Know what your God has to say about life, it’s value, and the great love He has for all people. The battle is long and our adversary relentless; we need to be equipped by the Holy Spirit to be strong and resolute. Stay in the Word and talk to your God—remain in the Vine! Put on the Armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-16)

Live it! What testimony have you given by your life? What decisions are you making when confronted with hard choices? Does your life demonstrate trust in God? I think of the young couple in my church who gave birth to a Down Syndrome child because they knew that abortion was not an option. They knew that their Madi was a child created by God and given to them as a gift to care for. I think about Rebecca, a young dancer I know who became pregnant. A Christian, she was so afraid of telling her parents and what her church would think that she scheduled an abortion. Through the help of her friend she got the courage to tell her parents and bear the consequences of her actions. Thankfully, her parents loved her and she cancelled the abortion appointment to give birth months later to a little girl. I think of my adopted cousin Jennifer, who cared for my uncle, crippled from a series of strokes. How she loved her father, feeding and attending to his physical and emotional needs. I think of the young Lutheran woman who over 31 years ago, when faced with a pregnancy made an adoption plan for her child. Sure, abortion was available, but that young woman knew it was wrong so she and her family decided that adoption was a God-honoring choice. To this young, pregnant woman I am forever grateful. Her sacrificial love and obedience to God’s Word has made a huge difference in my life. When her baby boy was born, I became a mother through adoption. Live It! Let your life be a witness to God’s power and you will strengthen others. (Hebrews 12:1)

So stand up where you are and L.I.F.E. (Live In Faith Everyday) by E. F. I. L. (Educating, Feeling, Immersing and Living it) Be a voice in your family, church and community and let your life and actions testify to the transformational power of the Gospel. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV).