Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Respect for Life

Respect for Life


“Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” – Genesis 9:5-6

A teen son kills his two younger siblings, mother, and father. 

An ex-husband breaks into his ex-wife’s home, killing her and his own children. 

Police arrive at a home to find an elderly couple and their son dead, all shot by the father. 

A gunman kills twenty six people, including innocent young children at an elementary school. 

Twelve people are killed in a movie theater by one gunman. 

A mother kills her twin infant sons. 

Thirty-two are killed on the campus of Virginia Tech by one man.

Murder fills our news headlines nightly. But murder doesn’t stop at what hits the news. Over the past forty years that abortion has been legalized, fifty million (50,000,000) unborn children have been murdered at the hands of their own mother.  As if the end of 2012, the number of lives put to death through capital punishment since it was reinstated in 1976 was at 1320.  Gang related homicides are killing our young men averaging 15-19 years old at alarming rates.  Suicide takes the lives of thousands of our teens each year.  And euthanasia, while not legal in our nation, occurs daily in other countries at the hands of doctors and nurses, who take the lives of patients requesting their own death. 
No one will argue with the fact that we have a lack of respect for life in our society.  We have a deficiency in what we teach our children about the sanctity of human life.  We can blame it on video games, guns, violent movies, drugs, and a list of other things.  But at the very root of the issue, we don’t value human life.

If we ever want to see our society change, we have to teach our children - in our own homes - the value of life.  We cannot depend on schools or society to do it.  Of all the mass murders that have occurred lately, there is one thing we did not hear about the shooters.  We did not hear that of any of them were raised in Christian homes.    Respect for life must to be taught, but respect for God, the creator of life, must come first. 
Murder is nothing new.  The first family God created experienced it as Cain in his anger toward his younger brother, Abel, killed him in a field.  When God came to Cain concerning his sin, God said to him “Where is Abel your brother?” and Cain lied and said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” God replied to Cain, What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:9-10).  Surely as the the blood of Abel cried out to God, God’s ears are filled with the cries of so many lost daily to murder. 

1 John 3:12 speaks of Cain’s murder of Abel and tells us why it occurred.  It says “And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.”  Had Cain a righteous heart, and not works of evil, he would have loved his brother and not murdered him.  The only way for anyone to have a righteous heart is for Christ to make it righteous through salvation.  And salvation will only come to those that know God. 
To respect life we have to understand its source is not of ourselves.  We destroy something divine when we destroy life.  God is the creator of all life.  Not man.  Not woman.  Unless God gives life, none of us have it.  Psalms 127:3 says Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Each and every person walking this earth is here as a reward to their parents. Regardless of the circumstances that lead to conception, the disabilities of the child, the kind of person they grow up to be, or the disabilities as disease and aging occurs, their life is a gift from God.  Life is His creation.  In all our magnificent wisdom in science and medicine, the one thing we cannot create is blood.  Blood gives life and it is created solely by God. 

We don’t live under the old covenant laws of “an eye for an eye” anymore!  We live under grace, and are expected to give grace as we receive it.  Almighty God is the one true judge, yielding the sword of judgment and justice.  To take matters into our own hands and determine that we should kill a person due to their crimes is like taking the sword of judgment from God’s hands.  Consider Michael the Archangel, leader of all angels.  When arguing with Satan over the body of Moses, Jude 1:9 tells us that he dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” The idea that one of God’s children could sentence another of God’s children to death is hypocrisy.  Judgment is for God.  What has been made legal here does not affect what God calls sin.  Their blood also cries out to Him.  They all deserve to be given the time God has appointed for them to turn from their sin and receive Christ.  Consider who the life belongs to that is being taken.  Does it not belong to the Creator, God? 
God expect us to be our brother’s keeper, assuring that no one gives into violence or self-destruction. We must work to assure our government does not legalize forms of murder, and work to rescind the laws that have made many legal.  Genesis 9:5 says “From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.” God says, “From the hand of every man’s brother”, which does not refer to a family relationship, but a species relationship.  In our lack of doing what we can to prevent murder, we are accomplices to the crimes and will be held accountable. 

1 Corinthians 6:20 says For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.ALL, regardless of whether they have accepted Christ yet or not, were paid for by the shed blood of Christ.  God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”(2 Peter 3:9)  He alone knows the destiny of each life.  
Murder is the work of Satan.  John 8:44 says Satan “was a murderer from the beginning”, referring to the sin of Cain.  He even tried to get Jesus to commit suicide by persuading him to jump from the pinnacle of the temple (Matthew 4:5).  He comes for no reason “except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). 

Is it so hard to see that the murderous spirit within our society today is that of Satan himself?  Blame guns, blame video games, blame movies, blame fatherless homes, blame whatever you want, but without Satan, murder would not occur. 
Let us draw near to God with broken hearts, cry out for the daily loss of lives at our own hands, and teach our children to respect the divine life He gives.


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