Sunday, November 01, 2009

Babies have value before they are born (7)

After speaking a few weeks ago from Psalm 139 about how babies have value before they are born, I was very aware that in our church were men and some women who had in thier own personal lives participated in and approved of past abortions. I saw people leaving church with tears of regret in their eyes.

So at the end of the message I said, "You may be thinking, 'I don’t deserve forgiveness after all I’ve done.' And that’s exactly right. None of us deserves forgiveness. If we deserved it, we wouldn’t need it. Christ got what we deserved on the cross, so we could get what we don’t deserve—forgive¬ness, a clean slate, a fresh start.

"No matter what you have done, no sin is beyond the reach of God’s grace. A great leader in the church, a man named Paul, was a murderer; he had participated in the killing of Christians. He called himself the 'chief of sinners.' God forgave Paul and used Paul greatly. He can forgive you and use you.

"Maybe you imagine that in heaven the skeleton’s going to come out of the closet and someone will discover you had an abortion. Well, no skeletons are going to come out of the closet, because there are no skeletons and there are no closets. God knows already. God has seen us at our worst and still loves us.

"God loves us as we are, but He loves us too much to let us stay that way. He is determined to bring us to our knees to confess, repent, and be healed.

"Once we acknowledge our sin and repent and ask God to forgive us, we must resist the temptation to wallow in guilt feelings. We are no longer guilty.

"I recently read about a woman who said, 'I believed God could forgive any sin, except my abortion.' She discovered that she had been wrong. She’d been punishing herself for a sin Christ had already taken the punishment for. No sin is too big for the Savior to forgive.

"That’s the amazing grace of God. So, come to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive you. Believe He died on the cross to pay for all your sins. Trust Him.

"There are some unique aspects to abortion that often require a very special healing process. Most of the people in the church who’ve lost children to abortion have never really come to terms with it. There are a number of people hearing this message who’ve never told a single person they’ve had an abortion. They’ve suffered in silence. We are hoping to create a climate that lets them come out of the closet if that’s what they want to do.

"If you have suffered the loss of the unborn through miscarriage or abortion, we care about you. Look at the back of your worship guide. And you will see something
If you have suffered loss, you probably feel very much alone with the memories of your experience. The Cleveland Pregnancy Center (CPC) offers a confidential, seven week program called: H.E.A.R.T. (Healing the Effects of Abortion Related Trauma). This program uses the truth of God's Word to guide you through the specific steps of forgiveness, emotional healing and restoration. If you would like more information, call CPC at 440-243-2520."

I then encouraged our people to spend time reading through and meditating on Psalm 139, particularly verses 13-16.

I also encouraged our people to support adoption ministries in orger to help those women who decide not to raise their baby but who still choose to give brith rather than take a life. I encouraged them to check out Together for Adoption.

I also encouraged our people to support the Cleveland Pregnancy Center.

Finally, I encouraged our people to read Randy Alcorn’s book: Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers.

We closed our service by announcing that our Care Ministry and the Cleveland Pregnancy Center had extra women and men available up front after the service for prayer and counseling to help those who were seeking some comfort and healing because of their loss.

I am hoping that your church, too, will stand up for the unborn and provide a service for healing for those who have suffered a past loss.

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