Daily Devotions: Biblical Sanctity
Each Life is a Creation of God
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them."
Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
The prevailing worldview contends mankind is the product of natural selection. This idea was popularized by Charles Darwin when his book on The Origin of The Species was published in 1859. One of the major tenants of this ideaology is all life came into existence by chance, when the "right" set of conditions allowed certain proteins to combine forming a living creature. This creature later crawled out of the primordial ooze and evolved over millions of years into modern man.
Today's scripture clearly refutes this popular worldview. Mankind, male and female, were created by God. We do not exist by chance or natural selection. We exist because God formed us from the dust with His hands and breathed the breath of life into us (Genesis 2:7). We are extremely complex with thousands of chemical reactions occurring in our bodies every second. Our brains are more intricate and delicate than any computer ever assembled and yet far more powerful. Every bone, muscle, and nerve ber has a speci c function, and they allow us to live and breathe and move.
But wait - there is more. We are also far different from other animals. God has made us in His own image. He has given us a soul and spirit other animals do not possess. Because of this, we can have a relationship with God impossible for the lower life forms. Jesus stated in Matthew 6:26-27, "Look at the birds of the air...your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" The answer is a resounding YES! We know God values us more than any other part of creation, and we are uniquely designed by Him. Let us celebrate we are God's creation, created in His image.
Each Life Is Individually Designed By God
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth."
Psalm 139:13-15 (NIV)
The world views humans as the product of the reproductive process and not
as something to be treasured. Man is simply the highest life-form produced
by evolution. Psalm 139 helps us to see the value of human life. Every child is fearfully and wonderfully made, and is a gift from God. God knows each of us intimately and oversees the entire process in the womb from conception to birth. The words used to describe the process, "knit" and "woven," indicate the delicate and precise nature of the work God does for each of us. This is one of my favorite passages because it reminds me of God's immense wisdom, tender love, and awesome power.
In the process of "knitting and weaving" our forms, God gives each of us individual attention and also a unique combination of talents, personality and intelligence. God knows the plans He has for each of us before we are born. His attention to all the details in creating and forming our innermost parts demonstrates His love for us, and the importance and value He places on each life. We see this point reinforced when Jesus told His disciples "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14).
Let us not be deceived into accepting the world's standard for the value of human life. Instead, let us remember God carefully and precisely formed each of us into the unique individual we are, and nothing happens to His children by accident. We are fearfully and wonderfully made for a purpose. Praise God!
Each Life Has a Unique Purpose
"Everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made."
Isaiah 43:7 (NASB)
Most of us have asked the question, "What is the meaning and purpose of life?" In 1969 Peggy Lee sang a song about a young girl looking for a deeper meaning in life. "Is that all there is my friends... let's break out the booze and have a ball if that's all there is." A lack of purpose in our life can lead to despair.
William Barclay wrote, "There are two great days in a person's life-the day we are born and the day we discover why." Isaiah tells us why we were created. We were designed by God for His glory. God also "formed" us for a speci c purpose. A great example is Esther who came "to the kingdom for such a time as this" Esther 4:14 (NKJV).
Some people know at an early age God's plan for their life. I was in my mid-to-late forties before I became aware of God's plan for me. I did not have a conscious goal in mind. At that time, I was busy raising a family and serving God the best I knew how. Then I got involved in medical mission work. Looking back now, I can see how my life experiences were preparing me for what I am doing today.
There is no magic formula to nd God's purpose for your life. If you stay in prayer, read your Bible, and live in obedience to the things God asks you to
do, you will bring glory to God. Then one day you will realize you are where you are supposed to be and doing the things you are supposed to be doing.
And God, "...who works all things after the counsel of His will" (Ephesians
1:11, NASB), will show you the true value of your life and give you peace.
Each Life Is Valuable To God
"This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
1 John 4:9-10 (NIV)
God loves us. Love is a word that is used in many ways. It is used as a verb or noun in modern English. When used as a verb, it can mean anything from a mild affection for someone or some object to a deep emotional attachment. The biblical meaning of love encompasses far more than a feeling. The highest form of love in the Bible, Godly love, is unsel sh and sacri cial. This type of love is more than an emotion. Biblical love was and is an action.
God loves us. This three-word phrase gives meaning to life. We have seen how God created us, formed us, knit us, wove us, and now we see He gave us His Son. These are all actions showing God's love for us. As Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us" (NIV).
God loves us. We are valuable because God loves us. Without God's love we would just be another animal, which is what the world would have us believe. God has shown us in many ways that He loves us, but the world remains unconvinced. The world does not recognize God's love and cheapens the value of human life. Millions of unborn babies have been sacri ced for the sake of convenience. Men, women, and children have been and are being sold into slavery for a pro t. The murder rate is soaring. Without God's love life has no meaning and is cheap.
But God loves us. We are valuable to Him, and He wants to spend time with us. Do you feel loved by God? You are! God loves you, and He has shown you in so many different ways.
Each Life Has A Day, Appointed By God, To Die
"Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 138:16 (NIV)
This passage tells us God has ordained the length of our life from conception to death. But wait; don't I have anything to say about that? Ever since the garden of Eden man has wanted to be like God. We want to be in control of our life, but the truth is we are not.
Jesus asked the question, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life" Matthew 6:27 (NIV). The implied answer is no one. The only example we have of someone's life being extended is Hezekiah. In Second Kings chapter twenty God answered Hezekiah's prayer and added fteen years to his life. As much as we want to resist acknowledging it, God is in control of the length of our lives.
You may ask, how do abortion, euthanasia, suicide, murder, and war t in with God's plan for our lives? Abortion for convenience, euthanasia and suicide to end suffering, and murder or war in the name of justice are examples of man wanting to be in control. Can we or others do something that will shorten the time God has ordained for us? Only God can answer that question, but we must resist the urge to take control of the situation. Or what role does medical care play? God's Word clearly teaches in First Corinthians 6:19 we are to take care
of our bodies because they are His temple (ESV). By doing this we will have a better quality of life, but there is no promise it will be a longer life.
God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives. We are special and valuable to Him. We should stop ghting God for control and surrender to Him, then our lives will be all God intended them to be.
Each Life Has An Eternal Destiny
"Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV)
Human life is sacred and valuable to God. But because sin entered the world in the garden of Eden, we all have a divine appointment with death. Our time on this earth will come to an end. This will occur only once and not multiple times as some religions teach.
God created us in His image. We are each uniquely designed by Him. He formed us with a purpose in mind and ordained the number of our days. When our time is done we will appear before Him to be judged. God will decide our nal destination: heaven or hell. It will be paradise or punishment for eternity. There are no other options.
Many believe the deciding factor will be how we lived our lives, but the determination of our eternal fate will rest on the answer to one question: Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Yes, or no. There will be no middle ground. No maybes! And our Creator, who knows everything about us, will be the judge. Nothing will be hidden from Him (Revelation 20).
Does the idea of standing before God make you anxious? If so then realize we can know our eternal destiny. Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, and if we ask God to save us He will! If we make Jesus the Lord of our lives, and give Him control, and if we accept that Jesus died for us and believe that He rose from the grave, (Romans 10:9-10), then our names will be written in the book of life (Revelation 20). Our reward will be great. We will have harmony with God, a hope for the future, and a home in heaven.