I was privileged to speak at the 9thAannual Billings March for Life last month. Though I wandered from my original notes extensively, below is the gist of what I shared. I pray it encourages and inspires you.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
We know that we are not saved by deeds but by faith alone through the blood of Jesus Christ. However, the theme of dead faith without deeds is woven throughout Scripture. Today I challenge you – is your faith supported by your deeds? I have been convicted of this in my own life recently as I have been reflecting back on the many who reached out to me in times of distress throughout my life.
You see, I was adopted as an infant. Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about my birth mother. I literally owe my life to her because she chose life at a time when abortions in the United States were near an all-time high. She was selfless and brave, and one day I hope I can thank her personally for choosing life for me. I don’t know much about her, but because of my upbringing and my parent’s faith I have always been, without thought or question, pro-life.
When I was a teenager, I was sexually assaulted by a classmate. This event hurled me into a downward spiral of destruction that included promiscuity, alcohol and drugs. A home pregnancy test revealed my suspicion, I was pregnant. I panicked. A girlfriend scheduled an appointment for me at our local Planned Parenthood. They gave me another test and confirmed that I was pregnant. The woman began to tell me about my “options” and how I didn’t have to go through with the pregnancy. But I knew, even when I wasn’t walking with Jesus, that I could never, ever have an abortion. I walked out of that clinic still pregnant and stubborn as ever. The following months were HARD. Telling my parents was a painful, disappointing experience for all of us. But thanks to their unconditional love and the church we attended, I had an amazing support group. In November 2002, I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful little girl. I named her Grace because even though I didn’t deserve it God had shown me grace by giving me the one thing that would keep me alive and force me to stop living so selfishly and destructively. Several years later in the perfect, amazing way only God can work, He put an incredible man in my life. I am so amazingly blessed and thankful for him! We have been married for almost 9 years and have added two more children to our family!
As I think back, there were countless people who, through their care for me, expressed more than pro-life words, they put it into action.
I see so many signs, posts on social media and hear so many people say, “I am praying for an end to abortion.” This is good! Prayer in and of itself is a GOOD thing. We know these prayers touch our Father’s heart because He alone ordained life. Psalm 139:15-16 says:
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. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
May I be bold and assume that when you pray you are praying in faith? You have faith in the One who promises to hear your prayers. I want to encourage you who have been so faithful praying for the end to abortion to walk out your faith in your daily lives in practical and tangible ways if you are not already.
The Left often says that pro-lifers only care about saving the baby. The Left claims that once that baby is born we walk away and don’t care about what happens to that child for the rest of their life. So today I encourage you to pray for the single mothers out there, to pray for those women who are considering having an abortion. And then, I encourage you to ACT.
How can you be the hands and feet of Jesus? What practical way could you serve a single mom and her children living in your community? Could you do a meal once a week for her family? Could you buy her diapers for a week, a month or a year? Imagine the impact that could have on the life of a struggling single mother. Friends, I am so passionate about this because I was once that single mother! My church (yes CHURCH) held a diaper shower for me, and I didn’t have to buy diapers or wipes for over six months! This simple act of kindness from my local faith community will stick with me forever. Approach these women who have chosen life with humility and grace.
In the Greek, the word James uses for “works” means those which definitively involve faith as their initiator. In Greek the word “dead” metaphorically means in opposition to the life of the Gospel – it means inactive or inoperative.
I don’t want to be standing before Christ, giving account for my life knowing that my actions and my life were in opposition to the life of the Gospel.
We must also pray for women who have chosen the path of abortion. We must never judge them for their decision because we can never fully understand the circumstances surrounding their decision. Pray for healing for these women and pray for the Holy Spirit to draw them near that they may receive the healing that only Jesus can provide though salvation and sanctification.
Will you join me in being more like James?
‘… I will show you my faith by my deeds.’”
If you are looking for practical ways to serve single moms who have chosen life and their children or post-abortive women, please feel free to contact me via phone or e-mail, and I will point you in the direction of some outstanding organizations.