July 13, Wednesday

UPDATEDToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on February 1, 2017.

Devotional Thoughts for This Morning

Abortion?  You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

1 Cor. 4:17

That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

When “Jorge”—originally from Puerto Rico—saw me jogging in Chester Park this December (2016), he was happy to see me, since we hadn’t seen each other for over three years—I had moved away from that neighborhood. As we were chatting, my ears perked up when Jorge, a naturalized citizen who has long retired, said that he voted for Trump, since only a quarter of Hispanics voted for Trump. Seeing my surprised reaction, he added, “I was going to vote for Clinton, until the third debate made me realize that her position could make any abortion legal at any point during a pregnancy.” Then it dawned on me that most foreign-born Hispanics (i.e., immigrants), certainly more religious than the general population, are socially more conservative.  About 60 percent of them (PEW Research Center 2014), perhaps still bearing the influence of Catholicism, continue to hold that what’s inside the womb is life.  

On the one hand, the best defense for abortion is the consideration for life and health of the mother, which makes up for one to two percent of all the reasons given for abortion. On the other hand, the worst argument for abortion is unwanted pregnancy—meaning, adding a baby in one’s life will lead to disruption of its lifestyle. Once, my heart sank upon being told by my wife that she was pregnant, not long after our third child was born. While I was worrying about the cost and squeezing another person into our tiny house, my wife blurted out “April Fools!”  Yes, I guess I momentarily grasped how unwanted pregnancy makes you feel, but that’s no reason to abort the life inside the womb. 

I ask this question to Bible-believing Christians: When does life begin? If you say, “after the birth,” then, I fully understand why you support abortion; at least you are consistent, albeit you are blissfully ignorant of God’s word. However, if you agree with the psalmist who declares, “For [God] created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:13-14), and yet support abortion, then, you are being greatly inconsistent, for belief that life begins at conception necessarily renders abortion a morally indefensible act. As today’s scripture insinuates, our private belief should match our public standing. No, you can’t have your cake and eat it too! If you believe the entity in the womb is life and you still support abortion, you are being downright hypocritical.  

And even if abortion is permitted on account of life of the mother, it must meet stringent requirements (like in legal euthanasia), or otherwise not-so-critical medical conditions can readily become a justified ground for taking the life of another human being.

The apostle John’s statements, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did,” and “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar,”simply means that we be consistent—that our belief match our action.  How about you?  Are you consistent?  

Prayer: Dear Lord, I praise You this morning for giving me life, both physical and spiritual.  Though, at times, I may be dissatisfied with my life, teach me to be content and thankful, knowing that You gave me this life. Fill me with the Spirit, so that I may always find satisfaction in only You.  Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Romans 11


Lunch Break Study

Re-read 1 Cor. 4:17 (NIV): For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

1 Cor. 10:23-4: “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

Questions to Consider

1. What was so important to Paul that he sent Timothy to Corinth to inform this to the believers there?

2. Apply the answer to question 1 to abortion. In light of that, what is the point of the morning devotional?  

3. The pro-choice advocates privilege women’s right to choose. Okay, going along with that language and logic for the moment, based on 1 Cor. 10:23-4, is there something more important than having the power to choose? Choosing between two socks is one thing but over life and death?  

Note

1. What was so important to Paul was being consistent: he wanted the Corinthian believers to know that his way of life in Christ Jesus was congruent to what he taught publicly in every church.

2. The morning devotional wasn’t about whether abortion is wrong per se; it was about being consistent between what you say you believe about the Bible and what you believe about abortion.  Be consistent. 

3. What’s more important than the power to choose is making the right choice, since not every choice is as beneficial or constructive.  The choice is made not from the standpoint of what is best for me but in consideration of what is good for others.  If you believe that what’s inside the womb is a person, then you need to seek that person’s good, not just yours. Isn’t that why almost all public spaces do not permit smoking precisely because it seeks the good of non-smokers.  


Evening Reflection

Perhaps, you were angry reading this morning’s devotional or the lunch break study.  It’s okay.  The issue is a volatile one and passion can run high. Before you go to sleep, would you pray that our society would give more consideration to unborn babies than, in some cases, abused animals.  I love dogs but none of them ranks higher in God’s sight than humans, which certainly should include the unborn.  Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them” (Mk. 10:15-6).  There is no ontological difference between this child and the unborn.  If we really walk as Jesus did, then we would love and bless the unborn.  Think about it.  Really!  And be consistent.   

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