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DEVOTIONAL (AUGUST 21 – 31, 2017): “CELEBRATING THE GIFTS IN OTHERS”

by Lauren Muzyka, Executive Director, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse(s):

“Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” – Matthew 15b-16

Reflection:

If we’re being totally honest, we’ve all felt a twinge of jealousy before… Someone else seems better at their job than we do. Someone else gets recognized for their accomplishments more than we do. Another sidewalk counselor is celebrating yet another victory on the sidewalk while we’re in a season of struggle. Another organization gets the attention we were hoping to draw to a project we just launched.

And yet, the Lord doesn’t see it that way. In the Kingdom of God, everything sacrificed and offered to Him, big and small, challenge or no challenge, is valuable and precious. You have gifts and talents someone else doesn’t. Seasons of life give us more of an opportunity to share at times than others. And if our ultimate goal is to glorify God and give all the attention to Him where possible, it doesn’t really matter. As long as we are utilizing the gifts, talents and time He has given to us – letting all be done in love – it is even more pleasing to Him!

And perhaps another’s success is the Holy Spirit whispering to us a challenge: Go run after and cultivate the gifts and dreams I’ve given you.

Meanwhile as we grow and seek His Will, God reassures us: Don’t focus on someone else, focus on what I can do through you. And celebrate any victory — whether worked through us or someone else — as a victory for Him.

Faith Challenge:

Pray for the gift of humility, and thank God for His many blessings.

DEVOTIONAL (August 1 – 21, 2017): “For the Good of Those Who Love Him”

by Jeff Reedy, Shipping Coordinator, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse(s):

“For we know that God works everything for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Reflection:

The world seems to be in a tumult of scary news at times:  Political upheaval.  Police officers gunned down. Terrorist acts.

And yet, we know that God works everything for our good. Everything!  No matter who is in the Oval Office …no matter what laws get passed in our nation. God works everything for good under Nero just as He does under Constantine. If we but turn to Him, we can trust that He will work everything out in the end.

An example of this comes immediately to mind: It’s such a beautiful thing to see a baby spared from abortion and given the opportunity for a full and happy life. It makes people wonder, what can I do to help save babies like this?

Well, that brings us to our second example: Sidewalk Advocates for Life has applications open this month!  You can learn how to bring this peaceful, lawful, incredibly effective program to your town or city and build a team of trained Sidewalk Advocates in front of your local abortion facility.

Ever wondered what you can do to make a difference in the world? To be part of God “working everything for our good?” Here’s your chance to be part of the solution!

Faith Challenge:

Pray for God to work everything for good in our country and to begin with us, perhaps by bringing SAFL to YOUR area!

Devotional (July 15-31, 2017): “Children are a Gift from the Lord”

by Jenna Scott, Program Administrator, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse(s):

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” — Psalm 127:3 (NASV)

Reflection:

Children are a gift from the Lord!  We know that as part of the pro-life community, but how do we show it?

It is easy to put on the pro-life hat and say that we are for ending abortion. We can — and should — be a witness for life in front of abortion facilities. But are we called to do more to affirm the truth that children are a blessing from the Lord?

We are pro-life not just when we go to the sidewalk, but also in how we live our daily lives. We have an opportunity to be a witness for life when we go to the grocery store, church, or make our daily commute. When we see a mother struggling with her children in the grocery store line, we can be a source of support when we step aside and let her check out first. When we go to church and the family is trying to hear God’s Word with a fussy baby, don’t encourage the family to leave — smile and affirm their valiant efforts.  If you take public transportation, offer the pregnant woman your seat.

When we show the world we care and support children and their parents in our day-to-day actions, we are showing the world what it truly means to be pro-life. And it may be those random acts of kindness that stick with someone when they encounter an unexpected pregnancy of their own.

Let Us Pray:

Lord, help us remember that children are a blessing every day throughout our day. Help us find ways to be kind and show love towards children and parents. Let our compassion and love for life spill over into everything that we do so that we may proclaim your truth with our actions and not just our words. Amen.

DEVOTIONAL (July 1 – 15, 2017): “Upheld and Strengthened”

by Lauren Muzyka, Executive Director, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Reflection: Sometimes, the truth of the violence of abortion overwhelms us.

When we hear the testimony of a woman who has experience abortion or listened to a former worker talk about the sad and obvious taking of human life inside the abortion facility, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the evident darkness so many have experienced.

Yet, His word tells us that He has conquered sin and darkness overwhelmingly, and He will completely heal us if we but turn to Him.  He promises to strengthen us in this battle, renew and refresh us, and “make all things new” (cf. Rev 21:5) through the power of his passion, death, and resurrection.

His love and grace truly makes all things new.

Faith Challenge: Pray for the healing of all those who have experience abortion personally in one way or another.

DEVOTIONAL (June 1 – 30, 2017): “Love in Action”

by Chantel Poisel, Communications Coordinator, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” – Romans 12:9 (NIV)

Reflection: Most of us agree that abortion is evil.  It is the taking of a human life made in the image and likeness of God.  We are justified in hating abortion, as we are to hate what is evil.

Let’s not overlook the second part of this verse, however, or confuse hating evil for hating people.  The Lord created each and every person in His image and likeness which is to say we are inherently precious to Him and valuable.  He desires a personal relationship with all of us.

We are called to cling to what is good.  What could be greater than love?

Faith Challenge: This month, I want to challenge each of us to not only cling to love, but to sincerely put that love into action.

The next time you are having a conversation about abortion, try sharing from a position of love instead of anger.  When speaking to a woman considering abortion, sincerely love her as Christ loves her.  Offer her a blessing bag as a token of love and hope.  When speaking with abortion workers feeling trapped in the abortion industry, show them love and share news of abortionworker.com.

Pray that the Lord softens our own hearts so we can put His love in action in order totruly reach others.