Archive for January, 2019
The growth of our spiritual lives will never outpace our intentional commitment to prioritize it every day. Our spiritual development impacts every other area of our lives—and we cannot delegate that growth to anyone else.
During my college years, over Christmas break, my brother asked me to build a barn for him. He is a much more gifted carpenter than I, but he was trying to help me out. I needed the money. But building barns was neither my passion nor within my skill set.
I accomplished the task, but in a few years the barn began to lean and eventually became unsafe. My brother would have been better off building the barn himself than delegating something to me I could not properly do.
Just as my brother should not have expected me to build a barn, you and I cannot expect someone else to build our spiritual lives for us. No one else can construct our daily walk with God. It has to be intentional, purposeful, and personal. Each one of us is accountable to do it ourselves.
The wisest decision we can make each day is this: I will walk with God today. What the Bible says about Enoch has always challenged me. This statement is simple yet profound: “Enoch walked with God” (Gen. 5:24, esv). Could God write this about your life and mine today? If not, why not? What stands in our way? Who is standing in our way?
If I asked you what the leading cause of death in the world is, I imagine the first answer to pop into your mind would be a disease such as cancer. It wouldn’t be a bad guess — cancer kills more than 8 million people every year. But it’s not the right answer.
You might then consider AIDS or smoking or alcohol-related deaths — or perhaps even traffic accidents? Combined, the four are responsible for the deaths of over 11 million people around the world.
But the leading cause of death in the world is none of the above. In fact, it kills more people than all of them combined.
In 2018, 41.9 million pregnancies were prematurely terminated, making abortion the no. 1 cause of death in the world. The staggering figure was tallied by Worldometers, a site which aggregates statistical data from sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
Yet unlike most of the other leading causes of death in the world, abortion is almost 100 percent preventable. Case in point: in the U.S., 9 out of 10 abortions are elective. That is to say they are performed not due to medical reasons but because the baby is not wanted.
I wonder what would happen if we viewed abortion the same way we view smoking or cancer. Would it remain the leading cause of death in the world if we ran public service campaigns to dissuade women from seeking abortions, as we do for smoking? Or if we spent billions of dollars on research to save lives, as we do with cancer?
The sad truth is our culture doesn’t discourage abortion; on the contrary, we champion and celebrate it. One pro-choice group took it to the next level when it recently released a video of its founder talking with children about why abortion is good.
“They just suck the pregnancy out. It was like a really crappy dentist appointment or something … like a body thing that’s kind of uncomfortable,” she explains to two pre-teen girls in the video.
Notice the choice of words: They suck the pregnancy out. An abortion does not suck a pregnancy out; it forcefully removes, often through suction and cutting, a fetus — or in other words, a baby — from the womb.
That’s the message our culture is communicating to our children today — a baby is only valuable when it doesn’t interfere with your life and your happiness.
Believe it or not, as outrageous as this may sound, many of our elected officials believe it. On its very first day in session, the 116th Congress — hailed for having a record number of women — voted on a spending bill. But beyond providing funds for the federal government, the bill would also restore funding to organizations that provide abortions overseas, which stands in direct contravention to the many recent decisions that have prevented taxpayers’ money from financing abortions.
Today, January 22, is the National Sanctity of Human Life Day. On this date, 46 years ago, the Supreme Court legalized abortion across all 50 states. That one fateful decision has led to the deaths of over 61 million babies in America. That’s roughly the combined populations of California and Florida.
There is nothing in this world more valuable than a human life. The Bible tells us God made us in his image and likeness. This means that, regardless of race, gender, age, place of birth or socioeconomic status, every human life has intrinsic, unalienable value. From the womb, all the way to the tomb, life is precious.
I pray America will choose life.
Ronnie Floyd is senior pastor of Cross Church and president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. He is the author of Living Fit: Make Your Life Count by Pursuing a Healthy You. Follow him @ronniefloyd.