You Are God's Masterpiece
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Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

1,287,000 this year. 3526, every day. 147 every hour, 1 every 24 seconds. Since 1973 48,474,000.

No wonder they are called numbers….if you get enough of them, they are numbing!

And while they become mere numbers to us, this passage from Jeremiah tells us, indeed this whole Book tells us that these unborn children are not “mere numbers” to God. They are His masterpieces. They are living human beings created by Him in His image and bought back from the devil by the blood of Jesus which is fully applied at baptism.

But what about those unborn children who never had an opportunity to be baptized?  Well, the child that was born out of the illicit union of David and Bathsheeba was never circumcised, yet David could say after the child died, “

2Sa 12:23 "But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."

In these matters we simply trust in the grace and mercy of God.

But why should we make such a big deal about these unborn children. Do they really matter all that much to God?

Dr James Lamb, the executive director of Lutherans For Life tells of a yellowed clump of thread that is kept in a heritage box in his living room. It doesn't look like much, it was some sort of needlework  that had been started by his grandmother. It was found next to her rocking chair when she died. Why is his family keeping it in a heritage box as if it were something valuable? Because it's value does not come from it's usefulness or how it looks, it's value comes from who made it!

Our value comes from the One who made us.

And so we see the picture of the potter at work in your bulletin insert.

How valuable are we? Well, just look at the cross. That's how much value God put on you. He sent His only Son to die for you, and we see the price of redemption in the second picture in the insert, and in the third picture we see the individual application of that redemption in baptism.

Max Lucado has a book out called John 3:16. In it, he breaks down that wonderful passage of the Bible word for word. This morning I would like to do the same thing with Jeremiah 1:5, and it's my prayer that we will all get a better appreciation of the gift of life.

Before = to interrupt or suspend, non-occurrence, not yet. We could simply say, “not yet,” and be done with it, but I like those words, “to interrupt or suspend.” I get this mental image of God calling a time out in heaven, and announcing to all the angels, “Hey everyone, I'm going to create another human being, wanna watch?”

I'm going to create Will, Robin, Maddie, etc Do you catch the specialness attached to such an announcement?

I = God, the ruler of the universe, the self-sufficient One who needs no other, yet. He sees a need for forming you!

Formed  thee =  the squeezing into shape, mold, potter, First the Potter God chooses the material He will work with. He selects the very sperm and egg that will unite to provide the raw materials He will use that genetic code to mold and shape you. You gender, your height, the color of your hair, eyes, and skin, and other things as well are already determined at conception.

“in the belly,” = the word “belly” means hollow. Typically the fertilization of the egg takes place in the fallopian tube (tubes are hollow) nearest to the uterus or womb. .   

I = God the ruler of the universe, the self sufficient One who needs no other, feels a need to know you.

Knew  thee = recognized, had an understanding of, was familiar with, has knowledge of everything about you.  

And = not only that but,

Before thou camest forth out  - broke out of the womb at birth and took your first breath of air,

Womb = matrix = the place of development,  material in which something is enclosed in for protection,  The womb was built for the safety of the baby to allow the child to be knit together by God.

I = God the ruler of the universe, the self sufficient One who needs no other,

Sanctified  thee = appointed, prepared, made sacred, has set you aside as something sacred with a purpose! For which you have been adequately equipped.

And = not only that but,

I - God the ruler of the universe, the self-sufficient One who needs no other,

Ordained - gave you to be, (placed you in the world at a specific time and a specific place to be further shaped for what you were created for, mainly to bring glory to God, who was responsible for your glorious beginning, and your glorious redemption.

Jeremiah was given to the world to be a prophet. What were you given to the world to be? There's still time to find out you know.

Ps 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

To delight in the Lord means to be pliable, moldable, like that clay in your bulletin insert,. That speaks of submission to the Father's hands, being obedient to Him and His Word. If you and I would learn to do that, we would not have to worry about the desires of our heart,  God would take care of that. And His intentions for us, at whatever stage of our lives would be realized.

You are precious. You are God's masterpiece!And what is true for you is true for every unborn child!

Now some of you may have knowingly or unknowingly participated in the destruction of one of God's masterpieces. You may have participated in the act of abortion. Please remember that there is forgiveness for you. God still regards you as His masterpiece.
He will not throw you away!

I was privileged to attend a “Silent No More” rally at the capitol in Madison this week. I heard the testimony of five of God's masterpieces who had deliberately destroyed some of God's masterpieces by abortion.

O the vandalism that had been done to their individual paintings by the devil's accusations that God would no longer accept them. O the broken road of pain they walked as they remained in denial.

But oh the beauty that was coming forth from them now as they openly discussed their past misdeeds and shared how God had healed them through His forgiveness. They were in that beautiful process of restoration to the original masterpiece, and it was clear that God was using them for His glory!

The worst thing we can do is suppress our past sins. Just read some of David's Psalms that spoke of the misery and heaviness in his life due to hidden and unconfessed sin.

If you or anyone you know is suffering the effects of participating in an abortion I strongly urge attending the next Rachael's Vineyard retreat in April.

Something else needs to be said here. Even those who have never had any connection to abortion have some confessing to do as well.

Pr 24:11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
 12 If you say, "Surely we did not know this," Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not  render to each man according to his deeds?

The church needs to wake up and pick up the banner of life on behalf of the unborn. Stop being numbed by the numbers. Remember, these, like you are masterpieces of God!  And they are being destroyed. Where is the appropriate outrage on our behalf.

What if someone were to deliberately go into our nations art museums and start removing pictures and destroying them. Could you imagine the outrage of those who appreciate art? Even those who don't appreciate art would realize that something valuable and irreplaceable has been lost, and they too would be outraged!

Where is the outrage of the Christian church when one of God's masterpieces is destroyed ever 24 seconds! We need to confess our sin of apathy on behalf of God's masterpieces, and then we need to do something about it! How about going to God's art gallery at the Planned parenthood clinic in Grand chute and being present the days that abortions are being done.

Prayerfully seek ways to let women know what they are doing to God's masterpieces.

How about writing your legislators or phoning them when pro-life legislation comes up?

How about supporting crisis pregnancy centers and maternity homes with our time, talent, and treasure!

How about starting or re-establishing a LFL chapter here in the valley.

I've been praying and wondering about our purpose here at Living Word. Wondering about ministry that we can do as a body. Could this be it? Is this why God has raised up this small body of believers?  Only time and prayer will tell, but it wouldn't hurt to push against that door and see if it opens!

Someone has got to become concerned about the destruction of God's masterpieces, why not us?