Saturday, October 3, 2009

DAY 11: Ambassadors of Christ

Dear Mike,
Today's devotional speaks of being ambassadors ofChrist. That's exactly what each of us is called todo during this 40 Days for Life campaign -- and I amso gratified to see how many of you are taking thiscall to heart.
But it isn't always easy.
More than in any previous campaign, there is strongopposition to what you are and others are doing onthe sidewalks of 212 cities. And in a couple ofminutes, I'm going to ask you to watch a 38-secondvideo that shows the challenge -- and the properresponse to that challenge that demonstrates to thewhole world exactly what sets 40 Days for Life apart.
Carol Marie in Reno, Nevada reports that 40 Days forLife vigil participants often have to deal with"tirades, nasty comments and empty threats" from theabortionist, who clearly wishes the prayer presenceoutside his offices would go away.
The people praying at the vigil do not respond; theyjust keep praying. "I am happy to learn that wecontinue to demonstrate that we are there to sharethe love of Christ with those who come to theabortion site," Carol Marie said, "regardless oftheir reason for being there, regardless of the rolethey are playing in this tragedy."
Paul in Lake Jackson, Texas said 40 Days for Lifevigil participants there had a most challenging timerecently. "We were visited by an angry protester thatspent 45 minutes shouting at us and trying to arguewith us right in front of our vigil space," he said."By the grace of God, we were cool headed and triednot to engage her in any conversation but she wasvery persistent.
It got to the point where one of the vigilparticipants had to call the police. "The officerthat spent some time with the woman and told usafterward she wouldn't be back," Paul said. Even themayor came later to offer his support. "Through itall we kept praying."
Clair in Kalamazoo, Michigan notes that a waterbottle and a nearly-empty drink can were thrown at 40Days for Life vigil participants from passingvehicles. Thankfully, no one was hurt. "Theindividuals who threw these items would like it verymuch if we stopped coming out," she said. ButKalamazoo is committed to press on with their 40 Daysfor Life campaign.
The group did file a police report, and the officerspromised to help. "They have told us there will bemore patrols going past the Planed Parenthoodfacility," said Clair.
A slight increase in the incidents of taunting andheckling have been reported, as "pro-choice" bloggersare furiously attempting to rally abortion advocatesto go out to abortion centers and demonstrate againstthe 40 Days for Life prayer vigils.
The 38-second video I'd like you to watch is one thatI discovered on YouTube. It was recorded outside Dr.Emily's Women's Health Center in The Bronx, New York-- one of the country's busiest abortion facilities,that ends the lives of thousands of children yearly.
You'll see a small 40 Days for Life group, includingseveral Catholic nuns, standing in a circle prayingpeacefully and quietly. You won't see the abortiondemonstrators, but you'll certainly hear them as theyangrily chant slogans in an attempt to drown out thevigil participants' prayers.
This, in a 38-second nutshell, is what 40 Days forLife is all about. We stand up for those who have novoice, in a world that doesn't want to listen, wherepeople yell in an effort to drown out the truth.
But never forget -- Jesus told us to expect this:"Blessed are you when they insult you and persecuteyou and utter every kind of evil against you falselybecause of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your rewardwill be great in heaven" (Matthew 5:11-12).
40 Days for Life gives us the opportunity to livethat out in a unique way. And, if we aren't beingpersecuted for our faith at times -- are we reallyliving out the fullness of the gospel?
Thank you for being prayerful and peaceful ... andfor living the gospel.
Here's today's devotional from Carmen Pate,co-host of the "Point of View" talk radio show...
-----------------------------------------------------DAY 11 INTENTION-----------------------------------------------------
Pray that when those representing Planned Parenthoodand other abortion groups see volunteers for 40 Daysfor Life, they see ambassadors of Christ, and mayeach volunteer be consciously aware at all times werepresent Him.
I...beseech you to walk worthy of the calling withwhich you were called, with all lowliness, andgentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with oneanother in love.
-- Ephesians 4:1-2
-----------------------------------------------------REFLECTION by Carmen Pate, "Point of View"-----------------------------------------------------
When a former abortionist and post-abortive woman,Carol Everett, was asked what turned her heart fromdeath to life in Christ, she replied, "It wasunconditional love" shown by a man who prayed dailyfor her in front of the facility where she worked.
He told Carol that "God had sent him" because therewas someone in there that God wanted out. She left 27days later and now serves as Christ's ambassador tohelp others. We too have been sent by Christ as anambassador to love unconditionally those God seeks to"get out" of their bondage and sin.
In his book, "Fishers of Men," Dr. Sumner Wempdescribes what it means to be an ambassador ofChrist, the King of Kings:
* God has chosen us (John 15:16)
* We are sent into a world that is not our home (1 Peter 2:11)
* Our walk must match our talk (1 Timothy 3:7)
* We must abide in Him for daily instruction (John 15:5)
* Know our purpose -- to seek and to save that which is lost (Luke 19:10)
* We are to reconcile others to God with His authority (Matthew 28:19-20)
* Our service is to be grounded and rooted in love (Ephesians 3:17)
Pray that we each will walk worthy of the callingwith which we were called!
Dear Heavenly Father, we are humbled that you havecalled us and appointed us to be ambassadors ofChrist in a world that is not our home. It is acalling much higher and grander than our finite mindscan imagine.
We pray that your Holy Spirit will empower us to walkworthy of the calling. We pray that Yourunconditional love will flow through us onto thosewho desperately need Your saving grace. In the nameof Christ who is worthy, Amen.
-----------------------------------------------------PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL-----------------------------------------------------
To download today's devotional as a formatted,printable PDF to share with friends:
For Life,
David BereitNational Campaign Director40 Days for Life

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