Imagine living as a Jew in ancient Palestine at the time Jesus was growing up. Your people are subjugated. Your future is uncertain. A cloud of oppression hangs over your nation and your life.
When Messiah comes, you think to yourself, He will change everything. He will deliver us. He will lead us into victory. He will give us all that we’ve hoped for: freedom, peace, and hope.
As Christians living on the other side of these historical circumstances, we know that’s exactly what Jesus accomplished for all who put their faith in Him. But we can also see that the freedom, peace, and hope He offers is actually much more all-encompassing and long-lasting (as in, eternal) than the ordinary person of that day would have thought possible.
Throughout human history, because of the brokenness of our world, the human race has struggled to bring about positive change in society. We have staged revolutions. We have developed philosophies and written books and fought wars.
But how does real change take place?
It’s always been about the human heart. The heart is where God’s Kingdom comes to earth. The heart is what must change in order for culture to change.
This is where the work of pregnancy centers shines. In quiet, unobtrusive, often invisible ways, pregnancy centers effectively change the world in exactly the way Jesus did (and taught us to do).
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In Matthew 13, Jesus told the parable of the sower to illustrate how the Kingdom of God comes into human hearts like a seed into soil. Then he told two other parables.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” – Matthew 13:31-33
This Kingdom doesn’t come about by means of protests and revolutions. It doesn’t happen by taking over governments or winning wars.
To further illustrate the point, Jesus didn’t ride into Jerusalem on a big white horse. Instead, he humbly perched on the tiny back of a baby donkey. Jesus’ point was clear; His Kingdom was not going to be ushered in with power and force, but with humility and love.
This is what pregnancy centers do so well. From a posture of humility and love, we offer hope and help. We gently speak the truth and invite distressed parents into a radically different way of living.
We invite them into another Kingdom, a Kingdom for which human beings were designed in the first place.
Here’s how I put it in Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion:
When we come to Christ and begin to know him intimately, he increases our ability to love. We’re more able to care about others. Our default response changes from selfishness to empathy.
The Holy Spirit comes to live inside us, and we value what he values, care about what he cares about, feel what he feels. We begin to know in our hearts, not only our heads, that planet Earth isn’t our real home. We live as loyal citizens of another realm.
In that other realm, ending the life of an innocent unborn child is against the law. In that realm, the atmosphere is pure compassion. In that realm, a King rules who will one day make all things new. And in that realm, joy inexpressible and filled with glory permeates the atmosphere…
When this Kingdom comes to the hearts of our clients, their lives begin to change. And when their lives being to change, a ripple effect touches the lives of those around them. Little by little, like a mustard seed growing into a huge tree, or yeast rising in bread dough, powerful change comes about in the whole community.
You demonstrate gentleness, kindness and compassion. You are persistent, truthful and uncompromising. Day after day, you reach out to a generation who is floundering and confused. You help them understand all the factors of a very big decision, but so much more than that.
You invite them into another Kingdom.
This is how your work literally changes the world, one act of kindness at a time.