by Michelle Bauman, Director of Y4Life
Many of today’s youth are actively standing up For Life in a culture that embraces death—and they are uniquely equipped to speak God’s truth in areas where adults are less likely to tread.
Youth serve as witnesses to life in high school and college classrooms, on athletic fields and choir tours, and while working part-time jobs or full-time internships. And because they are often on the Frontlines, 4Life youth are able to offer physical, spiritual, and emotional support to those struggling with life decisions.
Yet youth need to be supported through educational opportunities, 4Life experiences, and purposeful mentorship. That is one of the reasons creating a Y4Life Team at church or school is so important. Not only do Y4Life Teams give students opportunities to learn about life issues, but they also provide powerful life-changing experiences.
Audrey Sparling, a senior at Lutheran High School in Parker, Colorado, and a member of the Lions For Life team, was one of many students who attended Y4Life in Washington, D.C., this year. Her reflection on the experience indicates just how impactful Y4Life opportunities can be:
The March for Life 2020 was an incredible experience. This was my very first year attending the March, and it has definitely changed my life. Standing side by side with hundreds of thousands of people to support life was surreal. It was inspiring that so many people from various backgrounds and experiences gathered to stand up for life. At the March, there were old and young people, Democrats and Republicans, and men and women from all over the world. All of these people shared one thing in common—the belief that life has value.
The March for Life plays such a vital role in bringing awareness to the importance of humans in the womb and out of the womb. Not only was I able to march to share the message that life has value but also that our value is found in God.
During this trip, I had the privilege of gathering with Y4Life to talk over important life issues with people from all over the country. This made me and many other people feel even more confident in our cause. During Y4Life discussions before the March, we looked deeper into what God says about our lives. At one of our meetings, we looked at Genesis 1:27 which says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” This verse reminded me that our lives are so special because only humans were created in God’s image, and nothing else on earth was. Because God made us in His image, our lives have value.
The March for Life 2020 and the Y4Life conference gave me the amazing opportunity to stand up for life and share God’s message that we are valued by Him.
Proverbs 1:5 says, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.” As a child of God, especially one who supports life, you, reader, are one of the wise. You know the truth about the value of life, and you continue to educate yourself on life issues. You support national organizations like LFL, as well as other 4Life organizations in your community, and you speak for life when you are able while simultaneously praying for atrocities like abortion to end. The Lord certainly hears your prayers and commends your good work, and He will continue to bless others through them.
But today I encourage you to extend your legacy of life support even further. I ask you to consider investing in today’s youth. And though it may not be the most comfortable topic to discuss right now, I’d like to use the analogy of an investment portfolio to do so. (Don’t worry; I think you’ll like how this one ends!)
Investment portfolios, as you know, look different for everyone. Uniquely formulated for the individual, each one has distinct strengths, assets, and benefits. Despite suffering temporary short-term losses, portfolios are purposely built for long-term rewards; despite being unsure of what’s to come, they help us prepare for the future we hope for.
As the people of God, we have portfolios, too—investment portfolios that were created by God Himself. He has filled them with a variety of strengths and an abundance of assets, but unlike our earthly portfolios, they are guaranteed to produce a profusion of fruit!
In 2 Corinthians 9:10-11a it states, “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way …” God supplies the seed we sow, and He supplies the bread. Our churches and communities are blessed with the gifts we need to carry out God’s work; our investment portfolios are burgeoning with blessings from God.
Even better than our earthly investment portfolios, God has perfectly and uniquely formed each individual in His kingdom, providing inherent and inexhaustible talents and abilities alongside worldly goods. And all these gifts He intends for our good and for the good of our neighbor. Who are some of those neighbors? Today’s youth.
I encourage you to take stock of your portfolio this week, to look honestly at the gifts God has given you and to reflect on how those gifts might benefit the youth in your life. Can you mentor, provide insight, or work alongside young people as they volunteer? Are you enthusiastic about getting youth involved in life ministries or supporting a Y4Life Team? Has God provided you with the financial gifts to support Y4Life ministry?
Though we can’t predict the future, we can prepare for the future we hope for. May our life legacy enable today’s youth to reach the communities they are part of, sharing the life-saving and life-valuing news of Christ for generations to come. And may the sacrificial gifts given from our investment portfolios reap bountiful dividends in Christ, increasing the harvest of righteousness!