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Jan Rogers From My Mountains

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” — Jeremiah 1:4-5

January is Sanctity of Human Life Month with the third Sunday of the month being designated as sanctity of human life Sunday and has been ever since President Reagan signed an official proclamation declaring it so in 1984. While there are many disparate political and sometimes “religious” views on all the ‘why’s and wherefores’ surrounding this I’ve decided to take a different approach here to commemorate this day.

If we take only one lesson from this month it is this: Life Matters. I’ll say that again: LIFE MATTERS! How do we know that? Because it is written all throughout the Bible. Why do you think God decided to become the Creator of all we know and those things we don’t yet, or may never know? Because life is important to him. Our lives; mine, yours and all lives throughout the world from the beginning of time until time as we know it ends.

Not only does life matter to God but he has a purpose for each of our lives. Just look at what he says to Jeremiah in the passage above. In this passage, God and Jeremiah have a “discussion.” God is calling Jeremiah to serve him as his voice; as a prophet appointed by God to speak for him to the nation of Israel. But, it’s not Jeremiah’s calling in verse 5 I want us to focus on. It’s what God says to Jeremiah in verse 4. Jeremiah’s calling was appointed by God before Jeremiah was even born. And, it’s the same for each of us.

Recently there have been several accounts in the news of different people who have ended their lives by committing suicide. How utterly tragic that they found themselves surrounded by so much hopelessness and despair that they could see no way out. If there is one message I would hope to impart to anyone who reads this it is that your life is of such value to God. No matter what you have done; no matter what mistakes, no matter what horrible things you may have been involved in, our God is a God of forgiveness. He doesn’t expect us to come to him all “cleaned up.” He just simply wants us to come to him. Any “cleaning up” happens after we surrender our lives to him and he begins to work in us through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit.

God considers you a precious jewel. It doesn’t matter if you are a “diamond in the rough” dirty and unpolished or if you have already been through the tumbler and are beautiful and sparkly. God will meet you just where you are. He longs to have a relationship with you and it is only through that relationship that we have the hope of eternal life; freed from sin and death. If you are in that place of hopelessness or despair or if you know someone is, please get help! There is so much help out there. You can write me care of this newspaper and I will do everything I can to help you find the help you need. Don’t give up because God NEVER gives up on you.

Life is a gift from God no matter its length. He created us in his image (Genesis 1:27) so that we would reflect his glory and so that he would have fellowship with us. How special is that? Don’t let anyone or anything; don’t let circumstances or situations ever convince you that is not true.

The Apostle Paul once called himself the “chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). And, so am I and so would I always have been if it were not but for the grace and mercy of God. How freeing that is and how truly wonderful it is to know that my life matters to God and no matter how difficult it gets, his love is everlasting and within it there is always hope.

Jan Rogers is a local author and Bible Study teacher. She and her husband, Michael, moved to Greeneville in 1995 and live on a mini-farm in the Camp Creek area.

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