Monday, December 17, 2012
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
No fear, Friend.
Like everyone else with a television, I have been horrified by the events in the school in Connecticut. In the absence of all the facts, I hesitate to render opinions, but I did feel it necessary to make a few comments to our congregation on Sunday. Though you have probably already heard smarter folks than I opining on the subject, here are a few of the things I felt our flock needed to hear:
1. Evil exists. It has always been and will always be part of life until the Lord reigns in the Millennium. The history of mankind is bloody and cruel. As we approach Christmas, remember Herod and the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem. It is not new.
a. Paul told us that violence, brutality, intemperance, and a lack of natural affection would mark the last days. We are there. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
b. Jesus is coming back and evil men will grow worse and worse. 2 Tim 3:13
2. How do we respond to this particular horror?
a. Pray for the families impacted – we serve the God of all Comfort. 2 Cor 1:3-4
b. Pray for our leadership. A nation that turns away from God opens the door for evil. We have pushed Him out. Now many want to blame Him for the vacuum. Wisdom. Lord, in the halls of government. 2 Tim 2:1-4
c. Speak to our kids and let them know they are safe because of Jesus and that we will strive to protect them – don’t let fear into their lives. 2 Tim 1:7
3. From a broader perspective:
a. We can be determined to bring kids to Christ at the earliest age they can grasp it. Life is uncertain. Hell is real. I believe children who have not reached accountability go to heaven. I don’t know when that is. We need revival that brings a moral standard back to our schools and our culture, and it is our job to pray and proclaim. Ps 78:3-6
b. We can be alert and engaged with the broken among us – a touch from the Lord will turn the tide of one evil actor. We may never know what went on in that house, but we know that Jesus could have changed that kid. Mk 5:1-13
c. Pray for godly men to take responsibility for their own kids, and to be ready to reach out to those who have no man in their own lives. This kid needed a strong and godly father.Mal 4:6
4. Remember that as Christians, we have special protections:
a. Like Joseph taking the family to Egypt, we need to hear the voice of God to protect our families. Be prayed up and listen! Matt 2:13 / Rom 8:14-16
b. We must teach our kids to hear God, not fear men. Pr 4:1-4
c. Exercise faith that the angels are busy on our behalf: Ps 91/ Ps 34:7 / Heb 1:14
Somebody Said The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble individual – for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost. M. Scott Peck
Scripture Reading: Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) (Ephesians 2:1-5 NLT)
There are so many things to be said, but ultimately man is a fallen being. Without Christ all humans are capable of horrors. We are charged with changing lives through the power of God and the proclamation of truth. In the short run, we weep with them that weep. There are hurting people for whom we should pray. In the long run, there is a lost world that needs Jesus. Evil hasn’t changed and neither has the cure.
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