Monday, June 29, 2015

Good Samaritans Overcome

Horrific, tragic, and painful are some of the words that can be used to describe the church shooting in South Carolina.  But even those words are not suffice in describing the emotions and grief Emmanuel AME Church is undergoing right now as the process their grief under the grace of God are rely on Him for the strength to continue on.

social media is in an uproar over what to feel and even the media itself is debating what to think of this tragedy but I think we are all missing something of great significance here. 

The shooter came to the church and attended bible study even sitting next to the Pastor.  He was welcomed with open arms by a congregation who desired to share the Gospel.  He was welcomed in a building that was founded by African Americans who worked to take a stand against slavery, even after the church was burned to the ground, and at one point 35 of it's members executed it still remained. He was welcomed in a church that did not see the color of his skin but the need of his soul to hear the Gospel of Jesus.  In the end they lost their lives sharing God's Truth, you can't miss this, don't let race be the only story line here.

When I think of the Good Samaritan( Luke 10:25-37) the power of that story was  some who looked or talked different stopped to help someone who was in need.  The road that the story takes place on was know as a dangerous road where robbers would attack you and even leave you for dead. Two religious men saw a man in need and did nothing because they either deemed what that had to do as more important or they feared for their lives. Either way fear and pride got in the way.

 But the Samaritan was different, he willing put his life at risk in order for someone else to live.  He sat his pride and fear aside in order to help someone.  He could have been mugged and left for dead as well but he valued the life of another over his own. The Good Samaritan was not afraid to take the risk. He was not there to debate political issues or even discuss way Samaritans and Jews don't get along.  He was not there to go over how the Jewish man got here or even ask what happened.  He saw the need and did something. He played hero to a ethnic group that has so often played villain to his people.

Emmanuel AME Church took a risk that night by sharing the Gospel with someone who would later turn on them and kill them.  Just like centuries ago when they risked it all to stand against slavery and stand with Christ, they took a risk.  I have read no news articles saying they antagonized the shooter, nothing saying they debated the current racial state of America, no all they did was share the truth of the Gospel and it cost them their lives.  They did not die as black people murdered by a white men, they died as people who shared the Gospel killed by a men who could only see their race.  They died in service to their Lord and Savior Jesus. They died Good Samaritans.

 The shooter did not claim victory here, no.  The faithful nine who are in Heaven rejoicing as we mourn on Earth, were triumphant because of the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony because they did not live their lives as to so much shrink back from death.

So Christian are you willing to still  take a risk and open your house, your church, or even your life to someone even if it cost you more than you were willing to give.  Is the Gospel message worth your life even if the person rejects Christ in the end? Is it worth enough to you to risk it all?

"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11)".

Same-Sex Marriage

We live in a world whose culture is opposed to God's Word but it is difficult to speak against the culture of the world if we too are living lives that are in direct opposition to God's Word. We strive to create/promote/lobby for laws to legislate sin as opposed to striving to evangelize/disciple/love others and allow the Holy Spirit to transform their hearts. Laws cannot save anyone from sin, only Christ can. We tend to look to the law as our savior, redeemer, and hope so when it disappoints us we become despondent and lose hope. Our hope has been and always will be in Jesus. My encouragement would be to live a life of integrity in the Lord, share the truth of the Gospel, make disciples for Christ, love sacrificially, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20
‪#‎InHisJOY‬! #samesexmarriage
Read the Word, Share the Gospel, Be Accountable

Pray for the world

Across the world this past weekend, unconscionable acts of terror have been committed. France, Kuwait, and Tunisian so these cowardly acts of terror first hand. Let us pray for the families of the victims as they process their grief and let us seek the Lord on their behalf trusting in Him to soothe their pain.
Read the Word, Share the Gospel, Be Accountable

Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Roller Coaster"

This weekend the kids and I went to the amusement park to enjoy some good family time.  We walked around and did all the small kiddie rides, took in the sights, enjoyed each others conversation, and laughed a lot.  But we came upon the ride that looked like a NASA Test Rocket.  It was huge and scary (inwardly I was terrified) but once the kids caught eye of it they instantly wanted to do it.  Reluctantly I agreed to go with them (you know because I am a macho man).  We stepped into the rocket that was two sizes too small for me, I asked the technician in charge, "is this ride fast?"  "Oh yes it is." He gave us our final safety instructions, buckled us in, locked the door, and away we went.  The rocket zipped and zagged through the air turning in all kinds of directions.  I was just trying to keep the contents of today's breakfast in my stomach from escaping.  But in the midst of the terror I was able to peer down and see the technician controlling the ride.  He was not as nervous as I was, he did not appeared to be phased by my screams, or even remotely concerned with the safety of the ride.  I found out letter that at some points during the ride he slowed it down just to check on me and my family.  After the ride had finished we wobbled out and went on to enjoy the rest of the day. But it hit me how God is the master technician controlling the ride, He sees the fear that gripes us but He is unafraid because He is in control of the ride. He adjust the speed when necessary and even slows down the ride to check on us.  We may feel as if we are at our wits ends and that this trial, situation, test, or whatever you want to call it is out of control but in actuality it never really is.  Christ has not lost control of the ride, we just simply need to enjoy it as it is another day at the amusement park.  Stay focused, you can do this!
James 1:2-4

Read the Word, Share the Gospel, and Be Accountable

"In His JOY!"