I will try to get to our Weekend Woundup and Weview tomorrow. It is written and ready to post, but I have more important things on my mind today.
I am sure that many of you have been weeping along with us over the church people that were killed and injured in the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I know that you are praying for the families and friends that are impacted severely by this tragedy.
This shooting hits pretty close to us and many of you that read this blog regularly. How do we process this? Where do we even begin?
I begin by admitting that I will never understand the senseless killing of people gathered in a crowd for any reason. I will never understand it.
I certainly will never understand the senseless killing of people gathered together in a church worshiping God.
People teaching or learning in a school do not deserve this.
People watching a show in a movie theater do not deserve this.
People in a bar or music festival do not deserve this.
People worshiping in a church do not deserve this.
The venues may be different. The purpose for people being there may be different. The political or religious views of people attending may be different.
But no one expects or deserves to be confronted with an armed and deranged person when they gather in a crowd with friends, strangers or the family of God in their community.
It is heartbreaking. It is tragic. It is pure evil.
There is no understanding this. There is no way to accept this as our new normal in the world. I refuse.
That is not going to happen for me.
There are some things that I know that can help me work my way through this so that I can rise above fear and confusion and face this week with resolve and at least part of my sanity intact.
I feel compelled today to emphasize to you the relevancy and absolute suitability of a scripture in II Timothy to the day we live in.
Paul said, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." II Timothy 3:1
He goes on to describe our day in alarming detail. It is important that we comprehend how precisely these verses apply to our present day world. He takes aim from 2000 years ago and nails it.
This is our day. It is perilous. It is dangerous. Men love themselves. They are covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.
Men are without natural affection. They cannot keep their word. They are liars. They have no self control. They are fierce. They despise others that are good.
Men are traitors. They are rash, violent and destructive. They are proud and they love pleasure more than they love God.
Men have a form of godliness but they deny the power of God in their lives!
This is our world. These are perilous times. We live in a world ruled by sin and the love of self and sin. Sin when it is finished brings for death. Death and destruction are the natural outgrowth of sin reigning in our personal lives, our society and in our world.
So the first thing I know is that we live in perilous times because of sin and darkness.
People are rejecting Christ.
Our society is rejecting Christ.
Our culture is rejecting Christ.
Our government is rejecting Christ.
Our families are rejecting Christ.
That is the dangerous downward path of these perilous times!
But I know something else.
When it is all hopeless.
When it is overwhelming.
When there is no peace.
When there is no safety.
When no one cares.
When no one listens.
When no one is righteous.
When is seems the whole world has turned its back on God and we are sliding into darkness.
I know this! Jesus is still the light in darkness. Jesus is still the answer!
Jesus is the answer to sin.
Jesus is the answer to sorrow.
Jesus is the answer to sadness.
Jesus is the answer to addictions.
Jesus is the answer to violence.
Jesus is the answer to brutality.
Jesus is the answer to anger.
Jesus is the answer to hate.
Jesus is the answer to senseless murder.
The heartbreak may be consuming you. I understand if it is.
The fear of what lies ahead may be paralyzing you. I feel that.
The hurt in your mind and in your life may be off the charts. I get that. I am overwhelmed myself at the moment.
But I have found a place and taken some time to call on the name of Jesus. I have spoken His name. I have wept His name. I have ran toward Him. I have cast my cares on Him. I have done that today.
This is what I have found in Him. I have not been given the reason for this tragedy. I have no special understanding of this calamity.
But in Jesus Christ I can breathe another breath. In Christ I can step another step. In Christ I can go to church tonight without mind numbing fear. In Christ Jesus I can live in light rather that cower in darkness. In Christ I have found peace.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4
I am going to hold on to that today and tomorrow and the next day. The ride may get rougher before this battle is over, but I choose Jesus, I choose light, I choose peace.
I invite you to join me. The other option is giving in to the darkness and going insane. Trust me that is not a good option.