June 14, 2016

A Challenge to Those Who Follow Jesus

Like so many of you, I am grieving for our nation and for the victims and families of the Orlando shooting.  

Unfortunately, and my heart breaks because of this, there have been news accounts of a Baptist pastor in California saying things that should not be said. There is also an account of a gay rights activist writing that "anti-gay" groups (i.e. conservative Christians) are actually responsible for the shootings. Both extreme ends of this spectrum would love to relight a hate filled war, even though each think they are doing the right thing.  Let's be better than both of these men.

Let me encourage you with words from the book of John, chapter 3, some very well known verses:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

The events of the recent days will create many opportunities for discussion. The world, and non-believers in particular, is watching to see how we as Jesus followers respond. Will we love? Will we care? Will we make a difference? I know we can all handle this with wisdom, grace, and love as we walk out what we believe. And do it in the manner and spirit of I Corinthians 13, the great love chapter. 

The verses from John above stress God's sacrificial love- and let me encourage you that it is because of His love for us that we are where we are. Let's extend that same offer to a world that needs Him, one person at a time. Our God is loving, holy, just, merciful, and compassionate, wanting none to perish. Let's go out there and represent Him well, caring for others, and doing it all without arguing, and seeing this for what it is- a chance to help and share His love. It's who we are! May He bless you as you go out!

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