September 2nd, 2019
This weekend another report of an active shooter, this time out of Texas. At first, I was sick, because we are seeing too much of this going on. As sat in my chair watching the news unfold, I dethatched from this specific event and considered the commonality of these events.
It may be the news coverage, but our impression of this trend of violence leads us to believe that the problem is more common in the United States of America, than in other parts of the world. But at the same time when you consider the area where there is stringent control of arms, the violence is still present. The actors are at times different, often institutional or dictatorial in nature.
As I write this, already there are people who make their money by seeking to place themselves in positions within the government, that want to blame the guns, but that doesn’t stop the bomb, and if you stop the bombs there are other more heinous and crippling means to inflict irreparable and irreversible harm on masses. We all have witnessed what kind of weapon a large truck can become in the hands of someone bent on the destruction of others.
I don’t want this to be a political position piece and will avoid injecting my own personal political leanings.
However, as Christians and disciples of Jesus Christ, our world view is affected by our faith. We are to be the salt and light in this world, and it is times like this when that light is most needed to shine in the darkness.
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16 (CSB)
This is as close as I will get to being political in this devotional; I insist this is not a weapon problem, it is a heart problem. The arsenal of weapons that are available to evil doers is staggering. This situation will not change until we change it. We can only change it by seeing a change in ourselves.
There is no social compass today. The Judeo-Christian principles infused into our culture have been part of its fabric, since the founding of America. What was the basis of our society in the beginnings, has now vanished. Anymore, the least exposure of Biblical truth in the marketplace of ideas is shunned, rejected, and most recently outlawed.
We, as believers in Jesus, are to be facsimiles of His behavior and demeanor.
Most of us have sat through many sermons based on a passage in Isiah that promises if God’s people will repent and seek His face, He will heal their land.
This was focused on the people of Israel who were exiled in a foreign nation, their homeland dominated by external powers. In their captivity God made a commitment to them.
It’s not that we cannot commandeer this promise for ourselves, we can. We are God’s people and God is changeless. It’s entirely reasonable to consider if we seek Him, He will also look favorably on our nation, or any nation for that matter, if they turn their face towards Him.
He wants us to seek Him. Jesus directs us to be representations of Himself.
“For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you.
Truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
John 13:15-17 (CSB)
In the very words of Jesus, without any ambiguity whatsoever; we are to emulate Christ! We can’t deny the fact that we are flesh, and as being such, we are weak and unable to measure up to the standard Jesus presents for us. For the gap, between our performance and his perfection, He has authored grace abundant and free.
At the very same time, that grace isn’t given as our liberty to not strive to be transformed into His likeness!
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 (CSB)
There is a lot of conformity going on in the world today. The world is demanding it. So much so that in some regions, to profess the name of Jesus is a death sentence.
But if we desire to change the state of the culture, we are going to have to see this transformation in ourselves.
We are the illumination to the world. Jesus gave that task to us when He placed His light in us. That very same light is to be cast upon a dying world to show them the path to His righteousness through His grace.
Even those who do not choose that path, will be influenced by the light regardless of their decision to seek Christ Jesus or not.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.
From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
Psalms 33:12-15 (NKJV)
Collectively, the Body of Christ will have an impact on the world around it, but this can only be true if His people, who are called by His name, seek Him, emulate Him, and are the light He calls us to be.
Without this we will continue to see one “Senseless Act”, after another!
In His Grace!