Core scripture: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18)
Message: It hurts to turn on the news these days. I suppose I should look to the positive and say at least there is a different story line other than the Coronavirus to contemplate. Still, trading a world-wide pandemic for race riots all over the country—especially in Minneapolis—is not easy to look at.
What can we do? How in the world do we react to these atrocities? Where is God working behind all this? Believe me, He is working. Somehow. Someway. His ways are that much higher than my own. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
As I know God is working everything out for our good (Romans 8:28), I thought long and hard about how to answer those questions above. Using my own wisdom would be silly; however, using the Lord’s wisdom from His Word is something we all need. That being said, here are some scripture that come to mind as I digest the whole George Floyd situation:
- “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) Love and prayer. What a powerful combination! What if the entire country stopped hating and started loving? What if Christians everywhere started praying for peace? What if …
- “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” (Proverbs 21:23) Ah, yes, the tongue. Too many times I have seen it get people into trouble, and I am certainly no exception. Be careful what you say. Try not to lump everyone into the same category based on one person’s actions. Let your mouth spill encouragement, positivity, and love.
- “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Peter 3:8) I can only imagine what our world would be like if we strove for the unity that Peter talks about here. Differences would be embraced, and hearts would be softened.
- “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) This scripture always reminds me that it is not people who are evil but the demons of the flesh that haunt us. We are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). It is Satan and his relentless demons who deceive us.
- “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Need I say more? Pshh! Mic drop.
My wife talked about a recent protest last night in Wichita, Kansas. I braced myself for the worst; however, she shocked me by saying the protest was cancelled in favor of policemen and protesters coming together for a neighborhood fellowship. Cops served burgers, played basketball and even danced with members of Black Lives Matter.
(Full article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/07/19/kansas-black-lives-matter-holds-picnic-police-instead-protest/87299934/)
If only we could all lay aside our differences like that! Black lives do matter. So do white lives. And red lives. Purple ones. Blue ones. Even rainbow ones. Jesus went to the cross for everyone, and in the end every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 14:11).
Did you catch that? EVERY one. I look forward to that day as much as you. In the meantime, reflect on the scripture above to let it drive your thoughts.
You can never go wrong with God’s Word.
Song application: “Losing” by Tenth Avenue North
Lord, it doesn’t feel right
For me to turn a blind eye
But I guess it’s not that much
When I think of what You’ve done.
This is love, this is hate…
We’ve got a choice to make
Oh, Father won’t You forgive them?
They don’t know what they’ve been doin’ (oh no)
Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them
Cause I feel like the one losing! Oh no
Just for fun: This section is essential this week because we all need a laugh or two to get our minds off the news. Three years ago, I went to see my chiropractor for the first time. When my son asked where I was going, he followed that with the question of the century: “Daddy, what is a pirate packer?” I proudly declare my son now knows how to say chiropractor.
Prayer: Lord, I pray you will dissolve racial hate with an overwhelming love that can only come from You. Amen.
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