I had another post written for today but…
Yesterday morning after church, my Bible study time included 1 Corinthians 13.
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.v. 2–3
All I could think about was the shooting in El Paso, Saturday morning.
I was at our local Wal Mart at the exact time that shooting was taking place in Texas.
The store was mobbed with people. I couldn’t even maneuver my cart down the school supplies aisles as parents and children were preparing for the new school year while taking advantage of Tax-Free Weekend.
And I found myself smiling my way through the store. 1. Because I remember the angst and excitement we felt as our children prepared for the year ahead. 2. Because I love my community. People of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds smiling and chatting with each other.
No, I don’t live in some small town where everyone knows each other. I live in an eastern suburb of Kansas City.
I feel safe here.
But the people of El Paso felt safe as they started shopping too. And the people of Dayton felt safe as they went out with friends Saturday night.
Until they weren’t.
And my heart is breaking!
I believe with God’s help, people are better than this! However, if you watch the news or listen to the presidential candidates all you hear is how much hate there is in this country!
They say we need to stop hate but…
The problem is, for the most part, people are pointing fingers and blaming others.
And the other problem is their solutions won’t change anything!
Because hate is a heart issue that comes from fear and those who talk about it the most are doing everything they can to continue to stoke fear.
The only thing truly able to stop hate and fear is God’s love!
This is what the Bible says about love…
God is love!1 John 4:8
This is how much God loves humanity…
God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.1 John 4:9–10
And this is how love looks…
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.1 Corinthians 13:4–7
This weekend’s events happened after a personal spiritual high we experienced just the day before.
Friday morning, Rev and I had a visit with Matt, from Samaritan’s Purse. We sat for over an hour and talked about the ways we have seen God at work in our lives. We talked about ministry and the ways God is pouring out His love through people around the world.
Matt is back in the states after serving with Samaritan’s Purse at relief and refugee centers in Hanoi, Afghanistan, Greece, and a few others I can’t remember.
He told us about homes being rebuilt and lives being changed, encouragement and support being offered to refugees and military families, and shoeboxes that give children not only a moment of happiness but hope and faith through the message of Jesus.
And many of these things are happening both internationally and domestically.
Then on Friday afternoon, we went to the closing program for Camp Kanakuk, Kamp Out! Day Kamp, to celebrate with our grandson. We watched more than a hundred children enthusiastically bubble over with the love of God.
The following is from Kanakuk’s about page:
KampOut! is a 1-Week high energy, non-stop excitement, traveling Christian day camp experience from Kanakuk for 5 to 12 year olds! Every KampOut! Kamper will see and hear that God is a loving Father and wonderful Creator who loves them and desires for us to love others.
And that is the truth!
God is a loving Father and wonderful Creator who loves us so much He sent Jesus and desires us to share that love with others.
Love that is patient and kind! Love that never loses faith and is always hopeful! A love that is able to stop hate!
And that is my message to myself and to you today!
I refuse to become fearful! I will stand on the truth of God’s Word and believe that God’s love is more powerful than the hate the enemy is trying to grow. Friend, he has already lost the war … Jesus is the victorious Lamb of God seated on the throne.
And yet today, until He returns—the spiritual battle is real. But even in the battle, I will choose to remember…
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!”2 Kings 6:16–17
May the Lord open our eyes to see and know…
- He is with us.
- He is fighting for us.
- His love never fails.
Will you please pray with me?
Father, our hearts are hurting. We grieve with the families and communities touched by these senseless acts of violence. Please be their Comforter. Hold them close and surround them with Your love.
Lord, please forgive us. Our country needs You.
Your Word says,
If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.2 Chronicles 7:14
Please forgive us. We call evil good and good evil. We have taken our eyes off of You and looked for worldly answers for soul problems. Please heal and restore us through Your love.
Help us to see every person we meet as a person who is dearly loved and precious to You. Remove skepticism and fear and fill us with Your love. Help us see people as You see them.
Father, give us eyes to see what You are doing. Make us aware of the wonderful ways You are working in and through Your children every day. We are not alone! You are with us … guiding and helping.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:20
Fix our eyes, our thoughts, our hearts on Jesus … the One who began our faith and who gives us everything we need to live with love today and every day until we see You face to face.
In His name. By Your grace and for Your glory, I pray. Amen.
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