Posted by: pastortomvabeach | March 29, 2016

Thought For The Week April 3, 2016

During the week or two after Jesus rose from the dead, I wonder what it was like for His followers. How long do you think the excitement of seeing Him alive lasted. I mean after the awful specter of His crucifixion and death and watching the burial, how would His presence, alive change everything about them? I think it might be difficult to catch one’s breath when discussing this miracle and that their hearts would race every time they thought about it. Shouldn’t that be the way we respond? He is risen! He’s alive! Has that truth caught you?

This past week two major events have dominated the news in big ways. Of course, the bombings in Brussels and then in Lahore, Pakistan, have had center stage and rightfully so. While both are horrifying the latter which specifically targeted Christians and women and children, to boot, is especially shocking and sickening.

In our relative safety here in the United States, we must never get used to these types of news reports and develop a callous attitude. Instead we should continue in unity and prayer with those around the world who live under the constant threat of these Islamic radicals. Pray that God will sovereignly protect His children even when attacks are planned. Pray that victims will find solace and comfort in His supernatural presence along with the courage to continue in the faith. Pray that those whose theology leads them to such unholy actions would be visited by the Holy Spirit and brought to faith in the true and living God who loves everyone even them. And pray that our leaders and those around the world would develop and carry out an effective strategy to defeat these militant Islamic armies once and for all.

In addition, I suggest that we let our leaders (congressmen, senators, president, etc.) know that government was established by God for the purpose of promoting good and restraining evil (Romans 13:4). If we are not doing something to successfully stop this type of carnage, our government leaders are not doing their job.

The other events that have filled the newscasts happened in North Carolina and Georgia. North Carolina enacted a law that says people must use restrooms and locker rooms based upon the sex of their birth. In other words, a man must use a man’s restroom and a woman use a woman’s. This common sense law was created to stop cities in the state from passing legislation that forced all public businesses to allow anyone to use a restroom or locker room based on their perceived gender so that a man could walk into a ladies room with women and young girls present at will. The state legislature and governor believed that put women and girls at risk and acted to prevent it.

Georgia, on the other hand, had crafted a religious liberty law, that would have supported a pastor’s right to refuse to conduct same sex weddings or that of a church to refuse to allow such weddings in its facilities. This law was strictly to protect religious organizations and guarantee their First Amendment right to freedom of religion. In this case Georgia’s governor, after much negative press, vetoed the bill.

I mention these because, if you listen to most of the media, these actions are being described as purely hate-driven and discriminatory towards the LGBT community. Both states are said to be trampling on the rights of these individuals and that’s the entire narrative. In truth both pieces of legislation were presented to protect the rights and privacy of the vast majority of citizens from being overrun by a tiny minority of the population. Neither law deprives anyone in the LGBT community from living as they desire but rather underscores the freedom of everyone in our country.

So how do we approach these events? First of all, we must remember that God loves everyone and His desire is that everyone regardless of lifestyle would come to faith in Jesus Christ. We must never look at these situations with fear or develop some kind of dislike or hatred for these individuals. They are simply broken people following the course of the world just like all of us were before Christ. Whenever we have the chance we should represent Jesus in a way that shows His love and compassion. We should also pray for people in this community. This lifestyle is extremely difficult to change even for those who want to change. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and power to free many and bring them to the truth.

With that, I think it is important to pray for our state legislatures. Pray that they don’t act out of fear or anger but write laws based on principles in God’s Word. The Word says that from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female. (Mark 10:6). We understand God’s purpose in creating individual sexes is that we would be mutually compatible physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We also know that sin in the Garden of Eden distorted God’s purposes and lead to many distortions of God’s original purpose. Laws that support marriage between a man and woman and that keep restrooms separated by birth sex fit within God’s purpose. If our legislators hear from us, it might help them to make statutes that do just that.

I thought it was important to share some things that have been tugging at my heart and head this week. I’m going to take a few minutes right now to pray for ISIS victims and terrorists and for the issues involving LGBT people and our nation. Would you do the same thing? Just a thought.

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