Posted by: pastortomvabeach | July 26, 2016

Thought for the Week July 31, 2016

It seems as if every day lately we are seeing and hearing reports of horrible attacks on people in our country and around the world. What used to shock us is becoming pretty much run of the mill so that we just accept it as another news cycle and go about our business.

After the awful attack in Nice that killed over 80 people, the French Prime Minister said that France is going to have to live with terrorism. Now he may not have meant that as it sounds but faced with the regularity of such attacks are we supposed to resign ourselves to the idea this will be a normal part of life from now on? What is a Christian to do?

And what about the unrest that is growing in the U.S. over perceived racial injustice? Should we immediately take sides casting blame on those who disagree with us and helping to intensify the debate while raising the level of anger both in ourselves and in others? Is that the Christian approach?

Ravi Zacharias addressed the issue of the continued attacks a day or so ago with this thought: “Today we are mourning the tragic news of deadly attacks in France, Japan, and Somalia. Even as we grow weary of global violence, let us not become calloused to such evil and destruction. Only God can bring peace and healing to our deeply troubled world. May we pray without ceasing and shine His light in the darkness. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21”

I think that is good advice for any instance of wrongdoing whether it be terrorism or injustice or crime. We are the force for good in the world. Whatever we do should be aimed at making Jesus known and spearheading the spread of the Good News of His kingdom and salvation all over the earth.

We do that when we meet anger with soft words, when we overcome hurt with forgiveness, when we approach conflict with overtures of peace, and when we answer hatred with the love of Christ. Another word of wisdom from Paul was, If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18 Remember, Paul lived in a time when injustice was the order of the day under the Roman empire and Christians were one of the main targets of that injustice.

I want to urge you, in these times, to put every act of evil you see in the news or read about on-line under the watchful eye of the Lord by praying first. Before you post something on Facebook that may be divisive or further heat up rhetoric that keeps people apart, pray. Before you decide that your side, whichever side that is, is right and everyone else is wrong, pray. Ask the Lord if you are doing everything in your power to live peaceably with all men and if what you are about to do will overcome evil with good or help evil to overcome.

One of the best ways we can do both is for us to seek to live our the gospel as the new creations in Christ that Paul says we are (II Corinthians 5:17) and to love each other as Christ loved us, which is how He said the world would know that we are truly His followers. When we become authentic followers of Christ who reflect His image in us to the world it has the power to bring peace to difficult situations and to overcome evil with good. It makes Jesus known. Are you living like that? Just a thought.

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