There is Nothing New Under the Sun
The past week has left all of us reeling from the various events which have taken place. My heart is broken. The senseless suffering which many families have had to endure, sometimes over generations, goes beyond my realm of understanding. It can make you question if there is ever a chance of actually living in peace on this earth again. I am reminded, as I look back at scripture, how many times anger and disobedience leads to hatred and violence. The first time we read about innocent bloodshed is when Cain killed his brother Abel. Cain and Abel both presented offerings to God, but God rejected Cain’s offering because God knew the hearts of both men. It wasn’t that Cain’s offering was bad, but God knew the character of the man giving it. God asked Cain why he was angry, and warned Cain evil was lurking at his door and sin was out to control him. God told Cain he must control his sin and master it. Cain went away, but allowed his sinful anger to continue to fester until he killed his brother. It was a very evil and cowardly attack toward his very own flesh and blood.
History has seen the rise and fall of many great empires, yet we have seemingly learned nothing. The same deadly cycle of envy, anger and evil continues to penetrate the heart of man today. As the Bible declares, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, KJV) This is what causes hatred and violence to abound, and our own disobedience has caused a chasm between ourselves and God.
Do you think it is possible God can use recent events to wake-up the sleeping Church and get us to step up to our responsibilities as Christ followers? Is it possible God wants us to quit playing church and BE the church? We are called to have a personal relationship with Christ, but our faith is NOT personal. Click To Tweet Our faith should be alive, vibrant, growing, and changing the world. How can we expect the world to change if we are not willing to step up and voice God’s desires and demonstrate His love every day? Peace, love, hope, reconciliation and justice are not things to be pursued just when something tragic makes the headlines. God asked Cain where Abel was and Cain’s reply was, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” If we profess to be Christ followers then each of us is our brother’s keeper.
God calls us to be different than the world around us, and He expects a reaction to that call. The world needs to see our reaction in action. God knows there is a lot of hate in this world, and it’s easy to be fearful or complacent about it. Fear is the enemy’s tool which continues to divide and conquer the souls of many. The enemy also loves to lull God’s children into believing we are all okay when we aren’t, or that we don’t have the power to change anything. We can no longer accept the status quo and believe that going to church once a week and not doing anything really bad is enough to make us spiritually sound, because it isn’t. We can’t drink water once a week and expect to stay healthy, nor can we change the world if we never let our faith out of the box.
When Jesus lived on earth they didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but people still knew how to fire up a crowd with contention, and to sway public opinion. The technology has changed, but the results are still the same. The enemy loves it when we go on a feeding frenzy based on incomplete information, assumptions and half-truths. We talk about the constant threat of ISIS, but we have become more of a threat to each other. ISIS doesn’t have to do anything to us because we are doing it to ourselves. What is it about what we read in social media or watch on the news that allows us to think we can form a rational opinion without all the facts? Truth that is invented or twisted to support a position is only man’s truth, not God’s.
Before Jesus died on the cross, he prepared his disciples for what was about to happen. Jesus knew there would be great turmoil for his followers, but it didn’t stop him from setting an example of unselfish love. Jesus never gave up on people because people are what matter most. Despite the horrible, grueling circumstances Jesus was about to face along with His family and friends, Jesus never stopped living out His faith and neither can we.
The only way to stop the Cain’s of this world is with God-sized faith, love, hope, peace, justice and reconciliation. This is what the world is desperate for at such a time as this. The Church needs to press in and press hard, sticking together, demonstrating our faith and building unity in our communities and the world around us.
Let’s quit grieving God’s heart as Cain did. Instead let’s show the world and each other the power of God’s love and what it can do in us and through us if we have hearts which desire to serve each other more than serving ourselves.