Monday, January 19, 2015

Pastor's Ponderings, January 19, 2015

Let Us Seek Peace

Atheism Rises, Religiosity Declines In America.  A recent poll “found that the number of Americans who say they are ‘religious’ dropped from 73 percent in 2005 to 60 percent” in 2012 while atheism rose from one to five percent in the same period. Although the world is trending away from religion, recently protesters have slaughtered people because the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo published a controversial picture of the leader of the Muslims.  What can account for these seemingly contradictory trends? 

The evil one is behind both trends. He has a purpose to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10).  He will use anyone with any excuse that he can find to bring about trouble (Proverbs 6:14).  It does not matter whether it is a Pentecostal preacher, a Muslim Imam, a political leader, a well-respected atheist, a business mogul, or an everyday citizen. Today the dispute may be about an offensive cartoon. Another day it may be about someone’s temerity to purchase a house, or walk down a street with the wrong color shirt.  If the devil finds an opportunity for trouble, he will use it to, once again, kill, steal, or destroy.

In the Bible, God states that He hates this behavior such as killing and conspiring to do evil things (Proverbs 6:16-18).  On the contrary, Jesus says that those who maintain peace will be His children and calls them blessed (Matthew 5:9).  He wants us to live a full life in Him (John 10:10).

When people are hurting others in the name of any cause, let us remember that those who are working for peace will be the children of God.

John 10:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Proverbs 6:14
Amplified Bible (AMP)
14 Willful and contrary in his heart, he devises trouble, vexation, and evil continually; he lets loose discord and sows it.

Proverbs 6:16-18
New International Version (NIV)
16 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,

Matthew 5:9
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

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