Monday, March 17, 2014

Pastor's Pondering, March 17, 2014

What makes you angry?

I am not talking about mildly annoyed, a bit irritated, or somewhat disturbed.  I am talking about screaming, jumping up and down, throwing fragile objects about and terrifying your neighbors.

What really makes you angry? Is it the massive killings by those who justify themselves as good religious people? Is it the “clean upstanding citizens” by day that financially support human sex trafficking by night? Is it the repeated event of a young person killed because they appeared threatening but were unarmed? Or is it someone close to you who lied, cheated or abused you?

Throughout history anger has led to some horrible events and monumental successes. In the Bible, Cain got angry and ended up murdering his brother Abel (Genesis 4:5, 8). In the US, a generation was angry and started the Civil Rights Movement. What mattered was not that they were angry, but the actions they took once they became angry. Scripture says to be angry but not to sin and to not let the sun go down on your wrath (Ephesians 4:26).

As Christians, we should be angry about sin, not compromise with it, and not go along with it. It is time to get angry about injustice, racism, bullying, and anything that is contrary to God’s word. God says that He is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11). Jesus was not indifferent to injustice; He called the religious leaders whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27) and beat the temple money changers out of His Father's House (Matthew 21:12, 13).

As often as you experience these feelings of anger, we must realize that there is a constant spiritual battle going on that we cannot see (Ephesians 6:12). Let us focus our anger on the devil whose main job is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Let us put on our spiritual fighting gear, God’s armor, so that we can stand firm against the strategies of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). Let us pray for those who use and abuse us (Luke 6:28). When we are faced with egregious sin, let us not act on our own, but seek God who will lead us and direct us in how we should proceed (Proverbs 3:6).

Please comment below and share how you have been angry against that which God is angry. Your comments may bless others to follow your example.

Genesis 4:5, 8
New International Version (NIV)
5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Ephesians 4:26
New International Version (NIV)
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry

Psalm 7:11
King James Version (KJV)
God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Matthew 23:27
New International Version (NIV)
27“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.

Matthew 21:12, 13
New International Version (NIV)
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.
 “It is written,” he said to them,“‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’

Ephesians 6:11-12
New International Version (NIV)
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

John 10:10
New Living Translation (NLT)
10 The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.

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