Monday, October 29, 2018

Pastor's Ponderings, October 29, 2018

God’s Love Abounds

Andy Campbell and Sebastian Murdock wrote an article on October 27, 2018, in a Huffington Post website entitled, “A Week Of American Hate: Bombs Mailed, Black People Executed, Jews Slaughtered.”  The article states, “A man executed two black people at a grocery store... A Donald Trump supporter…sent bombs in the mail to the president’s opposition. An avowed anti-Semite walked into a synagogue and killed 11… This was one week in American hate.”  

Many have engaged in violent words and acts of viciousness. Perhaps this week will mark a turning point in the escalating war of hatred. The Bible says that we are not to let evil overcome us, but that we must overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).  We must believe that the God that lives on the inside of us is greater than the evil outside of us (1 John 4:4). Even though we may totally disagree with people who have opposing views, Jesus tells us to love our enemies and to do good to those that persecute you (Matthew 5:44). God is love and His love covers many problems in life.

Martin Luther King had Six Principles Of Nonviolence. “Principle six states, “Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win. Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice.” We have to remember that Jesus said that those who live by the sword will die by the sword (Matthew 26:52) and God is the one that has the last word on retaliation (Romans 12:19).   

This week, when evil confronts us, when negative words explode all around us, and when talk of retribution emerges; let us remember the words of Jesus. In the Sermon on the Mount, He said that peacemakers are blessed and will be called God’s children and those who are attacked for being righteous are blessed and will have the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:9-10). Let us remember that our God is love.

Romans 12:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

1 John 4:4
New International Version (NIV)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world

Matthew 5:44
New International Version (NIV)
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Matthew 26:52
New International Version (NIV)
52 "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

Romans 12:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Matthew 5:9-10
New International Version (NIV)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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