Pastor's Corner

8 Nov
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Mid-Week Challenge

Watching the covering of the First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas shooting has really burdened me.  Twenty-six people, while in worship, were gunned down.  Many of the worshipers were children, some just infants.  That could have been any church in small town America.  A typical Sunday in worship turned tragic in a moment.  As millions across the country are praying and giving to help (the SBC offered to pay for all funerals https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/texas-church-shooting/support-pours-texas-church-shooting-victims-n818756), others see this as one more opportunity to turn to politics.  The usual characters have taken to Twitter and liberal media outlets to bash conservative leaders over gun control.  Sadly, as we have learned, it was not the lack of gun control laws that failed, but the implementation of the laws.  In the true hateful spirit of so many in Hollywood and Washington, people have gone a step further in their criticism by not only bashing politicians but also the victims. 

According to a story on foxnews.com, some on Twitter have brought into question the legitimism of prayer and the Christian faith.  http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/11/06/texas-church-shooting-keep-my-thoughts-and-prayers-out-your-political-agenda.htmlHeartless individuals are posting comments about the uselessness of going to church and praying because those who were in the middle of prayer were not protected by God.  One post said, “If prayers did anything, they'd still be alive.” Another said, “If prayers were the answer 2 gun violence wouldn’t people at a church service be safe? Please make gun laws.” 

Sad that these folks are so blind they don’t know the law, but now they have exposed themselves in their ignorance of Biblical teaching on the purpose of prayer.  Why do we pray?  Prayer is not about moving God, but moving the one praying.  We pray because God tells us to.  People make the mistake of framing the Living God into the same mold the world uses to appease and manipulate their false gods.  The gods of this world must be stroked, sacrificed to, sacrificed for and wooed with gifts and offerings.  Not the God of the Bible.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us: Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

We do not pray to get things from God but to build a relationship with Him, to learn to trust Him in the fallen world we live in.  Jesus corrected the errored thinking of people in His day that practiced this same type of faith.   When a group of people came to Him in Luke 13 questioning the faith of those who had died in a horrendous way He reminded them that there were worse sinners still walking around.  He gave an addition example of another group that was killed in a tragic event.  It was not due to their sins that they died, but the fact that we all live in a shattered, sinful world where bad things happen to good people every day.  The conclusion Jesus gives is be ready at all times.  Prayer reinforces that relationship with an all loving God who made the way for eternal life for all who would believe. 

The Wycliffe Publishing Group has a great resourced that goes into detail about why we pray. Download a free copy here:  https://www.wycliffe.org/prayer/why-we-pray

It is just sad that heartless, but unregenerated people like these would stoop to such a level.  I guess that it just shows that they need prayer more than those brothers and sisters who lost their lives Sunday, but inherited eternal life through their relationship with Jesus.    

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Matthew 5:44-45

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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