We’ve been desensitized to reports of innocent people being shot.
We hear a new story every night. It has become our status quo.
But most anyone with a beating heart could express that it feels so far gone, we wonder if our course can be changed.
There have been nearly fifty mass shootings within our great nation in the last month.
We’re in crisis, and even though I believe we should have restrictions on who can buy guns and what types, I don’t think new laws are the ultimate solution.
If all the guns were taken, a person that wanted to act out and kill others would still find a way.
I believe the problem is not weapons, but that society as a whole has discarded its connection with the only one who can hold us together.
I became a Christian in the spring of 1997 when I was eight months pregnant with my second. I didn’t know what was missing up until that point. I did know, however, that I often felt sad, confused, empty, mad, scared and disheartened, and desperately wanted change.
My sister had been a Christ-follower for several years and when I shared my feelings with her, she talked to me about her faith and mailed books and other items, one of those being an example of the sinner’s prayer and an explanation of how to pray and accept Jesus.
I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I said a prayer over and over again on my knees.
The next day, it felt like a veil had been lifted from my eyes. Everything looked different, and I developed an awareness about circumstances that, in the past, I would’ve described as coincidental now seemed clearly to me a work of God’s hand.
As I traveled down a path of faith and started reading the Bible and attending studies, I was constantly surprised to learn of the kinds of narratives and scenarios that were in the Holy Book. I had no idea! There’s nothing we’ve seen that hasn’t already occurred and been written about there. And, even though it was penned thousands of years ago, God speaks to each individual reader through it. That’s why the Bible’s referred to as the living word.
The solutions to our dire predicaments, the insights to the human soul, the prophetic pointing and then fulfillment of God’s plan, the eternal qualities and promises of our Lord are right there in those ancient words – words and stories written about imperfect people who are each part of God’s entire story, like you and like me.
We live in a fallen world and the sinful heart problem of humanity has been going on for thousands of generations since the Garden of Eden and those first two, Adam and Eve.
The only way the hatred and violence is going to slow, in our country and elsewhere, and we’re to find our way once again, is if we commit to put God first in our lives and intentionally live by His principles.
He gives us laws, commandments, and precepts to pattern our lives after, for our good and for the greater good.
He, more than anyone, is heartbroken by our suffering, but so many of us believe we can do this life better on our own terms and strength and turn our backs on the one who created us and knows best.
We weren’t designed to go it alone.
Solutions for the mass shootings, and the litany of ills and regrets before us, will not come fast and easy.
But there’s no doubt that the remedy starts with one profound four letter word.
Love is the solution, love is the antidote, love is the answer.
In its purest, most powerful sense, and by definition, God is love.
GOD IS LOVE.
What can the average person do to infuse this love, as bystanders, witnesses to the destruction that’s happening all around?
Pray without ceasing and devote wholeheartedly to our Lord above.
Then, with His prompting, discover ways to serve that ignite passion and stir heart, soul and mind, and honor and glorify our Savior.
Whether it’s within our homes, communities, or around the globe, we’re to minister with vitality, giving generously and freely.
It’s life-changing to perform daily mundane, repetitive tasks, purposefully, with newfound gratitude and stamina also, knowing that every action, big or small, carried out with a heart of empathy and concern for others will create ripples of healing and meaningful, positive shifts to the overwhelming need.
We don’t have all the answers, and most likely never will on this side of heaven, but even without, God gives us the ability to extend ourselves and be powerful forces of love and grace to a hurting world.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 10:13 For,”Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
A sample Sinner’s Prayer:
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to you that I am a sinner, and I’m sorry for my sins in this life you’ve given me; I need your forgiveness.￼ I need you.
I believe that your only begotten son Jesus Christ shed his precious blood on the cross and died for my sins and rose from the dead. I am willing and ready to turn from my sin and live for Him.
You said in the Bible that if we confess to the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
I confess Jesus as my Lord. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment, I accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior and according to his word, right now I am saved.
Thank you Lord for your everlasting love and wisdom and for always being there for me. I am yours.
| Photo credit at top : Marina Prather |