My heart is aching real-real bad.
For USA-loving, people loving Muslims that are as innocent and American as the rest of us. For the LGBT community. For the lost that have a false sense of what the Gospel is because of the way we act and react.
Coming off of the worst mass-shooting in US history by a devout American-born Muslim. It’s hard not to be angry and selfish.
As I’ve opened up my bible and prayed after reading articles filled with so much hate and anger; I’m frustrated, sad, and hurt. We aren’t doing this right. If this isn’t another sign that our country is in desperate need of the true Gospel, I don’t know what is.
As I was reading I came upon this: Romans 12:9-21.
“9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Genuine-fervent love, produced by the Gospel, detests evil and pursues good (12:9). In the most difficult of circumstances, love overcomes through hope, steadfastness in suffering, and prayer, yes, continual prayer (v.12)! To love genuinely is to live compassionately toward others in the way that Jesus himself has already treated us. Love others, do not curse them (v.14)! Weep when they weep (v.15). Having been loved so well, our delight is to love in return. We are not loved because we obey; we obey because we are loved: “knowing that you were ransomed” (v. 18).
I’m a broken dude who needs to hear the Gospel daily. I deserved wrath but received love. Jesus hung from a cross, in my place, before He rose from the grave. All of that, after He lived a blameless life that I could never live. Jesus will ride in on that white horse and evil will be taken care of. We just have to love. I just have to love.
I pray that we respond to this tragedy with love. We must love our Muslim neighbors, our LGBT neighbors, and our enemies just as Christ loved us. Let our hearts hold on to and share the truth.
Join me in praying for the friends and families of the victims, the injured, the shooters family, and all affected during this horrific time. And for the church, that we don’t let this event fill this gap with hate and anger but it be filled with love and compassion.