Monday, June 13, 2016

HATE...Is NOT of God

Yet again we find ourselves filled with emotion over another Mass shooting and trying to make sense of it. And while everyone means well as they process their own grief it seems some words can come across as cold and hateful and leave the message that the victims in some way asked for what they got. 

I want to take the time to study the scripture with you and see if we can get a grasp on where God is in the midst of 50 dead and 53 injured. 

Matthew 2:16 - 18

 16Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:

John 11:33 - 35

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
Isaiah 66:13
 “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
Isaiah 49:15

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”

All these verses paint a picture of God as mothering and compassionate. A God who nurtures us and grieves with us. I want to share one more passage that provides a portrait of How God relates to us. That is the image of the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12 - 31

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[b]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

If God instructs us to be accountable to each other and responsible to each other then is he not also those things to us? When we laugh he laughs, when we cry he cries.
To solidify that God is the caretaker and the comforter in these heinous massacres I want to establish the role of the devil here. As he clearly has one.I give you the following verses.

John 10:10
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Ephesians 6:10-12
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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.
The devil is alive and well, make no mistake about it. And when darkness invades our world leaving people dead you can be assured the devil is at the center of it. No atrocity like the massacre in Orlando should ever be attributed to God. Our God sent his own son to earth to die on a cross that we might have life. That is not the actions of a revengeful God. The devil would have us think that but that would be incorrect. Please see this act for what it is. An act spurred by the devil and evil as Ephesians say we battle against. And know that God is in the midst fo the grieving.

Lastly, can we learn to love our neighbor? This will never end if we fail to do so.