Sermons

Summary: Based on the movie "War Room"... we look at the importance of first evaluating our own prayer lives. Are we hot or cold? Before we start praying that God works on another person, we start by asking God to change us. This is where our prayer lives begin.

Introduction: As you all know… This week we saw another tragic college shooting transpire. This time near ROSEBURG, Ore. Ten people were killed during a shooting at Umpqua Community College Thursday morning. And I think there were nine others who were wounded.

What makes this story even a little bit more heartfelt… is that it seems that the killer was targeting Christians. “[He started] asking people one by one what their religion was. ‘Are you a Christian?’ he would ask them, and if you’re a Christian, stand up.

And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you are going to see God in just about one second.’ And then he shot and killed them.” If they denied having faith or said nothing, he then shot them in the leg!

So in only a few short moments… he had brought such devastation and destruction to this otherwise peaceful, quiet college campus.

And if that isn’t bizarre enough… it has now been reported that just before Thursday’s attack at Umpqua Community College, Chris Harper-Mercer, handed a manifesto with “666” scrawled across it… and a thumb drive to a person at the Roseburg campus.

In those notes, Harper-Mercer, who was biracial, spewed hatred toward black men and Christianity and society at large. He said… “He had no life,” and “He felt the world was against him.”

But knew that he would be… “Welcomed in Hell and embraced by the Devil.” He expresses interest…“To serve darkness.” And explained that what he was about to do… he did so that he could become a God in hell! Isn’t that crazy?

Now whenever I hear or read stories like this… I find my I find my mind turning towards the verse 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. KJB

Other translations put it this way…

• For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-control.

• For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

Of course the word that stands out most to me is the last word… that God has not only given us a spirit of power and love… but he is also given us a sound mind… a mind of sound judgment… a mind earmarked by discipline and self-control!

But what we see going on in the world is the exact opposite… nothing but more and more insanity! And sadly… these kind of ruthless, bizarre killing sprees are becoming the new norm.

It had dawned on me how much I have been thinking about this verse over the last year… So I thought I would do a little research and see how many shootings and we had this year… and this is what I found:

So far in 2015, we’ve had 274 days and 294 mass shootings… where 4 or more have been shot at a single time. So it’s no wonder that I have been thinking about this verse a lot!

But this is not the only form of insanity we see happening. When I think of how easily and quickly the Supreme Court discarded 2000 years of traditional marriage… and when I think about the brutal barbaric rampages of Isis… who wantonly kill people simply for thinking different than them. When I think of the new military alliance between Iran, Syria and Russia in the Middle East… and the US not doing anything about it… I think the world has gone insane!

When I look at some of the candidates both on the Republican and the Democratic side running for president… I just shake my head in disbelief that there is such support for them! It just feels to me like the whole world is going crazy!

So I find myself praying… God, what are we supposed to do? God, how do we navigate through all this? God, what’s really happening across the face of the earth right now?

And the only two things I get from the lord when I’m pray those prayers… Is I’m reminded of the message in revelations that says… That the closer we get to the time of Christ’s return… The crazier the world is going to get. The more insane the world is going to appear. How everything is going to be turned upside down… What was once called good… will now be called evil. And what was called evil… will now be called good.

The second thing I get back from God… Is a conviction that more than ever we need to learn what it is to be a people of fervent prayer! Now I’m not talking about the kind of prayer that is nothing more than a grocery list of requests… That we beseech our benevolent God to fulfill.

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