Summary: we live in an age of stress and uncertainty. We must be people of prayer and people of praise.
Prayer and Song of Faith
Let’s address the elephant in the room and in this country for a moment - There is more tension today among people than I have seen in my entire lifetime. I watched as a 6 year old President Kennedy get shot live on TV. I sat on my porch in Milwaukee in 1967 at 10 years old the race riots scared to death as protesters and police collided. Yet I make that statement that I believe it is at the moment the worse I have seen. Church boards, school boards, police, military, government, racial injustice, social injustice, moral guidelines challenged, religion or lack of religion, freedom of speech and the fine line between free speech and our individual rights.
Everyone weighing in and thinking they have the answer to how to fix the wrongs in the world, and more than willing to show how the other person or the other group or the other political party is wrong.
There is no one answer to fix the wrong that is going on. To say the problem is that the world is turning away from God is not a complete answer. Yes, in some cases, those things that go against God and His word brings to us consequences.
The problem I see in the world is we have loss the love of neighbor.
The respect of each person even if they are different. I don’t have a red Mohawk or want one, but that does not make it wrong.
We (people today) have lost the ability to sit down and talk with people who disagree with us.
We have taken the word compromise and made it a bad word.
We have to be dead right- meaning, win at all cost. Take no prisoners, US AGAINST THEM… and no middle ground.
I meet an 87 year old lady this week from the neighborhood that called the church about a table at the yard sale. She had such a broken accent that I could hardly hear and understand the message she left on the phone. I went to her house to talk to her.
She was talking to me about war as a kid and her hurts of war.
She talked about a husband she had lost to alcohol some years ago.
She talked about not having much money and how things were tough.
She said that she was a democrat and didn’t care who people voted for because she was for the people and that this was her country even though she does not agree with things going on right now.
She said that she was a Catholic because she was born a Catholic.
I could have focused on our differences, but I found myself loving her as a person.
I found myself understanding her story and seeing that the views she had was because of cultural and life experiences and rather than focused on the differences, I was going to focus on the “Good Lord” we had in common.
Last week, we looked at controlling our tongue. Watching our words, being careful of our words.
We looked at the impact hurtful words have had on each of us.
We have a choice of deciding each day wither we are going to lift up or destroy someone by our words.
We can blame someone, something, or the lack of something, but we control how we are going to live our lives and who is going to be in charge of our lives.
Jesus was not impressed with religious people… Why?
Because they thought that they were better than everyone else because they were not as bad as someone else and graded their lives by who was below them instead of who they could help and minister too.
Jesus did not want altered behavior, He wanted a changed heart. In fact, He wants to create a clean heart in each one of us.
Today more than ever, Jesus is wanting His people to be different and act different than the world.
To show by example the “love of Christ” to a dying world.
The dying world does not think it is dying and yet to make an impact on them. We must live out a life that would draw them to our God and not away from our God. We need our lives to be faith in action!
Forgiving, patient, loving, yet with an urgency for change.
James moves from warning about our words to how the early church exploded into the world to share the gospel of Christ.
They had no newspapers, social media, telephones, television, no information at our fingertips, no letters delivered across the world in a matter of a few days.
We need to take advantage of every tool in the shed to help spread the word of God, but we also need to not forget the good old fashioned way of communicating one on one with someone and express your love and care to them in a personal way.