Summary: Obviously, this is more a prayer than a sermon. It is inspired during a time of prayer and meditation and worthy of sharing.

" But, O Lord of hosts, You who judge righteously, Testing the mind and the heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them, For to You I have revealed my cause."

Jeremiah 11:20

"Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.' says the Lord." Romans 12:19

One of the most difficult things that we as Christians face is the love and forgiveness of our enemies and those who rain down terror on us and our loved ones. Our God is a God of love. We are faced with choosing to absorb and share God's love or abandoning it in favor of personal vengeance. You may say that's irrational - is it?

Beloved, I urge you with every fiber of my being to absorb God's love and extend it to HIS people. We love and serve God by loving and serving each other - EVERY each other.

Let me share yet another true example from our time on the mission field. When we rented a small little shack in which to assemble for church, while the construction was underway for the existing church, we had some meager benches that we put together from materials donated by Shell Oil Company. One night, thieves broke in and stole all of our "pews" . Why? Wood of any type is a commodity and used to burn and create charcoal for selling in the market and on the streets.

The next day our following gathered and were very irate and ready to find the culprits and administer street justice. Of course, we could not condone such a response. We called a special church meeting about this and it was attended by more than just the regulars. We opened with prayer. We asked God to help us forgive the thief that we came to refer to as "our" thief. We prayed for divine justice.

We feel that prayer was answered in two ways:

1 - A church in the neighboring town heard about it and delivered more and better pews than the ones removed. It seems that they had just received new pews from a missionary group.

2- The national police soon identified the thieves. Two cousins - one of whom I had just gotten out of jail for stealing money from the clothing on the beach of some bathers. The police came to arrest the cousins, who came out with machetes to fight the police, As you can imagine, they did not survive that fight.

"Heavenly Father, we are absolutely at a loss in trying to understand how these tragedies continue to occur. YOU Lord are sovereign and we yield to that sovereignty. We humbly ask for your love, mercy and tender solace for these victims of the shootings and their families in Parkland, Florida. We also ask that You help us overcome the shock, anger and confusion in processing this senseless attack upon your creation. Help us O LORD to truly yield our natural inclination to hate and desire for revenge over to forgiveness and compassion even for this monster of a human, behind the shootings. We seek divine justice in this and all matters of injustice here on earth. Be with us all we pray, in Jesus' name. AMEN!"

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Howard Gunter

commented on Feb 22, 2018

A very good read that fits here: I would only add that we must be ever aware that different folks grieve in different ways and time periods. Respecting that is paramount in ministering.

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