Monthly Archives: July 2012

TOO MANY GUNS

We have far too many guns in America. They are too easy to obtain and too easy to use. Guns are responsible for many deaths and injuries every year. Not only do we have too many guns, we have too many of the wrong kind. An assault rifle is not a gun. It is a weapon. One of the things I was taught in boot camp was guns are for fun, weapons are for killing.

While I would not want to violate anyone’s Constitutional right to own a gun, it seems we’re a little crazy as a society to have let guns proliferate as they have. Aren’t we completely nuts to sell assault rifles to way we do?

There are many Christians, and others, who own guns and use them safely. In light of the massacres (Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Aurora and Columbine, Colorado), and all the accidental deaths and injuries caused by guns, shouldn’t guns be better regulated, and assault rifles completely banned?

As citizens or Christians, are we willing to give up some of our rights in this area if it will save lives of children and adults, and spare hundreds of families from grief and sorrow? Are we our brother’s keeper?

SPIRITUAL FRUIT:  PEACE

Read Galatians 5:22-26

The fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, patience, kindness,

goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

-Galatians 5:22

            Several years ago, I car-pooled to college with two or three young men who were studying for the ministry, and a pastor’s wife who was studying to be a teacher. She and her husband were very close. They had five children and struggled financially. One day, without any previous illnesses or warnings, he died.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God gives us peace, which transcends all understanding.

As news of his death swept through the community, a group of people gathered in the pastorium to offer their support and prayers. Driving there, the tragedy of the event began to sink in. I wondered what she would do, how she would be able to raise the children alone. Would she be able to complete her studies? How long would it be before she and her children would have to move? Where would she go? What would she do? By the time I arrived, I was sad and upset.

Entering the house, I saw she was handling the situation better than I was. With a sweet smile and tear-filled eyes, she was going around the room, welcoming everyone, making them feel comfortable, expressing appreciation for their coming, and chatting briefly with them. There was no fear or worry in her. She radiated peace.

The peace she had was God given, but it is available to everyone who has faith and trusts in Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  Oh Lord, we thank you that you have given us a peace that does not depend on our circumstances.

Prayer Focus:  THOSE WHO SEEK PEACE.

DON’T LOSE IT

Read Galatians 5:1-13

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do

not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery

–Galatians 5:1

 

On July 4, 2012, we celebrate our freedom as a nation. It is wonderful to live in a free country and no country is freer than America. Among the freest of the free are Christians. Christians not only enjoy the freedom of government, they enjoy the personal freedom that Christ alone can give. As Christians, we have been set free from the law and the power, punishment, and guilt of sin. We are saved by grace through faith. It is not of our own doing. It is the free gift of God. We cannot work for it or earn it. We cannot buy it. We can only receive it as a gift from Jesus Christ.

This wonderful freedom that we enjoy can be lost if we aren’t careful. We can lose our freedom by becoming legalistic. That means we have a set of rules we live by. We believe that if we keep all the rules, we are OK with God, and if we don’t, we aren’t. Legalism builds pride in us, makes us think we’re better than other people, and robs us of our abilities to be non-judgmental, compassionate, forgiving, and kind. Living by the law makes us legalistic. Living by grace makes us Christian.

We can lose our freedom by lapsing back into the sin that Jesus saved us from. God’s Word finds this so disgusting that it compares it to a dog returning to its vomit (Proverbs 26:11). The call to become a Christian is a call to come forward—never to go back.

Let us be diligent not to lose the freedom Christ suffered and died to give us. Do we still have Christ’s freedom?  If so, don’t lose it.