What’s God’s answer to what’s happening?  Pastor Matthew  6-3-20

We have been experiencing a season of suffering and division and it can feel overwhelming. First the COVID-19 Virus, causing physical separation and fear, and now the killing of George Floyd revealing the depths of relational and racial separation and disunity. It can feel overwhelming at times. When we see someone who’s job is to serve and protect, use their authority to kill and destroy, it can leave us wanting to take vengeance into our own hands. Wanting to repay evil with evil. But God has a different command to believers.

Romans 12:17-21 

 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”              says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”   21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

At times like these, things like love, kindness, gentleness and self-control seem week and inappropriate, but that is a lie from the pit of hell.

Galatians 5:19-25 

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

It’s tempting to move forward according to how we feel and what we think we know. We want to have a conversation and be done but talking isn’t enough. We need action. We need love in action. We need God’s transforming power to not just forgive but redeem. So how do we move forward in God’s will so that our community experiences real change that lasts? Not just praying and reading God’s word, but praying and becoming doers of God’s word. We need real action and change that is led by the Holy Spirit, not by an enemy who is scheming to bring ideas that divide and inspire us to hurt each other in attempts to heal our own wounds.

1 Peter 5:8  

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Ephesians 6:10-13 

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. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

The only thing that can replace the lies of the enemy, is God’s truth.      Let’s spend some time praying through these four scriptures                   (Romans 12:17-21, Gal 5:19-25, 1 Peter 5:8, Eph 6:10-13)                and listening for God’s call to action.

What is God saying to you though His word?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now, go and do what God is asking of you.