Every morning when I turn on the television I see death. More people killed at the hands of merciless shadows. The hatred, the lack of grace, the feeling of “well, they deserved it” wells up inside too many people. Why is all of this happening? It’s quite an easy answer, SIN. We all have sin inside of us, no matter what. We all do and say things that we shouldn’t. But how do we go about creating a more peaceful world, is the ultimate question?
Terror All Around Us
In the United States of America the total deaths due to mass shootings is 202. Two hundred and two families lives have been ripped apart. Changed forever. Lives that ended to early.
San Bernadino, California on December 2, 2015, 14 people were slain, while 17 more were injured. Multiple shooters decided to barge into a disability center and open fire.
Kalamazoo, Michigan on February 22, 2016, 6 more innocent victims were claimed. A man without a rational bone in his body went on a seven hour shooting rampage on various victims.
Orlando, Florida on June 13, 2016 painted a scene of pure horror. In the middle of a night club, a man (I don’t care about his name), decided that killing 49 people and wounding at least 53 more, was a good idea.
Dallas, Texas on July 7, 2016, a lone sniper picked off 5 Dallas Police Officers and wounded 7 more. What was suppose to be a peaceful night of protesting, turned into total chaos.
Nice, France on July 14, 2016 a truck rammed through a crowd at the beach, killing at least 80 people. It was Bastille Day, their Independence Day.
It doesn’t matter who, are why they are killing people. It only matters that as a human race that we exam what is really going wrong!!
Pointing the Finger
As I watch the news this past week, I find myself pointing the finger at others, judging them for their actions. How could they do that? Who in their right mind would shoot innocent people? I would NEVER do that? And the blame keeps on rolling.
Blaming others has been mankind’s reaction since the beginning of time.
“The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from
the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have
done?’ The woman said, ‘ The serpent deceived me, and I ate it.’ ” (Genesis 3″12-13)
Even in the beginning of time, no one wanted to say to God that it was their fault. That maybe if they had done things differently that the outcome would have been better. But, instead they blamed each other and were kicked out of the garden of Eden forever. Death, pain, sin, hurt, feelings, hardship and more came upon man for this one decision.
What if what is going on today is the same thing? What if we took a closer look at what we are doing in our own lives, that contributes to a sinful world?
Look in the Mirror
As much as we would all like to think that we do not judge others, that we do not talk about others behind their backs, that we think pure thoughts all the time, this just isn’t the case. We are human. We are born with sin and sin lives in us all. We all have times where we judge someone before we know the whole situation. We all say things that we shouldn’t say. We all have thoughts that are not pure.
Stop blaming others. Stop pointing the finger. Stop thinking that your opinion is the end all be all for others. Take a look at the person in the mirror and really see who you are.
So how do we go about changing ourselves?
Well, you can’t. It’s like trying to pluck your own eyes out and still see at the same time. Impossible. But there is a way to start seeing the world through a different lens. A lens that allows you to have compassion, empathy and even love others when you do not want to.
God’s Grace and Mercy
There is one thing that helps us to change permanently, It’s called the Holy Spirit. This is a gift from God to you, given by His grace (receiving something when you do not deserve it) and mercy (compassion or forgiveness given to someone who doesn’t deserve it). This is a gift that no one deserves, but our loving God has given it to us anyways.
When you tell God that you believe that His one and only son, Jesus, died for you on the cross, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you.
“and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice
came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well
pleased.’ ” (Luke 3:22)
This gift allows us to truly change who we are from the inside out. To start seeing the world the way that God sees it.
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in
this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old
has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave
us the ministry of reconciliation:” (2 Corinthians 5:16-18)
Reconciliation means the restoration of a relationship. Due to our sin, our relationship with God was broken. Through Christ’s death, our relationship with God has been restored. God’s grace and mercy allowed us to no longer be enemies of God, but to be part of His family. To be loved, taken care of and even helped when we still do not deserve it.
So how does having the Holy Spirit living in you, help you to change?
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old
has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
When we live by our everyday wants and needs, we tend to be selfish. We find ourselves wanting what we want and thinking about others less. But, when you live by the Holy Spirit, things begin to change. You love others, even when you do not want to. You find yourself thinking about ways to help others. You will even notice that the sinful ways that you lived by before, begin to melt away. All of this happens when the Holy Spirit comes to live in you.
“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has
identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)
” 12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint
against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14Beyond all these things put on love,
which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were
called in one body; and be thankful.16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom
teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17Whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:12-17)
Having a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, will come about when you begin to love others. Waking up everyday, reading God’s word and allowing His wisdom to penetrate your day, leads to a true understanding of what love means. If we all took the time to love other through grace and mercy, then a tide of peace and understanding would penetrate our land.
There are a lot of times that I do not understand why someone did what they did, or even agree with their opinion on the situation, but, that doesn’t mean that I get to love them any less. I have to take the time to listen, to truly open my mind and pray to God to help me in those situations where I am truly ignorant to what is going on. To let the Holy Spirit fill me with Jesus’ peace and let me see the world through God’s eyes.
So instead of pointing the finger at others this week about the horrible situations that we see on the news, lets start with ourselves. Take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Do I need God??” Because if you do, like we all do, then take the time to tell Him that you believe that His son Jesus died for us. Thank Him for loving you even when you didn’t deserve it. Ask for the Holy Spirit to come live within you and to help you to love others, even when it is hard.
If you are a Christian who feels like you can’t even hear God anymore, or maybe you wonder if the Holy Spirit still lives within you, take the time right now to tell God, “Sorry for the way that I have lived lately. I do not put you first in my life. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit. Help me to live my life for you. Help me to put you first, by reading the Bible everyday, praying for everything in my life and listening for your words to guide me in my life.” Then wait to see what happens.
Come on, lets all change the world, one loving Holy Spirit at a time.