As most of us know by now on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at approximately 11:20am a man walked into First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas and opened fire killing 26 people including a pregnant woman, infants, children, and elderly members of the congregation. In addition to the 26 killed, 20 more were injured. Unfortunately, this is just one of many mass shootings that have plagued our nation in recent history.
How should we respond?
WE SHOULD PRAY
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Most of us cannot personally be there to comfort the families of those that survived this vicious attack or those that were closely impacted by it. However, we can pray for them and it is of the urging of the Lord that we do so.
1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
I believe interceding prayer is essential for the saved and lost alike affected by this tragedy.
DO NOT FEAR
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
We can be tempted to give in to fear or discouragement when we see evil so frequently on display. However, we know that Jesus defeated death on the cross and one day will have the final victory over evil. Until that day we have the hope of His eminent return.
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
LEAN NOT UNTO THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
When man’s depravity is on full display in an event like this people are tempted to blame God. Many “Twitter Pundits” and others question God’s character or even deny His existence in the midst or tragedy. Left to our own understanding we may be tempted as well.
However, we have God’s word whereby we know that we live in a world that once was perfect, but now cursed because of sin. Man has repeatedly rejected a relationship with God which results in a world filled with darkness.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For those that would accuse God of not being good or being unjust need to know or be reminded that God himself paved a path for all of us to join Him in heaven where evil is not present.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1Jn 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
We cannot and must not retreat within a world filled with darkness. This is the time we must let our light shine.
Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
When times are dark light shines all the more bright, therefore, allowing our Lord to be glorified. We need to be a people and a place where people run because they see light. When they do be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
RISE UP AND REDEEM THE TIME
Eph 5:14-16 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
We do not know how much time we have to serve the Lord. Tomorrow is not promised. Take this tragedy as a reminder that time is short and serve the Lord.