19 Jun Words of Grace – Romans 12 for a Sad Day
A text message came in early this morning: “This world is so sick and sinful. My heart is heavy. I need an encouraging word from my pastor today.” I knew this person must be watching the news reports about the diabolical killing and wounding of black worshipers in Charleston, SC, and that the suspect in custody is a white man with racist views.
I didn’t have a word for the one who sent me this text. I have lots of feelings, but words escaped me.
God has words. His words resonate in my mind today. As your pastor, I give them to you to ponder, pray, repent over, and be changed by.
From Romans 12:
“Weep with those who weep.” We all feel the pain of this evil deed. As a white man, I am learning that my black friends feel this kind of evil differently. Today, grieve with our black brothers, sisters, and friends.
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Today would be a good time to ask God’s Spirit, by his word, to reveal to us sinful attitudes towards others, and repent. Repentance is our freedom.
“Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.” Today would be a good time to humble ourselves before God and the cross of Christ.
“We, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Determine not to let race divide those whom Christ has joined by faith.
“Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good.” There is a time to hate and a time to love. Let’s make sure we know what time it is.
“Let love be genuine. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Make an attempt soon to genuinely love and honor a friend who is of another ethnicity.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Let the justice system do the work of punishing this person for this evil deed. God has appointed it to do so. Our opportunity, as redeemed people by the grace of God, is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all people. The goodness of gospel transformation is the only power to overcome the kind of evil we have seen this week in Charleston and the evil that resides in every human heart.
Go now and read Romans 12. It is God’s word for the church today.