Our nation continues to feel the effects of last week’s horrific shooting at Stoneman Douglass high school. In the wake of unimaginable pain, we see news reports of false alarms and copycats along with displays of every extreme of human emotion directed at anyone with an opinion. It seems this tragedy is multiplying division and derision rather than galvanizing us toward unity.
Politics aside, action is required.
But what action? The late Billy Graham once proclaimed the amazing news that “the Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance.” The message is simple, we must cry out to God in repentance. This is no veiled platitude made to mollify the requisite “religious” position. Nor is it a hollow proclamation calling for our nation’s repentance with no personal sacrifice. There is no soap box here. As Christians, we cannot stand and proclaim the saving power of Jesus Christ without leading from a personal demonstration of its ability to change lives. Repentance starts with us.
If you desire for God to change the heart of our country, or even your family’s for that matter, let Him first change your heart. True submission to the Lord requires that we hold nothing back, but too often we fall into the trap of trying to give just enough of ourselves to God. How can we ask or expect those around us to abide by a standard we struggle to uphold ourselves? God is calling us to more.

  • Hosea 10:12 – Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.

What an explicit reminder to seek the Lord. We talked this past Sunday about how we are called to seek His kingdom and His righteousness first, but this verse takes that one step further. It adds the dimension of time. As disciples of Christ we are to break up the dry, barren, unused ground in us and seek Him until He comes to rain righteousness on us. Yet, we give up so easily.
When we look at the world around us and acknowledge that it has stopped seeking the Savior, we must ask ourselves who stopped seeking Him first?
The time is now for Christians to confess our sins and repent. Let us abandon the sins of arrogance, anger, selfishness, judgement, criticism, self-righteousness, entitlement, mockery, conflict, enmity, and contempt. Let us hold to the standard we are calling our nation to live by. We must let Christ mold us into the example those around us can follow straight into His forgiving embrace. In doing this, we can live with the same confidence that Billy Graham had when he said, “God’s mercy and grace give me hope – for myself, and for our world.”
This Sunday we finish the Master’s Message series by talking about forgiveness. We will explore the vastness of God’s grace and its purpose toward us. It promises to be an exciting and restorative time with the Lord. I look forward to seeing you there with me.
Lastly, I leave you with this. As the King’s Avenue into our community, ask the Lord to show you whether you are leading the world around you to repentance or resistance. Have you yielded yourself to the Lord, or are you resisting Him?
In His Service,
John McRae