Daily Devotional for Friday April 25, 2003
THE answer to the shootings at our schools
(Psalms 51:10, John 3:16)
THE answer to the shootings at our schools. Over the last 5 years, there has been an epidemic of shooting in our nations schools. Sadly, there was another one in Pennsylvania yesterday. They have taken place in elementary, junior high, and high schools. These schools have been located in rural areas as well as the suburbs. Those who have committed these senseless acts of violence have been boys and girls, though mostly boys. After each one of these incidents, the un-answered question remains, why?
In attempting to answer that question, we get an endless parade of pundits, psychologists, and politicians. At the top of the debate is our nations gun laws. Now I am all for any laws that can help make guns in our society safer without impeding on our Constitutional rights. The fact is, we have law books full of gun laws, many of which are not being properly enforced. Also visible in this ongoing debate is societies role in the lives of those who commit these acts of violence. The role of parents and the school in these incidents is also hotly debated. While all of these factors are part of the overall picture, they are not the real answer.
You see, we are all born into sin, with a heart that is prone to sin. Society has put some limits on what is acceptable behavior, but the fact is when a person chooses to ignore those limits, he or she is capable of the most heinous kind of actions imaginable. So many kids grow up today without a moral foundation, without any absolute truth in their lives, without an understanding that there are very real consequences for their actions. It is the job of the Christian community to show people a moral base from which we must live our lives, that there is absolute truth, right and wrong, and that sin carries consequences.
The real answer to this problem lies within the church, the Christian community, those of us who acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. You see my friend, too many of us have decided to sit on our hands, remain silent in our daily lives. When you accept Christ into your life, you become an ambassador of the Lord. You no longer have the luxury of not being involved. It is no accident those people God has placed in our lives. It is no accident we go to school where we do, work where we do, live where we do.
However, rather than letting our lights shine, far too many of God's children hide their lights under a bushel. We tend to only associate with other Christians and are very bad at reaching out to others. The example Christ gave us in His earthly ministry was to reach out to the hurting, the broken, the downtrodden. Yet we see these people in our lives each and every day and pass them by, just like the Priests passed by the wounded traveler on the road to Jericho in the story of the Good Samaritan. WE CAN NOT IGNORE THOSE WHO ARE HURTING, SINCE WE HAVE THE ANSWER TO THEIR HURTS AND PAINS!!!!!!
Unfortunately, so many children grow up now in homes where their parents are not Christians, thus the parents are also lacking a Christian foundation in their life. Just as bad is the fact so many kids grow up in one-parent homes. ***Let me just say this to you parents. You took the vows and responsibility to get married. You took the responsibility to have children. I am acutely aware of the circumstances that cause marriages to break up, but let me challenge you. Before you end your marriage, before you act in what is often just a selfish manner, know what the consequences of your actions will be in the lives of your children.
I pray that this is a lesson to you young adults to really think first before getting married. Don't be unequally yoked. Have a firm spiritual base to your relationship. In most cases, children will one day be involved in your life, and your actions will have a profound impact on their lives. Marriage is not something to enter into lightly. Having children is the biggest responsibility you will have in this life, so think about that when you are tempted to have sex without being married.
I love you and care about you so much. If you are reading this and have never committed your life to Christ, let me assure you that He has a love for you, that you have never experienced before. Life does not have to be so confusing. There are answers to those problems you have that seem insurmountable. God can give you options you never even thought of. Most of all though, He has a perfect plan and purpose for your life, if you will just surrender yourself to Him.
Go to my website, www.liveprayer.com . On the left menu bar is: "Plan of Salvation". Before you read it, just pray, "God, open my heart to theses words you have for me". Read the words, and make the most important choice you will make in this life, to accept Jesus Christ into your heart. It won't make all your problems go away over night. But you will have a new strength, and new power within you that will literally change your life.
I pray that these words today will encourage you and challenge your life. Am I saying Christians are responsible for these school shootings? Of course not. But we do have a responsibility to share the love and hope we have in Christ with those who God brings into our life. It is not an option. He did not give us the words of life, He did not give us His love so that we can simply hold onto it for ourselves. He gave it to us freely, so we can give it to others freely. Will people reject your attempts? Yes. Will people still do evil things like randomly shoot classmates and teachers? Yes. We can not eliminate sin from the world in which we live in, but we can do our part to share the love and hope of Christ with others each day. God never asked us to do it all, just our part.
***The truth is, this is a society where sin runs freely throughout, it is ONLY the people of God that keeps it from being total chaos!!! Those who do share their faith, reach out to others, take a bold stand for Christ are the ONLY reason we don't have more of these types of incidents. We have THE ANSWER in Christ, so let's be encouraged and get serious about sharing that answer with everyone that we meet!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller