Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Responding to Tragedy

The voice of the choir rises and falls in the night air. It's a beautiful, haunting melody. I feel a chill up my spine. Surrounded by a sea of boilermakers the candles illuminating their faces I think about the words of the choir, "Jesus, you are my refuge..." We cling to these words because they give us hope; but I know, and you know that many people at Purdue don't truly believe them. They don't see Jesus as a refuge. In fact, they don't even think he exists. Maybe you don't believe in Jesus. I implore you today to ask yourself: who was Jesus? C.S. Lewis said that he was either a liar, a lunatic, or he truly was the Son of God.

 The Bible says that Jesus is God. You've probably heard Jesus called "the Savior." That begs the question: what do we need saved FROM? God tells us in his word that the we need to be saved from the consequences of our sin. Sin means the things we do, think or say that break God's moral law, kind of like the government's law. However, the moral law applies to EVERYTHING that we do because God sees it all. The Bible says not to steal. Have you stolen anything? Another command is not to lie. Have you lied? Well yeah, we all have. What about lust? I've broken these commandments and so has everyone else in this world. This is evidenced by the hate and brokenness all around us. God sees us as criminals up for trial. Just as breaking the government's law deserves punishment, so does breaking God's law.

God's word tell us "the wages of sin is death." We've earned death-hell. To say we need to be saved from this punishment would be a huge understatement. We're in a plane that's crashing down to the ground. Jesus is our only hope. We might think we're good, nice people, but God says our works can't save us, no matter how hard we try (Ephesians 2:8-9). In fact, even the slightest hint of a sin is still sin. In God's eyes, if you've hated someone, that is as bad as killing them. "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer...," I John 3:15. I realize this is an extremely sensitive topic in light of today's tragedy, but there is so much at stake here. We need to realize that there is hope! We CAN be saved.

"Most assuredly, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life, and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death to life," John 5:24. Jesus took the punishment for sins on the cross to save those who believe in him! To believe in Jesus is to believe he is who he says he is, to trust that he really is the savior. Lastly, true faith means committing to a lifetime of following him: leaving old sins behind, learning more about him and loving him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Sounds like a huge commitment-it is, but it is so worth it.

If you're ready to make that commitment know that you can pray directly to God now. Tell him you're sorry for sins, that you trust in Jesus to forgive these sins and that you want to follow him for life. If you truly are saved, at the end of your life you can stand face to face with Jesus with confidence instead of fear. I pray that you will find your refuge in him. Please contact me if you need further answers or guidance, Laura (317) 800-1855. Also, you have my permission to share this if you'd like.