Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Loves Us

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

June 2019Tuesday night at VBS – today’s passage – was the passage of the evening. We were telling the children that God loved them – each of them – individually. We started on Sunday night with stories of God’s love. on Monday night we talked about God loving everyone. Tuesday night we talked about God loving us individually – and today’s passage was the main passage.

If you watch golf at all – you are well aware that at many golf tournaments – someone will probably have a sign behind the golfers (where the cameras catch it) that reads John 3:16. This passage hit home with me this week as I watched the national and the international scene unfold around me. I’m wrestling with the needs of others and the need to secure our borders. I’m trying to understand the need to protect our people from terrorists and other threats. I listen to the debates about building a wall – denying certain people entrance into the USA – and the need to keep track of certain people. It can be very confusing at times and very mind blowing. All people are God’s children – even those who do not obey Him or even believe in Him. Yet – in society we have boundaries and borders and nations.

As Christians who are from a certain nation – we are often caught dealing with our national interests and our Christian global interests. Christ died for the whole world (although all will not accept His free gift of salvation). Christ died for the people we are trying to keep out of our nation – even the criminal elements. It is a hard place at times. It is tough taking a stand because there are arguments on both sides of most discussions. I tried this week to ask for thoughts on a clergy page and all I received was one offer to talk person-to-person (not doable at this time) and pushback for the way I presented my question. If even clergy cannot discuss this issue – how can we expect others to do so?

I know some who say we should absolutely have closed borders and some who say we should have wide-open borders. The national answer must be in between these two extremes I would imagine. But as Christians – we must try to reach all peoples for Christ – who loved them enough to die for them and their sins – a free gift offered if they would simply confess and repent and take Him as their Lord and Savior.

I realize that – for instance – criminals who have come to Christ in prison may have received the free gift of salvation while still facing the civil punishment for their crimes. There are earthly consequences to our actions – even when God forgives the contrite heart – eternally. There are laws made to protect a nation’s people that should be enforced – yet we are to love all people. See what I mean when I say it isn’t easy?

I wrestle with my national pride and my Christian faith at times. They are not equal. My faith and reliance on Christ is greater than my support for the nation I live in – the good old USA. We took a pledge Sunday to the Christian flag and reminded people that we were Christians before we were Americans. We did pledge allegiance to the flag of the USA – but with the previous stated caveat. How do you deal with your national pride and your deep abiding faith in Christ?

Today’s passage reminds us that Christ died for us all – not just Americans. John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. We MUST wrestle with this fact as we also wrestle with what it means to be American or whatever nation we are from.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

July 11, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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