Thoughts from Pastor Jim DeVore during prayer time.
What does your church; the people of God do, to bring light into darkness that is so dark that it no longer looks like darkness?
This morning the news spoke of the Gulf Oil Spill and the company BP responsible. 200,000 lawyers gathered to discuss how to litigate the situation. Everyone is lining up for lawsuits, from restaurant owners, tourist attractions, and excursion boats, whatever. Quote “This is the worst spill at the worst timing.” In other words, it comes right before the summer tourist season. Like there is a good time for 11 people to die and this massive of an oil spill.
The problem is that the mentality is not how will we survive and move on. The mentality is that somebody has to pay for this. There is no such thing as an accident and forgiveness. It is no longer one for all; it is really all for one. This response will only spread strife, discrimination, selfishness, distrust, jealousy.
Everything else is situational ethics. If we rescued the automobile and banking industry because of what it caused the economy, then why not rescue BP and the surrounding communities?
Who do you trust, the economy? It will pick up for the summer tourist season and we’ll make it. You can always count on the tourists.
The oil industry – They provide good paying jobs, oil to run the economy, security and $$. We can trust them.
The government – they will always find a solution and come to our rescue.
Does the word of God deal with oil spills?
Psalms 146:3-6 NIV 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them– the LORD, who remains faithful forever.
Matthew 5:21-26 NIV 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca, ‘is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Christian, don’t be angry and seek revenge with with BP and think your offering to God is a blessing to Him.
How should BP handle lawsuits?
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Matthew 5:39-44 NIV 39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Imagine how run over you would be if you handled it this way. Imagine how quickly things would be resolved, and how free you would be of the situation. Maybe not financially secure, or rich, but free.
Here’s the problem
Matthew 6:22-34 NIV 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
We have wrong solutions because we have bad vision. The light we use to light our lives is the darkness of the world’s thinking.
Here’s the solution.
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
If BP is not the enemy, or even if he is the enemy, then I come along side and help him. I pitch in, and not pitch at. Just imagine how “run over” we would be if we lived like that. Maybe being run over by people is better than being run over by God!
We the church need to see the value of the word of God and trusting in him. But we will only trust God as much as we actively pursue Him. The light we pursue will be the light that guides. Oh, that the light we pursue would not be the “light” of the world for “how great is that darkness!”
Do not put the Lord your God to the test, but . . . Psalms 34:8 NIV 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Notice all of the active verbs in this passage.
Psalms 34:1-22 NIV 1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. 21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 22 The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.
What about it Psalm 1, what are the promises there for a man who actively seeks God? I dare you, “taste and see that the Lord is good. “He’s good in the first century, and in the 21st. His word is good at the beginning of time, until the end.
Hebrews 13:8 NIV 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.