By Chris Blevins
Today I want to share some thoughts from an earlier column. There is much debate regarding how Americans should feel about what is happening outside of our borders. Are we Americans first then Christians? Am I a Christian first then an American? If so, does God love me more than He loves the person training in a desert somewhere training to kill other Christians? Does what matters to God matter to me?
In a world that appears to be spiraling out of control it is difficult to find a place where we can make a difference. Sometimes I wonder, as I know some readers wonder, Why does it even matter? What can I do? How can my voice even be heard? There are atrocities being committed worldwide and there is nothing I can do about it.
Worldwide is something a lot of us do not think about. It is hard for us remember there is a great big world outside of these majestic mountains that protect us in Appalachia and beyond the great oceans that border our nation. The United States has suffered much violence particularly over the last year. There have been mass shootings in churches, in clubs, in malls, in the work place, in schools and various other locations. We certainly are seeing unprecedented violence here in America. But what is happening in the rest of the world?
As a Christian I am called to love and pray for more than my little community. As a Christian I am called to love and pray for more than my state. As a Christian I am called to love and pray for more than my nation. As a Christian I am called to love and pray for the entire world, even for those that don’t love me. The first Bible Scripture most of us learn is John 3:16, which states “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life: Sometimes I forget that “loved the world” part.
It is estimated that millions of Christians have been displaced worldwide due to their belief in Jesus Christ as Lord. It is estimated by Open Door’s World Watch list that over 7,000 Christians were murdered from November 1, 2014 thru October 31, 2015. Killed only because they believe Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God.
So back to “What does it Matter”? It matters to us because it matters to God. The greatest commandment given to us is found in the Bible in Luke 10:27. It says “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” The person speaking these words is Jesus Christ himself. What difference can I make? Prayer, not only for my nation and those suffering loss here at home, but for all of our brothers and sisters around the world that are suffering more loss for Christ daily than we could ever imagine. Also, we should pray for those that are inflicting the pain to this world.
Luke 6 states that if we can only love those that love us it doesn’t mean much for eve sinners can do that. It goes on to say to love our enemies. It is easy for us to love those that loves us. It gets hard to love and pray for those that do harm to others. But that is our mandate. “Why does it matter?” Because it matters to God. Prayer can change some situations. Keep the faith! Love and blessings to all.