You are getting two Devotions today because I somehow did not finish publishing yesterday’s post. Got it all complete and I obviously did not hit the publish buttons like I thought I had. Yesterday I spent some time listening to Pastor Michael Todd and Bishop TD Jakes to hear their perspective on this current crisis. I’m sharing Pastor Michael Todd’s sermon from two weeks ago, and tomorrow I may share his most recent sermon after I listen to it.
There is something deeply disturbing that upsets me about America right now that I see as us further deepening our racial divide through this entire process of seeking justice for Mr. George Floyd. And even here, Pastor Todd falls prey to the same wrong argument when he states that while watching the video of Mr. Floyd being murdered in the street, that Pastor Todd would envision himself as Mr. Floyd just because of the color of their skin. That in itself is a racist thought. Pastor Todd would never be treated like that by police because Pastor Todd is a good, outstanding person, who would never commit a crime to end up in handcuffs to begin with. And if he felt wrongly accused, Pastor Todd would be smart enough to know how to legally right the wrong of false accusations. We need to stop being so prejudice that we only see color in this situation. We’ve turned the tragedy of Mr. George Floyd into a black and white issue, when it is really a social issue. It’s a crime issue. It’s an issue when a 19-year-veteran of policing has no empathy for the criminals he is dealing with that he kneels on their neck for 9-minutes. And instead of being brave enough to put the uniform on for themselves, many in America criticize and categorize all police as being so insensitive as this officer. Wake up America. This is not an issue of the color of our skins, it’s an issue of crime, crime that still runs rampant in certain communities. Crimes that happen every single day that no one wants to talk about. When young men murder each other in the streets because of what “color” they represent. When young men rob, beat, and steal from one another hundreds of times a day. And we seem to be okay with that. Because those lives don’t seem to matter when they are lost hundreds of times throughout every day by members of the same race. So, again, this is a heart issue. We need to love one another regardless of the color of our skin. We need to love another enough where we will not commit crimes against one another. We need to love each other enough where we will not kneel on one another so long it extinguishes a life. We need to love one another like Jesus did. That’s the root issue, and the simple fact that America has NEVER loved one another like that. That’s where the outrage should lie. When are we going to finally start loving like Jesus loved.
5So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:5-6)
As you can see here, Paul and I are having a debate over the importance of grace and works. In a way, I completely agree with Paul here: grace is given as a gift through Jesus Christ. It is given to every single person on this earth. It does not have to be earned through any action or any work. However, grace can be lost. The gift of grace through Jesus Christ is not just a free pass for us to live however we choose, to treat others however we choose, to indulge in a life of sin and feel like just because we tattoo a cross on our bodies we’re “Christians.” Grace is given as a gift but is earned everyday by living a good, righteous life. And if you are a true Christian, you should never feel like you have to do these things because you are seeking grace. As a Christian you should be living a righteous life because it is WHO YOU ARE. Of course, if we were true Christians, if we were a truly Christian nation, we would not be where we are today, still divided over the color of our skin. Still a nation gripped with crime and human extortion. Still a nation corrupted by greed and fake politicians. Still a nation poisoned by false prophets and preachers who have done nothing to hold Christians accountable for their lack of leadership and inaccuracies of their living.
Yes, we have been given the gift of grace. But I have never accepted a gift that I did not feel like I earned. I feel the same way about grace. So I will spend my life repaying the debt Jesus paid for my salvation. How will you spend the rest of your life?
Reading plan: Romans 11
Deeper reading plan: Psalms 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106
Prayer and meditation: Pray for our country. Pray for love to conquer all. Pray that Christ infects our hearts and ignites a final fire of revival to sweep this land.
Fitness challenge: Distance run day. Get out and get some fresh air. Run for thirty minutes and continue to increase your distance.