Who has your back? Is there a need to worry when stepping out to catch a breath or taking a walk down the street or walking across the parking lot, driving down the highway or access road? Is there the need to worry about safety? There are many legitimate questions concerning the safety of lives on the streets and neighborhoods. When the very system expected to be for protection increasingly becomes the mechanism for taking life and a cause for concern, where does safety lie? When the very system expected to give freedom becomes the oppressor, how true is the ideal for which people stood through the bleak night to ensure the star-spangled banner remained flying. This is the system Rayshard Brooks expected to come to his aid and help him find hope in pursuit of life and happiness, instead it was two bullets in the back of an unarmed man running away, causing organ damage, loss of blood and death. This incident in a land in which the right to life is constitutional comes right on the back of George Floyd who was also terminated by the weight of the system pressing on his neck.
If the nation walks away without taking corrective action now, it calls into question the patriotic embrace of the ideals that define the nation. On June 19th in the year 1865, the reality of a broken snare was brought to light for the people held captive in the fowlers snare as the provision of freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation was rolled out to them. This freedom, however, continues to be elusive 155 years later as demonstrated in the brutalities that have thronged many onto the streets demanding a basic right to life. Blessed be God, the one in whom we trust, who has not given us as prey to the teeth of the system, because the snare is broken, and our souls have escaped as birds from the snare of the fowler. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. For those the fowler has taken, we ask for justice, we ask for redemption, we stand on the ramperts waiting to catch a breath amidst the unmerciful barrage, and asking that God will help keep the flag flying where we last saw it, proudly held at twilights last gleaming, as the red glare of rockets and bombs bursting in the air gave proof that the flag was still there. If freedom and right to life have no meaning today, that night has no meaning either. However, because of that night on which it could be seen that the flag was still standing by dawn’s early light, we should be confident today that we are covered by liberty and justice for life and the pursuit of happiness, and justice will always come through untainted together with a reform that is consistent with the ideals and creed of the land.
June 19, 2020
President Trump demonstrated meekness in calling for a restraint and not retaliation following the attack on the US Embassy in Iraq. I doubt if any nation or people can withstand the lethal power of the United States. However, he chose the path of peace. In doing so, he preserved lives and demonstrated that peace is possible for those that choose it. As we move towards peace in this new year, it is important to recognize that justice is at the right side of peace. Let PEACE be.
Salvation for all men is God’s will and for that reason Christ died on the cross. However at the end of the book of revelation, in Revelation 22:15 we find people outside the gate to the city where the redeemed dwell, separated from the presence of God. From now until then, the echo of John 3:16 is still audible, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. When anyone ends up outside the gate, it will not be because God did not care, it will be because they chose the path that ended outside the gate. May the grace of God unite with the free will of man for the salvation of man. He who has an ear let Him hear.
God extends grace and He also extends justice. This makes it a very fine line to navigate. Under grace, the advocate Jesus Christ speaks on our behalf drawing from His sacrificial death on the cross to make it possible to walk that fine line. Jesus calls it the narrow road that leads to life. When there is an uprising the authorities curb it with full force. When there is a violation of human rights and the law, the perpetrators are hunted down and brought to justice. How about encouraging rebellion against the Lord Almighty? He makes the call. May we love Him, walk with Him and encourage others to come along focusing all the glory on Him. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
People scramble for power, nations go to every extend to show their strength against others. In the midst of it all is a silent but firm reminder that there is one who has command and control over all. He established the world, He stretched out the heavens, the thunder of His voice echoes through the heavens and the earth. Who is like Him? Let us be still and know that He is in charge and is calling us all to Himself. From every tribe, people, nation calling us all by name to a place of repentance and recognition of who He is. In the midst of the rage, remember that when He speaks even the storms obey. He summons the winds from every corner of the earth and there is no place to hide from His presence. The intent of the heart is bare before Him. Lord may we recognize who you are, give you the due glory and stand in compliance before you. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
~ Jude 1:20-23 ~
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh”.
In conclusion of this exposition on the call to contend for the faith, Jude adds additional pointers, exhorting believers to stand their ground, build muscle, rescue those heading towards hell and destruction, but hating their defiled garments.
Build Yourself up, in your most Holy Faith. Just as physical muscle is developed by weight exercises, so the Lord expects a building up of holy faith, by doing some lifting, digging deeper and applying discipline. An athlete preparing for the Olympic games, trains hard to get into shape. They watch what gets inside their body and they operate under strict discipline. Why? Because they have their eyes on the crown. Jude gave the exhortation to build yourself up in your most holy faith, keeping your eyes on the crown of glory. Stay disciplined, don’t get distracted because you are in a competition for the price of the upward call, with many witnesses and many counting on you. Don’t drop the baton, stay in shape so you can endure to the end of the race, with no muscle crumps and no surprises on that day. The apostle Paul brings this out very well: “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Jude then exhorts to pray in the Holy Spirit. To let God give articulation to the deepest groanings that words cannot even utter, tuning into His Spirit and connecting with Him for a deeper conversation. In doing this, you begin to operate at the right frequency, cutting out the background noise, getting right into the throne room and in deep communion with the Holy One. With that you can keep Yourself in the Love of God, and not get out of lane, as Jude exhorts, but keep your focus and remain in the love of God. In this way John 8:32 becomes meaningful, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. Thus, continuing in Hs word uncovers the truth, and bring you the true freedom, thereby proving to be His disciples. From that point, look for mercy unto Eternal Life. When you are building up the most holy faith in Jesus Christ, praying in the Holy Spirit and keeping yourself in the love of God, you are essentially placing yourself in the place where God delights. The place where His forgiveness is made available for those that love Him, not remembering their sins against them, but showing mercy. A place where the pleasure of the Lord abounds for restoration, because a heart is set after Him. In that place, His enduring mercy can be found unto eternal life. Once conditioned and positioned, show compassion, making a distinction. Compassion leads to action, identifying with the situation and taking action to bring change. In this direction, Jude admonishes to make a distinction, meaning don’t get entangled in the situation you find others in but become a solution provider heeding the call to act.
The call rings loud; save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hate the garments defiled by the flesh. In other words, heed the call, going to every extent to ensure the truth is well communicated and that people are getting onto the pathway of life. Just as there are people clothed in righteousness, others stand defiled in every way and headed for destruction. For those, there is a call to save with fear, hating even the garments defiled by the flesh. To pull out of the fire is no time to be “politically correct” as fire fighters in an emergency situations will attest to, but be uncompromising and tell the uncompromising truth to pull out of the fire, because the destiny of many depend on it. To stand unconcerned is to snuff out freedom’s holy light and allow for the destruction of those heading towards the fire of hell, which is only reserved for the devil and the fallen angels, as the scriptures indicate.
Therefore, stand and show the way to life, point people in the direction of righteousness, and not be afraid to call out the wrong doings with love, calling a spade a spade in order to bring them to the place of God’s mercy. Jesus already made provision, on the cross, for their deliverance from the curse of the law so they can be grafted into the covenant of Abraham and be part of a people called by His name. In doing this, it is important to keep a sustained focus on the King of Kings, the Sovereign One, the Lord Almighty, examining yourself daily to be sure you are still in the faith and living in a daily expectation of His return. I pray that many will heed the call and many sons and daughters of righteousness will be born throguhout this period of lent.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
March 8, 2019