A divided church lost the most important election concerning the fate of biblical marriage in our nation’s history. This election revealed a deep division between minority Christian’s sense of moral priorities and the ethical codes of the white church community. When I say “minorities,” I mean blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and others consisting of 28 percent of the electorate; this group voted for a different moral code than their white Christian brothers.
Could it be that the Lord is challenging the Church to deal with her deep racial divisions before He sends the rains of economic blessings back to the nation? In 2 Samuel 21:1-14, this was the very problem that David had. As he sought the Lord’s blessings upon the land, David found he had to deal with an ancient racial wound inflicted on the Gibeonites by King Saul. Even though David did not commit the offense, he had to make amends for Saul’s sin in his generation.
For nearly eight years, I have been talking to Christians about the need for us to embrace a call to champion a balanced societal agenda of righteousness and justice. I have used Psalm 89:14 as a guideline for spiritual engagement with the culture. It reads: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you (NIV).”
The last chapter of 2 Samuel reads somewhat like a page out of the Book of Revelation. It's got everything a good chapter in Revelation has: judgment, death and an "angel hovering between earth and sky, sword drawn and about to strike Jerusalem" (v. 16, The Message).
How we can remember ‘the forgotten’ among us, even as our churches grow
But He needed to go through Samaria” (John 4:4). In Jesus’ time, Samaria represented a land of cultural difference and prejudice for many Jews—a land they’d rather go around. I believe our cities and towns too have “a land we’d rather go around.” Jesus’ conviction was clear: He had to go through Samaria. And I believe that as His body, so must we.
For years I felt I had nothing to offer people unlike me. Because of my upper-middle-class upbringing and the fact that I pastored a church full of people who looked like me, I was led to believe that I was incapable of being used by God to make an impact in a different cultural context in our city.
The expression of God’s heart will connect you with your community.
A destitute woman. A sick, desperate mother. A prodigal son. These were the kinds of people on whose behalf Jesus exercised continual compassion in every synagogue and village of Israel. Jesus is calling His followers to live this same compassion, bringing wholeness to every community in the world.
The biblical word compassion encompasses more than emotion. The meaning conveys motivation that cannot rest until the pain is relieved. This is undoubtedly what drove Jesus to restore the Samaritan woman when His body was crying out for rest. This is what motivated Him to fight a treacherous storm to deliver a severely demon-oppressed man.