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Focus, please...


Yesterday I became very convicted about the things that occupied my mind right now. Paul told the Corinthians, "But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16), indicating that there should be a distinct bent to my thinking, even when complex times diverted me in so many strange directions. So, yesterday, still trying to comprehend the dynamics of what occurred in Charleston seven days ago, my thoughts were about flags and guns and racism and equality and bigots and baiters, and all those other guys. I'm convicted that Jesus wouldn't be thinking about them at all.

It's not one of those WWJD whims either. That's another diversion in itself, superimposing my biases and prejudices into a holy pretense about what Jesus would do. No, it's a WDJD reality, you know, what did Jesus do. It's not guesswork. John gave us a glimpse into the Lord's thought life during a time when the entire community was upset and grieving. Lazarus had died. Mary went out to greet Jesus. "When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he was deeply moved and greatly troubled"

(John 11:33). Deeply moved and greatly troubled.

He didn't use the death as a platform for rhetoric against the prevailing government, religion, or social structures. He didn't renounce anybody, attack anybody, or blame anybody. John didn't launch a side-track in the written record to sensationalize what was happening in the world or even speculate on what to expect when they rolled the stone away from a four day old grave. No, he used an economy of words to describe what Jesus actually did. Evidently John was Spirit led to write about it with brevity so we wouldn't chase after all the other possibilities in their controversy rich world. It landed on me with great power yesterday, this little verse: "Jesus wept" (John 11:35).

My mind, heart, tears, and prayers should be riveted on the families of nine victims and the church family that is preparing to bury their pastor and eight other precious church members. The loss of nine spiritual brothers and sisters should register those same reactions in me that shook Jesus. I should be "...deeply moved and greatly troubled". If that was his mind at such a time it should be my mind now.

They are---

1. Pastor Clementa Pinckney

2. Cynthia Hurd

3. Susie Jackson

4. Ethel Lance

5. DePayne Middleton Doctor

6. Tywanza Sanders

7. Daniel L. Simmons, Sr.

8. Sharonda Singleton

9. Myra Thompson

Today, let's dismiss all the other stuff and just pray for their families and Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Join me in praying for all the people who will travel to attend their various services. Remember also our President, First Lady, and Vice-President as they come to stand with the Pinckney family and Emanuel church family. Scripture certainly does mention our prayers for our fellow believers---

...praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints...

Ephesians 6:18, ESV

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people...

1 Timothy 2:1, ESV

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another...

James 5:16, ESV

We're supposed to pray for one another. So, let's do it.


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