Why We Care About Charleston
As an Asian American, I confess that sometimes I feel like I have to force myself to care about issues of race. I tell myself that it's an issue for black people and white people to figure out, say a little prayer and move on with my own problems.
But as a Christian, I have been called to live in a way that goes much deeper than the color of my skin; for to be a Christian is to stand for what Jesus stood for.
Justice & Compassion
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Equality for Every Ethnic Group
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,
nor is there male and female,
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.
If anyone slaps you on the right cheek,
turn to them the other cheek also.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
When we are reminded that racism is still alive in our country, we must remind ourselves to care. And we must fight to remind ourselves and the world what Jesus stood for.
When everything falls apart, where do you go running? We all take refuge in something when things go wrong. In the Hebrew language, the main thought behind their word "refuge" is security. Psalm 46:1 says that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." What is your refuge? Why should we take refuge in God?
1. We take refuge in our strengths
This is somewhat obvious as it makes perfect sense to fall back on our strengths when things go wrong. We find security in our careers, education, bank accounts, family, and significant others. But this is not good because careers are uncertain, economies crash, and people can disappoint.
2. We take refuge in our comfort zones
We take refuge in our comfort zones because they are...comfortable. Our comfort zones are a place of zero risk, zero pain, and ultimately zero growth. Staying inside your comfort zone is not good because it hinders you from creating and growing. But we tend to take refuge inside of our comfort zones because we don't want to face the risk of failure or rejection. We don't want to risk upsetting a close friend, so we don't have that difficult conversation. We find security in our comfort zones to our own detriment.
3. We must take refuge in our God
The challenge to this is that God is invisible, inaudible, and intangible. We cannot pray to God and expect to hear sirens and a God squad car coming to rescue us in the middle of the night. But God is there, whether we have the faith to believe it or not. The fact is, God gives us the faith to have faith in Him.
God is our impenetrable fortress who goes with us (vv. 7,11), so we don't have to live in fear (v. 2). Nothing can go below, around, or above God's protection. All that God requires of us is to be still and know that God is who He says He is (v. 10). Therefore it is crucial that we instill the idea of stillness into the way in which we live our lives. Take time out of your busy lives to be still before God, for the most secure you will ever be is when you are still before our Almighty God.
Now and Forever
I love the fact that God's Word speaks so powerfully that I can just let the Word speak for itself.
Here are four truths from Psalm 23.
1. God leads us through good times
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
2. God comforts us in difficult times
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
3. God is with us now
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life
4. God will be with us forever
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Pastor at South Bay Bible Church.