The Tragic Death of George Floyd: What would Jesus do?

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died a tragic death. We have probably all seen the horrific images of him slowly losing his life as a knee was forcefully applied to his neck.

At a difficult time like this, how would Jesus respond? What would Jesus do?

I suggest a few things:

  1. Pray for healing

Let’s us pray for the George Floyd family and all those impacted by his death. Let us pray for healing in our land.

As we pray, let us remember who the real enemy is. Our enemy is not across the aisle politically. Our enemy is not someone who has another color of skin.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

Remember that our real enemy doesn’t have flesh and blood; but rather is invisible. He is the devil, and he wants to divide us as a human race. 

Let’s overcome Him in the power of the spirit with the weapon of prayer!

  1. See others the way Jesus would.

Did you know that Jesus values life? All life. Think about this- every person you meet- no matter how different they are from you- is extremely valuable to God because they are made in His image. WOW. They have unlimited worth because they were made with infinite love.

One of the deep wounds in our country that has been touched by the George Floyd death is racism. What is racism?

“Racism is a belief that one race is superior to the other or the practice of treating a person or group of people differently on the basis of their race.”

The bible teaches that Racism is wrong. “All forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are affronts to the work of Christ on the cross.”

  1. Overcome evil with good.

As followers of Jesus, how do we overcome darkness? Do we respond to darkness with more darkness? No. Darkness does not dispel darkness, light does.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:1)

Violence will never overcome violence, only love will. And the love of God is stronger than the hatred and bigotry of people. Let’s seek to release unprecedented amounts of love in the season of unrest in our country.

  1. Seek to understand.

If you’ve been hurt by racism, I’m very sorry. I don’t know what that’s like.

If you know someone who is deeply struggling with the death of George Floyd, I would encourage you to deeply listen to them. Don’t try and fix them. Don’t try and change them. Let God love them through your listening ear.

“Be quick to listen, slow to speak.” (James 1:19)

  1. Look into the mirror

Take a moment and ponder how you think about people who are different from you. Do you think you know a person before you have heard their story? Do you find yourself thinking another group of people is “all one way”? Have you spent time learning about the experiences of other people or have you already made up your mind on how you feel and prejudged them? If so, ask the Holy Spirit to forgive you and give you the desire to love them, not feel superior to them.

  1. Pray for those who are working to restore order in our nation.

Pray and thank the law-enforcement officials and National Guard who are risking their life to bring order to our land.

  1. Be a part of the rebuilding crew.

Consider being a part of the rebuilding crew. I’ve heard of people from our church that have went up to Minneapolis to help rebuild the streets. You can also buy groceries for Families in the community, or join prayer gatherings. If you are interested in how you can help please contact pastor Rachael.

  1. Be a peacemaker

Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers. Work for peace. Pray for peace.

Note carefully that I did not say be a peace-faker. I said, be a peace maker. There are some deep issues that the George Floyd death has touched. We can’t put a band aid on them. We need to get to the root of the problem. Thoreau said, “For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.”

I am convinced that the answer to the deep issues going on in our country can only be healed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection. Because His love is the only thing that can transform the human heart.

The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.

What we need is a new heart. We need revival. Only Jesus can reach into our heart and pull out the racism, division, and prejudice and fill us with love, understanding and unity. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

The local church is the hope of the world! We have the message that this lost and broken world desperately needs to hear. Therefore, let us ask ourselves before say something or post something: “Is this going to bring someone closer to Christ or push them away?”

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its savor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world.”

(Matthew 5:13-14)

Prayer for Our Country

Please pray for the rioting around the country with me, in the words of Pastor Rob Ketterling:
Jesus, we need you. This is our home. And when our streets are torn by chaos, we can be Jesus’ hands and feet. Our home needs you more than ever right now. We cry out for unity in the name of Jesus. Peace in the name of Jesus. Healing in the name of Jesus. Freedom in the name of Jesus. God, be with us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Turn Worry Into Worship

A story is told about a man who came face to face with the dangers of worry one day.  As this man walked to town one day he encountered Death.  He asked Death this question, “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to take 100 people,” Death replied.

“That’s horrible!” the man said.

“That’s the way it is,” Death said. “That’s what I do.”

The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan. As evening fell, he met Death again. He had heard that a thousand people had died that day.  “You told me you were going to take 100 people,” the man said. “Why did 1,000 die?”

“I kept my word,” Death responded. “I only took 100 people. Worry took the others.”

We need to learn to break the worry habit before it breaks us.  How?  First all, we need to understand what its ultimate cause is?  What is at the root of worry?  “Worry is unbelief in disguise.” So my encouragement to you if you struggle with worry is to build your faith because as George Mueller said, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” How do you build your faith?  Get into the bible and let the bible get into you.  Romans 10:17: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  The words of the bible vaccinate us against worry. 

In addition, pray.  Philippian’s 4:5-7 says: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Prayer is more than just talk; it’s uniting the soul to God.  And as we do, we transfer into him our anxiety, and he transfers into us his peace which passes all understanding. 

In short, turn your worry into worship! 

A Dozen Reasons to Always Have Hope

  1. God is always with you – Hebrews 13:5
  2. God loves you as His child – Romans 8:15-16
  3. God proved His love at the cross – Romans 8:32
  4. God’s power is available to you – Philippians 4:13
  5. God can exceed your highest expectations – Ephesians 3:20
  6. God understands you and your problem – Matthew 6:8
  7. God promises to supply all your needs – Philippians 4:19
  8. God’s grace is sufficient for you – 2 Corinthians 12:9
  9. God works all things together for good – Romans 8:28
  10. God uses trials to produce maturity – James 1:2-4
  11. God uses trials to display your faith – Philippians 2:15
  12. God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect – Romans 12:2

God’s Hall of Fame

To have your name inscribed up there
Is greater yes by far
Than all the Halls of Fame down here
And every man made star.

This crowd on earth they soon forget
The heroes of the past,
They cheer like mad until you fall,
And that’s how long you last

But God he never does forget,
And in His Hall of Fame,
By just believing in his Son,
Inscribed you’ll find your name .

I tell you friend I wouldn’t trade
My name however small
That’s written there beyond the stars
In that celestial hall

For every famous name on earth
Or glory that they share;
I’d rather be an unknown here
And have my name up there.

~ Alf Hutchison

Thoughts and Quotes from Pastor’s Steve’s Journal from April 20-26

Self-Justification says, “I am always right.”

Self-Righteousness says, “I am better than you.”

Lord, please deliver me from both.

Lord, deliver me from the compulsion to control what I cannot control, and strengthen me to control what I can- myself. 

Lord, help me not to compare myself to others. But rather help me to be the best I can be. 

“Success Is the peace of mind which is the direct result of the self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” ~John Wooden

The road is better than the inn, Cervantes. Don’t get to so focused on the end result, you don’t enjoy the journey. 

“We must learn to lean on others and sometimes accept others leaning on us. We cannot do it alone.” 

“Make each day your masterpiece.” ~Joshua Wooden

Overcoming Worry

Psychologists often use the phrase “Locus of Control” to refer to the things in life over which you have control.  If you can control something, it is in your locus of control.  If you can’t control it, it is not in your locus of control.   

Which locus is your focus? 

Are you preoccupied with things that you have no control over?  Or are you taking control of what you can control and leaving the rest to God?

In Psalms 46:10 it says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

That verse was written many years ago.  Scholars believe that these words where written in response to a national calamity.  At a time when people were afraid and terrified, God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” 

Notice those words: be still.  In the original text, those words: Be still, actually mean: “take your hands off.”

Isn’t that interesting? At a time of national calamity God says: Take your hands off.  What is he saying?  I think he is saying: Can you control the national calamity?  No.  If you can’t control it, why waste precious time worrying about it?  Instead of worrying about it, why don’t you pray about? 

“Things go terribly wrong when we try and assume control of our lives and those around us,” says Louie Giglio in his book I am not, but I know.  “For one, we sentence ourselves to a heavy load—we call it the weight of the world-that God never intended for us to carry.  Running our world is too much for us, no matter how hard we try.  To try and be God—something I find that I am really bad at—without having the wisdom and power of God is a ridiculous proposition, a daunting task.  Attempting to orchestrate the world around us, even for a day, leaves us stressed and spent.”

If you are stressed and spent, ask yourself, “Which locus is my focus?”

Prayers for Tuesday, April 21

Psalms 27:14

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!

Lord, as I wait upon you today, please fill me with courage and strengthen my heart.

Psalms 145:15-16

The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Lord, I look to you expectantly today. You are Jehovah Jireha, my Provider. Please open your hand and give me physical and spiritual food, and satisfy the desires of my heart.

Luke 22:42

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Lord, I have some preconceived ideas of how I want things to turn out. However, I admit that my understanding is limited. So I surrender my will to yours. I pray not my will, but thy will be done.

Prayers for Wednesday, April 15

Psalms 34:10

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Lord, as I seek you today, please provide for all my needs and the needs of my loves ones.

Psalm 23:1

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

Lord, I surrender the leadership of my life over to you. Please be my shepherd. Lead me, feed me, guide me, and provide for me. Thank you that in you I have more then enough.

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Lord, I pray that your grace would abound in my life, my family’s life, and my church family. Thank you that you are my all sufficient one, and in you I will abound in every good work.

Prayers for Thursday, April 9

Zachariah 4:6

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

Lord, thank you that your spirit indwells me and empowers me to meet the challenges of this day. Please fill me with your spirit.

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Lord, forgive me for worrying. Help me to worship, not worry. Help me to live in “day tight compartments.” Help me to live one day at a time.

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Lord, we know that not all things are good, but that you can bring good at of all things. Help us to trust you. Help us to become more like you in our attitude, actions, and thoughts during this Covid-19 pandemic.