Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hate Imprisons, Jesus Frees

I was in the middle of posting about a yummy Roasted Tomato-and-Feta Shrimp recipe when I began thinking of the violence that occurred in Libya yesterday and how four innocent Americans were murdered because of the hate of others. 

Tragedies happen everyday in the world due to hate. There is so much hate that imprisons so many. Some are imprisoned by the fear of what might happen to them when hate is given free reign. This could be in a country where terrorism is ever present or the battered wife and children in our own neighborhood. Others are imprisoned by the hate inside them and they do not even know it. They lash out in an attempt to be free when ironically those actions just imprison them more. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death." This could perhaps be speaking of physical death, but ultimately it is speaking of spiritual death. As humans we are so ignorant and prideful to think that we know what is right. Judges 25:21 says, "Israel had no king and everyone did what was right in their own eyes." When Israel made decisions without first inquiring of God the results were never good. Sometimes we think we know what God wants us to do, but we don't actually seek him and ask. We can't live by what seems right in our own eyes; we can't follow our emotions because we do not know the right way apart from Him. We have a king,Jesus, and his ways are righteous and just. He made the rules and knows what is best for mankind.

As I sit on my Laz-y-Boy sofa, in my comfortable house, in a safe middle class neighborhood it is hard for me to imagine what many experience due to the hate of others. On one hand I feel so blessed that I do not have to face such evil and fear on a daily basis, but at the same time wonder why I am one of the lucky ones.  

I am so thankful for those that sacrifice their lives and freedoms to help ensure the world is a little safer and allow me to live in a free nation. Their sacrifice reminds me of Christ's love and sacrifice. He gave up his life and time with God in heaven to come down and provide a way for us to have everlasting freedom and joy. He holds the power to rid people of the imprisonment of hate. 

Jeremiah 29:12-14a
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.

I didn't plan to share such things, but as I was writing about a shrimp recipe it hit me that there is so much despair, hate, and fear in the world.  Shrimp recipes are awesome, but it can't be the focus of the blog today. There are more important and eternal matters.  Don't get me wrong, feeding and caring for your family should be a high priority, but Christ's love and His ways should top the list every time. 

I am thankful for the blessings and safeties that the Lord has allowed me to experience, but I don’t ever want to take for granted or forget those that are not so fortunate. 

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