Keep Oklahoma in Prayer Tonight

Children pulled out the rubble dead.

Many pulled out alive.

Many missing.

I tried to tune out the terrible news, a typical suppressive defense mechanism that many of us employ in trying to stay sane.  Than the article stated that there are dead children.  Missing children.

One cannot but image oneself in that situation.  Trying to find your children in the rubble.

An AP photographer wrote graphic details about taking pictures of children being rescued and passed from arms to arms.  Oklahoma trauma center pictured as a disaster zone.

Why does this happen so often?  Natural disasters, tragedies, shootings, epidemics, struggle to survive?

As Christians we turn to the Word of God for answers.

We find this in Romans 8:

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21thath the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

As we pray for the victims let’s focus on this message of Truth.  Creation is subjected to fall, as humanity is subjected to sin.  But it does not end there.  If it were to end there we would be the most wretched people alive.

There is a hope in Christ, a hope of Redemption that goes beyond this temporary groaning of Creation and Flesh.

Keep Oklahoma in prayer tonight.

photo: FoxNews

PRIDE is the Root Cause of Evil

Yesterday was a sad day in our community.  The murderous spirit of Cain visited one of my medical colleagues in the form of an elderly man who shot and killed the doctor inside his medical office.

The perpetrator is in custody and he will pay for his crime.

But why? Why do humans kill other humans? Why do we harbor hate, greed, lust, pride, jealousy, revenge, and so many evil emotions?  Why do we lash out, revile, and follow our instincts to commit violence and so many other sins?

I believe the Word of God gives us the best answer to these difficult questions in Genesis 3.

All the evil intentions of man’s heart come down to one sin: PRIDE.

Before the original sin of disobedience by Adam and Eve there was the sin of pride.  The fall of Lucifer was based on this sin, and he kindled the same evil emotion in Adam’s heart, which eventually led Adam to disobey and fall. Pride made Lucifer desire to be like God, and the serpent enticed Adam and Eve with the same prospect.  Pride was born when Adam wanted to share God’s attributes, and human beings have been sinful ever since.

Pride is a product that is at the center of the human SELF.

Pride leads to hate because the SELF cannot bear when someone else is better than the SELF, or someone is a threat to the SELF.

Pride leads to greed because the intense desire to accumulate wealth and power satisfy the SELF, which further amplify pride… and the vicious cycle continues.

Pride uses lust to fan the SELF.  We are establishing a common theme here.  The SELF will stop at nothing to make the SELF the center of the universe.

Pride generates jealousy because the SELF is threatened by someone else’s achievement.

Pride wants revenge.  “I’ll show him I am the best…” And revenge can lead to murder.

Pride causes violence.  The SELF must be satisfied at all cost, and violence against others is a justification of the prideful SELF.

Even the “temporarily insane” who murder others get to that point because pride has driven them to obsession, compulsion and lack of logic.

Whatever the motive for this murderous act, the root cause was pride.  The SELF needed to perform this act to meet a revengeful, hateful, jealous, obsessive or whatever desire…

Can you imagine a world without pride?

There is only one man who did not experience the sin of pride, nor any other sin.  He is Jesus Christ.  And everything He did was the polar opposite of the evil things I listed above.

He substituted meekness for pride.  Instead of hatred He loved.  Instead of committing violence or reviling he allowed Himself to be violated and mocked.  He undid greed by giving Himself away.  He did all this to save His children, to undo the damage that pride has done in their lives.

Without the introduction of PRIDE, this world would have continued to be a perfect world.  But one day I believe Jesus will make things perfect again.