09/03 - Acts of God

September 6th, 2017

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Acts of God

James 1:2-4; 2:14-17

 

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  • In the News...

    • Hurricane Harvey!

      • Facebook post: "Just like a man..."
      • A little of the blame game is coming out
        • Including what shoes the First lady is wearing?!?
      • But I have been looking at other "Harvey" news...(I'll share in a min...)
    • A Shift of Perspective
      • Question: How are the following listed?

        • A person answers a cell phone, causing them to wreck their car... AT FAULT
        • A different person drags them out of the smoking car and aggravates their injuries... NO FAULT (good Samaritan clause)
        • Months later the same driver buys a new car and parks it in their driveway overnight. At around 2am there is a loud crash, and the unlucky driver finds that lightning struck a tree, which collapsed onto the car...  ACT OF GOD
        • SO, those things where "nature" is at fault are blamed on God?
      • The Gospel's take
        • In Scripture, God is described as sovereign. BUT the world is described as "cursed" because of what humanity has done.

          • If you take Adam and Eve literally, as Paul and Jesus seem to do, then the brokenness of the creation is laid at the feet of the pinnacle of God's creation, humanity. By their actions, death (decay? entropy?) entered in as a fundamental part of creation.
          • Look at it another way: The federal government backs flood insurance for flood-prone areas that local banks would never back by themselves. So people build there.  Our warning and forecast systems are not very reliable, so people get tired of taking precautions for all the possible disasters that never happen.  And then one does.  And this is God's fault?
        • God is described as sending good and bad into our lives (read Job), in both testaments. Sometimes we are being "disciplined" by God (though note that discipline is not necessarily retribution).  But sometimes the bad stuff happens as a window to the better stuff ahead (God works all things to the good of those that love Him).  Have you ever been inconvenienced, then realized you had a "divine appointment" to attend?
      • "Acts of God" from the Gospel Perspective:
        • Events leading to new perspectives, lessons learned, character developed, and faith strengthened, including:
        • Inexplicable Miracles & "God-incidences"
        • Actions taken through the hands of His people intentionally following Him
        • Actions taken through those following the prompting of the Spirit as God draws them to Himself
      • Back to the News:
        • Over the past months, it's been all about the brokenness in all of us, not at all about God's image and God's Spirit leading us

          • Though they won't say it, you know each when you see it...
          • (And you might begin to think, "I no longer recognize my country. Are we no better than this?")
        • But since Harvey, there have been other stories. These are the Acts of God done in His name, or at the leading of His image and the Spirit's calling.
          • And so very many have been a breath of fresh air, because we see our fellow broken Americans acting in love and faith and in the interests of others. We see what we hoped was still there, but were beginning to wonder about...
        • Some Acts of God:
          • Three teenagers spending all day rescuing people in boats
          • A furniture store owner opening both locations as shelters, sacrificing all his inventory
          • A tough-as-nails black MMA fighter rescuing a man wrapped in a confederate flag
          • Stats that 1 out of every 5 people in the shelters are volunteers
          • Stories of people abandoning their cars, knowing they would soon be flooded, to take their boats out to rescue others
          • A Chic-fil-a order for sandwiches and a boat. The order was delivered on jet skis with a complementary rescue.
        • Who shall we be? As Christians?  As Americans?
          • Before the mud-slinging and the muck-raking starts up again, take heart knowing this: we still are the people that pull together regardless of race, class, or politics, or at least we can still choose to be
          • What choice will you and I make this week??
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