Following Jesus in the Age of Terrorism

I woke up this morning to see that the probable terrorists in the Boston bombings murdered one more person last night in an attempt to escape. One has so far been successful in eluding authorities, the other was apparently killed.
And today, people will celebrate the man’s death, that he “got what he deserved.” Today, followers of Jesus have to choose to follow Jesus instead of the culture.

Jesus says(from Matthew 5):

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.“You are the light of the world.<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(R)”> A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(S)”> In the same way, let your light shine before others,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(T)”> that they may see your good deeds<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(U)”> and glorify<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(V)”> your Father in heaven.”“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AX)”> But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AZ)”> of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BB)”> Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

To follow Jesus today means to pray for the remaining suspect. Not for his escape. Pray for his capture, but that it be peaceful. Pray for God to show mercy and break through to this man’s sinful and lost soul. It also means to pray for all who participate in acts of terror and murder in the name of religion. 
To follow Jesus today means to speak of a God who loves people and desires that all would turn toward him.
To follow Jesus today means to not participate in bloodlust. I have read this morning comments wishing and hoping that we would reinstate public hangings for the remaining suspect. If you struggle with the need to see the terrorist in pain, ask God to take away your desire for revenge. 
To follow Jesus today means to find those who would be your enemies and love them. Buy them coffee, give them a compliment, help them without expectation of anything in return. The Bible doesn’t say this will immediately change them, but it is commanded and Romans 13 says that giving a thirsty enemy a drink can lead them to repentance. 

There are lots of other ways to follow Jesus today. Let’s show the rest of our country and the world that Jesus is our only hope and we will follow him.

“Give me Christ or else I die.”

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