Good morning:

The breaking news first thing yesterday morning was that during the previous night in Milwaukee there had been 9 shootings in 90 minutes with multiple injuries and fatalities. Sadly, it wasn’t that surprising. Violence of all kinds has risen to epidemic proportions. The question is always the same: Why can’t people just get along? There have been rallies against violence. Numerous social programs have been proposed and initiated to deal with the problem, yet with limited success.

The trouble goes much deeper than lack of affordable housing, quality education, or a social support network. James writes, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1). The root problem is not isolated to just a few people. It is within each of our hearts. The sinful nature is focused on self and wants to satisfy its own desires, regardless of the harm it causes someone else.

It’s likely that none of us has pulled a gun on someone, but we’re still guilty. God says, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him” (1 Jn. 3:15). How often have you gotten angry with someone over a petty little thing? How long have you held a grudge and avoided a person because of a hurt they caused you? Sin not only builds walls between us and others, it cuts us off from God and condemns us to eternal death.

No amount of therapy or positive thinking can break us free from the stranglehold of sin. There is nothing we can do. It took God’s intervention to bring us back to Him. It took Jesus’ suffering and death to break down the wall and open the way into God’s kingdom where we have peace and security. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13).

At peace with God through Jesus, we are equipped by the Holy Spirit to live in harmony with others, even our enemies. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil….As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:17-18). May that be our goal today!

In Christ,


Services tomorrow are at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday school is at 9:15 a.m. and adult Bible class starts at 9:30 a.m. We will be wrapping up our review of what Scripture says regarding separating from false teaching church bodies.

Teachers conference: We still need housing for eight teachers, as well as food and serving help. Check the link for the signup sheet:
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