Hope…Where’s It Come From?

Where does ‘peace’ come from for you?

From what source do you find ‘joy’?

Where do you get your ‘hope’?


If it is anywhere except the Lord, you are asking for trouble!

It will not last.

It can’t.


The truth is that many of us find our peace, joy and hope in our circumstances.

If our circumstances are good, then cool–we’re at peace.

The minute our circumstances change, however, we get anxious, we lose sleep, we chew our fingernails, etc.

We all do this–to one extent or another–at times.

As long as there’s money left at the end of our month, as long as we’re (relatively) healthy, and our main relationships are good, we think everything’s fine.

But if those things are where our trust lies, we are trusting in something that cannot last.

Even on a national or global scale…as long as there’s peace on our borders, the world economy is humming along, and no major natural disasters have hit our area, we think things are fine. That changes very quickly, however–with even one terrorist attack, one threat of cyber-terrorism, or one spike in the global fuel prices.

Even in our current Presidential race…if ‘our’ candidate is in the lead, we think things are fine. If the polls change, or some new scandal comes out, we fret and worry about our future.

We must learn to get our Peace, Joy, and Hope from the One Source that does not change–our God!


Psalm 33:10-17:

“The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations
    and thwarts all their schemes.
11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever;
    his intentions can never be shaken.

12 What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord,
    whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

13 The Lord looks down from heaven
    and sees the whole human race.
14 From his throne he observes
    all who live on the earth.
15 He made their hearts,
    so he understands everything they do.
16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
    nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
    for all its strength, it cannot save you.” 

Nothing–not our economy, our military, our constitution–NOTHING is as secure as Him!

“But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
    those who rely on his unfailing love.
19 He rescues them from death
    and keeps them alive in times of famine.” (Psalm 33:18-19)

We can rest, trusting Him to watch over us–IF we are trusting in Him and putting Him in His rightful place (#1 above all else in our lives).

“We put our hope in the Lord.
    He is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
    for our hope is in you alone.” (Psalm 33:20-22)

Today, and every day, may You (and I) find the peace that comes from KNOWING that God is watching over us, and may we reaffirtm our trust in the One and Only Source of Hope–HIM!

What Can We DO?

Last week I shared a post that probably irritated just about everyone. In that post, I made clear my feelings about the Presidential Candidates this year–and the character concerns I have re: each of them. I observed that this slate of candidates was the predictable outcome of a culture which increasingly rejects God and elevates ‘self’.

I also called for the Church–those of us who love Jesus and worship Him as Savior and Lord–to ask God to ‘revive’ us–meaning to show us our sin, our apathy, and to stir us up so that we love Him and Worship Him with all our hearts, and that we let His light ‘shine’ through us.

So…how’s that going?

I have been doing some things, personally, to help myself focus more on the ONE who rules above all nations, and less on this election, but I’ve been wondering–and some have asked, ‘What can we DO?’.

Let me suggest 5 things:

1) PRAY!pray

  1. Pray for the candidates! That’s right–pray for them. Pray that God would show them their need to humble themselves and seek His wisdom.                                                                                                                                               King Solomon, regarded as the wisest ruler of all time, earned this reputation primarily because, when asked by God what he wanted above everything else at the beginning of his reign, he answered this way:“Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly,[e] for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?”11 God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— 12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!” (2 Chronicles 1:10-12)These candidates are surrounded by people who make them think they’re the most brilliant, wise, powerful people in the world, and they don’t need anything but for the rest of us to follow them. They need to humble themselves before the Lord. (James 4:10: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.”) I encourage you to pray for these candidates–all of them.
  2. Pray for US–the American People! Pray that we would ‘push back’ from the ‘conventional’ wisdom, to step back from the way we’ve done things before, and to SEEK THE LORD! May we have a heart to know His will, to do what honors Him!

2) Get Informed!

  1. Do NOT accept the media narrative on this election–Yes, these are two SERIOUSLY flawed candidates…but what is more important–their personalities or their positions on the issues? Do you know what they are?
    1. For example, what does each candidate think about the Constitution of our great country–is it something to be ‘updated’, or something to be held to? Is it something which limits our freedom, or which limits the government’s power?
    2. What do they think about the ‘Free Market’? Do they want to leave businesses largely alone, depending on the American people to ‘vote with their wallets’, or do they want to regulate things and increasingly take over American businesses?
    3. What are their positions on Moral issues? What do they think about Abortion, for example? Are they in favor of any limits, or do they think abortion should be legal and unrestricted–even to minutes before full-term birth?  What do they think about marriage–is it a sacred institution, instituted by God, or is it a conventional construct of society, which can be changed to fit society’s definitions? There are many more of these issues–do you know the Candidate’s positions?

3) Be a Good Steward of your vote!

  1. Pretend your vote was actually a $100 bill–and God would hold you responsible for what you do with it. Would you give it to Hillary Clinton? Would you give it to Donald Trump? Would you give it to Gary Johnson, or one of the ‘other’ candidates? Or, would you elect not to give it to anyone, prayerfully turning it back over to God without ‘spending’ it?                                                                                                                                            I have been praying about this very thing, and I’m still unsure exactly what I’ll do. There is one reason I may end up using my ‘$100 bill’ and casting a vote, however, and that is…

4) Consider the long-term implications of your choice.

  1. What difference will it make if ‘your’ candidate wins…or another does?MUCH! whichever candidate wins will have enormous influence for decades–on things like the Supreme Court nominations, Religious Liberty and the right to Free speech; Economic recovery (long overdue) and economic freedom; Health care freedom and the very survival of Health Insurance companies; Military strength and policies; Immigration–legal and illegal–and whether our ‘borders’ (and therefore, citizenship) mean anything at all…the list goes on!

5) Therefore, I bring you back to #1: PRAY!

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Do not fear, pray! God is on His throne, and that will not change–no matter who wins!

One thing is for sure: If we will humble ourselves and pray, stand boldly on His word, and love others to the very best of our ability, that will have enormous impact on the future of our country, and our world.

If we don’t, then the determination of who becomes President will not matter all that much.


WHO Will Stand Tall?


What a mess this is!

I have held back somewhat on expressing my opinions on this election. I’ve tried to be as civil and respectful as possible to all points of view, but I’ve also made it known that I am not a ‘fan’ or supporter, on a personal level, of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Yet, I think it’s time I expressed some of what I’ve been praying on and thinking about.

In future blogs, I’ll eventually share my opinions on the candidates’ positions and proposals, but since so much of this campaign has been about each candidate saying, in essence, ‘Vote for me because the other one is worse’, I think I need to share.

Here goes:

We have a political campaign in which 2 of the worst candidates ever are debasing the process, debasing the office, and debasing the country.

And we’re getting exactly what we deserve–and exactly what we’ve asked for!

For decades, our society has thrown off all restraint and has given self-centeredness, sexual promiscuity and immoral behavior a place of honor and esteem.

Our media has celebrated this, and reveled in it–from our t.v. shows to the lyrics to our songs, to the subject of our books. With each passing year, that which seemed ‘controversial’ has been pushed and prodded so that it seemed ‘commonplace’ the very next season.

Our schools have, at times, taught our children to elevate ‘self-expression’ above virtually all other values, and to shun any hint of authority which seems to call them back to  ‘moral standard’, even to the point where kids are encouraged not to go to their parents, who ‘won’t understand like we do’.

Many of our churches have capitulated, adopting the standards of this world, in order to be ‘relevant’, trading in the Truths of God for the ‘moving target’ of what’s ‘acceptable’ to our culture.

Not surprisingly, our families have disintegrated, devolving into a tug-of-war, in which every person involved is seeking ‘their way’ above all else.


Into this environment two people come who bring out the worst in everyone.

One, a woman who has been corrupt for years, using the power of her name and her office to line her own pockets, running over any individual who stands in her way. She has lied, stalled, obfuscated, blamed, connived and deceived her two-faced way to the top of the ticket.

On the other side, a man who seems to be an especially poor choice–at least from a morality standpoint–has shown himself to be an arrogant, bullying, petulant, materialistic, and ridiculously self-centered man who apparently thinks he can do no wrong and has never even had to ask forgiveness from God! Every revelation of ‘who he is’ and ‘what he’s said’ seems to bring a new low.

THESE are the two people who would run our country?

Let me sum up my emotional response to this situation again:


Head in Hands

Yet…this was predictable, and is the inevitable outcome of a society which elevates ‘self’ and ‘feelings’ above all moral values and adopts the mindset which says that other people–especially the government–owes me everything I want.

We have become a nation which has turned it’s back on everything that made us truly ‘exceptional’ and ‘great’–starting with our ‘corporate’ identity as a ‘Christian nation’– and have ended up a choice between a ruthlessly self serving tyrannical candidate or an adolescent bully with money in a suit.

We have attempted, as a culture, to kick God out of the corporate identity, and now have the mess left to clean up!

This CANNOT be blessed by God!

Isaiah 5:20-21:

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!”

Sound familiar?

IF there is ‘hope for America’, this must change!

But it will not change easily.

This is going to require real  personal humility, real brokenness in our hearts, and actual REPENTANCE before God!

Note: By this I do not mean simply ‘sorrow’ because we’re in a mess (like most politicians do), but actual Repentance–the willingness to turn around and go back to God.

Where’s it going to start?


With me. With you.

With the Church in America.

We–Christ’s followers–must be willing to admit that we’ve grown too ‘worldly’ and too ‘apathetic’ to God’s priorities in our world. We’ve become lazy, unmotivated, worldly.

As a result, we have forgotten Jesus’ words when He prayed for His disciples (and us) before being betrayed and crucified:

John 17: 13-19: “They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.”

We need to remember again that, as Jesus’ followers (and children of God, by faith), we have a calling to represent Him in this world–through our actions, attitudes, words and deeds.

How have you been doing on that–especially with respect to the election, or the other chaotic and divisive things going on in our culture?

We need to remember, again that we are Christ followers first, before anything else.

Ephesians 5:8-9: “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!  For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”

In the next few weeks, the mud-slinging, name calling and accusations will get worse…that’s just ‘what it is’ this time.

But WE–if we are children of God, through faith in Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit–do not need to employ this strategy–especially at one another!

We must try to push back from the negativity and focus on issues. When we disagree, we must try to do so with respect, self-control, and a commitment to loving one another.

…and we must Fast and Pray!

We must “humble ourselves and pray, and seek (His) face, and turn from our wicked ways”. (“2 Chronicles 7:14), and then to trust God to “hear our prayer, forgive our sin, and heal our land”, and to bring about the result that is in keeping with His plan.

I believe that the future of our country–and more importantly, our churches–depend on our response to this challenge. Will we stand? Will we fall?

THIS is the time! THIS is the hour!

It’s up to you and me!

Please join me in praying on behalf of our Nation, our Presidential (and others’) election, our culture, our churches, our families and ourselves.

We need to ‘seek God’ again. We need to give Him back His rightful place.

However, before it can happen anywhere ‘out there’, it needs to happen first ‘in here’–in our hearts.

So I want to ask you to join me in praying, fasting (in whatever way God leads you), and asking God to…

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

May God Start a Fire within us!

Pastor DaJo

As Far As It Depends on You…

Newsflash: There’s a LOT of conflict in our world!

Between riots in Charlotte, NC, weekly violence in places like Chicago, Terrorism in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota…there is no shortage of violence.

Police killing civilians, Civilians killing police, Citizens killing citizens…seems as though we hear a lot more about it now.

Violence, as they say, begets violence.

Add to that the ‘soft’ conflicts that happen in political ‘debate’ and ‘discussion’, Facebook or Twitter ‘wars’ which can quickly escalate to the point that two people who would normally get along…even enjoy each other…even love each other, can be angry and embittered with one another because of their political (or moral, or spiritual) disagreements.

As I observe all this, I tend to think of a ‘downward spiral of conflict’, where we go faster and faster down a relational ‘hole’ that we can’t get back out of.

If something does not change, our families, friendships, churches and communities will be destroyed. Our society is at a bit of a ‘tipping point’, and I wonder if more violence will set the tone for a dramatically bad turn of events, depending on the outcome of the election this fall. Certainly there are ‘elements’ in both Clinton and Trump camps that may react very negatively (and violently) if the other side wins.

…all the while, satan–our spiritual enemy–sits back and laughs.

That’s right…satan.

Once he got us to focus on ‘self’ and ‘what I want, I deserve, it became very easy to go to ‘What I want, I deserve, and anyone who stands in the way of that is my enemy.’

That is the mindset of evil, and our society is being played.

At KCC, we’ve talked a lot about a verse that is a ‘worldview’ verse in some ways…it indicates in many ways, the reason things are what they are in this world…and helps us ask questions that will get us out of that ‘downward spiral’.

“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, to the full” (Jesus’ words in John 10:10)

The thief–satan, our enemy, is always trying to destroy. He’s always trying to divide, cause conflict, and incite animosity toward others. IF we let him, he destroys families, churches, communities, and eventually, our society and our world.

It’s what he does.

“He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies”. (Jesus’ words in John 8:44)

This is what is happening in our culture, as people plug their ears to the truth, center on their own desires, and lob accusations against ‘the other side’.

What can we do instead?

Choose to listen. Try to understand. Seek to give the benefit of the doubt.

If you are a follower of Jesus, we must seek peace!

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”–Psalm 34:14

That is part of the “Life, to the full” that Jesus promised–relational peace and unity.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9-21)

WE must be those who ‘overcome evil with good’!

WE must be those who leave room for God to avenge.

WE must be he ones who refuse to ‘pay back evil with evil, but to do what is right’.

WE must be the ones who make it our goal to live this out: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone!”

Will there be ‘bad guys’ on the other side of the spectrum? Yes.

Will there be ‘bad guys’ on our end of the spectrum? Regrettably, yes!

YOU and I–as Christ followers–cannot be one of them!

We MUST seek peace and pursue it!

We must listen, love, discuss, share, give grace, and remain committed to the truth–in LOVE!

That is the only hope for our society!

If you’re a Christian, YOU represent Jesus!

Commit yourself to living like it!

National Anthem–to Protest, or not to Protest?

Tonight, like millions of people across the nation, I went to a High School football game. I went to see our local Comstock Colts break the longest active losing streak in the state of Michigan…and they did so with a hard-fought victory over the Bronson Vikings tonight…but that is another story!

Just before the game began, the Announcer asked everyone to stand and face the flag for our National Anthem. Honestly, I was relieved to hear that they did not say something ‘p.c.’, like ‘Please rise for our National Anthem, unless you are otherwise inclined’, or something like that. I was also happy to note that all players and coaches from our team (I confess–I didn’t even look at Bronson’s team) stood at attention.

The band played, and I sang the words…quietly (still, apologies to all within earshot), and I was thankful. Thankful that, at least so far, the ‘p.c. police’ haven’t invaded our High Schools in this way…yet.

It also got me reflecting on Colin Kaepernick’s protest–and the others who’ve joined him.

Yes, he has the right to protest. America does protect the ‘Freedom of Speech’ in the first amendment.

However, it makes me wonder about several questions…

  1. What is the ‘aim’ of those who protest? Is it to raise awareness to some perceived-or-real ‘wrong’ in our country? If so, I would agree–there are many things ‘wrong’ with our country. However, it is still The Place that symbolizes freedom and liberty for all the world–even with it’s inconsistencies. Ironically, the very fact that there is a ‘right’ here to protest shows the idiocy of doing so.
  2. When will there be a ‘win’? What will a ‘win’ be defined as? In other words, ‘Cool–you can protest–so when (if ever) will you stop’? What will need to happen in order for you NOT to feel the need to protest any more? What is Colin’s ‘victory’? Is there one–or is it just about ‘making a point’ (and being in the limelight)?
  3. For a multi-millionaire quarterback, who is paid like that to PLAY A GAME in our country makes me think that maybe there’s another reason for Kaepernick’s protest…he never protested when he was starting, but did so just before he was to be cut….Hmmm…

Here’s my take on the National Anthem: I think it symbolizes the PROMISE of our country–the PROMISE of ‘the Land of the Free, home of the brave’. I think it stands for, and points ever-forward to the hope that one day, we will live out the ‘true meaning of our creed’.

To be sure, we haven’t ‘arrived’ yet, and there are issues to be resolved. There are individuals, and groups, who frustrate me with their lack of respect for  freedom, liberty, diversity, etc. However, I think our nation is SO FAR ahead of other places that, to protest our National Anthem is to say “I can’t support you because you are not Perfect”.

To that, I say, “Guilty as charged; we are NOT perfect”…but we are moving closer.

We are improving.

We are respecting each other…and are getting nearer to our goal.


Most of us don’t know that the Star-Spangled Banner–our National Anthem–actually has 4 verses.

Read this last verse in the rhythm of the first verse (which you know so well)…

“O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand

Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!

Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land

Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

THAT is worth standing for–whether in a High School football game or in the pro’s.

Just my opinion.

Pastor DaJo

Bonus: Check out this clip from “The Sum of All Fears”:

Your Legacy Starts TODAY! A Tribute…

How do you want to be remembered?

Most of us would love to be remembered as a good person, one who lived life ‘the right way’, one whom people respect, etc.

Some of us would like to be remembered as Christians, most importantly.

In other words, speaking for myself, I want everyone who comes in contact with me to know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ.

I want my words, actions, and motivations to point toward Him.


That all sounds nice…so how do we do it?

One minute, one interaction, at a time.


Yesterday, our family got news of a tragic death of a young man, Ryan Cramer, who had taught some of our children. It was a deep blow to us, and to so many others, but it was especially deep for his wife, Krista, and their young girls.

As we reflected on him, we realized that he was a GREAT Teacher and a marvelous person. He had the ability to convince each student that he cared about them, personally. He believed in them, personally, and he looked forward to seeing them each day, personally. He helped 2 of our girls learn to love school–or at least his class–and to feel genuinely good about themselves, because of his care and concern for them. They are strong, beautiful, competent young women now, partly because of the teachers in their lives–and none moreso than him.

He and his wife, both teachers at our kids’ elementary school, were both the kind of people that we need more of–people who give their lives in service to others, people who invest themselves in the lives of the next generation.

Here’s the thing: Ryan was a young man (certainly compared to myself, anyway).  He was in the prime of his life with a wonderful wife and young family.

To be sure, that’s part of what makes it seem so tragic, but what I want to get you to think about is this: Ryan could not have known that the end of this life would come so soon. He did not have time to consider his ‘Legacy’ as many do when they approach retirement age–he had decades to go before that!

That is the point: Ryan LIVED HIS LEGACY out, every day!

He invested himself in the lives of hundreds of children and families over the years, and THAT was his Legacy!

The Scriptures remind us: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12), and “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before even one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16). 

God knew Ryan, and the number of his days.

Ryan loved the Lord…he is sharing in eternity with Jesus right now…but he lived his life here on earth as a ‘Legacy’. No, he wasn’t perfect…other that Jesus, none of us are. But he didn’t let that stop him from living a life of impact while he had the time.

What’s it mean for us?

It is another reminder that NOW is the Time! TODAY is the day! Consider how you’re living and what you’re investing in right now!

Live life the way you want to be remembered, NOW. Live your legacy out now–with the power and strength that the Holy Spirit gives–because TODAY is the only day we can influence right now!

As Christians, we don’t want to live simply so that people ‘miss us’; we want to live so that they see Jesus in us! We want to live in a way which points to eternity!

I want to live in such a way that people ‘see Jesus in me’, even if we never talk!

“Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” (1 Peter 2:12)

Ryan may not have known it, but he did it!

…and others…including the Johnson family…saw it!

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17)

Where Is The Love? (Warning!)

Where is the LoveWarning: This post will leave some of you uncomfortable, and others will be offended. I am including a link to a video that uses a bad word, and will definitely step on toes (it did mine).

I don’t share this video to say ‘The Black Eyed Peas have it all figured out’, they don’t.

In fact, they are left asking the same question they asked years ago: “Where is the Love?”

One thing we can all agree on: there is a LOT of hate out there! Violence, Evil, Racism…it’s certainly out there in our world.

However, if anything is ever going to change, we have to ask ourselves a more disturbing question: ‘Is it in me?’

How have I contributed–either in my attitude, my actions, or my behavior–to the climate of hate and division?

For example, when I watch this video, I get offended by the lines about police killing, and the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ false narrative that was so prevalent recently. However, rather than discard the entire song, I have to admit that there are legitimate good things about it, and that the question is one that I need to answer!

The Black Eyed Peas ask this profound question, and I think we–especially Christ followers–need to wrestle with it: Where IS the Love?

Here’s the thing: We–Christians–KNOW the answer!

The LOVE has already come! Jesus came to show it, and He NAILED it!

“God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent His son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, should be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1st John 4:9-10)

Evil–including hate and racism–were nailed to the cross when He willingly went there!

Why, then, does it still exist?

2 reasons:

1) Our enemy, satan…the devil, is still trying to mess everything up (“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they might have LIFE, and have it to the Full.” (John 10:10), and 2) We willingly play into his hands.

Even in the Church–the family of God–who’ve been brought in by His amazing grace, and through nothing of our own merit (Ephesians 2:1-10)–we continue to justify racism, hatred and division!

How can this be?

If Jesus has paid for all our sin, and brought us all into relationship with the Father–adopted into the family of God–then we, above all people should know how to show LOVE…for all races, denominations, ethnicities, etc.

You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.

14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” (Ephesians 2:12-18)

HE–Jesus–is the One who made peace; HE is the one who brought the LOVE.

Therefore, we–as His followers, within the family of God together–have THE answer to the question,

“Where is the Love?” It’s in Jesus!

Therefore, as Christians, we have a responsibility to believe, think, and act not as members of ‘our’ group–‘White’, ‘Black’, ‘Latino’, etc…but as Children of God!

ALL lives matter–to God! Therefore, all lives should matter to me, as His child!

We must push back from the rhetoric, push back from the headlines, push back from the protests, and consider:      As those who have been extravagantly, graciously, and abundantly loved by God, how can we LOVE each other?

Does it mean we have no differences? Does it mean we can’t teach those who are different some things? Does it mean we can’t learn from each other? Of course not…and sometimes, those differences are important! Even then, however, we must live in the context of love.

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13)