Forgiveness Trumps Tragedy in Charleston

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The parents, spouses and friends of those killed in the Charleston church shooting demonstrate to the world what knowing and loving Jesus is all about.

It was a tragic event that is etched in our minds just as the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster or the 9-11 Twin Towers attack.

Nine African-American members of historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, were murdered by a visitor they had welcomed into their Bible study. The perpetrator was a young white supremacist who intended to divide our country and ignite a race war.

But . . . the response of the members of Emanuel and the families of the victims stunned the media and the world. In the midst of their pain and loss was the kindest and most gracious display of forgiveness possible. These parents, spouses and close friends demonstrated to the world what knowing Jesus Christ in a remarkably close way is all about.

My wife, Bev, and I were reflecting on this yesterday, and I shared with her that I was strongly sensing in my own heart a deeper love for Christ and people, a greater desire to be in God’s word and to obey it more fully — all since observing their genuine forgiveness. She had been experiencing something similar, and thought that this could be the beginning of revival in our nation.

I want to challenge you to meditate on the promises found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Let’s:

• Humble ourselves before the Lord and people
• Pray and seek the face of God
• Turn from anything in our lives that is not pleasing to Christ
• Forgive those who have harmed us in any way and communicate that to them
• If we do this as the people of God, He promises:
• To hear our prayers
• Forgive our sin
• And heal our land.

The cost of revival is high. Let’s not waste the incredibly expensive down payment of the lives of nine members of Emanuel AME Church.

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