On August 3rd, at about 10 am local time, there was a mass shooting at a Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall. 20 dead and 26 injured from an 82 year old to a 2 year old. This is the Walmart where my ex-wife and mother of my two older boys works. This is a Walmart just a few miles away from where my 22 year old works. A Walmart I have been in hundreds of times. A place we used to shop and hangout.
I currently live in Grand Haven, MI, and heard the story through family, friends, live news, Facebook and YouTube. I was able to watch it all unfold in front of me. So many family and friends asking if everyone is okay. So many wondering about their friends and loved ones. Post after post, on my feed, I felt the heartache. I felt anger. Anger because there are people so far gone, they could do such a thing. Anger because we are in a world where this can happen. I am also angry because it was so easy to see that it would all be immediately turned into division and politics. I even saw people already selling shirts... :/
Here is a question for those of you who are saved; those of you who are Christian. What was the first thing you thought when it happened? If it wasn't, "I pray they were all saved before them met the Lord. I pray someone talked to them about the Gospel", then you have some soul searching to do as a Christian. If your first thought was political, then you may be forgetting you are called to a Holy Nation. You are not of this world and you have a specific diving calling on your life to accomplish while you are here. I pray you search your heart and the scriptures.
The Bible says that we are to be as one. Jesus prayed in John chapter 17 that we should be one, just as the Father and He are one, so the world might know that God sent Him and know that God loves us and sends us. I saw a glimpse of that in the people of El Paso. So many waiting in line for hours to donate blood, so many eager to help those in need. People naturally come together in times of crisis. As Christians, we need this type of alertness at all times. People are dying without God. People are leaving this world without Jesus Christ. Its time for Christians to come together as one.
My ex-wife is safe. My son is safe. As far as I know, at the time of this writing, I do not know anyone who was killed. I am blessed and I praise the Lord for it. But someone's father, mother, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent, and child did not go home yesterday. There are people who didn't go home in Dayton, Ohio last night. There are people who are not going home in Chicago. (That story is unfolding as I write this now) For them I pray the peace of Christ that surpasses all understand envelop them in this horrible time of tragedy and need. I pray they come to their creator and call upon His name in reverence and worship because He is the only one who can heal their hearts. This message is mainly for those who know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. For the rest of you, I pray you search the Bible and give your life to Him before its too late.
Today I was called to preach at Trinity Church in Grand Haven, MI, and I discuss this tragedy. The sermon I preached is more important today than ever. I took some of the principles from others who have preached on the topic but added more that pertains to my church, my hometown, my country and christians far and wide and made it my own. This is a vitally important message. It is only audio and slides and I invite you to listen below.