The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name's sake. Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)
Okay, okay, I know that the verse above is in sharp contrast to the title of this article, The little things, because the verses in Psalm 23 are some of the most powerful in the entire Bible.
That's why I chose them to start this.
With everything that's going on in the world today, it's easy to get caught up in the—I hesitate to use the word hysteria … but I can't think of a more appropriate one, so—hysteria and forget about … you guessed it … the little things. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have. I've gotten caught up in the fear and speculation of the end results of the turmoil we're witnessing … well … everywhere we look. There doesn't seem to be any way to get away from the bad news, conflict, and violence. But I'm here to remind you that there absolutely is. Are you ready? Here it is:
Get into the Word!
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:5 (NIV)
The Word is where we find peace. The Word is where we find strength, confidence, courage, as well as the reminders that we all need sometimes of how we're supposed to treat others, regardless of how we feel about their … whatever! No matter what is going on in our lives, we must keep our focus on God the Father, Jesus Christ, His Son and our Savior, and the Holy Spirit who dwells within all believers. We don't get to take a vacation from what we know is right. We still have to represent Him in all we do, in all we say, and in the way we treat others.
Of all the commandments, which is the most important?
The most important one, answered Jesus, is this: 'Hear, oh Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:28-31
I'm not saying anything new here. You already know these things. But when we see the—sorry, but there is no more appropriate word than—stupidity being displayed by activists, protesters, rioters, anarchists, police officers, doctors, city officials, governors, senators, congress(people), judges, the President, the Secretary General of the U.N., the Pope … well, I think you get the idea. It seems like everyone has lost their mind lately. Everything is a conflict. Nothing is good anymore. Even when we see something that's praiseworthy, it's almost always in response to something horrific. Of course, I'm exaggerating just a little bit, but without the fellowship that we find in each other—Christians—we can easily lose sight of what's really important. Like:
Picking up trash.
Saying something kind to a stranger.
Paying for someone's meal … and not doing it just for law enforcement officers—though I do not discourage that!
Telling someone to have a blessed day!
Telling a corny joke to make someone else smile.
The list goes on and on …
Remember, a thousand years ago, when you were in elementary school and you were taught, perhaps by your parents, an uncle, a family friend, or maybe even a teacher, those simple words that we all should be living by?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
Well, why aren't we doing that? Sure, there's a lot of terrible things happening, not just in the United States, but in the world, not the least of which is the genocide that's taking place RIGHT NOW of the Uyghur people in China! If you have no idea who these people are, you really need to find out!
But that's another article.
From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole Earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any of us. For in Him, we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring'. Acts 17:26-28
So, I'm about to ask you a tough—but fair—question: Who do you hate? Do you hate white people? Black people? Asian people? Hispanic people? Black Lives Matter people? KKK people? Communist people? Socialist people? Police officers? Democratic people? Republican people? Terrorist people? Christian people? Jewish people? Muslim people? Hindu people? Redskins (what a shame) fans? Bulls fans? Europeans? Eskimos? People who don't use deodorant. People who use too much perfume.
The list goes on and on.
But here's the thing. They're all people. They are all the children of God. If you disagree, I would ask you to revisit the last four words of the above verses. For the lazy among you:
We … are … His … offspring!
And what are offspring? They're children.
I've said this before, many times, in previous writings. When we choose to separate ourselves by anything, we are committing evil. Today, they call it identity politics. If there's anyone you value less than your closest friend, spouse, or family member, you really need to rethink your mindset.
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' says the Lord. 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.'Romans 12:19-20
As Christians, we have such an easy job, in any situation, that it's almost unbelievable. All we have to do is … believe. That's it. So long as we believe, with all our heart, that Jesus loved us so much that he died on the cross for all sin, everyone's, everywhere, for all the sins of all His offspring, then we are saved. We will live in paradise for eternity. It's so easy, it's almost stupid. Oh, and there is one more thing that we need to do:
Today is the day. Now is the time. The battle is on!
If my people, who are called by my name, will 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. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
G. J. Fortier is a member of Ironmen Ministries and First Baptist Church, Centerville, GA. Look for his novels on Amazon on Kindle and paperback. Or visit his website at www.GerardFortier.com