Father God, Lord I come before your throne of grace, with head bowed, and heart humbled, first to say thank you. Father, I thank you for being a God, who is merciful and forever showing grace when I fall. I thank you for being a God, who gives me opportunity after opportunity to get it right. I thank you for being a God, who is not like these idols, who are silent, but you use pastors, ministers, evangelists, books, t.v and a whole hosts of things, to bring conviction in my life. I know you are the only, one and true living God, who created the heavens and earth, and all in it. I thank you for being the God, who created us in your image, and love us so much, that you did not condemn us to eternal punishment, but sacrificed your Son to pay for our sins. Oh God, I just thank you this morning. Father, I am just a humble minister seeking to do your will, and I just thank you for allowing me to do so. I pray this morning, that this message touches your children. I pray Father, that you will ignite the spirit in them to exact change if need be. I pray Father that you set the atmosphere for them to meditate on this message and on you without any interruptions or hindrances. Father, I just pray that you have your way in our lives this morning. We give you all honor, glory, and praise. This I pray in Jesus name, Amen! Amen! Amen!
On T.V. the other day, I was scanning the channels and I happened to catch some older men talking to some teenagers. I do not remember what channel it was on, but what caught my attention is when the man said “Thank God”. Apparently he was recalling a memory when he was about the age of his audience and he was running with a bad crowd. One day this crowd got into some beef with other kids and they were planning for some payback. There was a neighbor who kept riding him on how he should stay away from that crowd. He was recalling on how much he wished that man would just mind his business, and even thought about doing harm to him. That day when the crowd rallied up their weapons and came to pick him up, his neighbor ran to the car and told him to get out or he would tell his parents. When they were about to drive off, the neighbor said then he will call the police and tell them he was kidnapped. Because the driver did not want any heat to come to him, he made the guy get out, but threatened the neighbor on what he is going to do to him when they return. At this time the man began to cry. He continued to tell how his friends never made it back. They never even made it out of the car. The turf that they rolled up on, may have expected them, and they began to fire into the car until all occupants were dead. That neighbor’s persistence saved his life.
As I recall my teen years, I remember on many occasions I had to change the course of action because of what I called a nosey neighbor. Although back then I still engaged in activities contrary to how I was brought up, those instances, where I had a change of heart could have determined whether I lived or died. What about those neighbors or family member who say nothing? The bible says “When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Eze 3:18) I have an aunt who is a mean, bitter, and wicked person. The things she does, would give anyone with a conscience pause. For years my family and I would just ignore it. When I say my family, I mean my mom, other aunts and uncle, cousins, etc. We would chalk it up to “oh that’s the way she is.” We were killing her!!! Every now and again, someone would express their disappointment and may not come around anymore, but what did that do? No one gave her warning to explain that what she is doing is a matter of life and death. It was only as recent, that I and others really got deep with her and told her about her ways. As of now, she does not want anybody around her. This is good. She will have time to reflect and there is no one around her to be wicked to. There is hope.
Some of us have neighbors, people who live next to us. People who we see daily and they or their children may be engaging in things they shouldn’t. What have you done? Are we not commanded to love our neighbor like we love ourselves? (Matt 12:31) Or are you Christian when it is convenient? Mind whose business? If you are sincerely concerned about the welfare of someone, then that is your business. If you are unable to speak to them directly, then pray to God that he gives you an opportunity to say something. But to sit by idly, and do nothing, you are helping in killing that person.
Family, being a child of God is not only about belief, but also of practice. I will tell you that every time, I think I got it together, something always bring me down; in a way of saying I do not. What I have learned to do is just study what God says in His word, practice it to the best of my ability in all sincerity and in truth, and the debatable stuff I leave to God. I do not think this is one of those things that are debatable. If we are commanded to love our neighbors like we love ourselves, then what does that mean? I think if we try to answer that question, we will have an idea if we have been subtly killing the people we know. Amen?