Yesterday Live Oak Christian Church took a look at a few spiritual truths from the movie "12 Years a Slave." If you haven't seen the movie, brace yourself. Powerful. Sobering. Hard to watch.
Inspiring. Challenging. Quite frankly ... it ticked me off.
While an obvious spiritual truth is one of perseverance, we turned that idea on its head yesterday, challenging people to not only persevere through their trials and struggles, but to NEVER TIRE OF DOING GOOD. (Galatians 6:9).
I was most convicted during "12 Years a Slave" at the LACK of people doing good ... of standing up for what is right!
With all that is happening around the world, it seems ridiculous to me that many (if not most) Western Christians are bickering about insignificant issues of comfort and preference instead of being about the "requirements of God:"
Doing RIGHT Loving MERCY Walking HUMBLY with our God
Edmund Birk has said, "The only thing for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." The heart of our service yesterday was that God forgive us for our indifference.
At the end of the sermon we took some time to realize that before we, as followers of Christ, get our hands dirty to serve others we must first get our hearts clean through repentance. Several church members and friends have asked for a copy of that prayer, so here it is. I hope that if you pray it you will do so with earnestness and passion ... and then get off your knees and get to the business of loving the orphans, the widows, the outcast, and the marginalized.
GOD FORGIVE US …
For refusing to open our eyes to those in need … For refusing to open our hearts to the widowed, the orphaned, the marginalized, and the lost … For turning our backs on the down and out … For claiming grace for ourselves while hoarding it away from others … For closing our hearts to the very ones you sent us to open our hearts to …
Forgive us for the stubborn pride that poisons our minds … Forgive us for the judgmental, holier-than-thou posture we take towards those who are not like us: - the poor, the rich, the have-nots & the have-muches who we can’t relate to - Hispanics, Asians, Middle-Easterners, and others who do not speak like us - the Muslims, the Mormons, and the LDS who don’t believe like us - the “other Christians” who don’t worship like us, talk like us, pray like us, or think like us - the immigrants we see as “them” instead of remembering that we were once immigrants too - the homosexual community whom we seem to be so afraid of we cast judgement instead of showing compassion towards
Forgive us for damning the world to Hell instead of doing everything we can to save them from it
Dear God …
Forgive us for quitting on you For giving up the fight on behalf of others For remaining silent when we should be shouting and for shouting when we should be praying Forgive us for KNOWING your Word but not LIVING your Word Forgive us for our indifference Forgive us for doing nothing
God forgive us for the arrogance of making our life about our struggles instead of your grace Forgive us for hijacking your glory for our selfish ambition Forgive us for misrepresenting your Son to a world that is lost
Take all of these confessions, of which we are guilty, and forgive us Lord Embolden/empower us to live Micah 6:8 … to do what is good … what you require of us:
TO DO JUSTLY TO LOVE MERCY AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOU ...