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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Live a Peaceful Life

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for EVERYONE - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants ALL men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."  1 Timothy 2:1-4

At 2:40pm, on April 15 of this year, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon killing several and inflicting catastrophic injury on others. In the hours that followed we learned that two brothers were responsible - Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev. 

At our church, the choir sings a song called 'There's Power in the Name of Jesus'. We were rehearsing it shortly after the bombing and something caught me in the words this time. They go something like this:

"A mother barely twenty out there on her own,
A teenage boy in prison, before he's even grown." 

A teenage boy. In prison. A BOY. Nineteen years old. His face is as familiar to us all now as the faces of our own family. The teenager we love to hate... The media and our legal system will tell us that he is an adult and will be tried as such. But any mother who has ever raised a son will tell you...at nineteen, he is still a boy.

Whether he had died from his injuries or whether he is executed for his crime, his life is over. At nineteen. His brother has already entered eternity with a lost soul. 

Shortly after his capture and arrest, someone asked me how, as a nurse, I would feel about taking care of Dzokhar in the hospital. I admitted it would be difficult but, as a Christian, I hoped that I would be able to demonstrate a measure of compassion. Because here is the kicker: Jesus died for Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev, too. He desires that Dzokhar not perish. He is included in the ALL of 1 Timothy 2:4.

When we see and hear of these horrible events, whether they happen on our soil or across the world, we pray for the victims without a second thought. But what about the perpetrators? Who prays for them? Who asks Jesus to change them? 

Paul tells us to pray for EVERYONE. Why? So that we might live peaceful and quiet lives. The answer to violence in our world or acts of terrorism is not tighter security, stricter immigration policies, or a peace treaty. The answer to the lack of peace in this world is the Prince of Peace - Jesus Christ. Only when He enters in will peaceful and quiet lives be found.

The song goes on:
"A nation needing mercy, fighting for her life"        Oh, yes, we are.
"A church that needs revival...."                           Oh, yes, we do.

"BUT in the name of Jesus those chains of bondage fall.
Prayers are heard and answered when God's children call.
There's power in the name of Jesus..."                  Oh, yes, there is!

"There is hope, there is strength, and victory to claim"   Hallelujah!
"There is healing....."                                            Heal us, Lord.

There is victory in the name of Jesus - and healing - and we can know it because He that is in us is greater than he who is in the world. We cannot live in fear. WE HAVE THE POWER. The power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us! (Romans 8:11; Ephesians 1:19-20) The power of His Name is in those of us who are called by His Name and we exercise it when we pray. 

Pray for the Dzokhars of the world. Pray for those in authority. Pray for your neighbors. Exercise your power. Live peacefully.

Click the link to hear the song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK0KQgMLfHE

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