Compassionate people around the world have been horrified as they have watched or learned about the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. They have seen the evil of racism taken to a new, and compellingly visual, level. These are emotionally intense times. How will you respond?
Racism is not new. Moses experienced it in his own family (Numbers 12:1). Daniel and his three friends experienced it (Daniel 3:12; 5:13; 6:13). Jesus had to help his own disciples overcome it (John 4:1-42; Matthew 15:21-28. Desire of Ages chapters 19 & 43).
As you seek The Lord He will impress you with how best to respond to the current situation in the United States. Here are 20 things I’d like to suggest that every believer can do wherever you live and whatever your background.
- Pray for 5 People who aren’t like you. People you know personally from work or school or the neighborhood, or people in the news. Ask Jesus how best to pray for them. Pray for their conversion? Pray for justice to be applied properly? Pray that Jesus will bless them? Pray that Jesus will comfort them? Pray for the five people by name if you can and be a specific as possible. Pray for them each day for at least a week and see what God does and impressed you to do.
- Discover 5 Stories of how Jesus treated people who were different from Himself. Skim through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) in the Bible and pick out stories. Ask the Lord to give you insight and wisdom as you read and reflect. Ask yourself what is setting for this story? Who are the people in the story? How was Jesus involved and what did He do and say? Then ask yourself the most important question – What can I learn from this story? Write some notes and share your insights with others. Ask Jesus to help you put these lessons into practice.
- Clarify 5 Reasons the Three Angels’ Message (Revelation 14:6-12) is needed now more than ever. This is God’s Final Message to Planet Earth that prepares people everywhere for Jesus’ return (v14-20). Focus in on the various parts and become clear on what it means for you as you live it and then give to to others. How does the “everlasting gospel” change hearts, homes, churches and communities? Why is it important that this message go to “every nation, tribe/race, language and people group” so they can be represented around God’s throne someday (Revelation 7:9; 14:6). How will we treat others differently when we “fear (reverence) God and give glory to Him”? How is it good news to hear that “the hour of God’s judgment is here” and that ultimately there will be justice for all (Romans 12:19; Revelation 15:3; 20:12-15)? What will it look like when we truly “worship Him who made” everyone and everything (Genesis 1:1-2:3)? Why is a twisted view of God and false religion (“Babylon”) so destructive to relationships and society (Revelation 18:1-8)? How can we have the “patient endurance of the saints” when we feel like giving up? Why are all Ten Commandments important, not just when written in stone (Exodus 31:18) or in the Bible (Exodus 20:2-17), but in our hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:10; 10:16)? How does the “faith of Jesus” change our worldview?
- Build 5 Bridges with people who are different from you. This will take some creativity and persistence but it is essential. It will involve some level of discomfort. It will probably involve some heavy doses of asking questions, listening to others, encouraging, appealing and giving of time and/or money. But as you build these bridges you will see Jesus do some things in your own heart that are needed. And someday in heaven you will see the full results of your initiatives. Please share below about one of the bridges the Lord helped you build.
Inspired Insights On Prejudice and Racism Destroyed
The religion of the Bible recognizes no caste or color. It ignores rank, wealth, worldly honor. God estimates men as men. With Him, character decides their worth. And we are to recognize the Spirit of Christ in whomsoever He is revealed.—Testimonies for the Church 9:223. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.3
Thus Christ sought to teach the disciples the truth that in God’s kingdom there are no territorial lines, no caste, no aristocracy; that they must go to all nations, bearing to them the message of a Saviour’s love.—The Acts of the Apostles, 20. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.4
The walls of sectarianism and caste and race will fall down when the true missionary spirit enters the hearts of men. Prejudice is melted away by the love of God.—The Review and Herald, January 21, 1896. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.5
Walls of separation have been built up between the whites and the blacks. These walls of prejudice will tumble down of themselves as did the walls of Jericho, when Christians obey the Word of God, which enjoins on them supreme love to their Maker and impartial love to their neighbors—The Review and Herald, December 17, 1895. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.6
When the Holy Spirit is poured out, there will be a triumph of humanity over prejudice in seeking the salvation of the souls of human beings. God will control minds. Human hearts will love as Christ loved. And the color line will be regarded by many very differently from the way in which it is now regarded. To love as Christ loves lifts the mind into a pure, heavenly, unselfish atmosphere.—Testimonies for the Church 9:209. Ye Shall Receive Power 337.7
Someday soon God’s Final Message will go to every nation, tribe/race, language and people group (Revelation 14:6-12). All will respond by either becoming more sensitive to the Holy Spirit or more hardened against the Holy Spirit (Revelation 13:8, 15-17). Jesus will announce that the first phase of the Heavenly Judgement is finished and He is coming soon (Revelation 22:11-12). He will come again for His people (John 14:1-3; Titus 2:11-14). His people will include those from every nation, tribe/race, language and people group on earth (Revelation 7:9).
It’s going to be awesome! What are your thoughts?
Blessings to you,