Derek Smith 

Lead Pastor 

1 Peter 3:13-17

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

This past Monday we all watched in horror as news came in about the school shooting at the Covenant Christian School in Nashville. I don’t know about you but I can’t get those images out of my head. As a father of 5 kids my heart absolutely breaks for those families who lost children, one of them a fellow pastor. What do we do now? How do you process and respond to such a horrifying event? Part of me wants to just go home and hide with my family. Another part of me wants to go shout on the street corner about the need for armed security at all our schools. I just want to sit with my children and hold them real tight. Now more than ever it feels like we are in the last days before Christ comes again. Lawlessness and violence like what we saw at that school abound. What should we do? 

Peter is writing to a group of persecuted Christians in the above passage and he reminds them what to do in difficult days. First of all, we must remember Christ is Lord. I don’t know why such horrific tragedies like this happen, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that God is good and He blesses and rescues His children forever! Secondly, WE MUST TELL AS MANY PEOPLE ABOUT CHRIST AS WE CAN; and we must do it with GENTLENESS AND RESPECT. Now more than ever people need to hear about the transformative grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now more than ever we should be invested and involved in the church worshiping and serving God. Now more than ever we should be actively engaged in our schools and communities exemplifying the mercy of God. Now, more than ever, we should seek the Lord fervently in prayer and proclaim His goodness to all people! Child of God, don’t be afraid and don’t cower back in timidity! Now is the time to speak up for Christ and His goodness! A broken world is watching and listening to see how Christians are going to respond. Let’s give em’ Jesus!