John T. Willis

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Murder: This is a Heart Issue

All of us are deeply disturbed by the 28 murders recently committed at a grade school in Newtown, Connecticut. The murderer was identified as Adam Lanza, age 20. He murdered his mother, six teachers, and 20 small students. In all cases, people want to know, WHY did this happen? And out of this come numerous questions which face all of us. Why didn't God intervene and prevent this from happening? Why didn't Adam's mother raise him as a good citizen? Why didn't counselors detech Adam's problems? People pounce on this kind of issue, and declare that Adam had psychological problems or suffered from paternal abuse or was wired as an evil person at birth, and the theories go on an on. Let's be honest. The REAL issue is the HEART. Banning the use of guns will not stop murders. Police persons standing on every corner will not stop murders. Good counselors will not stop murders. What stops murder is changing the heart, which God created from the very beginning. Proverbs 4:23 says: "Keep your HEART with all vigilance, for from IT flow the springs of life." The second example of sin recorded in the Bible is about murder. Abel became very angry because Yahweh had regard for Abel and his sacrifice but did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Yahweh said to Cain, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do well, SIN IS LURKING AT THE DOOR; its desire is for you, but you must MASTER IT" (Genesis 4:5-7). Here the DOOR is not a material door, but THE HEART. Sin is always lurking at the human heart to lead the individual into sin. It is up to each person to MASTER the temptations and trials of the heart. God always gives us a way to endure all the problems and issues of human life (1 Corinthians 10:13). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addressed the problem of MURDER. He said: "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder' [quoting the sixth of the Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:13]; and "whoever murders shall be liable to judgment' [quoting Exodus 21:12]. But I say to you that if you are ANGRY with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment" (Matthew 5:21-22). ANGER is a heart problem. Anger motivates a person to murder another person. When the Pharisees rebuked Jesus because Jesus' disciples eat with defiled hands, i. e., without washing their hands, Jesus responded, "It is from WITHIN, from THE HUMAN HEART, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, MURDER, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these things come FROM WITHIN, and they defile a person." (Mark 7:21-23). Instead of facing the reality of life that all we do comes from THE HEART, we typically seek for explanations based on philosophical, psychological, neurological, scientific research. The only abiding approach is to constantly come to God and let God search our hearts. Share YOUR experiences and failures and dreams with others. Let me hear from YOU. John Willis


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