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The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Weekly Devotional for 2007


Week 20
May 13, 2007 -- May 19, 2007
Page 1

And when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” And another horse, a fiery red one, went out, and the one sitting on it was given to take peace from the earth, in order that they might slaughter one another, and a great sword was given to him. Rev 6:3-4.

The root of all violence is the absence of peace. Where the gospel is rejected, peace is taken from the earth. Men and women are separated from spouses, parents, children and friends (Matt 10:32-36). Everyone seeks to secure their own personal peace at the expense of everyone else and their peace. The resulting chaos leads to violence. On the other hand, the presence of the gospel in one's life brings genuine peace. I don't need to assert my opinions or demand my rights because I already have everything I need in Jesus Christ. Where the gospel is rejected, however, even the smallest issues can lead to violence.

An example of this took place at a recent baseball game. The Chicago Cubs had not won the National League pennant since 1945, but they were only five outs from a trip to the World Series. The score was 3-0 Cubs in the eighth inning. A foul ball looked as if it would land right at the top of the wall separating the playing field from the spectators in the left field corner. Moises Alou, the Cubs' left fielder, raced toward the wall and leaped high in the air extending his glove over the wall. It looked like he would make the catch.

Just then a fan reached over with a glove of his own. The ball hit the fan's glove and fell into the stands. Alou landed on the ground and made an angry gesture toward the fan. Somehow the incident seemed to suck the energy out of the Cubs. Their opponent, the Florida Marlins, went on to score eight runs in the inning and win the World Series in place of the Cubs.

Things got ugly in the stands. Security officials had to escort the fan off the field, covering his head because of the objects being thrown by other spectators. "Kill him," cried some! "You cost us the World Series," cried others. After receiving death threats, the fan, Steve Bartman, went into seclusion, afraid for his life. The irony of it all is that Bartman was not an Anti-Cub terrorist, planted there to foil the team's chances to make the World Series. He was actually a Cub fan who was broken-hearted about the result of his own actions. When he saw the ball coming, he said, "I had my eyes glued on the approaching ball. . . and was so caught up in the moment that I did not even see Moises Alou. . ."[1]

In the absence of the gospel, even the most trivial of pursuits can become the basis for human violence. A relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to genuine peace.

Lord, help me keep things in their true perspective. May I extend to others the peace that You have given me.


[1]Kimberly Luste Maran, AMending Broken Hearts," The Adventist Review, November 20, 2003, 6.
 
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