Today is June 19th. It is a day that commemorates and celebrates the actualized freedom of slaves in Texas on this day in 1865. It was more than two years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation! Our country's history with slavery is a sad one.
Can you imagine the joy and excitement of being able to make your own decision about what to do or where to go for the very first time? No wonder there was so much celebration surrounding this day. Similarly, when we place our faith in Christ Jesus for salvation, the forgiveness of our sins, He immediately shatters the shackles that enslaved us to sin and rebellion against God. For the first time, we become free to love God, honor God, and obey God. What an exciting and joyous realization that event was for us who have trusted in Christ!
Our nation has come a long ways in fair treatment for all, and we still have a ways to go. Would you pray that God would move throughout our nation to draw people to Himself? Apart from God's supernatural work, hatred and bitterness will continue to thrive (no matter what laws are in place). Hatred and bitterness is an enemy of all people of all ethnicities, and should not be found in Christians. May God be honored by the words and actions of His people as we participate in the unfolding of these tense times. May many experience freedom in Christ for the first time as a direct result of this very season!
The words of James seem incredibly relevant to the moment (and all the time): "My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God's righteousness. Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, humbly receive the implanted word which is able to save your souls." - James 1:19-21 (CSB)
Pastor Justin & Pastor Brian
Justin had been serving as the lead pastor at Faith Baptist Church while Brian had been serving as the lead pastor at Valley Community Church until the Lord brought them and their two churches together in February of 2020.