Terrorists behead their prisoners and broadcast the video. A gunman invades a grade school and begins to murder small children and their teachers in cold blood. Children are kidnapped and sold into the sex trafficking industry. A father kills his own wife and children before turning the gun on himself.
These acts shock us. We try somehow to explain how these things can happen. How can things go so dreadfully wrong in a person’s life? What compels a person to leave the rails and commit such unthinkable and horrific behavior? We search endlessly for a person to blame or a systemic problem to fix. Desperately, we try to find a way for humans to quit doing these inhuman things.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I ate lunch with my mother-in-law, a godly woman who has served the Lord faithfully for all of her life. One of those dreadful crimes had just occurred and we wondered out loud who could do such a thing? Softly, a scripture memorized long ago tumbled from her lips, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV)
She nailed it. Who could behead a man or shoot a child? Me. You. Anyone. As it turns out, these terrible things are not so inhuman, after all. People follow their hearts, and we have a heart problem. Some of us can pretty up the top layer good enough to fool others and even fool ourselves. But dig deep enough, and the ugly stuff starts to show.
So, here is the bad news: The human heart—every single one—is sickened by sin.
But, here is the good news: Jesus heals hearts.
Have you ever heard the expression, “There, but for the grace of God, go I”? It’s true.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” (Titus 2:11-12 ESV)
While politicians, law enforcement, the media, and behavioral scientists are wringing their hands in angst, God’s Word gives the solution. Now, more than ever, let us introduce people to Jesus, because Jesus heals hearts.
David L. DeGarmo (D. Min.) serves Global University as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Theology. Along with his wife Ruth, he is also a U.S. Missionary. He has extensive experience as an educator, missionary, and pastor.
David writes an additional blog on a variety of topics. Check it out...