Meridian Star

April 27, 2013

From the Shepherd’s Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7



This week has been alarming. We began with the threat of North Korea. Our focus changed when the bombs of Boston shattered our sense of safety. At the same time, political leaders were threatened with letters laced with poison. Wednesday night, the explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Texas makes us wonder where the next tragedy will occur.

    I heard the Louisville, Kentucky Chief of Police make the following statement: “We cannot guarantee your safety but we do have a plan.” This comment was made in regard to a big civic event they are to have today. They have tripled the police presence; however, the chief knew that in large crowds, there is no way to inspect every personal possession or to insure someone will not have violent intentions when they come.

    Congress debated over gun control. I wonder if we also need to focus on pressure cooker controls. Maybe we should ban cell phones because of the number of fatalities that occur from people texting and driving. We could even consider banning tobacco products given the cancer fatalities that it produces. We might even consider laws against road rage. But the fact remains, as stated by the Louisville Chief of Police, “We can’t guarantee your safety.”

    However, we can have a plan. Like the Chief of Police, we can do what we can. Here is my plan:

    1. I plan to live each day in fellowship with my Lord. I refuse to allow a fallen world to taint my faith. My security has always been founded in what God, not man, can do to protect and guide me. I may not know the intent of every stranger I meet, but I know the intent of my Lord. He intends that I prosper and make it through everything I face. With the Lord at my side, I feel safe.

    2. I plan to live each day to the fullest. I want each day to be an occasion to show love. I want to teach others how to relax and smile. Behind all the sadness and carnage are people who are giving all they have for the welfare of others. I want to join them. I may not be at the tragedy, but for me to cower from the chance to show the victory I already have in Christ to some victim of this world would be an even greater tragedy. Every day will be lived as if it is my last. My moments will be filled with priorities, not mundane useless trivia that might be seen as a waste if this day was all I had.

    3. I plan to celebrate life, not fear it. The news may rally around tragedies. I rally around friendships, blessings, answered prayers, talking with my boys, loving my wife, and knowing that my life is forever in the hands of a loving Savior who qualifies me for blessings I will never earn. I will not live always at my present residence, but I will always have a place with Jesus and that is enough to celebrate now.

    4. I plan to be an encourager in a discouraging world. I want to make people smile, relax, enjoy, and yes, even celebrate the moment. I know I live in a fallen world, but my citizenship is elsewhere. Someone said this week, “I have lost faith in our country.” In response to that, I want to say, “Your faith is in the wrong place if it is in anything of man.” Look up and find God and you will have an entirely different perspective on what happened this week. God is still on the throne! Everything is still under His control! I can’t explain everything. I may not like everything; however, I know the promises of God have not changed. My future is bright!

    God not only has a plan but guarantees our safety. With God’s perspective, fear can be replaced with more rational thinking about the world we face.