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Guiding people to Christ, so they will know him and be changed into his likeness

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11:00 a.m.

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822 W. Linebaugh Ave, Tampa, FL 33612

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Making Sense of the Senseless (Letter to Living Faith)

Beloved of God,

While sitting in a hotel room this morning (Friday) in Albany, NY, I heard the news many of you heard about the shooting incident at a Connecticut elementary school and I was more than saddened; I was confused and speechless. It wasn't until earlier this evening, while traveling back to Tampa, I became aware exactly how horrific this senseless tragedy was. How can we come to understand such heinous action? Simply, we can't.

We know that sin is the root of actions like this, and even when we know the perpetrator must have had some mental and emotional disturbances, sin is the root of all such actions, yet we still confess that we don't understand, and our anguish bears witness to this; how is a human being capable of such brutal insensitivity? Saints, in the face of this profound tragedy, I can offer you no answers or explanations that will bring clarity out of the confusion, but I do believe we can regain peace and purpose as we meditate on the sovereign grace of our God. I would encourage you to reflect on the following:

1. Trust God. The Lord has made tremendous promises to us, most notably Romans 8:28 which exclaims that he works all things together for our good. This promise falls within the reality that God conforms all things to his perfect will which results in the praise of his glorious grace (Ephesians 1:11)

2. Pray fervently. Philippians 4:6-7 makes it very clear that all of our anxieties should be met with fervent prayer which provides the peace of God. What I love about this passage is that it acknowledges that the peace God gives is such that it exceeds our understanding, indeed along with many things the Lord does which we just cannot understand at all. But he does promisespeace when we pray, and we so need to pray in the face of this kind of tragedy.

3. Act urgently. In Ephesians 5:16 Paul says we need to make the most of every opportunity because "the days are evil," and we saw that overwhelmingly today. We need to make the gospel a priority because without the redemptive work of Jesus Christ applied to the hearts of people, this kind of senselessness will never be overcome. And how we rejoice in the knowledge that Christ ultimately overcomes the senselessness of sinful acts in his promised return to rule and to reign on the earth. Come Lord Jesus, Come!

Saints, please continue to pray for our church as well as we head into 2013 by the grace of God and also remember Team Jaco as they travel back to Tampa Saturday, praying for their safety, emotional and spiritual well being. Well with that, I hope to see you at church on Sunday.

May the Lord shine his favor upon you in this season of remembering his birth and coming. Love you all with the love of Christ.

Pastor Darryl

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