Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Abraham Lincoln

I recently read the biography of Abraham Lincoln. It was written in Lincoln’s own words, based on historical records. As I turned each page, I wondered how they would handle his assassination because he didn't say anything after he was shot in the head. In the book, he spoke of the grief of the civil war, about how good it was to have peace back in the country, and how he went to a play with his wife. It was a comedy, so he spoke about how it was good to hear people laugh again. He said, "…to be with Mary…to think of the years ahead. Please God, never let people forget the joy of love, the pleasure of laughter, and the beauty of peace." Then there was simply a bold headline that read: "WASHINGTON, D.C. --President Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater shortly after ten o’clock last evening. At 7:22 this morning, April 15, 1865, he died."

As I read those words, tears ran down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe my reaction. I knew it was coming, so why was I crying like a child? This is why. Throughout the book, I got to know Abraham Lincoln not as a cold historical figure, but as a man with fears and pains. I grieved when his beloved sister suddenly died in her youth. I grieved with him at the loss of two of his children through sickness. The book personalized him to a point where I personally felt the pain of his untimely death.

Did you know that every 24 hours 150,000 people die? That’s a lot of people. It makes us rise an eyebrow. But because it is just a cold statistic, it can wash over us like water on a dead duck’s back. If we are going to have a passion for the unsaved, we have to personalize ourselves with them to a point where it brings more than a tear to our eye. We have to see that 150,000 people as moms and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters…people with the same fears and pains we possess. That is what is known as "empathy"--a virtue of compassion that causes us to feel the pain of another--"And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh" (Jude 1:22-23).