Our Response to the Vegas Tragedy: Pray, Explain, Renew.

We woke up this morning to very sad news from Las Vegas.  

50+ people killed and 400+ injured as a crazy man fired shots into a crowd of concert goers.  Our heart goes out to the families of those killed. Today, we pray. We pray for those injured to recover fully. We pray for comfort and mercy. We pray for miracles. 

Most likely, many who were at the concert were in Vegas to try their luck.  Maybe at a slot machine or at a blackjack table.  Sadly, for way too many their luck ran out in a completely unexpected and tragic way at 10pm last night.

In addition to committing ourselves to prayer, here are a few ways that we, as devoted followers of Jesus, can respond in this time:

1. Pray for the families of those killed and for those who are injured.

Be vigilant in prayer, in the days, weeks, and months to come. Pray for revival to be birthed for this city out of this time of pain. Beauty for ashes. It's what Jesus does. Pray for healing and peace. Pray for law enforcement. And, pray for our leaders and our President.

2. Explain to our children that we live in a broken world where Jesus is the only answer.

One of our greatest responsibilities as parents is to lead our kids in the way of the Lord. Events like this are incredibly confusing to children, even more so than to adults. This is an opportunity for us to teach our children how to pray for the hurting and walk them through the process of understanding we live in a fallen world. Darkness is real. We fight not against flesh and blood. BUT JESUS IS HOPE. HE IS HEALING. HE IS REVIVING. HE IS REAL AND HE IS MOVING. JESUS IS THE ANSWER.

Help stir hope in the hearts of your children!

3. Renew our commitment to take the Gospel to the lost.

It's very clear that the world can't afford for us to wait. We cannot delay. We cannot let comfort win. We must declare war against laziness or fear or whatever may be holding us back. This is our time to stand us with zealous passion to spread the gospel, and NOT JUST THROUGH ACTIONS- BUT TO TELL THE GOSPEL TO PEOPLE. Tell them! Declare the GOOD NEWS.

At YWAM Jacksonville, our commitment to share the Good News of Jesus to the least, lost, and last is unwavering.  Just a few days ago, we discussed how to share and prepare our personal story and how to share God’s story (the Gospel) with students and staff in our current Discipleship Training School.  

A disciple is someone who is following Jesus, is being changed by Jesus, and has joined the mission of Jesus.  

So someone who is not committed and involved in sharing the Gospel really isn’t a disciple of Jesus.  Since Jesus’ mission on earth was to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) and because His disciples have been sent to do likewise (John 20:21), taking the Gospel to the lost is part of our identity as His followers.  

A tragedy like what happened today in Las Vegas should remind us of our mission and fire us up to get the Gospel to those who need to hear it.  I wonder how many of those who were shot had recently been around a Christian.  What if I had been around one of them?  If so, I now repent of my normal excuses of too busy, or they don’t want to hear, or I might offend them, or…etc., etc.  Remember, the Gospel is Good News!  

Let’s break out of our silence and live loud!  This is our mission and Jesus, as our Commander, has given us the Holy Spirit so that we’ll have the power to be His witnesses right here in our city, our nations, and to the ends of the earth.