two men standing at a vigil with candles

Stop The Violence

Another violent death. More anger, hate and evil. Suddenly your world—not the world as a whole but your country, your society, your city, your neighborhood—feels unstable. Your sense of order and safety are shaken and systems you depend on don’t feel reliable. Fear, anxiety or anger rise up in your heart, or even take over and you want it to stop.

In the midst of the chaos and violence, we all long for the same thing—peace. So how do we get there? How do we deal with it all? How do we stop the hating, hurting and killing?

Many of us want to jump to action. And we should. We should grieve with and serve the victims. We should show compassion and support to those hurting. We should work to improve the laws in our land and the methods our society uses to enforce them. But none of these efforts will fully solve the problem. Because the problem comes from within.

The Bible says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1). The truth is that every one of us is fighting this battle. Selfishness, jealousy, envy, malice or greed spring up and at times push us to action. The consequences of our actions can look different for each of us and vary in degree, but this problem is in all of us. And we all need to be saved from it.

The Bible calls this our battle with sin, and it separates us from God. The good news is God has not left us alone with no hope and no way to deal with our sin. He made a way to save us from it. He sent His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin and bring back peace between God and us. With that comes the ability to push violence aside and truly pursue peace with each other.

Do you have this peace? He’s offering it to you today.

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Step 1 – God loves you and has a plan for you!

The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”—a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10). But here’s the problem:

Step 2 – People are sinful and separated from God.

We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23). The good news?

Step 3 – God sent His Son to die for your sins!

Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives! “Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

Step 4 – Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?

We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying the following prayer to accept Christ as your Savior:

"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."

Did you pray this prayer?