Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Healing the Violence of Our Hands and Heart
by Tom Goodman
October 17, 2012

A few years ago a Sarasota, Florida, father lost his temper and punched a referee during his 7-year-old son's flag football game.

It gets worse.  The punch came after he felt the official ignored his complaints that the game was getting too rough.

Oh, I'm not done.  You see, the man was also a mentor for the public school's anti-violence campaign.

You can't make this stuff up.

In any study of the Ten Commandments, it's probably the Seventh Commandment against murder that we think we're the least likely to break.  But in Matthew 5 Jesus took that prohibition deeper into the heart.  He said, "You've heard it said, 'Don't murder.'  But I say, 'Don't get angry.  In fact, don't even allow the tiniest seed of contempt for another to lodge in your heart."

It's the violence we commit in our hearts that needs addressing, not just the violence we commit with our hands.

The whole nation gasped in shock and disbelief at the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, a couple of months ago.  Jesus seemed to think a similar horror and grief should rise up in us when we discover that contempt for others lies within us.

Of course, this realization should result in two things.  For one, it should drive us toward the righteousness Jesus commands.  But it should also open us desperately to the righteousness Jesus provides.  None of us can say we've lived up to Jesus' definition of holiness.  Thankfully his merciful sacrifice covers even this violence of heart and hands.

Let's get together this week and look at this convicting truth.  I expect to be back from Indonesia Sunday, thoroughly jet lagged but thoroughly ready to worship with my Hillcrest Family.  See you @ 10!

"Two Christian Visions for America."  I recommend you attend this forum Sunday, October 21, at 1:30pm at the University Christian Church.  Dr. Richard Land and Dr. Gary Dorrien will present different views on the role of government.  Information here.

MissionsMunch.  Join us for lunch on Sunday, October 28, following small-group ministry.  Brian McKanna and his family will be with us.  They serve with our International Mission Board in a strategic country.  Tickets are required and can be purchased after service on Sunday or at the church office during the week.


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