I was grieved to hear news of the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech this past Monday, April 16. And was even more saddened to hear that one of the victims, Jeremy Herbstritt, was a former co-worker of mine and my brother, Jason. We attended the same high school in central PA and worked together on a dairy farm in the early 90’s. Jeremy was a fun, intelligent, driven, and outgoing guy. We both share a love of running, and he completed 3 marathons with his family. My thoughts and prayers are with his closest family and friends. May the God of hope give comfort, peace, and strength at this time. “The Lord is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Jeremy was raised as a Roman Catholic, and we shared many conversations about faith, grace, the Bible, and the Triune God (Father, Son, Spirit). During a Christmas break several years ago, I ran into him visiting at my home church (First Baptist). He shared with my family that he had placed his faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. Even though Jeremy’s death is a tragedy, it is a true blessing and hope to know that he is in heaven.
Scripture tells us that life is like a vapor and it quickly fades away. At times of death and suffering, we are faced with life’s most important questions: “Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going when I die?” To hear about life’s most important relationship, check out: http://www.yoursforlife.net/alpha/ or http://www.opendoorbaptistchurch.com/mit.php.
Hear the words of Jesus as he responded concerning the tragic death of 18 people when a tower in Siloam fell and killed them: “Do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4b-5). I urge you today to repent and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out and times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
In the midst of all the evil that happens, God is at work and His will is accomplished. God is still at work! He is still working and changing lives. The God of hope offers us peace and forgiveness in the midst of darkness, evil, suffering, confusion, and pain.
I have been burdened this week with the extreme importance of sharing the Gospel. I am thankful that I shared the Gospel with Jeremy years ago, but there are many more today who desperately need hope and must hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Lord, help me be faithful in sharing the Gospel with my words and with my very life.
“Repent then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out and times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).