WORLD WATCH

How I prayed after I saw the news

"The world's healing prayers were going out to the victims and their families. But what about the perpetrators?"

Recently I saw on the news an account of the Serbian army attacking their own countrymen in Kosovo. Earlier, I had read a newspaper account about some extremists who murdered innocent villagers in Algeria. Then other victimizers came to mind—those who abuse children, those who scam innocent people, and those who blow themselves up with the purpose of killing others. Sadly, the list could have gone on. As I thought about these situations, I realized that the world's healing prayers were going out to the victims and their families.

But what about the perpetrators? Are they too evil either to deserve or desire our prayers? Does God disown them or ignore them because of their evil behavior? No, God loves every one of us. One of Jesus' parables illustrates this point. A shepherd who had one hundred sheep left the ninety-nine to rescue the one who had strayed (see Luke 15:3-7). Jesus concluded by saying: "Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

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The precious promise
April 26, 1999
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