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Maciel: Mother provides example of God’s love

This year is moving along so fast. It seems like only yesterday that 2016 was beginning. Now it’s May! Where did those four months go?

rene maciel headshot130René MacielI have been extremely busy at work, attending convention meetings, teaching at my church, training for running events and trying to take care of my big yard. One addition to my calendar is preaching at different churches throughout our convention, which I thoroughly enjoy much more than taking care of my yard. I guess the year is moving fast because I am moving fast.

I thank God he made me a high-energy person, always on the go. I like being busy, but I also realize I really do take life and all God has given me for granted at times. There are also times God has to slow us down—to take some time, to enjoy the moments, to stop and smell the roses. And when we finally do take those moments to focus and be still and be quiet, then we understand he is watching over our every step, like a mother cares for us.

texas baptist voices right120The Apostle Paul gave us a wonderful picture of a mother who cares for her children. It’s an example of how we are to care for others, with tenderness and compassion. It’s a picture of God's care for us. He wrote these words: “Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you” (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8).

In spite of all of our busyness, God cares for us and watches over us. Even when we take life for granted and our lives are moving fast, he holds me and comforts me and reminds me I am his child. For me, he has shown his care and reminded me of his love by the incredible mother he gave me. She has shown me how to care for others, how to nurture and watch over them, how to hold them and feed them, how to listen and speak to them, and, most importantly, how to teach them about God's great love.

I can think of no greater way God has cared for me than with the mother he has given me. It was my mom who first took me to church. She was the one who brought the church into my life, and therefore opened my life to God and his care. Even as she is about to turn 92, she still wants to cook my favorite meal and cake when I go see her. She still is caring and still a constant reminder that even in my fast-paced life, God cares for me.

I love you, Mom. Thank you for your example of God's care for me.

René Maciel is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and president of Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio.

       
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Does the SBC think this symbolic gesture will actually bring healing to the SBC and our brothers in Christ? Flags are not racist; people are.

The removal of the flag is very much like the cleaning of the outside of the cup and platter in Matthew 23:26. Jesus admonished the Pharisees their “insides” were what was dirty. Removal of a what is perceived as a symbol of sin does not remove the sin, as it is still in the heart.

Likewise, racism is a sin of the heart, not of the skin. All men are guilty of sin. All men, if we are man enough to admit it, sin in the area of racism—white or black or brown. It is one of Satan’s best tools. Even if it is a small first impression when we meet those of different races, it is racism. It is sin ,and only faith in Jesus Christ can remove that sin. It has to be from the inside out, not the outside in by thinking that a mere flag causes racism. It does not. It is much deeper rooted.

I am Southern Baptist to the bone, but I am very disheartened by the SBC dependency on the removal of a flag to cure the convention’s sin of racism. It is not even a good start.

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