Friday, May 31, 2013

America’s Moral Decline

Our nation’s cultural drift has brought us to a crisis serious enough to be called a “culture war.” In 1989 Charles Colson wrote “Against the Night: Living in the New Dark Ages.” He sensed then that a “crisis of immense proportions is upon us.” Francis Schaeffer warned us of the spiritual collapse of the West. “Time” Magazine declares a “moral malaise overhanging American life.”

Colson wrote: “...the crisis that threatens us...is in the character of our culture, where the values that restrain inner vices and develop inner virtues are eroding. Unprincipled men and women, disdainful of their moral heritage and skeptical of truth itself, are destroying our civilization by weakening the very pillars upon which it rests.”

Dr. James Dobson stated at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention that “We are engaged at this time in an enormous civil war of values.” He also stated, “What most people don’t realize is that our children are the prize. Those who control what children see, hear, and are taught control the nation.”

Crisis of Authority! The Holy Bible warns us to “watch for false teachers who will cleverly teach destructive heresies, and deny Christ. Many will follow their civil teaching and shameful immorality.” (2 Peter 2:1, 2)

“The Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.” He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire and who despise authority. Those who “despise authority” are aiding and abetting our contemporary crisis of authority—our culture war. They are dead set against the Judeo-Christian consensus that our Founding Fathers determined to make foundational in our kind of society.

We, God’s People. Evangelists must certainly be praying for the United States of America. We do so with a marvelous promise. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)


Turning from our wicked ways requires repentance, a new direction! We cannot remain aloof from politics, uncaring about the culture war, or selfishly attending to our own interests. The time for ignorance and apathy must be over. God will heal our land if we choose to humbly pray, repent, and speak with our voices that we are standing with truth and righteousness and will not relent!

- Pastor Amundson

Monday, May 6, 2013

Joyful Worship Defeats Spiritual Darkness!


Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!” (Psalms 89:15) Those who have learned to worship in joy enter into God’s presence and find happiness (b) for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord.”

Joyful worship is simply rejoicing in your relationship with God. The Psalmist declared: “Because your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you, thus I will bless you while I live; I will lift up my hands in your Name...and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips.”

The Psalmist is totally involved in this worshipful hymn of praise to God. His eyes, lips, hands, soul, mouth, and mind are fully engaged in his worship to God.

What makes worship such a joy is God’s grace and loving-kindness toward us. My personal worship to the Lord comes from a heart of gratefulness for all His mercies toward me. Psalm 103 tells us of His benefits to us. “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagles.” I suggest you read verses 3-5 from the New Living Translation.
 
Too many of us are looking into our medicine cabinets for something to ward off the darkness of depression and worry. The real cure to defeat oppression and lift your spirit, and cast off the darkness is to remember God’s benefits!! Celebrate your freedom and your faith by worshipping in joy for all that God has done for you!

The gate into righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit is rejoicing in the Lord each day and giving thanks unto Him for all things! (Psalms 118:19-24)

All darkness has to flee at His presence!

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Thursday, May 2, 2013

THE ATTITUDE THAT PLEASES GOD!


We had a very powerful word last Sunday from Rick Ciaramitaro. He challenged us with the possibilities of living a victorious Christian life through being a grateful and a thankful person. Both of those are ingredients that invite God’s glorious presence into our lives. The will of God for you and I is to “give thanks in everything; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thes. 5:18. The best way we can pray is to begin with worship and thanksgiving to God. “In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

So many of us pray our petitions with feelings of anxiety and worry instead of practicing thankfulness and rejoicing in the Lord first. We can draw in God’s presence so much more quickly when we invite Him in through praise and thanksgiving. (Psalm 100:4) “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; Be thankful to Him and bless His name.” (vs 5) We praise and thank Him because “The Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” This is the Christian anthem! The New Testament word for thankful is “grace.” Hence, this is where our table grace comes when we offer thanks for our food.

Must not murmur or complain! There is probably not any attitude worse than murmuring or grumbling and complaining that can quench the Holy Spirit in our lives any quicker than these! Why? Because the nature of Satan and demons is total negativity and evil anger against God. He hates to see praise, worship and thanksgiving being offered to God. The word of God teaches us to have an attitude of gratitude! This is God’s will for us all. Old Testament Israel provoked God to anger with their complaining and negative spirit. Psalms 106:29 “...and the plague broke out among them.” The New Testament admonishes us to “not complain as Israel did.” I Cor. 10:10

We can ask God to make us more conscious of becoming a praiser, a rejoicer, and a more grateful Christian, which will invite more of His presence and draw people toward the Christ they see in us. It is called the “glory of God in us.” (Ephesians 1:12) Enjoy a blessed spring! 

- Pastor Virgil Amundson