Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Who Will Determine America’s Future?

Some people may believe that the most dangerous and fearful war that America faces is the war against terrorism. That indeed is a fearful concern but we face an even greater danger and a more fearful concern for the future of our nation. It is a philosophical evil war between two divergent philosophies within our culture. In fact, it is really a cultural war. It’s a battle between cultural conservatives and cultural radicals. The conservative philosophy ascribes great value to the accumulated wisdom of the culture and considers disciplined behavior most likely to bring happiness in the long run. The radical philosophy praises novelty, diversity and experimentation, and tends to find its satisfaction in immediate gratification.

Our founding fathers assuredly would have taken sides with cultural conservatism, for they often insisted that Christianity and government must work together to “raise the virtue and morality of the people to a level at which they are sufficiently public-spiritual and self-restrained so that the republican government can work.” (Christianity and the Constitution p295) The ethical standard of Western Civilization at the founding of our nation was the Bible.

Cultural radicalism is set against those Judeo-Christian values and are unwilling to discipline themselves by any standard beyond themselves. Cultural radicals abhor moral limitations, that is, religiously based values, and exalt the quest for individual rights as their greatest good. How can over 300 million people pursuing their own rights ever produce the glue that will hold their society together?

Democracy will only work when virtuous people are willing to place the common good above self-interest. The great Bible preacher O. James Kennedy stated several years ago that “in our nation the cold air mass of unbelief has collided with the warm air mass of Christianity, producing a severe storm front. Indeed, there are two basic, divergent systems of thought. One begins with God, but the other proudly revels in unaided human intellect, assuming that religion is hopelessly backward, and medieval, embarrassing, or irrelevant.”

The apostle Paul contrasts these views in I Corinthians 1:20,21 “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.”

America’s future is in God’s hands. As much as evangelical Christians deplore the cultural crisis, they do discern it’s source! “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world.” (Ephesians 6:12)

The culture war is a spiritual one. To keep our nation “one nation under God”, true bible-believing Christians must advance their convictions into the political arena and in the public square. They must pray fervently for God’s righteousness to rule the land. Those who stand for nothing will fall for everything. God bless all of our military men and women today


God bless our nation!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

OBEDIENCE AND SUBMISSION = HONOR

Missionary Becky Ranalli spoke last Sunday of what brings honor and reward to the family and into the home. She spoke about the promise that God has in Ephesians 6 to make life go well and how to live a long and happy life. The promise is contingent upon following the first commandment to “honor your father and mother.” What is honor and how important is it in our lives in today’s world?

First of all honor is more an attitude than it is an action. It begins with an attitude of obedience.  Ephesians 6:1-3 gives us such good instruction on how to live a long and happy life. It begins with “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.” (vs. 1) Obedience is not something we do because we are bound to a legalistic or religious formula for success. The scripture says that obedience to parents is “the right thing to do.” Be real—no one can go wrong by doing something that is right!

We parents know that obedience from our children is generally not a problem while they are small and in their formative years. They totally trust our judgment for their decisions. We teach them to honor God and to love Him and we teach them the value of obeying their parents. The word obedience means to “give heed, to follow, and to yield.” Our children follow us. It honors and rewards us as parents every time our children respond obediently to us.

The next step toward honoring parents is when children submit to our authority. The opposite of submission is rebellion which means to disregard parental authority. Remember that honor means to value, and carries the meaning of respect, and even reverence.  For parents who want to receive the full reward of honor from your children, we need to check on what kind of honor and value we place upon our children and to those who are in authority over us. If our children are valued they will flourish. We teach them love and respect when we discipline them when they misbehave. We cannot just try to “love” our children out of evil behavior when in reality the word of God tells parents that “the rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” (Proverbs 29:15) We are honoring our children when we correct them and they reward us when they are obedient and submit to we parents.

Obedience in the home begins with the parents obedience and submission to God. “I will honor those who honor me.” God says (I Samuel 2:30) When parents show honor and respect to the authorities which God places over their lives, children will follow with the same respect and honor towards authority. When husbands and wives honor each other with respect, children will follow by showing respect to their parents. By “submitting ourselves to one another in the fear of the Lord” and by “preferring others over ourselves” we will bring honor to others and receive an honors reward of peace and happiness.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

God is a Rewarder!

When God introduced Himself to Abraham, His word came to him in a vision saying, “Do not be afraid Abram, for I am your shield, your exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)

“The righteous are rewarded here on earth.” (Prov. 11:31)

“The trustworthy person will get a rich reward.” (Prov. 28:20)

The Apostle John wrote in 2 John 8 “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we have worked for, but that we receive a full reward.”

I believe that a “rich” reward is a “full” reward. There is a spiritual law attributed to receiving full rewards that includes our honoring God. God told Eli the priest in I Samuel 2:30 “Those who honor Me will I honor…” Eli lost the reward of having faithful sons to succeed him in ministry because he honored his sons above honoring God.

Those who live their lives in a way that honors God will never lose their full reward. It is sobering to even think of losing what we have labored for because of careless and poor decisions made without honoring the wisdom of God.

How sad it would be if a businessman who had labored to build his company for years was to lose it in the end because of a few bad decisions.  The benefits of one’s labor can be lost in a moment through wrong choices. The twelve spies whom Moses sent into Canaan lost in a moment what they had labored to possess because ten of them confessed only fear and doubt.

The Bible encourages us to finish the race well! Galatians 6:9 “In due season we will all reap, if we don’t give up!” Christianity is not a sprint - it is an endurance run! It’s not how we start the race that counts, but it is how we complete it. I believe how we finish the race is determined by the choices we make that honor God.

To honor God is to live in obedience by following His Word in humility and reverence toward Him. “By humility and fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)

The Bible says that all of God’s laws, statutes, precepts, commands, and ordinances give joy and bring light, and in keeping them is a great reward! (Psalms 19:7-11) NIV

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Come Unto Me!

Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good - not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant) and My burden is light and easy to be borne. (Amplified)

Isn't it irritating to our flesh that we must come to Jesus! Think of the things we will not come to Jesus about.  If you want to know how real you are, test yourself by these words “Come unto Me.” In every measure in which you are not real, you will fight rather than come; you will argue rather than come; you will go through sorrow rather than come; you will do anything rather than come. It is the foolishness of trying to do it our way; I am locked into my way! As long as you have the tiniest bit of spiritual inclination, it will always reveal itself in the fact that you are expecting God to tell you to do a big thing, and all He is telling you to do is to “come!”

“Come unto Me.” When you hear those words you will know that something must happen in you before you can come. The Holy Spirit will show you what you have to do, anything that will put the axe at the foot of the thing which is preventing you from getting through. You will never get any further until you are willing to do that one thing! The Holy Spirit will locate the one impregnable thing in you, but He cannot budge it unless you are willing to let Him.

How often have you come to God with your requests and gone away with the feeling “Oh well, I have done it this time!” And yet you go away with nothing, while all the time God has stood with outstretched hands not only to take you, but for you to take Him.


Think of the invincible, unconquerable, unweary patience of Jesus! “Come unto Me!”