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Posts Tagged ‘America’

         

Do you remember Fiddler on the Roof? There’s a scene I love between Tevye and his wife, Golde. They’ve worked hard with little to show. Their mood is bleak. All they own is piled on an ox cart. They must leave their meager home. Their daughters have refused their traditions. The Russian army is coming. There is no hope. And the wife asks, “But do you love me?”

In the middle of hopelessness, love brings hope.

Tevye gives Golde a litany of the reasons she should know he loves her—because of what he has done and she is convinced he loves her. But if my memory is correct, a try-out relationship wasn’t part of the deal. Neither were money, fancy clothes, nor a fine house.

No, love is a choice. Not warm fuzzy feelings.

Love is a commitment. A choice to endure. Love nurtures and respects through good times, difficult times, illness, until death. Love is selfless. Considering what the other person needs rather than putting one’s self first.

But we have raised several generations who have no understanding of the meaning of the word love, relationship, or lifetime commitment. Their focus is Me. What I want I deserve. And I will get my way, regardless of the cost.

Welcome to the age of  entitlement. And we created it.

America is a deeply divided nation. Not between the haves and haves not, as some politicians would lead us to believe. But between those who adhere to God and His Word as a model for life and those who reject the authority of God and His Word. The mantra of those in rebellion is Me—I—Mine. Left to itself, America’s great divide will vanish as the World War II generation dies, unless God returns or sends revival, America will become a united pagan nation.

Where are America’s watchmen and women? God fearing preachers, parents and prophets? The trumpet of warning is silent.

Generations coming out of the Depression through the ‘40’s were determined to give their children more than they had. And we have, but not always things of eternal value. Then these adult off-spring followed our example and gave their children even more and more and more—with borrowed money.

The result? Americans are completely out-of-touch with the reality that God brings His judgment by bringing a nation’s actions back on their own head. God prospered America because of the reverence and obedience of our forefathers to His Holy Name. He requires four things out of men and women: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NAS).

And the fourth thing? “And you shall teach them (the above things) diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7 NAS). We’ve taught them everything but the right things. God’s things. The necessary things. If the harvest is displeasing, the sowing has to change. And the harvest of what we have sown has only just begun.

God told Joshua when he led the people into the land of promise, “Be strong and courageous…Only be strong and courageous; be careful to do according to all the law…do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then  you will have success” (Joshua 1:6-8 NAS).

God brought our forefathers across the raging Atlantic, fleeing to a promised land where they could worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in any manner they chose—not any god they chose. They set up a government of the people, by the people and for the people according to the Word of God.

On a score of 1 – 10 how are we doing, America? Remember Tevye’s song? “If I were a rich man…” Well, America has been rich in the things of this world, but look at the mess we’ve created. I can hear your groaning.

We have squandered God’s blessings. We have rebelled or been silent as our nation turned away from His Word. We have allowed deception to fill our ears. Like ancient Israel, we have cozied up to those things God calls profane, embraced them, and called them good. We have refused to come apart and be separate as God commanded. To be a people holy unto God. We’ve invited pagan gods into this land of God’s blessing and those false gods are gobbling up the hearts of our children with their lies.

I don’t listen to those who make predictions for the New Year. But according to the Word of God I can make this forecast for America—the New Year is going to bring increased judgments from the hand of God on this land and her people. God forbid. Perhaps even a judgment as final as the one He brought to Israel in 597 B.C. Unless we repent. As individuals. As His people. As a nation. And if God’s people will humble ourselves, repent, and blow the trumpet loud and long, perhaps He will show us His mercy.

God tells us in Ezekiel 33:11: “As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die…?”

God’s desire is always to lead us to repentance and restoration, to be a people after His heart. A relationship. But don’t miss the warning of the word of God: “In that day…”

What day? The day that this age of grace will be over. Finished. Completed. The day that God will require from the hand of every man and woman an answer why they didn’t choose Jesus. Why they didn’t accept and believe the revelation of His perfect love. His sacrificial love.

The love Jesus committed to, before the manger in Bethlehem. The love He displayed on the cross. The sacrifice of His life for you and for me. To all who come through the cross. God’s way. The only way to the Father—through His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ.

Have you chosen Jesus? If so, are you sounding the trumpet?

If not, I plead with you—consider Jesus. Accept Him. Believe Him. Trust Him. Because He loves you and died so you could live with Him. Forever. No sin is beyond His ability to forgive and cleanse.

We are created beings with eternal souls and the sand in the hour-glass of your life is slipping away. Please don’t delay. Choose Jesus’ eternal love today.

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It felt like I’d run a marathon—and lost. About ten o’clock election night my heart threatened to slip into the dark chasm of fear where all is lost.

And the night ended with my crying out to God for His direction, His wisdom and His understanding.

But that was election night.

Next morning I grabbed my notebook and Bible and headed out the door to Precept Bible Study.

Are you always amazed when God answers your cries to Him? I am.

God’s Words given to Ezekiel over 2,500 years ago, and Kay Arthur’s DVD recorded two years ago, answered my election night cries for help and understanding of the election outcomes.

Pundits will analyze and reanalyze, like a cow chewing cud, for countless days. But the question for believers—So what’s next?

Do we fall back into the same routine? A glance at the Word of God, an ear glued to the tube, listening to the drum beat, while America disintegrates. Or do we recognize and acknowledge the fact that our allegiance belongs to God alone?

Wednesday’s study focused on Ezekiel 25-28. Throughout the Book, God had instructed Ezekiel to tell and show the people what was going to happen in Jerusalem. He explained who would be judged—from Judah to all the nations surrounding her—and  why would they be judged.

Israel had become more abominable, more rebellious, and more profane than the nations around them. God was angry. They were to have been witnesses to the countries surrounding them of the might and power of God. Now He must judge them, “So that Israel and the nations will know that I am God.”

Nothing has changed in 2,500 years. America was founded on the principle of one nation under God. For almost two hundred years the majority clung to “In God We Trust.” But Tuesday night election returns reveal that fifty percent of our nation thumbs their nose at The Lord God Almighty and His inerrant Word, and many of that fifty percent claim to be Christians.

In the past fifty years we have spurned God’s authority. We have allowed abominations to fill this land. We have profaned and despised His Word. And God’s message to us is the same—He will judge His people “so that Israel and the nations will know that I am God.”.

So what’s the message for those whose allegiance is to God?

We must know: “The Lord is our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NAS). The party’s over, folks. God shares His Throne with no one. The abyss that splits America is real. A wide and deep cavern that will probably expand. It took this administration less than twenty-four hours to revive the small arms treaty with the UN. I expect the momentum to accelerate in the days to come.

The people of God must continue to humble themselves. Again and again and again. Perhaps God will see fit to show us mercy. But the Word tells us that a nation divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:24-25 NAS).

If God had answered the cries of His people election night, next morning we’d have said “We prayed and God answered.” The problem is with the “We”. We would have taken credit for what God did. Remember Moses and the rock? Remember 9/11? And we would have resumed business as usual, putting God on the back-burner and plugging right back into old deceptive routines.

God knows our fickle hearts and His desire is that we know that He is the Lord God—we are not—He will do whatever it takes to bring us to that knowledge. The proof? Israel’s history. And they haven’t learned yet. Tuesday seventy percent of American Jews supported the current administration. The Word tells us that the moment America turns its back on Israel, this nation will  join the list of those who are cursed by God.

We must know: There is an ongoing battle between God and Satan and we live in the middle of this battle. The first chapter of the Book of Daniel gives insight into the choice Daniel made—beforehand. “Daniel made up his mind. . .” And we must make up our minds too, before we become engaged in the battle. Because the Word of God tells us the war is going to ramp up ‘til Jesus comes. The people hated Jesus. They will hate us too.

We must know: Who the enemy is and what his tactics are.  Satan is identified as a murderer, a liar, a deceiver. John 8:44 describes him as “the father of lies”.

Polls tell us that at least fifty percent of Americans think they can disagree and rebel against the Word of the God and there will be no consequences. They are deceived. The 13th Chapter of Mark lists the time sequence of the last days of this age and gives us a heads-up on what we can expect.

God always tells His people what’s coming. We’ve been warned. If we choose to ignore the warnings, our ignorance does not negate His ability to act. All indications seem to say we are living in those days the Book of Jude warns will come.

We must know: How to guard our hearts from pride, lust and the fear of man. This is a time for humility not judgmental pride. We have all sinned and deserve to receive the penalty of sin—death. That’s why Jesus died. He took my sin, your sin, the world’s sin and paid the price God’s righteousness requires, the blood of His Perfect Lamb. His only way to redemption. The narrow way. The only way to the Father, through His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Will we fear God or man? Will we ask God to reveal any areas of pride in our life? Will we confess and forsake them?

We must know: Jesus Christ is our wisdom. His power lifts us beyond the chaos of world events. Those who believe and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, through the power of the Spirit, have already been delivered from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. We are part of Christ’s body.

Things around us are going to crumble, but we can trust God to take care of His own people. The question is: Do we trust Him? With everything? Even when the landscape around us gets ugly? Could God be stretching our spiritual muscles to build in us the strength that we will need in days to come? I believe He is. Does that mean a believer will never experience difficult, even tragic times, here on earth? No. But it does mean that Jesus is with us, each and every step of the way, just like He walked in the fire with those Hebrew lads in Babylon.

We must know: Wickedness will be judged and righteousness will prevail. Throughout the Book of Ezekiel God warned Judah “judgment is coming.” Yet their leaders, even the false priests exclaimed “peace, peace, not judgment”. God said He “would bring their ways on their heads, so that Israel and the nations would know that He is God” (Ezekiel NAS).

We can hold fast to the knowledge that one day “every knee shall bow to Me and every tongue shall give praise to God” (Romans 14:11 NAS).

Is the party over for America? I believe it is. Are tough times ahead? I believe they are. Those who listen can hear the roll of thunder on the horizon. Is God still in control? I know He is in control and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5b-7 NAS).

So what do we do next? Humble ourselves and pray. About everything. Continually diligent. I must confess during the last months I’ve spent more time caught up in the events than on my face before God.

We must be about the Father’s business. Business that the members of the body have neglected far too long—living our lives, every day, in such a way, that will paint a true and balanced picture of the righteous love and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Righteous love and mercy that is available to all who choose to believe and obey Him.

We are to stand firm, ready to uphold the principles and precepts of the Word of God to all who will hear. But we can know, this battle belongs to the Lord.

And He will be the victor. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Every knee will bow before Him—some to acknowledge Him as Lord, others as they are sentenced for their rebellion.

Credit to Kay Arthur and Precept Ministries for the six bold “We must know” statements.       

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