Friday, January 23, 2009

God Bless America!

So our country is facing some tough times! Anyone noticed? Lots of companies are losing money, cutting back production, firing/laying off employees, closing their doors.

Our country (Americans) is (are) doing a lot of things that are just plain wrong, no matter how you look at it. Going off the assumption that the Bible is the only truth and that following God's ways brings life and hope, is it any wonder that our country is dealing with the economic downturn and the things that go with it?

Now, I don't mean to judge. I am a sinner saved by grace, and I am by no means perfect. I AM trying my best to allow God to work in my life to make me more and more Christlike, but I make mistakes all the time. I may not have actually killed anyone, but it says somewhere in the Bible that if you have angry words towards someone you have murdered him! God's Word says that one sin is equally bad in His eyes as the next. Lying, stealing, murder, adultery (so much as looking at another lustfully!), homosexuality....the list goes on - no one is worse than the other, each is EQUALLY wrong and condemning.

In fact, some of these "acceptable" sins are quite commonplace even in churches: coveting, concealing the truth, spreading rumors. Some that aren't as readily accepted by church members are extremely commonplace in the TV shows we watch "religiously" - a variety of sexual sins, overt drinking or drug abuse, murders (CSI, etc), jealousy, and so on. Think back to the shows you watched last week - can you think of even one example where the people portrayed did things that were truly God-pleasing? I firmly believe that the stuff you watch (and laugh at, and are entertained by) is more ingrained in you than you want to admit. If you can get a big kick out of a nasty joke...ask yourself why you weren't repulsed by it. Where are our hearts and minds? Read Amos 6:1-7, "Woe to you who are complacent . . ." Why aren't we taking a stand in our own households to begin diligently trying to follow God's loving commandments? He gives us these things for our own good, not our harm, not to spoil our fun! Check out this post I wrote a while back on a verse in Phillippians:

If you've ever had a chance to read parts of the Old Testament, you know that REPEATEDLY the children of isreal fall away from God - they start worshipping other gods and doing what all the other godless nations around them were doing. God would send prophets to warn them that he was going to overtake them if they didn't turn away from their evil thoughts and actions. They almost never listened, God would send some army in to take them over, and then after they'd lost everything they would come back to God.

I am going to suggest that America is EXACTLY LIKE the people of isreal right now - we have fallen away, and we are beginning to lose everything! America has been so accustomed to prosperity that we have "forgotten" that we need God because we think our food comes from the Grocery store and that the money that buys that food comes from the companies we work for. Everyone was so concerned when the stock market crashed. Folks, the stock market does not know how many hairs are on our head! The stock market did not lovingly create you! Every good and perfect thing comes from God! No where else! We must keep bringing this to the forefront of our minds. Let's not become complacent and say "it doesn't matter if we sin, God still loves us" Yes, He does, but He wants us to be faithful to him.

The good news is that while people generally are known for making mistakes and it is easy to lean towards doing wrong (what is it about some sins that make them so attractive, make them seem like the easy way?)...the good news is that no matter where we are in our walk in life, God DID create us, he is our Father, the one who made us and wants a close relationship with us. Even if we have a nasty past, God loves us where we are. Now, that's not an excuse to keep on sinning, but our Heavenly Father loves us, he wants us to come to him and let him clean us up and allow him to gently mold us into the people he wants us to be. God wants us to be close to Him, to pray with him, to read his Word - that's how we learn about who He is, and how we learn to be truly our happiest. At least that's the way it's been for me....I can look back in my life and say that the times when I was TRULY happiest was when I have been closest to Him, and the opposite is also true (the worst times have been when I have been farthest from Him).

I am writing this post as a sort of introduction to you before you read the link to this though-provoking writing by the author of one of the blogs I follow.

Here is a quote that I especially like:

"I believe that we are about to go through a time of "pruning" that will be painful in the short term, but glorious when it is over."

God gives us painful times in order to bring us closer to Him. Don't push Him away, but allow him to make us "glorious" as we become more and more Christlike!

Check the rest of it out:

Pray for our nation, pray for Christians, pray for those who don't yet know Christ, pray for yourselves and your family that God uses these tough times for his glory.

(thanks for reading....I apologize if I got too bold!)