Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hope - Part 2

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
But in spite of this there is still hope for Israel.  Ezra 10:2b(NLT)
Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God.  Let it be done according to the Law.  Ezra 10:3(NLT)
Yesterday we considered the state of our culture in the world generally, and particularly in the U.S..  Spiritually-speaking, that state is in a condition much like the patient that is comatose, not breathing and running out of time.  Before long it will be impossible for anything to be done.  The judgment of death will be final. 
The only possible move is repentance – a complete 180° retreat from our attitudes of self-sufficiency and godlessness, and turning towards God in obedience and holiness.
As a nation, Israel did that, repenting of their selfish and sinful ways.  It was time to make (or rather renew) their covenant promises given to them by God centuries before at the base of Mt Sinai. 
In order to repent and return to your covenant vows with God you need to recognize just how serious sin is in God's eyes.  There is no such thing as a little sin.  Today we minimalize the impact sin has to our overly-sensitive ears.  Teenage children in our churches (over 50%) are not fornicators any more – they're simply sexually active.  Adulterers have affairs, and pornographers are sufferers of sexual addiction.  Everybody's a victim – nobody's guilty of sin.
In a broadcast about 20 years ago, Chuck Swindoll said, 'That's nonsense!  Any wrong thing I do, it is my sin, my responsibility – 100%.  Any sin you do is first degree.  It is your responsibility, your wrong before God. 
We need to stop seeing ourselves as victims and begin to take responsibility for our covenant with God. 
Sometimes that takes a rebuke in the right place.  I have been caught-up short a number of times in my life – at the right time – and it made all the difference in my attitude and growth in walking with Christ.  A rebuke, for a Christian believer, is nothing more than a reminder of their covenant with God.
Our nation needs that.  Abraham was the recipient of God’s favor and blessing as a covenant promise to him and his posterity.  But he had to be reminded often when he wandered from the center of his promises and God’s will.  In the same way, America cannot stand in the wake of flagrant, arrogant willfulness, ignoring the God who gifted us with this precious and magnificent land. 
Our prayer (and actions) should be that the pulpits and pews of America be filled and aflame just as much (and more) now with righteousness, as they were in the days of the formation of this nation.  Absent of that I do not know of any moral or consequential reason for God to allow this nation to endure!

For You Today

Hear this, America…return to your God while there is still hope!
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road…have a blessed day!

[i]Title image: Russell Brownworth (own work)

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