Multiplying Grace and Peace

John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”

II Peter 1:2 “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”

Make no mistake, we face a determined adversary.  The devil desires to sap our joy, interrupt our peace, and erode our purpose.  Like a roaring lion, he passionately seeks to devour us.  Like a thief, he purposefully comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

He does his work at all levels.  He acts against our individual lives, against our families, against our churches, against our communities, against our society, and against our nation.  He sows hate, restlessness, turmoil, anxiety, dissatisfaction, discord, dissonance, division, and pride.  People are not the problem; he is!

The Lord is the perfect counter to this persistent problem.  There is nothing in this universe that provides a starker contrast than these opposing forces.  While the devil is a determined thief with a purpose to steal, kill, and destroy, the Lord has come to give us abundant life.  While the devil is a roaring lion with a purpose to devour, the Lord seeks to multiply grace and peace in our lives through a knowledge of Him. 

What is the solution to the problems in our personal lives?  Multiplied grace and peace through a knowledge of Him.  What is the solution to the problems in our families?  Multiplied grace and peace through a knowledge of Him.  What is the solution to the significant problems in our churches, in our communities, and in our society?  Multiplied grace and peace through a knowledge of Him.  What is the solution to the severe problems in our great nation?  Multiplied grace and peace through a knowledge of Him.

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO PROPERLY PROMOTE TO OUR SOCIETY THE TRUE SOURCE OF DESPERATELY NEEDED GRACE AND PEACE.  The challenges are extreme and earthly, but the solution is ever-present and eternal.  May Christians rightfully represent The Answer to the problems that surround and engulf us.  A knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord will multiply the grace and peace that will snuff out our root cause problems, and will return us to a common and reliable foundation.

Wrestling On

Genesis 32:24-26 “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of day.  And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hallow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, and he wrestled with him.  And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh.  And he said, I will not let thee go, expect thou bless me.”

Ephesians 6:10-13 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rules of the darkness of this work, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”

As American Christians in 2021, we feel the burdensome challenges of a constant struggle on behalf of our God, our faith, and our Christian heritage.  We feel exhausted and discouraged as we attempt to wrestle our culture and our society back to the Lord our God.  Our endurance is waning and our expectations are flagging.  We face challenges that drop us to our knees and bring us to the verge of being pinned by our adversary.  Yet, God wants us to be strong and to wrestle on!

Our Lord fully acknowledges and understands the challenges that we face; they are common to Christians throughout history regardless of the age or the context.  After all, the conflict we face is actually part of a supernatural battle.  Thus, it requires a supernatural solution, and God provides us the tools and the weapons to prevail.

How do we wrestle our nation back to the Lord?  First, by acknowledging that as warriors in the ring, we need to rely upon God, His strength and His methods while setting aside our own human plans for victory.  Second, we need to employ those amazing tools that God has given us – all of them – the whole armour of God!  We need to rely upon truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Spirit, and the word of God.  Finally, we need to fully engage the crowning jewel of our wrestling-match strategy: “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”  It is through this underlying and overarching element of God’s strategy that we can see the greatest gains. 

AS AMERICAN CHRISTIANS, MAY WE PRAY AS WE SHOULD TO WRESTLE OUR NATION BACK TO THE LORD!  Let us pray always, so that we can be strong and wrestle on!

Hold Fast

Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

II Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”

I Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

Proverbs 14:15 “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.”

Maybe the most profound words crafted by the human mind and written by the human hand come from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  It is a sentence packed with meaning and purpose, with wisdom and brilliance, and with humility and subservience.  Interestingly, these words stemmed from an editing compromise by our founding fathers.

Thomas Jefferson’s original document started the sentence in the following way: “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable …”.  Benjamin Franklin made the recommendation to merge “sacred and undeniable” into “self-evident” in part for literary flow.  It also appears that Franklin believed that this edit would better demonstrate the powerful balance between reason and religion.  This change didn’t detract from the core Christian ethos woven into our founding documents.  Instead, it enhanced it.  This is an important point that we should embrace as Christians today. 

Christian faithfulness is enhanced by the powerful balance of reason and religion.  The faithful do not check their minds at the church-house door.  Instead, as seekers of truth we are to appreciate the potency of God’s creative genius that gives us powerful brains and inquisitive spirits.  We are to marvel at the brilliant order of the universe while we embrace the opportunity to prove all things and answer all critics.  We are to supplement our walks of faith in Christ with the explanatory power of science and reason.  This mindset does not detract from a core Christian ethos that should be woven into our lives.  Instead it enhances it!

PLEASE PRAY THAT AMERICAN CHRISTIANS WOULD DEMONSTRATE THE POWERFUL BALANCE BETWEEN REASON AND RELIGION IN OUR LIVES.  May we prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good.

For a few related thoughts, please see:

ADMIN Note:  The historical background of the editing change in the Declaration of Independence came from “The American Story” by David Rubenstein.

But By Him

John 14:1-7 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whiter I go ye know, and the way ye know.  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

As we continue to gain traction in our lives in 2021, we must be constantly cognizant of the powerful truths of our potent Saviour.  The most transformative of these truths is contained in John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

There is one way to salvation, and no way to get there except through the power of a Saviour.  Christ is that Saviour, and He is the way, the truth, and the life.  And in spite of the insecurity and doubt expressed by Thomas, we can know both the destination and the way because it has already been secured by the power and the presence of the Son of God Himself. 

Our hearts should not be troubled by the challenges that swirl around us in 2021 if we believe in God the Father and God the Son.  They have already paved the way for us by preparing a place in heaven for those who believe.  Christ came to be the way, the truth, and the life; and to show us the way, the truth, and the life.  By knowing the Father, we know the Son.  By knowing the Son, we know the Father.  By serving them and clinging to their truths, we enjoy both a temporal and an eternal security that cannot be matched by any earthly mechanism – not by a government, not by a vaccine, not by an investment plan, not by a boss, not by a country, not even by a friend, or a family, or a church.  Christ is the way, the only way, to purpose, to fulfillment, to joy, and to security. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO SHED OUR TROUBLES BY THOROUGHLY TRUSTING IN CHRIST IN 2021.  He is the way, the truth and the life.  No man cometh unto the Father, but by Him.

Teeming With Life

Isaiah 35:6-7 “Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.”

I have spent big chunks of my adult life living in the desert.  These locations are hot, dry and dusty places.  Their rough and rugged nature makes them hostile to most life.  Only the most hearty of lifeforms can survive and thrive.  Yet, they are not completely barren because they do get some thirst-quenching rain throughout the year.  And when it comes, it is a glorious sight!

Lancaster, California sits in the midst of the Mojave Desert and is a place I lived three different times during my military career.  While dry and dusty, it does enjoy some rain – eight inches a year on average.  Even Baghdad, Iraq gets six inches of rain a year and Death Valley averages a bit over two inches of rain a year.  And when the rain comes in these desert locales, it is breathtaking.  Waters break out in the wilderness and streams emerge on the desert floor.  Even the parched ground of dry lakebeds fill with pools and the thirsty land springs of water.  A typically barren landscape teems with life. 

In many ways, it seems like modern day America is like a desert to the faithful follower of Christ.  It’s rough and rugged nature makes it hostile to us and our Bible-based beliefs.  Only the most hearty of Christians can survive and thrive.  Yet, it is not completely barren because we still enjoy the thirst-quenching rain of God’s Word, God’s Spirit, and God’s presence.  May this life-sustaining precipitation spring forth into a glorious revival in 2021.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE RAINS OF REVIVAL IN AMERICA IN 2021!  When the revival rains fall in our desert locale, it will be a glorious sight.  Waters will break out in the wilderness and streams will emerge on the desert floor.  Even the most parched of ground will fill with pools and thirsty land will spring of water.  It will be breathtaking.  Our typically barren landscape will teem with life once again!

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