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Delighting Him and Rejuvenating Us

Isaiah 42:8 “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”

Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”

As Christians in America in 2021, it is easy to get distracted by the negative news of our current situation.  It is easy to get sidetracked by doubt and despair.  It is easy to get focused on all the wrong things, especially those things that are crumbling around us.  Yet, in the midst of such challenges, our spirits should be filled with an overwhelming sense of glory! 

The glory doesn’t come from graven images.  It doesn’t stem from modern day horses and chariots.  It doesn’t originate from our own wisdom, our own might, or our own riches; it doesn’t burst forth from those who are wise, or mighty, or rich.  These potential sources of glory may appear satisfying at first, but they ultimately lack anything worthy of glory, and leave us feeling empty, hollow, and unfulfilled.  Our tendency to affix our gaze on such things is the root cause for our downtrodden spirits. 

Glory does, however, flow freely from an understanding and a knowledge of the Lord our God.  He is the LORD!  His lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness are ever-flowing sources of endless and overwhelming glory that will never disappoint us.  His glory will always exceed our expectations and meet our needs. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO RESURRECT GLORY IN OUR LIVES BY REMEMBERING THE NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD.  Doing so will delight Him and will rejuvenate us!

Consistent Success for the Cause of Christ

I Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God, I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Acts 2:14 “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words”

Acts 4:19-20 “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

Trevor Moawad has been named the “Sports World’s Best Brain Trainer” by Sports Illustrated.  In his book, “It Takes What It Takes,” he states the following:

“The most dangerous bias when discussing performance is our innate privileging of the past.  We elevate the past.  We give it too much importance.  We serve the past when we should be giving it wide berth … We can all look back at certain moments in our lives and say the same thing: I could have done more.  I could have made better choices.  The idea is to minimize those regrets by being honest with yourself about what your God-given abilities are, choosing to be on a path that jibes with whatever your life’s purpose is, and then making decisions with that higher goal in mind.  Those who can do that will succeed consistently and those who can’t will get sidetracked and demoralized and will struggle.”

As individual Christians, and as collective Christians in America, we have made mistakes.  We could have done more.  We could have made better choices.  May we all minimize those regrets by giving the past wide berth and by making decisions going forward with a commitment to a higher goal.  May we forget those things which are behind, and reach forth unto those things which are before.  May we press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Peter and Paul did!

Paul acknowledged his past as a persecutor of Christians.  Yet, he didn’t allow that to sap his effectiveness for God going forward.  As a result, his potency as a missionary was characterized by consistent success for the cause of Christ.  Peter acknowledged his stumbles as a denier of Christ.  Yet, he didn’t allow that to sap his effectiveness for God going forward.  As a result, his boldness as a preacher was characterized by consistent success for the cause of Christ.

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO SET ASIDE OUR STUMBLES OF THE PAST AND PRESS TOWARDS THE MARK FOR CHRIST.  As a result, may our lives, our testimonies, and our influence be characterized by consistent success for the cause of Christ.

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.

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