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Nothing Can!

Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

God loves us! He loves you, and He loves me!

He loves the saved and the unsaved, the saint and the sinner, the faithful and the faithless. He loves a world that is sin-stained and Savior-separated. He loves the unlovely, the unloved, and the unloving. He loves those who love Him back, and He loves those whose life is the antithesis of love.

His love transcends time and place, situation and personality. We cannot be separated from it. It is given freely, though its value is unmatched. It drove Him to the cross for all of humanity and for each and every person. It contains the power of eternal salvation and it consolidates boldness in every situation.

For His people, this amazing, miraculous, supernatural truth should carry significant meaning and provide substantial motivation. It should be celebrated daily, uplifted regularly, and proclaimed at every opportunity. In response to a society that is quickly diverging from Him, we must be encouraged, empowered, equipped and emboldened to reach out. Like Him, we are to do so in love, in grace, and in truth. We should never give up, never give in, never quit, and never relent. We are His representatives to a world that needs Him desperately, whether it knows it or not, and a society that is eroding due to a foundation that is unsteady and unsure without Him at its core. It needs His love, and we are His instrumentality to show them a stark alternative to a world that hates, spites, and degrades.

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO UPLIFT, CELEBRATE, DEMONSTRATE AND PROCLAIM THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? No one can! What can separate us from the love of Christ? Nothing can!

Making the World Over

II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

During World War II, Dean Wickes of Princeton University said the following: “It is well that this crisis should urge us to make the world over, but long before we can do this, we can let this crisis make us over into the sort of people the world is going to need.”

Similarly, in 1942 Pastor Joseph Ewing recounted the following story in “Strength for Service”:

“A father and mother were having some difficulty in interesting their little daughter in the study of geography.  They schemed to help her by purchasing for her a jigsaw puzzle map of the United States.  They were sure that this would require so much effort on her part in piecing it together that it would be a valuable geographical project.  To their amazement she was able to assemble the map in a remarkably short time.  They asked her how she did it, and she explained that on the opposite side of the map was a picture puzzle of the face of George Washington.  This further word from her was especially thought-provoking: ‘When you get the man put together right, the United States comes out all right.’”

The whole is made up of its pieces.  Notably, the character of a nation will never be greater than the character of its most righteous, Christ-like parts.  Are today’s Christians setting the standard for the rest of society, or are we converging with society’s standard of worldliness and godlessness?

We live in perilous times.  Sin is elevated and its natural consequences yields death, destruction, and depravity.  Our society’s collective character is a reproach to a world in chaos and a culture in crisis.  Christians must be the sort of people the world needs today, and that it will need in our progressive dystopian future. 

Are American Christians put together right?  If we are, then there is hope for this sin-stained world.  If we are not, then today’s crisis will never make the world over into something better than it is today. 

As much as we like to focus on the external, it is time to shift that focus to the internal.  If we are righteous, then this nation can be exalted.  If we humble ourselves, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, then we can see widespread revival.  After all, when you get the man put together right, the United States will come out alright.

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO SEEK INWARD RIGHTEOUSNESS SO THAT ONE DAY WE CAN EXPERIENCE NATIONWIDE REVIVAL.  May we let our current crisis make us over into the sort of people that the world is going to need.

ADMIN NOTE: My next PLUS post will be in two weeks.  In the meanwhile, please continue to pray for our nation, for our leaders, and for national revival in 2022!

Repositioning

Isaiah 6:8 “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

The following is a bit more personally focused than the average PLUS post. I fully realize that there are plenty of larger things worthy of your prayer, but I deeply appreciate your indulgence as I share from my heart.

After 28 years of serving in the United States Air Force, I will be retiring in the fall.  My family and I have loved our time in the military, serving alongside amazing military members and their families. We are convinced at this time in our nation’s history that we can maximize our impact on people and our great nation by taking off the uniform and seeking to serve the United States of America in another capacity. We look forward to the great and mighty things the Lord has in store for us in this next stage of our lives and careers.

This is the time, and this is the season to reposition. We are volunteering for God’s calling to direct us towards the next fruitful opportunity for impact. We are not closing our eyes nor our ears to other options, but thus far we feel led to some other form of federal public service. There is a purpose under heaven for us. 

We are boldly calling unto Him, and seeking His great and mighty things. We anticipate His direction towards something exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

And as we do so, we humbly ask for your prayers. 

AS YOU FEEL LED, PLEASE PRAY FOR ME AND MY FAMILY AS WE REPOSITION TO GOD’S NEXT PLAN AND PUROSE FOR US.

Supremely Significant Age

Esther 4:14b “and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

II Corinthians 12:9-10 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Acts 5:40-42 “And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”

Romans 5:3-4 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope”

Pastor Henry Crane wrote the following during the dark depths of World War II:

“Rejoice that we are matched with such a supremely significant age as this.  Rejoice that we now have an unusual chance to test the validity of our Christian principles.  Rejoice that we shall discover what we ourselves are actually made of.  Rejoice that we shall be able to discover how tribulations bring patience, patience experience, and experience hope – which means we shall be living deeply, richly, greatly.  Rejoice that we shall have revealed to us the necessity and availability of God.”

In the midst of the dark depths of our age, may we embrace such a powerful perspective that should cause us to rejoice, glorying in our infirmities and motivated by God’s wisdom to place us in our situation for such a time as this.  We should rejoice because we have been matched with such a supremely significant age.  We should rejoice because we now have an unusual chance to test the validity of our Christian principles.  We should rejoice because we shall discover what we ourselves are actually made of.  We should rejoice that we shall be able to witness how tribulations ultimately bring hope.  And, we should rejoice because we shall have revealed to us the necessity and the availability of God.

Indeed, we live in a supremely significant age.  As a result, we must rejoice in our situation, remember God’s calling on our lives, recommit to our Christ-centered principles, resist self-sufficiency or resignation, and respond with bold prayer for our communities, our nation and our leaders.

PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WOULD USE AMERICAN CHRISTIANS IN THIS SUPREMELY SIGNIFICANT AGE.  And, as we endure the challenges of the day, rejoice that God has counted you worthy to serve Him in such a day as this.

Pray For Them II

Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”

Matthew 5:43-47 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans that same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?”

Several years ago, I was publicly and harshly attacked for my PLUS ministry. It wasn’t an easy time, but it was a rewarding season of life filled with ample opportunities for growth, faith, and trust. During that time, the Lord directed my attention to Matthew 5 and impressed upon me to live out my Christianity by faithfully praying for the one who was attacking me. Specifically, I prayed that he would come to know the love, peace and fulfillment of God and accept His amazing grace. It wasn’t easy, but it was impactful. I have prayed daily for him ever since that time; I prayed for him this morning. 

Far more than anything I experienced, we live in a time where pure evil is evident in the actions of others. Frankly, it is a time like many other times throughout history, though today, all it takes is a quick examination of the readily accessible news to see pure evil playing out in places like Eastern Europe. We see the powerful using their authority to harm and kill the weak. We are rightfully anxious, appalled, anguished and angered.  We want to react with heart-felt hate. Yet, there is another option … a uniquely Christian alternative.

We should pray for those who are the most onerous among us – those with names like Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong-un. Specifically, we should pray that these individuals and others like them would come to know the love, peace, and fulfillment of God and accept His amazing grace. It won’t be easy, but it will be impactful. We should pray for them daily; we should pray for them today.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE LORD TO POSITIVELY IMPACT OUR STRUGGLING PLANET BY MOLDING THE HEARTS OF THOSE WE WANT TO HATE. As a distinctly Christian response to those whose actions are evil, we must pray for them! 

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