April 7, 2014.
Let’s all stop for a minute and take some time to praise God for the blessings we have. I know I tend to harp on American society some as I travel through biblical concepts and their misalignment with American morales, but it is true that we live in a great country where we have freedom to worship our Lord without fear of too much persecution. There are so many Christians today who do not have this privilege. I would ask you to continually pray for our fellow brothers and sisters around the world who know what it means to truly live a courageous life as a Christian.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Paul uses this statement to finish off a a discussion on spiritual strength, and I think it it very fitting to contrast our needs and desires in this area to a God who is omnipotent, able to give us so much more than even what we need or want. Now, this isn’t to say that you will in fact get everything you want, as this would lead many of us away from Christ. However, if our will is based in the will of God, he will bless us for it. This is what Malachi is trying to tell the people of Israel.
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.”
Not only does God say that he will give them what they need if they bring to him what he asks, but he says I will open up the windows of heaven and poor out blessings! I think this can be exemplified in America. For the record, I do not believe America to be an overly religious land, at least not genuinely. However, I do believe there are many, many genuine Christians in America, who keep it standing. When Abraham was pleading with God not to destroy Sodom, he negotiated his way down to 10 righteous people and God said he would spare Sodom if Abraham could find just 10. I think this concept applies to America as well. Fortunately, I believe our percentage to be a bit better than Sodom’s, at least for now. The Psalmist puts it this way:
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
So how do we help America stay strong? Do we get involved in politics? Do we try to influence the public towards ideas we think are good? I believe that there is only one way that we could ever have an influence on politics and the way this country is run and maintained. That is to do our job that we are supposed to be doing anyway: spreading the gospel. I call this (actually I just came up with the name right now) the “trickle up effect.” Instead of changing the top and expecting the lower tiers to experience the change, let change the base which will ultimately influence the top, or it will if our government runs like it was set up to run. Preach good news to the people, and the Lord’s salvation will run rampant through the land. What a glorious potential there is. The fields are ripe for harvest. Will you be a laborer?
Suggested Daily Reading: Genesis 18, Malachi 2-4, Ephesians 3.
The Lord bless our nation.