WHAT CAN WE DO?

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” II Kings 6:15, ESV

 

With all of the events of this year, I imagine a lot of people are wondering the same thing that the prophet Elisha's servant was wondering when he saw what appeared to be insurmountable forces aligned against them.

 

I have run into a lot of people lately who share the same mind set as Elisha's servant. They see the economy collapsing and the fear of a disease they don't understand and the riots that have popped up all over the world due to the perceived injustices of various peoples. Many people are absolutely shell shocked from the seemingly unending barrage of problems, and they are already defeated before the battle has even begun.

 

Does that sound familiar to you? Are you so tired of watching one catastrophe after another that you don't even want to think about it? Maybe you are ready to curl up in a ball and just go to sleep until the difficulties of the day pass. But this has never been the way to handle trouble, and trouble rarely goes away just by ignoring it. So, what can we do?

 

In the event above, we see a man who was overwhelmed by the reality of a huge army that was literally coming after him, so he was right to be concerned - and we are right to be concerned, but again, the question comes back, "What can we do?"

 

And the answer is the same for us today as it was for the servant of Elisha nearly 3,000 years ago. Elisha responded to his servant in this way:

 

He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. II Kings 6:16-17, ESV

 

The answer to our problems now, just as it has always been, is to trust in God. When you read about the prophet Elisha and all of the difficulties he went through, you will realize that he still had hardships to undergo and hard work to undertake - God was not promising him a free-ride, nor does He promise us one today. But, what He does promise us is this: If we do not give up and if we will do our part, He will do His part.

 

And, that will be enough. It always has been.

 

Are you willing to stand for God and against evil? If not, then get ready to become a slave to the evil one and his followers.

 

But if you are ready, then open your eyes and take your stand. We will only be able to do this if we will remember the eternal truth that the One who is in us is more powerful than the one who is in the world. The apostle John revealed this great truth to us nearly 2,000 years ago, and it is just as true today as it was when the early church was facing their seemingly insurmountable problems then.

 

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  I John 4:4, NIV 

IS AMERICA A CHRISTIAN NATION?

Maybe the President was right. No, not the one we have now, but the one we had a few years ago. He came out one day and proclaimed that America was not a Christian nation. He did not say it in a manner that reflected shock and shame at such an assessment, rather, he stated it as one might proudly proclaim some sort of a noble accomplishment.

 

So, let's examine the claim that "America is no longer a Christian nation" - could that actually be true?

 

Well, think about this: If two groups of people were to pull down a statue, one a statue of Moses or perhaps of George Washington, the other group a statue portraying some sort of crude "art" such as the type we often find in front of our public libraries and museums, which group do you think would be arrested? If you said the latter, wouldn't you agree that our legal system is more in the control of the evil one than of God?

 

Which position do you feel would be met with the most opposition on our college campuses today: One that supported a godless and accidental universe, or one that affirmed a creation that was intelligently designed by a loving Creator? If you said the latter, wouldn't you agree that our colleges are often run by those outside of the influence of God?

 

Or, as a wild and random example, suppose you had the head of the Center for Disease Control and the Surgeon General of the United States of America come out one month and say that facemasks can do more harm than good when trying to prevent illness, but then just one month later come out and say the exact opposite. Do you think that those in this particular area of trust are being guided by wisdom or by foolishness?

 

And if you supported the traditional family, a male father married to a female mother, rather than supporting a male who says he identifies as a woman and would like to adopt children with his partner who identifies as a man, which position do you think would receive criticism in the media? If you said the first, would you not have to agree that most of our media is guided by satanic influences rather than by godly ones?

 

And, finally, if you saw two policeman, one who arrested a violent protestor who had thrown rocks at a fellow officer just for being a cop, and another policeman who simply turned away, which do you think would be commended by the mass of our current politicians, and which reprimanded? If you said the one who turned the other way and ignored the assault would be the most likely to be praised by our political elites, then wouldn't you agree that most of our politicians are under the influence of the devil rather than God?

 

And if you considered two people, one who raised his voice in objection to this turning of our society to evil, and one who just kept his mouth shut for fear of criticism... then which side do you think he was most supporting: The cause of Christ, or the cause of Satan?

 

Which person are you? Maybe the president who proudly proclaimed that we are no longer a Christian nation was right, but I am not inclined to give up on this One Nation Under God without a protest of my own. How about you?

 

       "For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed,

         when He comes in the glory of His  Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38, RSV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And

FINISH THE RACE

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

I Cor. 9:24, NIV

 

Imagine having the opportunity to run a 50 yard dash. In this race, you need only to cross the finish line in an hour, and if you do, you will receive a prize of one billion dollars. The only restrictions are that you have to wait for the signal to start, and you have to run the course marked.

 

Do you think you could do it?

 

Now picture this. You see an individual lined up to start the race, but in such a way as you have never seen anyone do before. He has chained to himself a television set, a computer, his car and his home. Do you think he will complete the race within an hour? Of course, he cannot, because it is not humanly possible to do so...

 

but when you think about it, this is the very thing so many of us are attempting to do in our service to God and to Christ. We are lined up for the race, but we are chained to so many physical things that we cannot possibly run that race. So, not only do many people not finish the course that God has laid out for them, many do not even start. And, yet, they still think that they will receive the prize at the end. People are funny that way.

 

How about you?

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,

and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Hebrews 12:1, NIV

 

 

Better Get Started

How many more years do you expect to live? When you die, how long will you be dead?

Michael LeBoeuf

 

I came across this quote a number of years ago, and it has really resonated with me. We all spend so much time on the immediate, that we sometimes fail to see the Big Picture.

 

How about you? Have you accomplished all of the really important things that you had planned to when you were younger? Maybe you are younger and think that you have plenty of time to get to the important stuff later, but those of us who are older know the truth: We often waste the most valuable commodity that our Maker has bestowed upon us - our time. Because of that waste, we often find ourselves looking back over the years wondering why we failed to accomplish the important goals of our youth. More tragically, we often realize, too late, that we never even had worthwhile goals.

 

But the past is the past. If we could go back and change our mistakes, we would, but we simply cannot. Since that is a fact, the only reasonable thing to do right now is to move on. So, what will you do about the important, right now? The fact is that God has given us all of the time we need to take care of everything we should be doing. We know this is true because we have all had bosses who had tasks for us to complete who always made sure that we had the resources we needed to accomplish those tasks. God is the same, only in a perfect way. He really does give us all the time we need.

 

This leaves us, then, with several vital questions: Are we saved? Are we prepared to die? Have we made provisions for those we will leave behind?

 

Are you ready for eternity? You and I will have one, you know, somewhere. If you have yet to take care of the most important areas of your life, now is a good time to start. Maybe these inspired words from Moses will help with needed perspective:

 

   As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,

   or, if due to strength, eighty...

   So, teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.

         Psalm 90:10, 12, NAS

Stop Taking Revenge... on Yourself!

"To be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves."

Alexander Pope

 

Have you ever been really, really, really mad at someone? You know the type of anger - it's the kind that keeps you awake at night. It's the kind that consumes your thoughts during the day. It's the kind that you nearly forget about when things are going well, then you think about it and spoil a perfectly good day.

 

Why do we do that? Why do we let people that we don't even particularly like have so much power over us? Why do we let them win battle after battle that they don't even know that they are fighting, simply because we hold a grudge and refuse to forgive them?

 

Alexander Pope was right when he told us that anger is like taking revenge on yourself on behalf of your enemy. He said something else that is particularly apt concerning this topic. He said, "To err is human, to forgive, divine."

 

He was a pretty smart guy for someone who lived so long ago. Then again, he was just using common sense Bible principles and applying them to everyday life.

 

And Bible principles applied to everyday life are always a good idea.

 

The beauty of forgiving is that it releases us from the bondage of our enemies. For one thing, most people who make us mad usually aren't our enemies at all. And those who are shouldn't have the satisfaction of our ruining our sleep, our waking hours, and our happy moments just because we are too stubborn to forgive.

 

So the next time you feel a really good "mad" coming on, why not take back the control of your own happiness by forgiving these folks for whatever wrong they may have done. You will be glad you did and you will be living the type of life that God called you for in the first place.

 

"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."

James 1:19-20, NIV