Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Monday, October 24, 2016

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: October 24, 2016                        
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

"That is why the LORD says, "Turn to me now, while there is time! Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don't tear your clothing in your grief: instead, tear your hearts." Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you. Who knows? Perhaps even yet he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this terrible curse. Perhaps he will give you so much that you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before!" - Joel 2:12-14 (NLT)

Is there anyone out there that could use a bit of encouragement today? How about a little sense of hope? As I have been working to calm my own anxious spirit over this upcoming election in America 2016; I have been spending some time in the Book of Joel found in the Old Testament Scriptures. Joel was known as a prophet (one who gave a foreshadowing of future events). He was the son of Pethuel and he warned the people of his day that destruction was on the horizon because of their rebellion and complacency against God. I personally believe his warning is appropriate for this day. 

The prophet Joel recognized that the hearts of mankind were far away from God. He saw the moral decline. He saw the rebellion. And, he recognized that a spiritual blindness to sin was ever present both individually and corporately as a nation. This was a time in history when material blessings hindered the people from seeing their need to turn from their wicked ways to be healed (2 Chronicles 7:14). I take note to what Joel wrote in Chapter 1 verse 5. "Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! All the grapes are ruined, and all your new wine is gone!" Destruction was at hand. 

Before the army of locusts invaded their personal space I imagine that many of them, like many of us, were living pretty comfortable lives. They were going about their busy lives. I imagine they were enjoying family and friends. No doubt their activities and entertainment brought them great joy. And, for those that considered themselves "devout," I bet they attended Temple when they could squeeze it in. Unfortunately, they were not prepared for that which hit them. In verse 6 Joel goes onto say:  "A vast army of locusts has invaded my land. It is a terrible army, too numerous to count! Its teeth are as sharp as the teeth of lions! They have destroyed my grapevines and fig trees, stripping their bark and leaving the branches white and bare."

Like the people of Joel's day, peace and prosperity can be an enemy. It can lull us into thinking all is well and that we have plenty of time to do that which is important. Dear friends this is a lie from the pit of hell! Joel was issuing a wake up call and I can't help but do the same thing today as I look out into our world. We are a nation that has sinned deeply. We have become so self-focused that I'm not sure we can even see anything clearly outside of our own little worlds. We have turned our back on God as a nation; a nation that once valued His Holy instructions is now a mere reflection of what it once was. As you determine in your own heart who you will vote for in 2016; I ask you to consider the warnings of Joel and his contrast of restoration for a nation that turns back to Him through a heart of genuine repentance. I happen to believe it is our only hope.

"Bring everyone - the elders, the children and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room. The priests who minister in the LORD'S presence, will stand between the people and the alter weeping. Let them pray, "Spare your people, LORD! They belong to you, so don't let them become an object of mockery. Don't let their name become a proverb of unbelieving foreigners who say, 'Where is the God of Israel? He must be helpless.' - Joel 2:16-17

We cannot continue to elect officials who will not fight for the unborn child and the sanctity of marriage as designed by God and expect generational blessings. If you know your Bible then you know that these two issues are very important in the eyes of God. We would be wise to stop making excuses for that which we know is wrong and instead do what is right. I cannot imagine how it grieves the heart of God when professed Christ-followers defend the murdering of babies in the womb and the institution of marriage being anything other than that which He intended it to be.

The current regime has begun the downward spiral towards Socialism beautifully packaged under a "personal right to choose" and a "right to have that which one believes they deserve." Be careful in that mindset. It sounds more like the bait of Satan to me. The devil disguises "good things" but inevitably delivers the stench of his evil plan to "kill, steal and destroy," (John 10:10). Keep that in mind and remember that it is written that we will reap that which we sow (Galatians 6:7-9).

The bottom line in the decision before us is this. God will not continue to bless a nation that willfully disrespects and mocks that which He created. It is just not going to happen! I don't think the increased flooding, fires, tornado's, earthquakes, hurricanes and diseases are a mere coincidence. It's time we wake up to what is before us. When exercising the privilege to vote this time around; consider God's viewpoint and ask yourself which platform represented best describes your heart for the unborn child, the sanctity of marriage and the ability to protect your family. Then cast your vote confidently knowing that no matter who God allows to be President "for a time such as this," He will be the One in control. To abstain from voting is a "YES" vote for someone. Do not fear making the right choice. Let your voice be heard. It was the silent voice that allowed that which we fight for today.

Listen to the response Moses gave to the people when they expressed fear. He said "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning." That which God created He is still testing for a purpose beyond our comprehension. The test is still in progress and this time it looks to be in the form of the American election process. I encourage you to choose wisely. If there is someone in your circle of influence that could benefit from this message feel free to share the warning.

I love what Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth writes in her devotion titled God At the Polls. "Imagine God going into a polling booth on Election Day. Instead of voting for a public official. God is looking for a candidate for revival. Would He vote for you? We have tough standards for someone running for political office in our land. Are you asking God to help you follow biblical standards as a candidate for revival?" Let's think about that for a moment and pray.

Heavenly Father, it is our prayer today that the hearts of Americans and people all over this world would recognize how far we have strayed from You. We are asking You to pour out Your Holy Spirit all over this world that people will once again have a desire to know, love, serve and obey You. We are praying that people will once again respect the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), and that they would make teaching them to their children a priority. Turn our country back to yourself LORD and have mercy on us and the generations to come from us. In Jesus' precious name we lift up our voices. And everyone said, AMEN!

In Christ by grace,

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