December 14, 2010

A thought...

One of my greatest frustrations at Christmas is those people too lazy to write out Christmas and choose to replace Christ with an X. It seems these days that we attend holiday programs at school and people attend holiday parties at work or with friends. Rarely do you hear of Christmas programs or Christmas parties to fill our Christmas calendars. I did not really think much about it until I had kids but every year it bugs me more and more because every year we move further and further away from Him. What is happening to this country??

Now the origin for Xmas is not bad if you are writing it in the way in which it was meant. I am of the belief though that there are way too many out there that one, write it that way to be disrespectful and two: totally to denounce the day that celebrates the birth of Christ.

About a week ago I was reading a devotional written by Bill Bright and I had one of those "AH- HA" moments. He talked about God's discipline on this country. People moan and complain about our president and the state of our economy because it is easier to blame someone else for the mess we are in then to take responsibility for where we have taken our country. I believe our president is in office for a reason. I believe God placed him there and I believe that our lack of obedience and our eyes being fixed on worldly things instead of Kingdom things cause the suffering that is taking place. Maybe God is leading us once again to a place of complete brokenness in which we fall on our knees and confess our separation from Him in an attempt to live lives that are worldly and more fitting to our own happiness instead of His glory. I'm just saying. The more we embrace tolerance, the farther we separate ourselves from our Protector.

I do not know if something as simple as saying Merry Christmas and teaching our kids the true meaning will change where this country is headed but maybe it would be a start. I hate to think of where this will all lead and how my kids will be celebrating Christmas with their kids someday.

The following is the devotional:


God's Solutions To Our Problems

Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life (Romans 6:22, NLT). 

Dear Friends,

Previous messages in this series have summarized the overwhelming evidence of the biblical roots of America and how God has been the source of our nation's blessings, which are absolutely unprecedented in all of history.

Then I explained some of the things that went wrong in the past 50 years, causing this nation to turn from God, making us vulnerable to His chastening, and even in danger of losing our country.

The question is obvious: How can our nation turn back to God?

The answer is not in the world, not in the government, nor in the media. It is simply in God's people -- the church -- who must repent, seek God's face, and meet God's conditions recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, who are called by my name, will 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" (NLT).

If God's people do what God requires, He will take care of everything else, "forgive their sin and heal their land." It is a promise.

In a nutshell, we need a great spiritual revival in America. What is revival? It is not just scheduled annual meetings with a sign out in front of the church. Charles Finney, revered as the father of modern revival, called revival a "renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one's will to God in deep humility."

For revival, the first requirement is for God's people to "humble themselves." In my opinion, there is no other Christian discipline but fasting with prayer that fully meets the conditions of this marvelous promise from God.

By faith we humble ourselves, fast and pray for God's intervention and answers, and by faith we receive. Faith with fasting and prayer move the hand of God.

Another requirement of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is to "turn from their wicked ways." To turn means to repent. God's people must turn from, or repent of, living, thinking, speaking and acting like the world.

Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,

Bill Bright

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