Remember the speeches we heard at the National Conventions? We were told that though we are a diverse people, we are ALL Americans, and when times get tough we pull together to “Get things done.” But it was all political rhetoric. Actually, we are becoming a more godless and divided nation, and, as our forefathers warned, a godless republic cannot stand.
Governing the godless is impossible because the godless believe: that the events of life are ordered by chance, that every man is in charge of his own destiny, that all truth is relative (i.e. no truth that applies universally at all times), that man is the center of all that matters (humanism), that there are no moral absolutes (i.e. hard and fast rules for defining right and wrong). But we know from history, this is the recipe for disaster.
We need to return to the principles upon which our nation was founded. Consider our motto, In God We Trust. The Bible tells us that, “…He (God) is a buckler (shield) to all them that trust in Him. (2 Samuel 22:31).” And how about our pledge, “…one Nation under God.” The Scriptures are clear, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD… (Psalms 33:12).” God is our only hope, and yet many of our leaders despise Him.
Why do we need God and His ways? Because He orders the events of life with purpose. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1).” God has established absolute truth. Jesus said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17).” He has established moral absolutes like: “Honor thy father and thy mother. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal, bear false witness, or covet.”
The soul of a nation is its people and before we will have God in our nation, we must have God in our hearts. He is ready to take residence in your heart, but you’ll need the help of His Son, Jesus, who has purchased forgiveness for your sins and makes it available to you through faith.
You know you’re getting old when the jokes about growing older seem more like the facts of life than humorous antidotes. e.g. You know you’re growing old when: Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off. It takes twice as long to look half as good. Come on… We might as well smile because from an earthly perspective it only gets worse, until our bodies fail us, and suffering and loss bring us to the point at which there is no will to live. What we are all experiencing in our earthly pilgrimage is a sad reality of life, it ends in death.
In spite of the indisputable law of averages, many insist that they will beat the process of aging, and, though they might long to share their secret, it is mysteriously locked up in their own experience. When confronted with the brevity of life, they almost smugly reply, “I’m all set.” But in truth, no one can be all set if their confidence is in themselves, their doctors, their program, their organization or their cleverly devised plan. All of our predecessors had these as well. The law of averages is always enforced, and death lurks in the path of every man.
The reason there is an enemy called death is because of sin. For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23). Isn’t it obvious? The destructiveness of sin is why you and I are headed for the grave and the earth to ruin. To deny this is foolish, as foolish as it is to deny that there is a God while standing in the midst of His creation.
It would be unbearably sad if the only perspective of life was the one that physical life forces upon the living. But as sure as there is a God in heaven, there is also one other perspective, His perspective. 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. (John 3:16). Look and Live!
Let’s imagine! You are invited to have lunch with friends at noon next Monday at a local restaurant. Since your car will be in the shop, someone has agreed to pick you up around 11:30. The time comes and goes while you wait anxiously by the door. At 4:00, you discover that the meeting did occur as planned, but you were forgotten. There is nothing quite like being forgotten; it engenders a whole gamut of emotion. What could be worse?
In June of 2009 my granddaughter was born. Her father (my son) was 25 years old; I was 50, and my father was 75. Together, we represent four generations, exactly twenty five years apart. About that same time someone asked, “Did you know that after you die, you will be forgotten in two generations?” The question troubled me; the idea seemed cruel somehow. Could it be true? I mused.
With only one exception, my great grandparents died before I was born. Though I remember seeing my great grandmother a few times, I was not old enough to really know her before she died. It is true then, even my own great grandparents are all but forgotten. To be appreciably influenced by great grandparents, or even to remember them well, is the exception rather than the rule.
Life is very brief, and our existence will effect relatively few people in the vast expanse of time. Most of us, like our predecessors, will be forgotten in two generations. But wouldn’t it be great if we could make a difference that lasts longer than life, be remembered by our great grandchildren, make a mark on this world that would effect generations to come, influence the lives of others in ways that would matter to them beyond their lives here on earth.
C. T. Studd (1860-1931) was a missionary to China, India and Africa. He put it all in perspective when he wrote, “Only one life ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” The fact that I am quoting him so many years later, may be an initial evidence that he was right.
As a child it was obvious to me that the business of the world was conducted by grown-ups. My parents led me to believe that there was a right and wrong way to do business, socialize and worship, and grown-ups, they said, knew that way. In my mind, the bar had been set, and in a few short years I would be “old enough” to participate in the process. As grown-ups, my peers and I would take our turn at running the world, so to speak.
Now that I am physically of full stature, and my growth is measured in girth rather than height, I have begun to realize that the standards have changed. There is a new normal; right and wrong have been redefined. What was proper and important just a few years ago, is often disregarded altogether today. For every discipline there seems to be a new way of thinking, for every problem a new answer, and for every task a new method. The people who used to run the world are old, and many have died. Were they wrong? …misled perhaps by previous generations? Or were they right, and our present chaos is the result of having no old fashioned grown-ups at the helm?
Some of you are thinking, “Yeah, times have changed, get over it.” I know, you’re probably right, but have you noticed that all of the changes have not produced the most positive effects on our society? It seems that every generation wants to leave its mark on the way things are done, and after so many generations of change, the proper way of doing things has been forgotten altogether.
But I would contend, there is still a proper way of conducting business, as well as our own social and spiritual lives. It is actually in print! “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2Timothy 3:16).” James calls it, “The Perfect Law Of Liberty. (James 1:25).”