A Personal Interest

  “If you think that’s bad, you ought to ride in MY truck.”  This is what one man said, several years ago, when he took a ride in my old pickup truck.  It was not something that you would notice right away, but there was this little vibration at around 40 mph that became more irritating to me with every mile.  When my mechanic agreed that it seemed like a drive shaft problem, we decided to “rebuild” and balance the shaft.  A couple of days and dollars later the new drive shaft was installed, and I took it out for test drive. The truck would still tickle my innards at about 40 mph.  The vibration was still there.

  I don’t know who felt worse about it, me or my mechanic.  He called about three days later and said, “Hey, bring that truck back over here, I want to know what’s wrong with it.”  After a couple more hours of head scratching, he discovered the problem and in a matter of minutes, I was humming down the highway with a big smile.  Years have passed since then, and the old truck is long gone, but when I think back on this incident, I am still grateful that my mechanic took a personal interest in my problem.

  Christian friend, you and I are surrounded by individuals who know that something is not quite right with their lives.  Though they can’t exactly put their finger on it, things seem out of balance and their daily trek is anything but pleasant and peaceful.  Most of them will live their lives a little out of sorts, and step into eternity without God.  Their diagnosis is clearly set forth in the Scriptures—sin has separated them from God.  But you and I have found the solution to their problem; Jesus Christ died for their sins, and rose from the dead victorious over it.  He lives to make intercession for them.  He is all that is necessary for your friends, neighbors and family to put their lives in order.  Don’t you think it’s time for us to take a personal interest, and tell them?

  “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).    Jesus said, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b).”

Buried In Obscurity

  Daniel Webster (1782-1852) was an early American politician who served in both houses of Congress, was Secretary of State for three presidents, helped to settle a dispute over the boundary between Maine and Canada, was a renowned orator, and a prominent lawyer who presented numerous arguments before the Supreme Court.  He was, over the course of his career, a member of the Federalist Party, the National Republican Party and the Whig Party; a diverse man, but one who certainly understood the underpinnings of our nation.  He, like many of the early American patriots was a God fearing man who is claimed, on the pages of unrevised history, by various denominational churches as one of their own.

  In spite of his religious moorings, Daniel Webster was not always on the conservative side of political issues.  He was a man who was both praised and criticized from all sides.  Whatever you might think of this colorful patriot, true historical narrative bears out the fact that his words were the sentiment of many, perhaps most, of his political predecessors and peers when he said, “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”

  We have entered a new chapter in the continuing saga of life on earth.  In this generation, as never before, there is a global falling away from the eternal, universal, divine principles established by God in the beginning.  Right and wrong are constantly being redefined to accommodate personal whims and faddish philosophies.  Our nation, and most, are divided against themselves.  Even to the untrained eye, we seem destined to ruin, or, as Daniel Webster described it, to “profound obscurity.”

  But God says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

A Christian Nation

 Back in June of 2007, a U.S. senator from Illinois said, “Whatever we once were, we’re no longer a Christian nation—at least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation and a nation of nonbelievers.”  This is the man who, just two years later, would become the President of the United States of America, and serve for two terms, leading our republic even further into spiritual darkness.  He is a man who mocks truth as found in non-revisionist, honest history.  He mocks the Bible and its distinctly Christian foundational principles and precepts that were chosen by our founding fathers to be used as building blocks for our constitutional republic.  But he was right, we are no longer a Christian nation. 

  And why? It is because we carnal American Christians have, for decades, shirked our responsibilities to pass our Christian heritage on to our families, friends and neighbors; it is because we have stood by silently as evil has blinded the minds of the masses.  These are the reasons we now stand on the threshold of total apostasy as a nation.  We have spurned the grace of God, and have provoked the Almighty to judgment.

  Is it possible to reverse this moral, social and political carnage?  Is there still time?  Truth is, it is not a matter of time, but of the will.  God once said to a nation of repeat offenders, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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. (2 Chronicles 7:14)”  It is up to us fourth and fifth generation, lazy, lukewarm, ignorant children of God, to shape up.  The unsaved will continue to act unsaved, and no political party or philosophy that they can muster will be able to deliver us.  What our nation, and the world, needs is Jesus Christ, and everything He taught and preserved for us in the Bible.  Mockers will mock because they are blind to the spiritual truth that could set them free, so it is up to you and me to win them to our Savior, one at a time.  He is our ONLY hope.  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD! (Psalm 33:12)”

A Fair Warning

  My mother tells the story of how, as a little girl, she had a playmate over.  The two of them were playing around her father’s woodpile when she noticed the axe stuck in the top of the chopping block.  My mom proceeded to work the axe out of the block, and invited her little friend to extend her finger over the block, assuring her that she would “chop it off.”  Without a moment’s hesitation her friend laid her finger on the block, and my mom chopped it off.  Both girls were horrified as they realized what they had done.  Almost every time this story was told in my youth, someone would offer, “Well, I guess you gave her a fair warning.”  But, fair warning or not, it still makes me cringe to think of it, and I often wonder, how could anyone be so careless, so thoughtless, as these two little girls?

  But then I am reminded that I am surrounded by people who, with that same carefree, foolhardy, willful ignorance, refuse to consider the “fair warning” that has been issued by the Almighty.  God has clearly stated, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)”  And those who will not heed His warning and make ready, “…shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (2 Thessalonians 1:9)”  There is so much more at risk here than losing a finger.  Won’t you consider God’s warning?

  Perhaps you would answer, “Why would God, if there is a God, send people to eternal destruction in Hell?”  If you will read His Word, the Bible, you will start to understand the seriousness of sin.  You will see God as loving, merciful and gracious, but also just, righteous and holy.  It is more than can be disclosed in a little article such as this, but God has not left you to ignorance; His Word is sufficient to illuminate the path that leads to His eternal presence.

  But don’t take my word for it; read it for yourself and you will see, “…the word of God is quick (alive), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)”

New Year’s Resolution

The first people to make New Year’s resolutions were the Ancient Babylonians.  People all over the world have been breaking them ever since. Resolutions in ancient civilizations included things like returning a borrowed farm implement.  Early Christians believed that the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting upon the failures of the past year, and resolving to correct them in the new year.  Popular contemporary resolutions tend to involve things like quitting smoking, losing weight, or paying debts.

  It has been reported that 25% of all resolutions are broken in the first week.  That percentage rises to 80% by the second week of February.    Less than 8% make it to the end of the year.  Our propensity to break them has made New Year’s resolutions a laughing stock.  That’s unfortunate when you consider how Biblical Christianity is propagated in part by our resolve to do right before others.  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16).” 

  One of my favorite songs for the New Year’s season is, I Am Resolved.  We should consider some of its practical suggestions for a new resolution, and then pray for the grace to weave it into the fabric of our lives…

I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight.

I am resolved to go to the Savior, leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true One, He is the just One, He hath the words of life.

I am resolved to follow the Savior, faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth, He is the living Way.

I am resolved to enter the kingdom, leaving the paths of sin;
Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me, still will I enter in.

I am resolved, and who will go with me? Come, friends, without delay,
Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit, we’ll walk the heav’nly way.