"I was thinking..."

 

June 2019

 

I was thinking…Pastor Steve

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit

of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 

2 Corinthians 3: 17  (NIV)

 

          I was thinking that the 4th of July makes us think of freedom.  We live in a free country, not under the rule of a dictator or evil regime.  We have many people that came before us to thank for that freedom, soldiers for sure, but farmers, preachers, and politicians (or those who used to be called "statesmen").  Have you read our country's history?  I truly believe that many of those who came together to form The Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, and Bill of Rights had to be working on a higher plane than today's average intellect.

 

          Well, what I truly believe is that these people were being guided by the Holy Spirit, whether they knew it or not.  I think most of them were praying to God for guidance in forming this country, and God heard them and delivered.  It has served us well for over 200 years, but I fear that it will all be lost if certain factions get in control.  We can look at many other countries and see that their forms of government just don't work...at all!

 

          God is in the midst of humanity's past, present, and future.  In the book of Daniel, this is what is written:  “Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;wisdom and power are his.  He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. ”  (Daniel 2: 19b - 21 NIV)  Even though God sets up kings, that doesn't mean that those same rulers can't be deceived by Satan.  That is most likely why God will depose them.  If you look at history, those that brought revival and led their people back to the Lord when they had strayed were blessed and, usually, had a long reign.  Those that were bad and did evil in the sight of the Lord were quickly dispensed.  And, if they had led the country away from God, the country also suffered.  That makes me think that we, as citizens, have a part to play in the grand scheme of things.

 

          Jesus gave His disciples, and us indirectly, these instructions:  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28: 18b - 20 NIV)  Are we fulfilling this today?  There have been great revivals throughout history in America.  Wouldn't it be great to see that again?  To see our country turn back from the edge of destruction where I think we are headed?  It takes a move of the Holy Spirit, but it also takes our willingness to humble ourselves before God, tell others about what Jesus means to us, and pray.

          I don't know about you, but when I first gave my life to Jesus, I was telling almost everyone I met.  But, after time goes on and we realize many don't want to hear it, our story loses that priority in our conversations.  Life goes on.  The passion fades.  We need to remember those days.  As we go through the Book of Acts, I think we'll see how the Early Church flourished because of the passion those early disciples and converts had for Jesus.  Sure, they cared for the widows and orphans, fed the hungry, and visited the prisoner, but they did this all out of the passion they had for Jesus.  They loved Jesus and loved others.  They were different.  There was a change in the way they acted, talked, and interacted with others.  And they shared the love they had for Jesus and told others about Him.

 

          Will God listen to us?  Jesus says He will.  It won't hurt us to try to live like those early disciples.  In the meantime, pray for our country, that it will stay free.  And, add an extra prayer for our farmers, they surely need it this year.  God bless.

        

Maineville United Methodist Church

60 East Foster-Maineville Road

Maineville, Ohio  45039

(513) 683-1005

mainevilleumc@gmail.com

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