I had been overly busy the past few days, and didn't really take the time to sit down and watch any news, either local or national. Oh yea, I get the "headline" items via Twitter feeds from major news outlets, but have paid little to any attention over the past couple of days. So this morning, as I sat drinking some coffee, and watching the early morning news shows, I actually got to catch up on some things making the media buzz. As I listened and watched, I wasn't shocked as some might say, but I think disgusted is a far better word to use, especially for those who represent us on a national level. Now, before I elaborate further, whether you voted for "them" or not does not determine whether they are your congressperson, president, or any other respresentative, at any level of government. As much as we might like that to be the case, it isn't, regardless of how many times you remind others that you didn't support them! So bear that in mind as you read. All the more today though, the headlines are so troubling, disheartening even. What in the world has happened!? Why are we seeing all this craziness, more and more day in and day out?
You may or may not know that we are going through the Bible, "book by book" on Wednesday evenings at McHenry FBC. This is an "overview" study of each book, with insights and other tidbits of information about the book, it's author, the time period, and other events going on in the world at the time. It is very interesting, especially for me, as I dig into additional sources for even more information to share. We began Deuteronomy this week, and I shared with our group that it was really eye opening to look at the young nation of Israel like we are doing, and see the almost crystal clear correlation we share with them today. Now I am no seminary-educated pastor, nor a learned theologian by any stretch of the word. I do plan to pursue more education in the coming months, but at this point, all I have is my "Master's degree". (The Master called, and I responded.) But look, you don't have to be a pastor, have a seminary or other degree, or meet any other requirements, to read and understand God's word! He designed it that way, so people just like me, could easily read it and know beyond all doubt that: He (God) created me and everything else; that He (God) loves me no matter what has transpired in my life; that sin is a problem that comes with a death sentence; and that He (God) gave Himself (Jesus) to take the penalty for my sin and make it possible for me to be redeemed, escape that death sentence, and live forever through His (God's) grace and mercy! That is the GREAT NEWS we call the gospel! That my friends, is God's Headline News! And please let me say that it is as true for you...yes, YOU, as it is for me and anyone else, bar none! God doesn't really care what degree you may or may not hold, just like it doesn't matter what walk of life you may come from, where that walk has taken you thus far, what color your skin is, nor what language you speak! Let me say this one more time! There are two biblical words that you need to know. WHOSOEVER and ALL. That is who God has extended His love to, went to the cross for, and has extended the free gift of eternal life to! Not Baptist or Episcopalian. Not Catholic or Protestant. Not even Democrat or Republican! WHOSOEVER and ALL...period! Nobody is excluded from that offer folks, nobody! So, as you consider that, let me return to the original questions, which are: What in the world has happened!? Why are we seeing all this craziness, more and more day in and day out? The OT is relevant folks. It is not to be dismissed with the New Covenant the Lord established! Remember, ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. So, let's use it for that right quick!
As we dove into Deuteronomy, remembering all the correlations we drew from Genesis through Numbers, we found even more. You see, the young nation had endured much in the near 40 years now since the Exodus. Much like a "new Christian", we have seen the struggles the people dealt with. Some did appropriately, while others did not. Man, did that strike a nerve or what!? Those who remained faithful, and continued to look to the Lord their God, were blessed, and are now camped in the Plains of Moab, about to cross the Jordan River, and move into the Promised Land. Those who did not, well simply put, they were allowed to die, and will not be "crossing over". In fact, the two most influential of them all, will not cross over. Do Christians, pastors and leads too, make mistakes? Absolutely. Are they perfect...is anyone for that matter? Absolutely not! But as we plainly see, the nations of the earth, including those whom God has deemed "His chosen people", have all made mistakes, and they all have suffered for them. What I want you to see today is WHAT HAS HAPPENED, and the very simple, straight-forward reason, that we are seeing all this craziness in the US, and around the world today. It is spelled out for us in Deuteronomy 11. Check this out: 26 “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known." Wow...right there all along, and we continue to search for all these other reasons that all this wickedness continues to befall us. America has turned away, and pursued other gods. Now you can say what you wish, but the fact remains that we have. I heard a radio show on AFR this week, and while I didn;t catch the commentator's name, I did catch part of his message. He said that basically, one of the primary reasons we have so many murders, all the theft, the rampant adultery, and other wicked things that plague us as a nation, is because we have removed the Ten Commandments from our schools. Children do not learn "Thou shall not: steal, lie, kill, covet, commit adultery, or have any other gods before Me" any longer! So, if they do not know that God said "Thou shall not"...they do. Man, a plain and simple message that slaps you in the face.
So, ask yourself this. Are we blessed? Or, are we cursed today? What about you? Are you blessed, or cursed? And the elephant in the room is right there for all to see... What are you going to do about it? I would encourage all, just as Peter did, to repent and be saved now while you still can. Time is running out, and the clock continues to tick... tick... tick... God, please help us to continue to spread the good news of your love! Thanks for reading, and if I can help you in some way, drop me a line! PW