Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 1, 2018
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust. Feet trample it down— the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor. Isaiah 26:1-6
I love our nation, but I do not love the path of self-destruction we currently travel. Like a married couple who has drifted from the original intent of their vows under God, so our country frantically cuts deals with the devil to save our confused soul. The purpose of our once great nation has been perverted by political expedience, arrogant intellectuals and apathetic Christians. I am a positive person, but so much of our culture has gone negative, while the good news of the gospel of Jesus patiently waits to be proclaimed. Purpose and peace come from trust in the Lord.
The prophet Isaiah reminded Israel of the cultural crossroads they faced. Would they travel the unrighteous road, where the worship of gold, power and prestige was idolized or would they take the less traveled road of righteousness, where God, character and community are celebrated? Jerusalem was the city of David that enjoyed the Lord’s favor, and now through Christ, we are citizens of the City of God–His Kingdom. Our King of Kings calls us to a higher purpose of humility, faith and righteousness—we keep the faith when our hearts and minds trust the Lord.
“Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:7).
God’s greater purpose of love and forgiveness is able to open relational doors slammed shut by angry interest groups unable to find common ground. If we start the conversation with, “how can we work together for the common good”, we have a much higher probability of moving forward with a goal to do what’s best for our country. Self-serving agendas are replaced with other-centered concerns and short-term expediency is replaced with long-term solutions. A greater God given purpose requires those in power not to ignore the minority, but to engage with good faith.
The Lord’s peace waits to extinguish our national anxieties, if we are willing to repent of our sins of pride, selfishness and greed, while trusting Him with our present problems and future opportunities. America will only become great again to the extent we make God great again. As followers of Jesus, we start by raising our banner of belief in our homes and communities. We keep the faith, as we live out our faith in serving the poor, sharing the gospel, being hospitable, giving generously and building friendships with those who are different. Lasting peace flows from faith in God, so ask Him how you can promote His purposes and be a part of the solution.
“If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea” (Isaiah 48:18).
PrayerHeavenly Father, convict us of our pride and give us the courage to make You great again, so our country can become great again, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationWhere is the Lord calling me to grow a new friendship with someone different than myself to carry out His purposes?
Related ReadingPsalm 85:8; Isaiah 16:5, 32:17; Jeremiah 23:5; Acts 13:36; Romans 8:28
Post/Tweet todayAmerica will only become great again, to the extent we make God great again. #wisdomhunters #God'spurpose
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