Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 4, 2017
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:7-8
Will we follow the faith of our nation’s founding fathers or will we cower to the smug elites who delight in satirizing our faith in Christ? Better to become like our leaders who made America great by their goodness, great by their gumption and great by their love of country—than be shamed by those who deride religion as a sham. Our pluralistic society can experience a unified spirit with humility, respect for one another and faith in Holy God.
Our nation’s soul is experiencing a crisis of faith in God. Once a God-fearing country, we have traded our faith in the Almighty for faith in ourselves. Once a country of engaging neighbors, we have isolated our homes from human contact and snuggled up by ourselves with our phones. When we do interact with people, we talk about the nasty other people. Can we let go of the need to feel superior and instead respect those different from ourselves? The Lord’s love is long-suffering toward all, so can we give up the self-serving sport of cowardly name calling? Love is patient.
The writer of Hebrews gives us a solution to those who seek our culture’s systemic extermination of faith in God. Consider the outcomes of the lives of the faithful who went before us; faith that took the gospel of Jesus Christ all across this great land, so love of God and love of fellow man became as common as a chicken in every pot. Faith that fought for freedom at home and abroad. Faith that pioneered space exploration, railroads, interstates and air travel. Faith that survived a depression and multiple recessions. Faith that embraced religious liberty and racial equality.
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose” (Philippians 2:1-2).
Most of all we need faith in Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday and today and forever. Christ is the only constant who never disappoints but surprises us with His joy. The joy of our salvation in Him. The joy of our strength from Him. The joy of our forgiveness He modeled on the cross. When Jesus Christ is lifted up within a confused culture, He brings clarity of purpose. When Christ is central in a polarized government, He brings reconciliation. When Jesus is a friend to those who have hurt each other, He brings healing. The constant grace of Christ is our constant.
If we can survive a Civil War, by God’s grace we can survive a civil cultural war. But if we continue to be uncivil in our discourse and treatment of each other, the foundation of our nation’s faith in God will continue to crumble. Will you become part of the solution by praying for those who treat you with disdain? Will you seek to serve others, instead of demanding to be served? And will you examine your heart and honestly ask if you have surrendered your life to faith in God through Jesus Christ? We can thrive united or we can barely survive divided.
Nations who respect faith in God experience His favor, but those who thumb their nose at their need for a Savior experience the Lord’s discipline. Faith unites us around our Savior Jesus!
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32).
PrayerHeavenly Father, unite us around faith in You, so we might work together in Your name, in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
ApplicationWho can I befriend who is not a friend of God?
Related ReadingPsalm 133:1; John 17:23; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Romans 15:5-8; Colossians 2:2
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