July 4, 2018

The Nation God Blesses

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 4, 2018

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. Psalm 33:12

God blesses a nation because of its prayers, not its power. He blesses a nation because of its character, not its commerce. He blesses a nation because of its trust in Him, not its advanced technology. God blesses a nation because of its fear of the Lord, and not its fear of man. God blesses a nation who loves God and expresses that love in caring for the impoverished and diseased. God blesses a nation because of His church, not the size of that nation’s economy. Prosperity may be the result of a God-fearing nation, but it is not the cause. People believe in God when they get enough of themselves and realize there has to be more to this life than simply meeting their every need. God blesses a nation when individuals gather corporately in vibrant Christian worship; and the church is God’s means to awaken a nation.

Nations who try to control the church lose God’s blessing. God’s blessing cannot be governed. Every time government intercedes to manage faith, the faithful become more marginalized. Countries that restrict church competition and rely on a state-church monopoly miss the mark. The church is meant to be released to restore the ravished character of culture. Christians are “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-14) in the midst of decayed and darkened nations. When believers gather together in a bond of love, they create a thirst for righteousness and shed light on the ways of the Lord.

Wise nations encourage competition among churches. Freedom of religion feeds faithfulness in God. God expects His church to grow and engage with the culture. This is how He changes a nation. When countries have church choices, they can compare what is best for their families. A church that drifts into irrelevance and isolation is of little concern to Satan. He wants religion to come across as ambiguous and antiquated. Churches that are alive and well serve a mighty and compassionate Christ. These types of trusting institutions make a difference in their communities. A church that is alive and growing becomes a catalyst for good things. Indeed, God blesses nations where the church is allowed to compete. Stewardship trumps entitlement. Sick churches are not kept alive by outside funding. They either change or close. God blesses nations when His bride’s worship is alive, engaging, and relevant.

Therefore, avoid churches where membership is just a status symbol. Attend church where God is loved and feared, and worship where you see the Lord high and lifted up. Soak up the teachings of the Bible that transform your life. Band together with a group of believers who are disciples and who disciple others in the faith. Choose a body of believers where the character lessons you teach your children at home converge with their small group lessons on Sunday. If church is not working for you, then pray to find one that works best in this season of life.

God blesses nations who humbly seek Him. “…if my people, who are called by my name, will 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).

 

Prayer

Dear Lord, lead us as a nation to repent and seek You, Your forgiveness and Your blessing, so we can be a blessing to other nations.

Application

What is one way can I grow in my character and become a more responsible citizen?

Related Reading

Proverbs 11:11; Jeremiah 22:2–25; Matthew 12:21; Romans 16:25–27

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God blesses a nation because of its prayers, not its power. #WisdomHunters #blessednation

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Comments

  1. Claudia McCoy says:

    I have loved reading Wisdom Hunters for years. Thank you for your time and investment into so many lives.
    While reading this morning my heart struggled to embrace this part of today’s post:
    “Wise nations encourage competition among churches.”
    I know the rest of the paragraph speaks of finding a church that fits for our family etc. Can I ask what Biblical principle or verse this is based off? I only see in scripture where we are to be united and walking together…not in competition with each other.
    Maybe I am misunderstanding the meaning.
    Thank you for all you time and wisdom over the years!!
    Humbly asking…
    Claudia

    1. Gwynne says:

      Good morning Claudia. Thank you for reaching out to us with your question. I re-read Boyd’s devotional a few times to soak in the meaning myself and appreciate your question about “church competition”.
      While I cannot speak directly for Boyd, my understanding of his use of the phase “church competition” referred to churches “competing” for our choice. We are blessed, in the free world, to have the choice of which church to attend and that choice is made possible by a selection of different churches and their “competing” ideologies. As we lean into the Holy Spirit for direction and guidance, we are able to choose a church for ourselves or our families based on the Holy Spirit’s urging.

      But even with this wonderful gift of choice in which church to attend (and it is a wonderful gift!) we must rely on the Holy Spirit in choosing. As Boyd stated “Churches that are alive and well serve a mighty and compassionate Christ.”
      We are given an example of an “unhealthy (to say the least) church in John 2:14 “In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.” John 2:16 states “To those who sold doves he said. ‘Get out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market.” Claudia, while I haven’t heard of dove-selling in our modern day churches, there have been other unhealthy examples. But the good news is we have a choice in our church home. I for one, am so very thankful for that!
      I may have not answered your question and if that is the case, I do apologize. I would love to continue our conversation, if you would like to. Please feel free to email me gwynne@wisdomhunters.com and we can continue to chat about this.
      Thank you again for taking the time to reach out to us. We are so thankful that you are part of our Wisdom Hunter’s family and look forward to hearing from you again sometime.

      Rejoicing in our country and the choices we have,
      Gwynne

      “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firly to the word I have preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”
      1 Corinthians 15:1-2


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