Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Michael for “Altruistico” August 18, 2015 @ https://altruistico.wordpress.com
Every Day is Election Day for the Christian
Our text today has a profound message for the Christian. Our true salvation and security does not come from Washington DC. It is not dependent on who is in the White House and some political office.
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
Next year, November 2016, Americans are going to elect a president that will lead our country for the next four years. All elections are important, but they are in the past and they had a important part in bringing our nation to its present condition.
- This coming election, too, is important; especially because of the great threat our world is facing and because it is in such unsettling times.
There is much at stake. Our nation for many years has been moving further and further away from the biblical principles on which is was founded and which made it the most powerful nation in the world.
At stake is the advancement of the Devil’s agenda for the destruction of this country.
What is at stake in our nation is the advancement of the agenda of those who have made the murder of innocent unborn children legal and socially acceptable.
At stake is the advancement of the Devil’s agenda of bringing homosexual behavior to the point of being fully accepted not only in our society, but in churches as well.
At stake is the future of our children. Who are being bombarded by the those of the homosexual community who have taken over our schools, our courts and government. Yes, I did not say they were trying to take them over….they have already won these institutions.
America is in fact fast becoming the rebirth of Sodom and Gomorrah. No nation or civilization has lasted that allowed homosexuality (and gay marriage) to become part of its society. God said He would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah if only then righteous people could be found. That shows the influence of Christians on their nation. Lot lost most of his family…and that shows the destructive influence this gross sin has even on the families of the righteous.
I encourage you to go to the polls in 2016 and vote the way God directs us in His word to vote. Vote for those who best reflect the morality and principles of God who Created us.
But our text today has a profound message for the Christian. Our true salvation and security does not come from Washington DC. It is not dependent on who is in the White House and some political office. Yes, it is important to have those in public office who are moral, decent God-fearing persons and we pray that they will be the one’s who govern us….but sadly those kind of people rarely get elected. The immoral times we live in is reflected in the immoral leaders that have been elected. Our government is full of openly homosexual people.
How then does God instruct us?
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
I. What is more important…..a Christian president or you as a child of God living a godly life? Each of us here today is voting everyday of our lives……we are voting for righteousness and for the Lord…..or we are voting for Satan. Our vote either honors God or it honors Satan.
A. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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).
B. What does that verse say will bring the blessings of God?
- 1. “If my people.” Who are “my” people?
- 2. God answers His question. “Which are called by my name.”
- 3. How many of us here call ourselves “Christians?”
- 4. What does the name Christian mean? It means those who identify themselves with Jesus the Christ….God incarnate in the flesh, our Savior, our Lord and our God.
- 5. Certainly this passage is addressing those who call themselves Christians.
C. The verse presents three promises of God.
- 1. He promises to “….hear from heaven”
- 2. He promises to “….forgive their sins.”
- 3. He promises to ” ….heal their land”
D. Dear friends do not we today, in this land, and in this church, and in our families, and in our personal lives….need God to hear us? Do we need God’s forgiveness? Do we not need our land to be healed?
E. I want also to point out that when God offers us His blessings it is always because we have a need…..and He is offering to help us, to take our burden, to bless us. Further with the offer of His good blessing there is always qualifications for receiving the blessings.
- 1. God cannot bless error, nor sin, nor those who ignore Him and will not live by faith. Hebrews 11:6 plainly states it is impossible to please God without faith.
- 2. What faith? A faith that daily lives for the Lord. A faith that produces faithfulness in our lives. A faith that gets us to church, a faith that longs to express itself in worship and thanksgiving to the Lord for all He has done for us. It is a faith that controls our mouths, that orders our steps. It is a faith that takes the God given responsibility to raise our children to love the Lord. It is a faith that rejects worldliness and worldly pursuits that rob us of giving God His place in our lives.
II. What are the conditions God states for giving His blessings?
A. God says “If we will humble ourselves…” The presence of humility in a believer’s life is the heart and soul his being able to live the good and wonderful life God has ordained for us.
1. Oh what pain and heartache the believer bears who will not submit themselves humbly to the Lord.
2. How many professing Christians are in a constant war with God? Knowing what is right…yet fighting with God, trying to justify our sins and unfaithfulness.
3. How many professing Christians are miserable because there is unconfessed sin in their lives. Sin that separates us from the peace and joy of knowing God. To proud to repent as 1 John 1:9 says and admit our sins to the Lord and ask Him to remove them from us.
4. How many folks in churches are too proud to forgive others. The importance of forgiveness is clearly emphasized in the Model Prayer the Lord gave His disciples. Jesus said to forgive others their trespasses against us…just like God has forgiven the believer. He also said….if we refused, He could not forgive us. What should we forgive….what trespasses….all of them without exception.
5. What a wonderful thing it is to be as peace with others….to hold no grudges, to put aside bitterness and anguish. To have the darkness of an unforgiving spirit be removed. When we forgive, turn the matter over to the Lord…it is like a fresh summer breeze that invigorates and lifts our spirits
B. If my people will pray.
1. James 4:2-3 says “. . . yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
2. Living by faith means being dependent on God. Being dependent on God means consulting Him daily as we live our lives. It means to involve Him moment by moment in all we do.
3. It means expressing our thanksgiving to the Lord for thanking Him constantly for His suffering and sacrifice for us. How calloused we can be….living without having a grateful heart and expressing it to the Lord.
4. How foolish we are too…in that we do not ask for God’s help. We go about our business in our own self sufficiency ignoring God. This results then in God not being able to strengthen and help us…..we rob ourselves of His blessing and then cry and blame God for not helping us…..when the problem is not with God but with us.
5. What a wonderful thing it is to live praying always to God as 1 Thessalonians 5:17“Pray without ceasing.”
D. “…if will seek my face” This is not simply rhetoric. What does it mean to “seek God’s face.”
1. This is stated in the New Testament also. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1–2).
2. When you see someone’s face you are standing in front of them. It means you are in their presence. It means they are looking at you and you have their attention.
3. In Revelation 22: 4-5 God gives us a glimpse of the future heaven He has promised to those who believe in Him. The passage says, “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
4. It means to be able to stand unashamed in the present of God in all His righteousness and holiness.
1: I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
E. ” and turn from their wicked ways.”
- 1. We want to gloss over sin. Often we try to justify our unfaithfulness to the Lord.
- 2. We make all kinds of excuses as to why we allow sin in our lives.
- 3. We often read this passage and say to ourselves that we are not wicked….because this refers to gross sins. But dear friend…it that really what it means?
- 4. It is not wicked to leave God out of our daily lives. It is not wicked to shun worship. It is not wicked to take His day, Sunday, a day of worship and spend it like the world does.
- 5. Is it not wicked when there is little or no difference in our lives than the lost around us.
- 6. What a joy to be in fellowship with the Lord. What a peace comes from being reconciled to Him. What an example we are for the Lord in our families, church and neighbors when we turn from wickedness unto godly faithful living.Conclusion: God’s sure promises.
A. How many of us here really want God to hear us, forgive our sins and heal our land.
B. How many here are tired of the Devil’s substitutes. How many are tired of being miserable inside, in constant conflict with ourselves and those around us.
1. How many of us want the peace and joy of our salvation?
2. How many of us want to see our children, our families, our neighbors saved and living for the Lord?
C. God’s promises are sure. He our God and Creator has told us the way to peace and to live the best life we can.
- 1. Do we believe Him?
- 2. Do we really want His blessings?
- 3. The choice is ours.
D. God puts the conditions on His blessing because He will not violate our wills. He will not force Himself on us, nor make us live good and godly lives. He wants it for us….He died on the cross to make it available to us….but He will not force you or me to do right.
E. If God spoke in a audible voice to you this morning. If He beckoned you to turn wholly to Him….to turn in repentance to serving Him…would you do it.
- Do you believe I have preached this passage correctly? I will answer the question myself….. YES absolutely. God has spoken here this morning.