Friday, February 22, 2013

Hope for America

     Have you ever looked at the situation in America today and thought to yourself, "Man, we're messed up," "I doubt America will ever change," or how about this one, "The US is walking on the edge of the cliff, it's only a matter of time before we fall off..." Recently some of those thoughts had been going through my mind. Last night though, I listened to a lecture by Ravi Zacharias, and as always, was immensely encouraged. The lecture was titled "Why Hope?" Ravi gave examples throughout history of how when things looked their darkest and it looked as if there was no hope, God always did something miraculous for His kingdom.

     As a historian, I firmly believe that the past holds the answers to the problems of the present. While studying the past, I have seen that every time things looked their bleakest, God always raises up Godly young men and women to do awesome things for His glory. Think about them, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah, the Apostles, Paul, Athanasius, Luther, Calvin, Joan of Arc, the Wesleys, Whitefield, Washington, the Founding Fathers, and so many others that I do not have time or space to write about. God raised them all up at just the right time, and the right place and He used them mightily to bring about the change that was needed at the time.

     What I've learned from this, is that God is in control. as Acts 17:26 tells us, "From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live." God has determined the time in which we live, He has determined the places where we live. He knows what's going on in the world and He is not taken by surprise; He is even doing something about it. For God not only predetermined when and where you would live, He also determined why. God has a plan for your life, and that plan could very well mean you're the next Whitefield, or Wilberforce, Finney, or Sunday. Whatever God's plan is for your life, He is going to use you to make a difference in this world.

     So the next time you think that there's no hope remember that God is in control, and that he has called you to be the hope. You don't need to go on some far off missions trip, you don't need to get into to politics, I mean if that's where God is calling you then great, but, we all need to start being the hope right there where we are. That's why God put us there. That's why he gave us the family He wanted us to have. That's why we were born in the country that we were. God has a plan and His in control whether it looks like it at the time or not, and though it may look like there's no hope for our nation, there is. It's you and me. And if we follow God's principles that He has laid down in His word and we disciple others to do so as well. Then we can change America. And we will be the hope our nation so desperately needs.

Solus Christus,

P.S. Want to start being the hope? Sign this petition to free American Pastor Saeed from prison in Iran.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The World's Greatest Love Story

     All month places like Amazon and Barnes&Noble have been celebrating Valentine's Day. It seems that they've dug up every book they could find on the topic of love. Interestingly, I have not seen the truly greatest love story anywhere in their lists of great love stories. It appears they have forgotten it... Well, what is this great love story they have forgotten? Is it one of Shakespeare's famous sonnets? No friend, it is not from Shakespeare, though Shakespeare quoted from it frequently. Though it is the world's greatest love story, it will not be found in any romance section of any bookstore in the world. Well then, what is this book? I tell you it is the Bible.

     The Bible is the greatest love story every written, for it is the story of God's great love for humankind.  As John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." The whole Bible is the tale of this love of God for us. From the beginning of creation to the day we turned from God and sin entered the world. From the day when God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins to the day when Christ will come to claim His "bride," the church, and take her home. It is the most glorious story of love, for what can surpass a story of a God whose creation rebels against Him and in so doing brings death to themselves and their descendants forever. Instead of crushing this rebellion and starting over, God leaves all the glory of heaven and makes himself into a man, lives a sinless life, is falsely charged as being an insurgent, and then is unjustly sentenced to death like a common criminal, then rises up from the dead three days later, all in order to save us from the wrath of God and the punishment we so justly deserve. 

     So, I want to leave you with these thoughts. As you go about your day, keep in mind God's wondrous love for you, his love so amazing that he suffered death, even death on the cross in order to be able to have a relationship with you. If you don't have a relationship with Him, would you take a few minutes right now and repent of your sins, ask God to forgive you for your sins, He will, ask Him into your heart and begin this new relationship with Him. If your already saved, do not forget to thank God today for what he has done.

Soli Deo Gloria!!