We are in week THREE of a very relevant study about our current situation in America, and the world...
And WHAT OUR RESPONSE AS CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE!
I have personally seen and heard comments and opinions from friends, at work, and especially on Social Media...Concerning what our attitudes and actions should be in response to the MANY CURRENT EVENTS which surround us in this crazy year in which we are living! And what I have noticed...
What is MOST frustrating and disheartening...Is the vast majority of the comments and opinions about our role as Christians in all of this... ARE EXACTLY THAT... PERSONAL OPINIONS!!! Opinions based upon very fragmented knowledge of Scriptures and God's Character... Opinions based upon INDIVIDUAL WANTS, BELIEFS AND THOUGHTS... I have seen just about every angle of view and argument being justified by God and His Word... Much of the time... Selfishly and inappropriately!
After last week's call to be strong and vigilant for Christ in these crazy times, I knew even then, God would have me to follow such a lesson with what we will discuss today. I can tell many of you truly feel the urgency of our times; genuinely accepting the call God has placed on our generation. You are ready to change, ready to step up, ready to act. The next thing for us to consider together is simply—how? What does God practically want us to do next? What is our mission in these times? How do we respond to the chaos or the Karios around us? Literally and specifically?
We are living in unprecedented times in this country. Times where everyone has their own version of truth. Times where freedom has become an abused word to mask hatred, selfishness and sometimes even anarchy in many ways. Times when many, even in God's Name, are calling good bad and bad good. Times when everyone is pursuing their own way, their own wants, at any cost, and if you dare to even disagree you are to be quickly labeled and silenced at best.
I've had this lesson on my mind for three weeks! Today we will glean from a story about one of the greatest kings in Judah, other than David... Josiah! Because his story reveals a powerful, relevant message to the time and place in which we find ourselves today!
Memorial Day is best known for being the unofficial first day of Summer! And many often miss reflecting on the whole reason for the National Holiday! Some are not even exactly aware of what this Day stands for! Memorial Day is NOT the day we honor our Veterans around us... Though there is never a wrong day to do so! Memorial Day, is the Day we set aside to remember and honor those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice... Given their lives... Dying in protection of their loved ones and this Country's Freedom! An estimated 1,320,000 in our Country's History thus far! It's a time to be mindful of their lives never lived out...Of their families' lives lived with a hollow place in their hearts...
Mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children...So we could stand here today... Free, happy and comfortable!
In case you haven't noticed, our world has gone nuts. We are facing drug addiction across the nation as never before.
Leaving a wake of destroyed lives, families and communities. According to the CDC, suicide rates in the U.S. have begun a steady yearly increase and have increased over 35% since 1999. 1 The combined effect of these two issues has been so impacting. They have literally decreased the average life expectancy in America for the last three years, after a steady rise previously. 2 We are facing political division in this country that has reached a frenzy of unrest. Some worrying of another Civil War if it continues progressing. Hate crimes have seen a massive increase in the past several years, from race, to religion to sexual orientation. The Coronavirus has struck the world, changing life as we have known it for months, and much to come. Racial tension and rioting have reached new levels which are unparalleled in our lifetimes. Christians are being viewed more and more as bigoted, villainous, hate groups against society. Many of us are confused, angry, worried about what the future holds, blaming our issues on bad government or on certain political groups, even certain nationalities. Many are wishing we were living in different times, or they're just holding on, waiting for the craziness to pass by.
One main source of struggle and confusion almost every Christian faces today is in how to hear the Voice of God. Many feel God would never talk to them; many falsely use God's Name to get what they want (God said..."); many follow their own desires, thinking it must be God because their heart so desires it; many simply think the days of God speaking to us individually are long since gone—and that God's Voice was for Biblical times, before we had His Word. So, in all of our questions about God's Voice, our starting place must obviously be to determine once and for all that God does still speak today because it would be a waste of time to try and hear Someone we do not believe is even speaking, or Someone we don't believe wants to speak to us especially.
The last two months have been a time unlike any other in the lives of everyone living today. And even after all we have already seen and been through, there is still a complete uncertainty for what the future holds. How great will the toll become before the virus subsides? How long before we find a vaccination? An effective treatment? Will there be another major wave? What kind of risk will this virus pose perpetually from this point? What will be the affects to our economy? Retirement? World relations? Others who may be here today, or watching live stream have such heart-breaking situations in their lives that the Corona Virus seems simple and distant: death, divorce, sickness, poverty. Whatever the crisis is in your life which may be bringing you to the edge of depression and overwhelming anxiety, my hope is that you will allow God's Word to powerfully speak to your heart and mind today.
A few weeks ago... We focused on issues that MEN ALONE are facing in this world!
And looked at God's Design for how men, and fathers are to answer their calling from God...Regardless of the pressures, trends or beliefs of the fallen world around us!
Today, for God’s Glory… And request from several people... This Mother's Day... We will do the same for the ladies! Because YOU, ladies... Need to know... There is NOT a more precious, valuable, powerful force on this earth... Than that of a woman! And it is my goal... My duty before God...
To help you see that worth... And answer that calling!
Just before we began our Quarantine, we completed a 2-week study about how to Sanctify ourselves (set ourselves apart for serving God), recognizing many of the things we have accepted in our daily lives, which in actuality, are sin in God's Word. Hopefully you were honest with yourselves about some of the things in our lives which we never recognized as sin, or simply avoided dealing with as sin. But if you are like most, recognizing the sin is only the first, very small step. Many, many Christians have at least one thing in their lives which goes beyond a temptation to an outright constant battle. Even worse, sometimes a "full-blown, bags packed, moved into the house" habitual sin that is always with you. One you have become stuck in, maybe for months or years, surrendering to simply living with, constantly defeated by; that one you vow every other day to never fall into again, only to fall again, in deeper shame and estrangement from God! Well, take heart: even the Apostle Paul clearly understood your pain: Romans 7:15, 18-19.
So, how do we beat this kind of sin? Can we ever expect to beat this kind of sin? Yes you can!
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