for February 2003
The Pastor’s Pen
delivered the State of the Union Address this past week and Americans
listened for assurances, hope and solutions.
We are grieved about AIDS, concerned about the economy, worried
about the Medicare that the seniors count on, appalled by partial-birth
abortion that violently snuffs out the life of the newborn, and of
course, anxious about the looming threat of a war against Saddam Hussein’s
is my prayer that America halts its brutal attack upon our unborn.
I believe that we are judged, not just for how we respond to
the cries we hear, but also, how we respond to the cries that cannot
be heard. It is our duty
to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
wish for a robust economy and permanent solutions to the Social Security
and Medicare shortfalls. Most
Americans under 40 don’t even expect the system to be solvent when
they reach retirement age. The
system began as a retirement emergency safety net but now is used
as a retirement plan for most Americans.
How asks the smaller Generation “X”, will we be able to support
the vast Baby Boom Generation now nearing retirement age?
As for the prospect of war with Iraq…. we all want to see a
genuine, permanent and peaceful solution.
A real solution, not a naïve, hopeful, Neville Chamberlain
type head-in-the-sand pseudo-solution, to the threat Saddam is against
peace, and the tyranny the Iraqi people suffer under his oppressive
and brutal reign. How glorious it would be if Hussein suddenly repented
and accepted Jesus Christ! What
a relief it would be if he just stepped down and went into exile.
Wishful thinking indeed.
We pray, that our young men and women in the Armed Forces will
not have to go to war. I
dread the thought of war, but if and when our country does go to war,
we must not cease to support and pray for these brave young warriors
who defend and protect us. Difficult
though it may be, costly though it may be, there comes a time when
good must stand up against evil, right must resist wrong.
Just as there is a cost for discipleship, there is a price
for freedom. The lesson
of Hitler’s Third Reich is that evil does not go away and cannot be
appeased. Hitler should
have been stopped before he murdered millions of Jews, Christians,
Poles, Russians and Gypsies.
He should have been stopped before he catapulted the world
into a world war. The
thing that is most frightening now is that modern weapons, nuclear,
chemical and biological are so frighteningly more powerful and, deadly
than the bombs and bullets of past wars.
Thanks to those who stood up and fought against King George,
the Kaiser, the Fuehrer, and the Emperor, we are a free land and the
world is a safer place. Freedom and liberty is purchased with valor
and paid for by the blood of patriots.
we Christians, we have a genuine hope greater than any man, any President,
any army, any weapon can offer.
Our hope is in the Lord.
O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth
the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all
ye that hope in the LORD. (KJV)
We are pilgrims, citizens of a Heavenly Kingdom first and foremost,
and then secondly we have our duties as citizens of our nation (Hebrews
11). So, while we work
and pray for a better America, a better world, a safer universe, let
us take consolation and confidence in the hope of our salvation, the
promise of our Savior, and the faithfulness of our God, so that we
need not be burdened with fear, anxiety, uncertainty.
2 Tim 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power,
and of love, and of a sound mind.
“Thy Kingdom come…….”
Do you know
This poplar question is asked by
many very well intended mainstream protestant Christians.
We should be able to answer with a resounding ‘YES’.
But do we really? Are
you sure? How can you make sure not only that you know Him, but that
He knows you?
Matt 7:21 "Not everyone who
says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he
who does the will of My Father in heaven.
will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in
Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in
23 "And then I will declare to them,
'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
24 "¦Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine,
and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house
on the rock:
The folks described here thought they
knew the Lord, and they thought they were doing His work, that He
knew them, but Jesus’ words are convicting.
knowing the Lord is more than lip service and more than the appearance
of religion, it is how we live our lives.
the Lord involves obedience to His law, and seeking His way instead
of being self-willed. Knowing
the Lord is making James instructions about pure religion our way
“Pure and undefiled religion before
God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune
and to keep oneself unstained by the world”.
Notice this is more than just academic knowledge
about God; this is knowledge in action, doing good, helping others
– while obeying God’s perfect and holy law. James’s instruction has two parts – one is the doing of good
to other (very much like what Jesus described in the Beatitudes),
the other part of James’s instructions involves keeping our selves
unstained. We accomplish
this be keeping God’s laws, and not allowing ourselves to be caught
up in the secularism and paganism of the world. Do you know the
Lord? He knows His sheep!
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