Last week I said:
Do you think it possible that God has pulled back to test the hearts of His children? To show us just how lax we’ve become to righteousness? Or perhaps it is to spur us to intrepid prayer for our country, to humble ourselves, to align our hearts with His purpose. Or perhaps it is so that some of these politicians and pundits and top officials to repent after their deeds have been exposed.
Do you think Believers in Jesus have become lax in their righteousness? Perhaps we are becoming the church at Sardis (Revelation 3).
Perhaps it isn’t that true believers have become lax. Perhaps it is that there are so few of us around. George Barna Group and Pew Research had survey results suggesting 95% of all Americans believed there is God and that most Americans identify themselves Christian (73% in 2016). As we know from Scripture, believing there is God isn’t enough for salvation.
So if most identify as Christian, why isn’t our country in a better state of affairs?
Barna Group gathered information for a year (2016) on the health of Christ’s body, the Church. Findings are not so encouraging (this is an eye opening survey):
Americans are attending church less, and more people are experiencing and practicing their faith outside of its four walls. Millennials in particular are coming of age at a time of great skepticism and cynicism toward institutions—particularly the church. Add to this the broader secularizing trend in American culture, and a growing antagonism toward faith claims, and these are uncertain times for the U.S. church.
Do you know why this is? I believe the truth can be found in an earlier survey by Barna Group that found most American Christians do not believe there is a real Satan and a real Holy Spirit. Most American Christians do not read the Bible regularly, and most do not participate (or volunteer) in ministry.
If you walk past the age-old government buildings of the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, the foyer of the C.I.A, and just about all the old buildings, you’ll find Bible verses and statues of Moses with the Ten Commandments, our country’s motto: In God We Trust. The Constitution was built on biblical principles and God-given rights.Our forefathers not only believed in God, they believed God, and lived righteously fully conscience of the legacy they were building for this nation.
Where have we gone with our love for Jesus? Today, do true believers seek pleasure and the easiest road to follow because life is too hard to bear? Is commitment to living for Jesus as unimportant nowadays as commitment to marriage and raising our children in the Lord?
And here is a puzzle that I cannot seem to wrap my mind around, but it is true to the core, I can lose happiness and be sad but I have not lost my joy because I know that my joy comes from the Lord.
I can be depressed but I have not lost my joy. Despair flees because of my joy.
I have not lost my joy because I am so confident that He loves me. There is my complete pleasure, and full appreciation of what pleasure really is.
And because He is love,
I understand love better.
Because I understand love better,
I can live a more pleasing life to Him.
Living a pleasing life to Him gives me more joy..
More joy gives me more pleasure even when I am sad; and this all stems from my firm foundation in Him.
Without Him I would have no clue what pleasure actually is.
Isn't that an astounding thought? Selah.
Here on earth we true believers have an inkling of what it will be like in Heaven and because of that clue, we should yearn more for Him and our dissatisfaction should not come from lack of earthly things but from lack of having a closer relationship with Him.
The closer I get to Him the more I want Him, the more I want Him, the more I love Him. The more I love Him the greater is my desire to please Him.
All of this started from His first loving me. Selah. While I was wicked and filthy, He loved me.While you were wicked and filthy, He loved you!
Our pleasure is a direct gift from God and is derived from abiding in Him as He abides in us. That is my heart attitude, and I pray it is yours as well, and there is no place for a splinter to come between us.
Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who is seated on the throne, saying: Amen! Hallelujah!5 A voice came from the throne, saying: Praise our God, all you His servants, you who fear Him, both small and great! 6 Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying: Hallelujah because our Lord God, the Almighty, has begun to reign! 7 Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself. 8 She was permitted to wear fine linen, bright and pure. For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.9 Then he said to me, "Write: Blessed are those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb!" He also said to me, "These words of God are true." 17 Both the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" Anyone who hears should say, "Come!" And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift. Revelation 19
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