Choose for Yourselves This Day…

ContemplativeMan

Until recently, I lived in a society, a culture, a nation that thrived on diversity, respect, and appreciation. But I really don’t recognize the current state of the union. America is divided more than we have ever been since the Civil War. We are at a critical juncture where each citizen must decide on where he or she stands. No one can have it both ways. We must choose for ourselves this day whom we will serve.

After the hard-fought acquisition of the promised land of Israel by God’s chosen people, their leader, Joshua, made a profound proclamation. He charged the holy nation to, “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, …but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Now in our day, God has given us Americans the greatest nation in the history of mankind. Its formation and development have been nothing short of miraculous. Its victories, bought by the blood of thousands of brave men and women, were phenomenal and won only with the hand of God.

We are now experiencing a civil-war-like divide as a movement across the nation seeks to aggressively oppose our heritage, our morals, and our freedoms. It is a movement driven by external influences and void of godly perspective. The loudest and most persuasive voices of this movement are those who aspire to the objectives of foreign religions and and governments. They are bent on making America what it has never been and was never meant to be. They want to change almost everything that made us the great nation God intended.

America has persevered through many divisive issues since its founding–the level of independence, geographic expansion, geographic separation, dependence on slavery, financial crisis, social change, and other challenges that could have torn us apart. Instead, we came together to preserve a mutual way of life more important than our individual positions. However, today, we face a different challenge that is arguably the worst yet.

Seemingly, half of our nation is siding with a domestic force that will, if successful, lead us away from almost every influence that has made ours the greatest country on earth. America is being pulled toward socialism, atheism, relativism, and globalism. Who could have imagined that one of our main two political parties would be embracing the government-centric, socialist philosophy. Who would have thought that over half of Americans who no longer consider themselves religious have excluded prayer from public entities, supported abortions, outlawed crosses, and coddled foreign gods. Who ever thought that our law enforcement and courts would be focused more on situational ethics than on biblical principles. Who foresaw the day that much of America would be kowtowing to the United Nations and advocating unlimited immigration.

Unlike other times in our history, I do not believe saner minds will prevail in our present divide. Those who would take us further from our foundational beliefs and principles will not relent. We are in an era when our conversation, our financial support, our prayers, and our votes must reflect the faith and objectives of our nation’s founders. We must not depend on compromise. We must now, “…choose for ourselves this day whom we will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

 

The Single Answer to America’s Crisis

America is in crisis. Mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton killed 32 and injured 50. In the last ten days, 46 have died and 67 have been injured by crazed men with guns. Sixty-two have died similarly so far in 2019. Then there are the riots, the hate speech, the pouring water on policemen, the vulgar rhetoric, and the chaotic politics. Solutions abound with good intention, but are unworkable. But, there is one rather simple solution that is the sole answer to this crisis.

ElPasoshooting

Champions of gun control say it will resolve everything. Others believe more restrictive legislation will save us. Maybe if we could just eliminate poverty. Or, if America would finally do something about mental illness, these killers might not reach their breaking point.

I lowered my backyard flag to half-staff on Monday as ordered by the president in mourning for those who lost their lives to these deranged murderers. Every time I look at it, I consider I am mourning for America as well as for the victims. Too many American lives are being lost in mass shootings, crimes, IMG_1749 drugs, suicides, and abortions. It has become an epidemic. No amount of legislation, gun control, mental health policies, or economic enhancements will resolve this crisis, but one thing will. And, it involves little cost or effort on our part.

The answer is simply for all of America to return to God who made our country the greatest in the history of mankind. Because we were founded on faith in God, guided by His church and the Bible, and strengthened by worship and prayer, God has blessed us and favored us as a nation. This is blatantly obvious from a casual review of our history. However, about a half-century ago, we as a nation began to fall away from the power of God and depend on our own power. That started a decline of civility that has steepened with every passing year. We are now a nation in crisis having moved so far away from God that He has virtually left us to our own evil ways.

The good news is He has shown us in His Bible and through historical observation that He will always accept the repentance of a nation and will again return a nation to His favor and protection. That necessitates a return to a culture of faith. The Bible plainly gives us the answer. If My people, who are called by my name, will 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)

What does this look like practically and on a national scale? It means moving from dependency on government to dependency on God. It means returning to a lifestyle of praying and meditating on scripture. It means getting back into church and worshiping, studying, ministering, and fellowshiping with others. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:25) It means reinstating prayer and Bible study in our public schools. It means making God part of our conversations, our news reports, our entertainment, our workplace, and our parenting.

Just this morning, I heard a news reporter say that there is not one action we can take to fix the crisis in our nation, but there are several partial solutions that we should pursue. I counter that there is in fact one action that would absolutely fix our crisis: A return to “one nation under God.” The same God who created our nation and nurtured it through two centuries desires to recover it now. It starts with each of us making a personal commitment to …choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15

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