The second and most famous paragraph from our nation’s birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
For the Christian what does happiness mean? I doubt that most know the Biblical answer. Jesus said:
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:7-9)
Can you imagine a Christian life happier than one that is filled with love and mercy, purity and peace? I can’t!
Here is the secret in the Christian life to all that we are seeking. All the books that have been written since Jesus preached this precious sermon have fallen short of our Lord’s words. Why is that?
First, we as Christians usually don’t want to be merciful. We love our grudges and gripes against others.
Second, we as Christians usually don’t want purity. We love our worldly things even when we know they do not glorify God and are in opposition to His Word.
Third, and for me most important, we as Christians usually don’t want peace. We love our wars and battles and for far too many in the “family values” arena this war is a cash cow. I’m not saying we should not fight evil but we should fight to win and our ultimate goal must be peace.
How is it that we who receive God’s mercy do not freely give it? We forget what we have been given and what we remember we are stingy with. The Apostle Paul teaches us about Christ’s wonderful grace towards and in us:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)
How is it that we forsake heavenly purity for earthly filth? We love our sins and hold onto them dearly, not trusting the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Did you even know the Word of God can cleanse us? Remember this?
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:1-8)
Beloved you and I are not clean because we are not abiding in the Holy Word our Precious Lord left us. And when we do not live a merciful and pure life, peace is not attainable. Why? Because we are at war with God and not only that, we do not want to have to pay the price Jesus said it would cost us to follow Him:
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)
Beloved, everything we need to live the Christian life the way Christ means it to be is available to you and me right now. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, if you are surrendered to His Will and are allowing the Holy Spirit preeminence in your life, then blessed are you.
The problems of America are the fault of the church. It’s not the evil Democrats, leftists, statists, liberals, whatever boogey man, real or imagined. It is we the people of the Lord Jesus Christ who have forsaken our first love and fallen so low as to be unrecognizable to heaven and an eyesore to the world:
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:4-5)
“Unless you repent.”
Will we? Will we return to our first love for the Lord Jesus Christ? Will we remember from what heights we have fallen? Will we do the first works?
If we won’t then this world will swallow us up. The symptoms are already surrounding us in the form of the evil Democrats, leftists, statists, liberals, whatever boogey man, real or imagined.
Oh but beloved if we will repent and be restored then we can be revived. Will that stop the judgment of God from coming upon America? I don’t know if it will or not, but I do know that it can.
What it will certainly do is cause us to stop being in love with the world and be in love with Jesus.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers
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