Healing our wound…

“Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors…” Isaiah 1:9

Yesterday’s headlined news story was a second day “in infamy” for our nation. The story was how we had a national day of mourning for the loss of life ten years ago, on our soil. All day the TV ran unfolding stories of the tragedy and heroism that occurred. Commentators compared 9-11 to Pearl Harbor. Aside from the surprise attack, these two events cannot be compared. The Pearl Harbor story has an ending with the total defeat of the Japanese empire and the totalitarian German government. We healing for the wound of Pearl Harbor in the victory of WW II. Pearl Harbor was avenged. But what about 9-11 … Where is the closure? Where is the victory? Sure we killed Bin Laden but we still have 100,000 spread out on various foreign soils being exposed to acts of deadly force. Peace has become elusive for us. The story of 9-11 is not ended.

Watching the news events unfold yesterday once again affirmed to me that we have lost our moorings as a nation. With a double mind we contemptuously throw God out of the public affairs and then ask for His protection and blessing in times of national need. We commit national fraud by denying Christian prayers or symbols in schools or government lands but then invoke the name of this same Christian God to help us heal. We watch our Presidents ask for God’s blessing today while tomorrow supporting laws that hinder His name being invoked in governmental sanctioned places. Are we insane? If this God whose name we keep invoking is real, then He is making the same assessment … that we are insane.  With our own flimsy resources we build wall and then white wash them. We cry peace but there is no peace. We reject this God’s authority so we can live as we please, seeking comfort and love without the truth. This is the stuff that fairy tales; we have become a nation believing in fairy tales.

But wait! We are just at the good part of the story. In every story there is a hero. This same Christian God is none other than the Hero Jesus Christ and His remnant in this rebellious nation who have not bended the knee to the god of rebellion. To many citizens, Jesus is a stone in their path that they trip over and kick out-of-the-way. But to the remnant this stone is the Rock. They have discovered that He alone is the Source of all comfort and love. They live by His Truth.

Yesterday was a day of mourning for us as a nation “under God.” Today, one day later, we move forward as a nation not under God, on a war footing with no peace in sight. God warrior saints; that is His remnant. This is a small band of Hero followers, equipped for victory. Gideon thought that he needed an army of 32,000 but his Commander ordered a reduction in arms. Gideon obeyed [it was an insane military move] and ended up with a force of 300 and that was enough. Gideon’s remnant received the  applause for success but it was the Hero who won the victory. Today there is a rag-tag remnant in our nation. They are obediently expanding the Kingdom of God in their own lives. The Hero’s prayer finds fulfillment as His people in the remnant learn obedience; others see the Hero and obey His call. The final victory is not in the weapons of war but in the salt and light of the remnant.

Advertisements

What I can take with me when I die!

They tell me that I cannot take anything with me when I die.  All of my possessions: my bank accounts, my stocks and bonds, my retirement funds,  my real estate, my cars, my toys, my furniture, my books, my art work … all of this stuff is left behind.  Once I am dead, I will lose control over every earthly possession that I call mine.  When I die my stuff becomes the property of others.  The people left behind get to do what they want, as they want, and when they want with my stuff.  It is plain for anyone to see “…that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others.”

It is apparent that I have no control on my stuff.  It is also apparent that I have no control on my life.  I am exactly one heartbeat away from eternity.  I can do nothing that will absolutely control the length of my duration here on earth.  In the Bible God tells people that when He decides to:”…take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.”  One of the wisest men in the world said after years of study that there is “…a time to be born and a time to die…”

If I am buried in a cemetery plot with a headstone, who cares?  Who is going to visit?  The next  generation in my family line will not visit because they [1] will not have time and [2] I am not there so what is the point?  Headstones do not carry on conversations!  They are cold and impersonal.

They tell me that I cannot take anything with me when I die.  If this life is all there is then we are more miserable than any animal.  Jesus said “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”  It is true; there is nothing tangible that I can take with me. But I can add to the inheritance that Jesus has provided me. Those people that I have taken the time to introduce to the Lord Jesus; those people that I have mentored walked the road with; those who have decided to follow Jesus because of my walk and talk … they are the inheritance I am building.  “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” 

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps%2049:10&version=NIV