Updated: Oct 1
This photo is thought provoking.
John 3:19 (AMPC) says:
“The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.”
Evil is the word “live” backwards. It wastes time, energy, money, and blood. It is senseless. Evil unravels life instead of building it up. It causes problems instead of solving them. It is confusing instead of clear. It is the opposite of love and leaves people feeling empty.
The building in the background is being restored at the top. Are you into restoration or destruction? This attitude starts within our own hearts and minds and works its way out into the natural world, affecting others.
The cross is the symbol which reminds us God sent Jesus Christ into the world to redeem us, to restore us, to forgive us, and to reconcile us. We are not to squander this gift by electively sinning. When we turn toward God instead of away from Him, when we understand both His Word and His good heart, then we are enabled by Him to rebuild the ruined cities. When Jesus stood up to reveal Who He was (and is) to the world, He quoted this passage from the Old Testament:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.”
This is found in Isaiah 61:1-4 (AMPC). Jesus fulfills both the Law and the Prophets. Lives and nations built upon His foundations prosper due to God’s great blessing: “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house" (Matt 5:13-15).
We are an openly Christian nation.
Sin and evil are coming on strong against us, but like that cross at ground zero, God will never be defeated. Christ has risen from the dead. We will rebuild beautiful things from ashes, if necessary. But ruination is our option since Christ came ~ sin is entirely unnecessary, in other words. We could be smarter and more humble. We could simply realize God is real and the Bible is still true. We could demote ourselves and lift up God. We could choose to revert the downward spiral and not be so selfish and negative. We could actually just be still and listen to the voice of God and live a blessed life.
It seems odd to state the obvious, but obviously we need to… We do not get to play God and kill babies and call it “health” “care.” We do not get to celebrate sin for a full month in the middle of a plague and distort the symbol of the rainbow. We could instead lift our hands up and bend a knee to the Lord of All. This gives us Wisdom. God is a God of hope and good surprises. Victories can spring up for a faithful nation faster and swifter than any evil can.
The English Translation of Proverbs 15:15 from the Septuagint by Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton (1851) says: “The eyes of the wicked are always looking for evil things, but the good are always quiet (meaning peaceful of soul and act).”
Always, and always. In other words...
The days of the evil are evil. The days of the good are good.
The days of the new are new.
These statements tell us, positive change happens on the inside first. The spirit is healed first. The spirit makes sense first. The spirit envisions beauty first. Our relationships prosper inside first.
"If My people, who are called by My name, shall 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 (KJ21)
What is the state of your soul? Is it thriving in poison? Likely not. Is it thriving in the Word of God like medicine and health to your bones? Probably, yes.
The Word is essential to a life worth living.
So today, make a determined choice: What are you looking for? Because, this is what you will find. The AMPC version of Proverbs 15:15 reads:
“All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].”
Despondency means to lose the courage to act due to the consequence of a loss of hope or of deep calamity (baptism) from difficulties deemed insurmountable; sinking, as it were, into dejection; and, despairing with depression of spirits (adapted from Noah Webster’s 1828).
Foreboding, broken down, means to predict (i.e., foretell, foreshadow, foresee). It is a secret sense of something occurring in the future. “Bode” means to stop. Foreboding literally means to stop before you get there; to be blind before you see. This is the result of hopelessness. Noah states, “Our vices bode evil to the country” in which we lived. This means our individual sin spills over and pollutes the land. Christ alone cleans that up from the inside out ~ soul by soul, nation by nation. The good news of the Gospel is:
God wishes all men to be saved.
He welcomes those who come to Him with a contrite heart.
"For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth. For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus." ~ 1 Timothy 2:3-5 (AMPC)
As a minister of the Word of God, I do not particularly care what you think of me ~ the point is what you think of God. I am here to tell you the truth. If you do not believe in Jesus Christ, you are wrong. If you do not live according to the Word of God, you are in for eternal difficulty. End of story ~ read the Book. If you want to be blessed, you do not get that way by being evil and underhanded. Stop prostituting yourselves and aborting your own babies. Stop celebrating homosexuality. These are sins because they ultimately rob you of your good life. As a nation, we cannot trust a democracy that proponents wrong things as laws. You can tell us we are ignorant and old fashioned, but what about the future? The Bible is futuristic. That is the point ~ eternity. History has proven our ways don’t work. God’s ways do. And what about the present? Are your choices reaping blessings for your fellow citizens, for your neighbors, your family, your country?
It is time that we all start to care for one another as Christ has cared for us.
Part of caring is telling the truth, not lies, fabrications, or falsehood. An evil report is not what we need right now. We need strength. We need praise. We need integrity and morality and confidence. We need faith in the God Who saves. We do not need fear. We need to know what is right so we can do it.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming
the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom
and curing all kinds of disease and every weakness and infirmity.
~ Matthew 9:35 (AMPC)
Look again at this photograph, at what is left standing after human ignorance and destruction: the cross. The same old story; the same choice as of old ~ there is no escaping the decision between good and evil, life or death. So, Who do you put your stock in? Who do you trust? If it is the Lord God, you are made forever strong.
God bless you. Be good. Be kind. Tell the truth. And...
God bless America and His whole world.
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Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21®), Copyright © 1994, Deuel Enterprises, Inc., Gary, SD 57237, and used by permission.