Sunday, July 04, 2010

How God Responds: Direction

How many times have we stood gazing into the future wondering what to do today? Like this picture, we so often find ourselves stuck. We don't know what to do. Do I change jobs? Do I marry this person? Do I move, purchase, leave, serve? There are so many decisions that need to be made. Having the patience to ask, seek, and knock and wait for the answer is tough.

What if an added stress is involved? There is severe loss whether it is life, job, or security. This stress complicates our thinking and ability to choose wisely. I always go back to that young couple who say they want to know what God wants concerning their lives and whether they should be married. However they complicate things and make the way fuzzy because of pre-marital sexual involvement. The fall-back code is "they love each other". I am sure they think they do love each other however they are complicating the issue and the validity of their future together because of the added stress of emotions and physical involvement.

Luke records for us in Acts chapter 1 that Jesus has returned to the Father. The followers are gathering together and praying. They have no clue what they should do, so the pray. The keep asking, seeking, and knocking and wait for God's response. He responds with wisdom and now direction. They needed to know what to do and what steps to take. Peter rises before the crowd and begins to lay out a plan of action.

20 Peter continued, "This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, 'Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.' It also says, 'Let someone else take his position.'*
21 "So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus—22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus' resurrection."
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.24 Then they all prayed, "O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs."26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.

God responds with direction. Do you have questions? Do you need direction? God will respond to those who keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking until He responds. How bad do you want to know? Make God your first resort. Use your other resources as a way for God to inspire you. Wait upon God and He will respond with the direction you need for the best life, which is what God wants for you anyway!!

What Makes A True American?

How do we define those terms? What are we supposed to teach our children? What is a true American these days? Right now that is becoming harder and harder to define. We choose to tell the quaint stories of Washington not telling a lie and Franklin’s key and electricity. We choose to avoid the carnage and catastrophic loss families made to achieve what we call freedom. We have the freedom to speak, worship and pursue life and happiness all because of the bloodshed of many men and boys these past 234 years.

Freedom. It rolls off of our tongues without knowledge of the cost. Freedom is not in socialism. Freedom is not in persecution. My own lineage has preachers who sought religious freedom from the tyranny in other parts of the world, officers who fought in the revolution willing to sacrifice it all so that you and I could sit here today and worship the Creator. Freedom is not some politically correct speech. Freedom comes at a high cost.

It is hard to define what a true American is due to the seepage of socialism and relativism into our culture. It is hard to define when, in increasing numbers, people would choose to hyphenate their citizenship. It matter not what my heritage may be. I am an American. I choose to teach my children to honor the flag, say the pledge, remove your hats. All actions based on a respect for those who have come before that laid the pathway for freedom. Words like respect, honor, pride, and duty are being diluted with current philosophies and leadership. The freedoms we enjoy involve both the unalienable rights of humanity in concert with others that have been written down in the constitution. We have been given freedom. It is a gift to be cherished.

A true American respects and honors the freedoms for self and for others.
A true American takes pride in a job well done whether it be vocation, family, or community.
A true American pursues life for self and for others.
A true American pursues liberty for self and others.
A true American pursues happiness for self and others.

However, as important as it is for me to understand and pass on the wisdom of being an American, at the end of life citizenship ceases. On the other side of my final breath lies an eternity of different citizenship either in Heaven or Hell. By faith In Jesus I have already been assured of citizenship in Heaven.

I am a follower of Christ. I am an American. One does not make the other. I have had two births. I had no involvement in the first but am grateful. I made a decision concerning the second and will be eternally grateful.

Thank God for America. Thank God for Jesus.