July 4, 2012
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“Aflame With Righteousness”
Today is Independence Day and those of us who live in America should especially consider our blessings. We plan to visit the Daniel Boone Homestead and enjoy some history together in the afternoon. Daniel Boone was an American pioneer and explorer who was born in 1734 in the area we will visit today that, at that time, was on the western edge of the American frontier.
We write today’s message as Americans but we encourage our international readers to receive those portions that can be applied regardless of where you live.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.” I find it interesting to note many parallels between the foundations of America and the foundations of Israel (while certainly not denying the very unique place that Israel has in history and God’s redemptive plan). Both are abundant in resources (“a land flowing with milk and honey”), the people had a motivation to serve God, their leadership were men of deep faith who lived by godly principles. They were hardworking and built their nation on the foundation of the Bible. In Israel powerful prophets spoke for God and righteousness and an early description of churches in America referred to pulpits that were “aflame with righteousness”.*
However there are also many parallels between modern America and apostate Israel such as the motivation of ease and economic gain, a disregard of divinely imposed moral restraints, the ungodliness of leadership (sin is scoffed at and even approved). Many false prophets spoke against the plan of God. Today we have many weak churches and pulpits which have succumbed to liberalism and accommodation with the world.
This coming Lord’s Day I have the opportunity to preach in our church since our pastor will be away at a conference. My message will be titled “When A Nation Forgets God” and will draw parallels from the period of the Judges (Judges 21:25) and the final days of the southern Kingdom (2 Chronicles 36:15-16) to conditions in our own land.
Most of our readership is comprised of people who indeed recognize these parallels. So today let us recommit ourselves to God and His ways. Let us pray and speak out for God with boldness like the prophets of old so that we might be hearing it said again in our own day, “Their pulpits are aflame with righteousness.”
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we want to live above the fray of this world as a people of righteousness set apart for Your purpose. We forsake the things of this world that bring disgrace to Your holy name and live for the purpose of bringing glory, honor and praise to You, our Father. We pray for our nation, for the turning away from our sins and turning toward the abundant life we find in Christ our Lord. You’ve called us to repentance and to share the good news of salvation to all who are lost. Help our pulpits to be aflame with righteousness. Help us to seek a fresh calling upon our lives to be obedient in this commission from Scripture. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Here’s a message I preached last year on today’s topic:
1) The righteousness that exalts a nation is expressed in a reverence for God. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance” (Psalm 33:12).
2) The righteousness that exalts a nation is expressed in a respect for the Holy Scriptures. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
3) The righteousness that exalts a nation is expressed in obedience to both the commands and prohibitions of God. “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse- the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known” Deuteronomy 11:26-28.
4) The righteousness that exalts a nation is expressed in recognition of God’s ordained order for society.
- Individuals committed to God: “As for me and my house…”
- Foundational unit is the family
- Accountability to the Church of God.
- A strong nation is made up of strong communities, which are made up of strong churches, which are made up of strong families, which are made up of strong individuals.
We mentioned last week concerning the work on our barn. One of the most appealing features especially for me (Stephen) when we bought our home ten years ago was the barn. The upper floor is a large storage area and the lower level is a workshop and and the front side could be an office. My neighbor told me it was constructed by a previous owner using materials salvaged from a barn that had been demolished. The siding had a rustic finish (essentially unfinished wood) and the roof was metal that at one time had been painted green but most was worn off. The last couple of weeks we painted the roof and stained the siding. To “top it off” yesterday a cupola was installed I had found for sale along the road.
Here’s a view I took this morning from our deck in the backyard of our home. The copper at the top of the cupola shines brilliantly in the sun! I am now looking for an eagle weather vane to top off the cupola. As you travel through Lancaster County one never knows what will be for sale along the back roads!
“Pulpits Aflame With Righteousness” Article by Frank Wright, Ph.D.
“A Sober Exhortation to Preachers and Future Preachers” A thoughtful message by Larry Temple especially for preachers.
“America: Through an Immigrant’s Eyes” Audio Michael Youssef, a powerful sermon aired today on Focus on the Family. Outstanding!
This week we are featuring photos from friends (and today a family member). Today’s photo is part of my cousin’s photo collection on Flickr.
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