June 16, 2014

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a disgrace to any people.

This verse has been true from time immemorial, and certainly for the 3000 years since it was written. However, through the ages people have tried to get around it by redefining sin. It is very interesting to see how many times down through history Biblical morality has been described as “old fashioned” or “regressive.” Recently I’ve lost track of who and how many people have used the phrase, “on the wrong side of history,” toward those who hold out for Biblical morality. It would all be amusing if it weren’t so tragic! However, it should be a comfort and encouragement to believers to realize that the devil has tried this scheme many times before, and there’s always been a backlash. America is in a genuinely bad place on several fronts. Trying to deny that is failing to read “the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:2) However, that in no way changes the fact that God is God, and those who are in Christ Jesus are more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37) The point is not to conform to the world, however pervasive sin might be, but be transformed by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds. (Romans 12:2) When sin is celebrated it is a disgrace indeed, and for that, faithful believers mourn for America. However, we must remain personally righteous as an example to all who see us, not in pride but in love, so that as many as will may turn from darkness to light.

This of course applies to me, even though I don’t live in the US. In recent years I have been very stirred by the flood of filth coming out of the US, and I can’t say it hasn’t splashed on me. However, I’m learning to lift my eyes to Jesus and not be dragged down emotionally, though the temptation is always there. This is training in faith that God is still God and His plans are good, whatever it looks like in the short term. At this point America looks very much like Babylon in the Revelation to John, and that’s painful. However, I’ve got to remember that “Babylon” is much more a spiritual description than a physical location, and also that nothing is impossible for God. (Luke 1:37) I am to pray God’s mercy for America, that He would pour out a Spirit of repentance and holiness to wash the filth from people’s hearts and lives. At the same time I am to use every means at my disposal to speak the truth in love, so that I may be a channel of the move of God that I pray for, for His glory.

Father, I indeed pray that Your Name would be hallowed and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, in America and in Japan and around the world. Thank You that honest statistics show that “Pentecostalism,” that is, Christianity that expects You to be fully active in our lives, is the fastest growing religion in the world, even though most “news” outlets won’t report it that way. Help me see things as You do, rather than as the media present it, so that my faith may be strong and my joy contagious, drawing people to repentance and faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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