Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Heart of the Matter - Part 1 - Dependence Day

Ths holday week, Michael writes: On Independence Day, American Christians must be careful not to embrace the popular culture who seeks to declare independence from almighty God. The culture says that Americans are sufficient in their own power; that they are dependent on no one but themselves. As Christians, we should celebrate each day as "Dependence Day" for we are not sufficient of ourselves; our sufficiency is only in Him.  

We have been set free from the Old Testament law of sin and death, when we walk according to the Spirit of life in Christ. This freedom is characterized by loving God above all and loving our neighbor as ourselves. To understand the heart of God, love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength. The Old Testament says that God has wanted all of our heart ever since the giving of the Mosaic Law. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments."  Therefore, may the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto thee O Lord my strength and my redeemer – Psalm 19:14.

Today our nation is at risk. The war is not in the Middle East. How close are the terrorists? The San Bernardino, California Terrorist attack took place only 48 miles from where I live. The root of the physical warfare is the spiritual warfare. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness from on high Ephesians 6:12. The adversary convinces the culture that it's the presence of Christians that causes "people to feel uncomfortable." In all actuality, it is their sovereign Creator God and the reality of eternity in Hell that makes them uncomfortable. How do we affect what really matters in this nation? The conscience of the nation is borne by those who uphold the truth of the Word of God. When a person of God speaks, the duty of the Holy Spirit is to "comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable."  

According to Jeremiah 17, the heart of man is deceitfully wicked. The context of this verse says, "Cursed is the person who puts his trust in people and makes the flesh their strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. They are like a shrub in the desert and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited land.  Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit" – Jeremiah 17:5-8. Satan has two main lies. The first thing he'll say is "You can do it on your own." Then he says, "doubt that God can deliver ... just trust in others to deliver you."  This brings about the curse of the person who trusts in people and not in God.  

Let's continue Michael's message on the heart of mankind on the next post.
In Christ, Brian

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