Tag Archives: God

Return To God With A Whole Heart

Lately my Bible reading had been taking me on a tour of the Old Testament again. It has been interesting to trace the rise and fall of the diverse kings of Israel and Judah. Last week brought me to the story of Josiah and how he sought the God of his forefather David with all of his heart. The plot thickens and gets REALLY interesting when they discover the “book of the law” in the temple 18 years after Josiah began to reign at age 8. So as a man of 26 years of age he comes face to face with God’s promises to the “children of Israel”. The scriptures don’t specify which portion was read before the king, but I highly suspect it was the portion we find in Deuteronomy chapter 11. When Josiah heard about the blessing and the CURSE which was written in the book of the law, he tore his clothing and humbled himself before God for he knew that God would keep His Word and that trouble lay ahead of the people because of the sins they had committed. You can find the story of Josiah in II Chronicles 34. His heart was right before God, even though he didn’t have the Book of the Law to guide him.

What does this have to do with us today? Well, my reflections took me on a tour of US history. It took me back to when the colonies were working on a Constitution for the new nation and how they were unable to agree on anything until they took time to pray and ask God to guide them. It is my steadfast belief that He did guide them and that is the reason they were able to come up with such an outstanding document, one which has guided our nation over 200 years. As one reads things which the founding fathers wrote, it is clear that their intention was to establish a Christian nation. Not a country dominated by some denomination or other, but rather a land governed by the basic tenets and principles of morality taught in the collection of books known as the Bible. This foundation was recognized as late as 1890 when the Supreme Court of the United States of America stated that the US was a “christian state”. In fact, one of the greatest deceptions practiced by the enemies of Christ in the United States is the wresting out of context of a passage from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson. In that letter Jefferson stated that the “wall of separation of church and state” was to high to allow for a certain denomination to become the official religion. This “separation of church and state” was not an absence of Godly influence in the government of the nation, but rather the absence of denominationalism which had caused so much death and destruction in “merry old England” and Europe. According to Jefferson, this would never come to pass in the United States because the first amendment prohibited Congress from enacting any law “respecting an establishment of religion”. Jefferson must be spinning in his grave because of the way his words have been twisted.

What is the future of our land? What will come to pass? When Josiah heard what the “Good Book” said, he humbled himself and sought the will of God. Because of this his land was spared from destruction. If we will humble ourselves and seek God, perhaps our nation too will once again turn to Him and so spare itself from His certain wrath.

How about you? Are you ready to seek Him? Are you ready to do His will and to forsake the pagan ways which are being forced upon us? Are you one of those “whose knees have not bowed before Baal and whose lips have not kissed him”, or have you allowed yourself to become like those who turn their backs on the Creator?

Let us take to heart these words from Deuteronomy 11: 18-22

 

18Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 19And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 20And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: 21That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. 22For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;
King James Version

That is what it will take for us to take back this land for Him who established it. We HAVE to know His word and teach it to our children and our children’s children. It must invade each aspect of our lives, every facet of our being. It must be on our hearts and our minds, as we work, as we play and in each and every part of our families and being. So I end with these words which Joshua spoke in Joshua 24:15 and a paraphrase after them:

15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house,
we will serve the LORD.

King James Version

If you choose not to turn back to God who created you and established this nation, then choose which path you want to follow, the path of those who say “there is no God” or the path of those who say “all roads are the same”, but as for me and my house, we will follow God the Creator and His Son, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit, our seal unto the day of redemption.

The War Prayer

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came — next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams — visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation

*God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!*

Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory –

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, “Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

“I come from the Throne — bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import — that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of — except he pause and think.

“God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two — one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this — keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

“You have heard your servant’s prayer — the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it — that part which the pastor — and also you in your hearts — fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. the *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory–*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(*After a pause.*) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!”

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Praising God Seven Times

Psalms 119 vs 164: “Seven times a day do I praise thee because of they righteous judgements” Today I want to praise the Lord seven times.


No. 1 Genesis 1 vs 1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” I praise Him today for my eyesight that I might behold His marvelous creation and with my eyes I can read the Word of God.

No. 2 Matthew 1 vs 21: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” I praise God for the gift of His Son and my Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.

No. 3 1st Corinthians 1 vs 4 & 5: “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.” I praise God today for the knowledge of His saving grace, knowing there is a way unto salvation and the way is Jesus Christ.

No. 4 Romans 12 vs 3: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man a measure of faith.” I praise God for that measure of faith for with it I can believe unto salvation.

No. 5 Philippians 2 vs 8: “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” I praise God for the cross and all it means. The cross was the symbol of death, but once the Son of God was hung there it became the symbol of life everlasting. Thank you dear Jesus for my salvation.

No. 6 Hebrews 9 vs 22: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” I praise God for the blood. It’s with this blood that my salvation is bought.

No. 7 1st Corinthians 6 vs 19: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not yor own.” I praise God today for the Holy Spirit that dwells in me. The Holy Ghost guides and directs my life. The more I yield to the Spirit the more I grow in faith and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

These are the seven praises I give to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Holy One of Israel, our heavenly Father and the Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.