I thank God for leading me in my devotions each day. It seems as if He knows just what I need and the direction and guidance is always there when I open my Bible or one of the devotional books that I read each morning. This morning was no different.
The 24 hour news cycle can get to you after months of tit-for-tat, back and forth hateful comments, with no one addressing the very real problems that we are facing in our nation and in our world today. I want them to stop talking about each other and start talking about what it is they will do to solve our problems. I would like to see Christians be “salt and light” to our world. God has work for us to do. We need to speak out against the hatefulness and speak love to those who have different opinions. We should not be silent because we are afraid of being accused of hate-speech or intolerance but we should respond respectfully – with a loving spirit.
I have chosen Through The Year With John Wesley as one of the books I read for my morning devotions this year. The reading this morning seemed appropriate:
We ought, without this endless jangling about opinions, to provoke one another to love and to good works. Let the points wherein we differ stand aside; here are enough wherein we agree, enough to be the ground of every Christian temper and of every Christian action. -John Wesley
Though Wesley was writing about different religious beliefs, the same could be said regarding our political beliefs. As Christians we should act out of love and find the points on which we can agree. Both sides say that they deplore the tone of this election cycle but at the same time both sides engage in anger and hateful rhetoric. Someone has to be “the adult in the room” and stand against such actions, share their vision for the nation without denigrating the other side. Speak positive solutions and refuse to speak negatively.
Another little book I have chosen to read this year is Streams In The Desert, copyright 1925, but the writings are timeless. The scripture reading for today was from I Corinthians, chapter 16, verse 13 – Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. KJV
The NIV Study Bible reads: Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
Do not pray for easy lives! Pray for stronger men.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.
Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle.
I also love the poetry that this little book often contains in the various writings each day. Today’s offering was to the point.
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.
Shun not the struggle; face it.
‘Tis God’s gift.
Say not the days are evil-Who’s to blame?
And fold the hands and acquiesce-O shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely,
In God’s name.
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long,
Faint not, fight on!
Tomorrow comes the song.
-Maltbie D. Babcock
We are living in dangerous times. But it has always been so. Each generation has had to face its own lions. How will history judge this generation? Will we stand for what we believe in – for what we know is right? Will we allow God to use us for His purpose? Or will we throw up our hands in despair, allowing non-believers to chart our way, and then complain about the state of our nation and our world?
Read your Bible. Spend time in prayer. Sit quietly before the Lord and allow Him to speak to you. Then, and only then, “Stand up, speak out, and bravely in God’s name.”
Lord, give us leaders who will work for the good of our nation and our world.