I often have a hardboiled egg with my breakfast. I like when the shell peels off easily, but I get frustrated when the shell sticks to the egg in a hundred different places. I wish I could just select the eggs that will peel easily, so I can shell, eat, and get on with my day knowing that I have done what I needed to do to feed my body.
Today’s verses on the Sermon on the Mount are often referred to as the antitheses, and that is because six times in the section Jesus makes use of the phrases, “You have heard it said … but I say to you.” In the antitheses Jesus stated an Old Testament Law, cited the current popular interpretation of the law, and then instructed His disciples on the true meaning of the Law.
We look at the O.T. Law like hardboiled eggs. We want to pick the laws that are easy to follow, obey them quickly, and get on with our day. We say to ourselves, “I’ve given my nod to God, and he was suitable impressed.”
However, Jesus isn’t teaching us the easy way. Jesus is teaching us what God is like, and sometimes that lesson gives us a difficult egg to peel.
Taking what God gives me,
The North American Christian Conference was held in Anaheim, Ca. this year, so Cindy and I were able to attend. The yearly event is for Christians to come together and be refreshed. The theme this year was, “A better Story.” And that is what we heard, personal stories from Christians around the world of how Christ’s great love for the lost is saving the world.
Why does the Christian story matter? Job 14:7-9 gives us a clue, “For there is hope for a tree, when it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and its shoots will not fail. Though its stump dies in the dry soil, at the scent of water it will flourish and put forth sprigs like a plant.” The phrase, “At just the scent of water it will flourish,” is my point.
We all have stories of how Jesus has changed our life, and many of those stories contain pain. But it is wrong to think that the only story I have to tell is one of happiness. If God wants to write a story of pain in my life to further the kingdom, what does it matter? For the telling of that story may well be the scent that causes another to flourish.
From the Pilgrims, to the leaders of the colonies each declared publicly and in writing their new commonwealth came into existence solely for the glory of God. This is our country’s history. No historian can rewrite it, no president can expunge it, if a 1,000 angels swore on a 1,000 Bibles that this was not true it would in no way alter the fact that the United States was conceived, established, dedicated, and founded on a biblical cornerstone.
Today God cannot be found in our country, for we have driven Him out of our land. We have exchanged our God for idols, our life for darkness, and our glory for that which cannot save us. Sadly, we are ready to risk what comes on the other side of that exchange when the blessings of God are removed from us.
We have come to a critical moment in our land. A moment similar to one when Elijah stood on the top of Mt. Carmel and cried out to Israel in her hour of decision. Standing between two altars and 2 Gods Elijah’s voice cried out to Israel to choose this day whom you will serve. If the Lord be your God then follow him, but if Baal be your god then follow him, and go to hell.
As we celebrate our nation’s birthday I wish to reflect for a moment on a line from, The Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” and ask, what did our founding fathers mean by that statement? Those great men recognized there was a natural law in the world that states everyone is endowed by their creator with inalienable rights; the right for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This then is the world view that our nation was founded on.
The only religious world view that would allow a nation to be founded on this principle is the Christian world view. The Pantheist does not believe we are equal; karma does not allow it. Buddhism does not believe in equality, for one is born again and again into different levels. Islam does not believe a person has the right to believe or disbelieve. Therefore America was founded on Christian principles.
The problem we now face is the freedoms are nations grants allows for the enjoyment of other religious views that when brought to their conclusion would destroy the very foundation on which our country is formed. Therefore, let us not forget our country’s underpinnings and hold fast to our Christian principles.
Happy Birthday America,