Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
It seems to me that our world is turning upside down. No matter where you turn, lives are being impacted by all that is going on. There seems to be so much unrest that lives are being impacted around the world. The church is being impacted as well.
Jeremiah 29:10-14 tells us that when the people of God live their lives in a righteous manner they would find restoration. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
When Ezekiel was recounting the sins of Israel in Ezekiel 22:4, he said, “You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and defiled by your idols which you have made. Thus you have brought your day near and have come to your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the lands.”
As we look around our nation today we find that, like Israel, we have sought other gods and departed from the Lord God. I believe our sin has brought upon us the struggles that have in many ways brought reproach upon us. Things such as possessions, money, appearance and position have caused our nation to turn from God.
It’s amazing that the first commandment is so quickly forgotten in our world today. Many have forsaken God and turned to the idols that we have erected in His place. I fear our nation has become complacent in our service to God and the honor we give to Him.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the people not to ‘layup treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ (Mt. 6:19-21). He went on to say in Mt. 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money”.
It seems to me that we have forgotten that our righteousness is found not in what we have or do -- ‘there are none that are righteous, no, not one’ (Rom. 3:10) -- but wholly upon what Christ has done. After sharing some things that one needs to watch closely in life, Paul told Timothy (1 Tim. 6:11) 11“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”
I fear that in America we no longer surrender to God in our lives so we might walk the path of righteousness. We have grown so lenient in our lives that we have in many ways rewritten the first commandment – “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex. 20:3).
I believe it is time once again for us as a nation to flee those things that are unrighteous and ‘pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness’. If we are going to be a nation that trusts in God we must trust Him enough to lead us through this temporal plane and walk in His righteousness. For that to happen those who are called by His name must stand in obedience to the call to righteousness in our lives.
As we move through 2022 we must not forget that ‘the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness’ and live our lives so that the name of our Lord Jesus is lifted up. It is time that the people of God once again surrender their lives to Him so His name is glorified.
It is time that we heed the call of 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “And if My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Now is the time for righteousness to rise in America.
JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, there IS something about that name!!
Christ only, always,
Brother Paul Nachtigall is the preacher at Highland Baptist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.