|The World Trade Center, New York City, September 11,2001
Problems abound around the world, across our nation, in our state, in our hometown and even in our neighborhood. The unGodly threaten our very existence at home and abroad. Terrorism is a very real danger that threatens Americans everywhere. But so are unGodly and unAmerican politicians and judges who threaten our American way of life with liberal, leftist and socialist legislation and judicial decisions that whittle away at our personal liberty and freedom and that are contrary to God's law. Our news media puts the emphasis on bad news and all that's allegedly wrong in America, and seldom mentions what is good and right for the U-S and for us. Our morning newspapers are crime journals with everything from white collar crime, corporate crime and political corruption to adultery, rapes, robberies, muggings and murders.
But we Americans live in a great country. We are the healthiest, wealthiest, best fed, best clothed and best housed people in the world. Other people's luxuries are our necessities. We accept for normal and take for granted our modern medical successes, scientific achievements and technological advancements. We are an affluent society, and we're always wanting more.
"Where there's a will, there's a way!" But all too often it's the wrong way.
|BMW's Morris Minor robotic assembly line
As machines assume more and more of the workload, our personal involvement is reduced, our personal responsibilities decrease, our work week grows ever shorter and our idle time increases.
My paternal grandfather "Mr. Jim" used to say, "An idle mind is the Devil's workshop." When we're not working, what do we want to do? Since childhood, when we weren't working, we wanted to play. And, if we didn't know what to do, we sometimes did something that was not good, often downright bad. Isn't that still true today?
And who's looking, watching our every move? Our children. And what are we teaching them?
Someone else is watching, too! God. God who through Moses commanded in Exodus 20:3-17...
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God.
"Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
"Thou shalt not kill.
"Thou shalt not commit adultery.
"Thou shalt not steal.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's."
The Ten Commandments are a chain of ten links that bond man to God, but break one of those links and that bond is broken.
When Christians are in a right relationship with God, He covers them with a protective shield much like a mini dome, a dome shielding them from the Devil and evil, and those forces are unable to penetrate God's security dome of protection. But, when Christians sin, weaknesses develop in that dome, weakening God's protective shield over them and their lives. And the more God's people sin and the bigger those sins, the more weak spots and holes that develop and the more susceptible they become to the Devil and evil forces. God does not remove His protection from His people. God allows His people to exercise their free will, to do whatever they choose. And God's people sometimes remove themselves from His protective care. They move out from under God's security dome, their personal shield against the Devil and evil. And, Christians, that's when we are in big trouble!
|King David watches Bathsheba bathe.
David had gone from shepherd boy to King of Israel with God's help. He "sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and beseiged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem."
Uriah the Hittite was at the front, taking part in that siege. Uriah's wife Bathsheba was at home back in Jerusalem.
One evening King David got out of bed, walked on the roof of his home, looked out over the city and saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof of her home. David watched as Bathsheba in a shallow shell-like tub repeatedly rubbed oil all over her body, and then slowly wiped it all off...not just once, but three times.
"And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
"And the woman conceived; and sent and told David, and said, 'I am with child.'"
David suddenly had a problem, but he quickly came up with a solution. David immediately ordered Joab to send Bathsheba's husband Uriah to see him.
"And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
"And David said to Uriah, 'Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet.' And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king."
But King David's plan to cover his sin didn't work.
"Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house."
"And when they had told David, saying, 'Uriah went not down unto his house,' David said unto Uriah, 'Camest thou not from thy journey? Why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?
"And Uriah said unto David, 'The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.'"
Now David had a real problem.
And, when Uriah continued to refuse to go home to be with his wife Bathsheba, King David wrote a letter to Joab, and had Uriah deliver it.
"And he wrote in the letter, saying, 'Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.'"
Joab did as his king had ordered, and Uriah the Hittite was killed.
"And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
"And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord."
"And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died."
David's sin had cost him dearly.
Sin always exacts a price upon us or upon someone or something that we love.
God is watching, and so are our children. What do they see?
"Action speaks louder than words." Do we say one thing, and do another?
Children are great imitators. They tend to do what we do, whether it's smoking, drinking, cursing, yelling, flying into rages, lying, cheating, stealing or whatever.
What are we teaching our children today? Home is the launching platform for our children's journey through life, now and forever.
What kind of inheritance are we leaving them? And where will we all spend eternity? Will it be with our children and all of our loved ones, or will it be somewhere else?
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..." (Romans 3:23)
"And it is appointed unto men (women and children) once to die, but after this the judgement." (Hebrews 9:27)
"We must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his (or her) body, according to that he (or she) hath done, whether it be good or bad." (II Corinthians 5:10)
None of us want our families to be without health insurance. Most of us have all kinds of insurance to cover every eventuality in our lives. But what about eternal assurance for when we pass from this life through death into eternity?
"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
"Christ died for the ungodly. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6 & 8)
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16 & 17)
It is really very simple. Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins. All we have to do is repent, go to God in prayer in Jesus name, confess our sins to Him, turn away from our sins, ask Him to forgive us and to save our souls, fully accept that free gift from God and then get to work for Him. Our children, our mates and all of our loved one's need eternal assurance, too.
"For by grace are we saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8, 9 & 10)