Psalm 85:4-7 – Restore us again, O God of our salvation and put away your indignation toward us! Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
THEME OF THE DAY: ARE YOU LABORING IN PRAYER? We live in dangerous spiritual times. Daily we see the spiritual condition of our country spiraling down at an unprecedented pace. Immorality is rampant. Godlessness is applauded. Lifestyles God calls abominations are celebrated as human expressions of freedom. Romans 1 is unfolding right before our very eyes. In that chapter are alarming declarations of what God does to a people who turn their backs on Him persistently. Read this scripture slowly, prayerfully, and meditatively observing the work of God giving a wayward people over to the worst thing possible – themselves. The Apostle Paul writes, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:18-28).
Three times we are told “God gave them up”. First, He gave them up to the largely personal impure lusts in their hearts. That wasn’t enough. Sinful society then manifested abominable sexual behavior contrary to the created order. God further gave them over to the consequences of such behavior. Finally, in sinful humanity’s continual rebellion against God, He gave them up to a “debased mind” which translates “a reprobate mind.” Do we know what happens when the mind is lost? There is no repentance. No turning back. Think of the seriousness of this. God reaches a limit of intolerance of sin. He finally and totally gives sinning humanity over to a mind so corrupt it cannot repent. The result is out of control sin in a culture. Friends, are we not witnessing this unfold before our very eyes? Can we honestly believe God is not bringing judgment down upon us in our day? And here is something we must come to grips with . . . the church of Jesus Christ, His true people, must take a level of responsibility for the spiritual and moral state of our country. The church has been fast asleep and so absorbed with selfishness, we have lost our ability to be salt and light in a decaying culture. And allow me to identify what I believe is the number one area of fault in the church and one which we will give an account to God. PRAYERLESSNESS.
Test yourself with two questions to either affirm or debunk my indictment upon the church of being prayerless. As a believer in Jesus Christ, when is the last time you changed your weekly schedule and left it changed to ensure you meet, like the early church, to seek the face of God with other believers? God expects, even demands, His people to pray together. We are without excuse if we don’t no matter how full our lives might be. Second question, if we are not meeting regularly with other Christians for prayer; revival prayer, pleading prayer for God’s mercy upon His church and country, why not? Is there anything more important in life than to be seeking God and that as His church? As we lament the state of our country, let’s also repent of our contribution by being prayer-less together and change that starting today.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me for neglecting prayer with my brothers and sisters in seeking Your face.”
QUOTE: “Can we really expect God to show mercy to us if we as His people are not seeking, even begging Him for it?”