Choices & Consequences, yet, In All Things Give Thanks!
Undoubtedly you have been somewhat shaken by the events of September 11, 2001. However, what about Sept. 12, 13, 14, 15..... you get the picture. Better still, how did you feel on September 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 2001?
There has been and continues to be much said as a result of the events of that "insightful" day. Regardless of the horrific terror that some allow themselves to receive as a result of this terrorist activity. It cannot be denied that terror was here on the shores of our beloved nation long before many ever heard the name, Osama Bin Laden; or any other terrorist's group. As Christians we know that the Word of God is our guide and we are to trust in Him, in and through "all" things.
We now hear, and many speak of revenge, that someone must pay for this atrocity. Well, let's but for a moment allow the focus to be inward. How should God repay for the atrocities that are committed daily within America? Who should pay for the many terroristic deeds performed on the unborn? Who should pay for racial profiling? Who should give an account for the child abuse, spousal abuse, neighbor abuse, spiritual abuse? What should happen to a nation that is purported to be founded on the principles of one Supreme God, and yet, tribute, praise, and thanksgiving is denied that God? What should happen to a society that has turned away from the God of their prosperity? The God of their deliverance? The God that has allowed a multitude of ethnicities to come together to become a single nation of people reminding the entire world that we are one "race"... The Human Race?
Is our anger, hatred, and demand for instant revenge, just an extension of our greater desire for instant gratification? When the smoke clears and the so-called "Business as Usual" is declared, returned: will we see that Business As Usual "is" become the problem? Will the sense of unity, fairness, equity, brotherhood, sisterhood, and neighborhood all evaporate as a pot of boiling water?
Well, we have choices that have consequences. Here are just a few:
1) We can choose to return to God as first, individuals; and then as a corporate nation of believers (even better as Disciples of Christ). Mal:3:7: Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
2) We can recognize that: "whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's" Rom:14:8.
3) We can continue to ignore God, argue over the validity of prophetic truths within the Bible, that even the most cynical eye cannot deny and we can: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil" Proverbs 3:5-7.
4) The warning has been given but we have misunderstood the grace and mercy of God to mean that there is not a God. Remember, "And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it" Leviticus 26:12-16. (Read the entire chapter)
5) As for the revenge issue; there is a right revenge to be taken. "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to "revenge" all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled" 2Corinthians 10:5-6.
6) There should be a sense of thanksgiving, even in these times. Although, there are those that may say, "give thanks to what for what?" God is to be glorified at all times, in all things. One of the prevailing problems is in the manner in which we have shown our Thanksgiving to God, and our real lack of ingratitude. "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving" 1 Tim. 4:4. 2 Timothy 2:7 reads, "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things."
7) Finally, the choice is yours and yours alone. "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" Josh:24:15.
GOD BLESS AMERICA... He has! NOW, AMERICA, it's time to BLESS GOD and instead of returning to "Business as Usual"... ... ... ... RETURN UNTO GOD!
Let That Marinate!
Pastor Jerome A. Rogers, Sr.