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Thursday, July 5, 2012
Fisher Towers in Canyonlands National Park, Utah
(photo by Howard Blichfeldt)
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Note to international readers: Today's message is once again specifically written as an American to fellow Americans. However the truths apply to every nation.
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God" (Hebrews 10:26,27). "The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy" (2 Chronicles 36:15,16).
But the best fireworks show we ever attended (along with some ˝ million other fans) was "The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" a huge public concert held every 4th of July along the Charles River in Boston. It was undoubtedly the most powerful display I have ever seen. Last night we watched it on TV but it's nothing like being there.
They use a barge in the river and synchronize music to the fireworks (both live orchestra and recorded). Several times it was so intense that I wondered if they had lost control and the barge was blowing up!* The final three minutes were a massive, constant barrage. One of the songs used during the display was "America the Beautiful", sung by Ray Charles. When he sang the line "God shed His grace on thee", I affirmed those words with a heartfelt "Amen" and wondered how many in the crowd recognized that God has indeed shed His grace on America?
Yes, God has shed His grace on America. We wrote about that in yesterday's message. Yet I earnestly believe that America is running out of "grace capital". By "grace capital" I mean the residual effects of grace that was upon previous generations who had served God faithfully.
Notice carefully here, I am not suggesting there is any deficiency or limits to God's grace. Not at all. But I do believe those walking in disobedience to God may very well experience "grace capital" that is a residual from previous generations.
But the Bible and history abundantly teach that one day this grace capital will be spent and judgment will come. Notice the phrase in our second daily text, "until there was no remedy." This is especially applicable to nations. Even as there is often a time lapse between the promise and the blessing, there is also a time lapse between the disobedient nation and judgment that follows.
The daily verse may sound very harsh in our age of moral relativism and the pluralistic society in which we live today, but it expresses a profound truth and can be applied to both individuals and nations. Have you received the knowledge of the truth? Are you living your life in obedience to God?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, it is not Your will that any should perish but that all would come to repentance. Yet You don't force us to follow Your prescribed plan, but give us a free will to come willingly, lovingly, obediently, and gratefully as we come to realize that there is none like You. No one else could touch our hearts like You do, grant us peace that is eternal and prepare a home for us to last for all eternity. We don't presume upon Your grace, but we do receive it by faith with thanksgiving. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
* One city did have a rather shortened fireworks display last night! See here.
Yesterday we enjoyed our time visiting at the The Daniel Boone Homestead (except for the extreme heat) and will share some photos next week. However here's one that relates with our message today. Can any reader tell us what this is? We'll answer tomorrow.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resource
"America The Beautiful" Video Ray Charles
When we lived in New England we often rode our bikes along the Shining Sea Bikeway between Woods Hole and Falmouth and stopped to see a plaque honoring Katharine Lee Bates, who is from Falmouth.
The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular www.july4.org
This week we are featuring photos from friends. Today's photo was taken by Howard Blichfeldt and is part of his Utah collection. Howard was introduced to us several years ago by Alvin Worhthley, my chaplain supervisor, who saw Howard's desire to be used in ministry. Howard has given us permission to periodically use a photo he has taken on our site. We expect to see Howard later this summer when he presents an exhibit of his photographs at the Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show. Video
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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