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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Proverbs 14:34

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"Righteousness or Sin,
Exaltation or Disgrace"

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34 NASV).

Election 2014 It's Election Day here in America. Our family will all vote and participate in our constitutional right. Our polling place is in a Bible believing church and, although there is no electioneering by the church, it's still interesting to pass through the foyer area on the way to the polling place. It's a blessing to be exposed to expressions of Biblical truth and righteousness!

When we pastored in New England our church was on a very busy US highway in our city and was also used as a polling place. We had a large road sign with a changeable message at the entrance. On Election Day, Veda Shibilo, my dedicated church secretary placed this message on both sides of the sign: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). For many voters, especially in that region of the country, that was probably the extent of their exposure to Scripture! Hopefully some paused to consider the truth in that short phrase.

Half a century ago Peter Marshall made the following prophetic statement: "No nation has ever made any progress in a downward direction. No people ever became great by lowering their standards. No people ever became good by adopting a looser morality. It is not progress when the moral tone is lower than it was. It is not progress when purity is not as sweet. Whatever else it is, it is not progress!"

MaMaWe are being disgraced as a nation.  To be sure sin has always been present but we are seeing such an increase, approval and even endorsement of behavior described in the Bible as sin. The disgrace of sin abounds, yet so many are blind to it.

As I prepare this message I consider my grandmother who died in the early seventies. As best as I can determine she is a strong link in my spiritual lineage. Could she even have imagined the spiritual apathy and moral decadence we are seeing today?

Righteousness fundamentally is attained when individuals, families and churches turn to Christ and live daily in submission to His will. This has an accumulative impact on our community, state and entire nation. Thus a nation's leadership reflects the righteousness or unrighteousness of the people.

I often refer to our Scripture text which is so powerful. Today I want to share it in a variety of translations that vary the wording slightly but may provide further insight:

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people." (NIV)
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (KJV)
"Uprightness and right standing with God (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) elevate a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" (Amplified)

The political leadership chosen today certainly may influence the fate of our nation, but the greatest need is for individuals, families, churches, and communities to follow the pattern of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that teaches us to humble ourselves, pray, seek God's face and turn from our wicked ways.

We each individually have the decision regarding the fate of our soul.  I urge you all to accept or reaffirm your personal decision to follow Christ today and experience God's great hope and peace as a citizen of heaven!

I emphasize again and again the most important decision that we will make in this life is to love and serve Jesus this day and every day and forever. If we do we will seek to please the Lord and obey His commands, thereby doing our part to make our country righteous!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father in heaven, as we approach our national election, I pray that your people will vote, and that they will vote with a sense of thankfulness for a democratic system that at least partially holds in check the folly and evil in all our hearts so that power which corrupts so readily is not given to one group or person too easily. I pray that we would know and live the meaning of being in the world, but not of it, doing politics as though not doing them, being on the earth, yet having our lives hidden with Christ in God, rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s;  that we would discern what truths and values should advance by being made law and which should advance only by the leavening of honest influence;  that your people would see what love and justice and far-seeing wisdom demand in regard to the issues of education, business and industry, health care, marriage and family, abortion, welfare, energy, government and taxes, military, terrorism, international relations, and every challenge that we will face in the years to come; and above all, that we will treasure Jesus Christ, and tell everyone of His sovereignty and supremacy over all nations, and that long after America is a footnote to the future world, he will reign with His people from every tribe and tongue and nation. Keep us faithful to Christ’s all important Word, and may we turn to it every day for light in these dark times. In Jesus’ name,  Amen.
(Prayer adapted from a "A Payer For The Election" by John Piper)

Veranda at the Shawnee Inn, Poconos, PA 11/2/14
Another view of the veranda at the Shawnee Inn in the Poconos we visited last weekend.
It was pleasant view but a bit cold, due to high winds!

Jim Thorpe, PA 11/2/14
A view of the village of Jim Thorpe from a vista high above the town.
See this map for location and some more photos.

Jim Thorpe, PA 11/2/14
Jim Thorpe has a lot of interesting old buildings.

Lehigh Valley railroad
This year we didn't ride the train but I sure enjoyed watching it!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"If My People"   Video  This song was popular when we were young in the seventies.

"If My People"  Video  Promise Keepers

"Heal Our Land"  Video  Randy Rothwell

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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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