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Monday, November 7, 2016

Proverbs 14:34

"A Cry For Restorative Righteousness"

Message Summary:  The political leadership chosen tomorrow certainly influences 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 pray for a restoration of righteousness in our land!

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

Well, tomorrow, Election Day 2016 will finally arrive. The USA will select its presidential leader for the next 4 years, along with many other elected positions in government. Our family will all vote and participate in our constitutional right. However, especially in regard to the highest office, we do so with great grief.
To use  the words of a pastor we esteem, "They're both scoundrels".

We live in a swing state (nominally) so we are now inundated with nasty ads from both major candidates, most of them true and deeply troubling.  During the final days it is at such a frenzied pace that they run the same ad over and over which can torment the viewer and ruin a good football game. We look forward to this nasty phase very soon ending but really don't expect much unity on Wednesday morning. Our country is terribly and deeply divided and apart from divine intervention we don't see this changing. We need a restoration of righteousness.

Our polling place is in a Bible believing church and, although there is no electioneering allowed 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 even while pursuing patriotic duties!

When we pastored in New England in the 1990's our church
was also used as a polling place. It was on a very busy US highway Rt 44 that ran through our city with lots of traffic. 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 biblical phrase.

Over 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!"

We are being disgraced as a nation. To be sure sin has always been present but we are seeing such an increase, approval and even celebration of behavior described in the Bible as sin. Now those who believe in and stand up for Biblical righteousness are increasing vilified. The disgrace of sin abounds, yet so many are blind to it.

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

The righteousness that exalts a nation is fundamentally 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 Version)

The political leadership chosen tomorrow certainly influences 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 pray for a restoration of righteousness in our land!

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!

We 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. We pray 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 Prayer For The Election" by John Piper)

Today we will show some Autumn scenes from our home and neighborhood

Distant view of our home from walking trail 11/2/16
A distant view of our home from walking trail

Close view of our home from walking trail 11/2/16
The start of the wonderful trail that we've walked for 14 years right across from our house.

View up Kraybill Church Road from our home 11/4/16
The view up Kraybill Church Road from our home

Gibble Road long lane 11/5/16
This is a very attractive farm setting with a farm house that sits empty most of the year. The story goes that the owners died and left the property to heirs who only visit a few weeks of the year. Perhaps they are city dwellers and only like to visit country rather than live there.

View of home from Kraybill Church Road 11/4/16
An Autumn view of our home

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

Friday we shared a photo of John, a friend of ours, assembling a part. It may not sound very exotic but it is a manure drive! These are used in chicken houses to remove the waste and are a vital component in modern food production. Chickens produce a lot of waste!!!

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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