Why Should God Spare America?

This article “Why Should God Spare America” was patterned after a sermon “Things That God Did Not Spare preached by a young minister, Andrew Stewart, in Northern Ireland August 7, 2016.  It included the main question: “Why should God spare you?” I strongly urge you to listen to this sermon, for your own personal blessing and hope.

The Angels in Heaven

“God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.” 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6

In Isaiah 6 we see the angels who veiled their faces, showing reverence and respect, humble before the Creator. But because of pride, in a moment of time, the devil and his angels were cast out of heaven. Ezekiel 28:13

God did not spare them. Why should God spare a nation that lives in pride and gives no respect to His authority and rule over us? Are we better than the angels?

The Ancient World

“And God saw the wickedness of the earth” and the evil hearts of men. Genesis 6:5

“He did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. 2 Peter 2:5

They had a preacher.

They also had the blessing of God’s patience, of His long-suffering toward a wicked and rebellious world.

God did not spare them. Why should God spare a nation that pays no heed to the word of God, but lives independently of Him? Are we better than the old world?

The Cities of the Plains

He did not spare Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 13:10

They knew what it was to enjoy the natural and temporal blessings of God.   They had a godly man in their midst. They had an intercessor. Abraham prayed for God to save them. (Genesis 18:22)

“By turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;” 2 Peter 2:6

God did not spare them. Why should God spare a nation that openly and defiantly approves and practices the things that are an abomination to Him? Are we better than Sodom and Gomorrah?

The Natural Branches

He did not spare His chosen people, but many times brought judgment upon them because of their disobedience.

Because of their unbelief, they were left to wander in the wilderness.

They had the blessings of prayer, and of the word from the prophets .

Jerusalem was burned, and the people were taken into exile for seventy years; an equivalence of the number of years that they had profaned the Sabbath.

National Israel in A.D. 70 was scattered to the end of the world.

They had all the privileges. They had God’s blessings, His power, His precepts, the oracles, the types, the shadows of the Messiah, yet they rejected Him when He came.

God did not spare them. Why should God spare a nation that rejects the message of His Son? Are we better than the Israelites?

Why should God spare America? Why are we any different from those who fell under His wrath and judgment? We have the word of God that He has preserved all these years, translated in our language, which men have lived and died for. We have ministers who preach the Word of God; intercessors who pray for the salvation of this country.

In comparison to those whom God did not spare, we stand condemned before Him.   We can but wonder why He has been so patient with us; in mercy and long-suffering with us.

How can God spare us? Where is our hope? The answers are found in His Word.

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
Romans 8:32

Jesus Christ, God’s Son

God did not spare His own Son but He poured out His wrath upon Him so that we may be spared.

As God’s children, we must examine our own hearts and our confession of faith.

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17

God’s patience is on our behalf, as His people, that we might be turned to Him. Persecution may be the only means to prove who belongs to Him. It is in these times that we turn to His Word and call out for the Holy Spirit’s power in our own hearts and lives, and proclaim this hope to others.

“Be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation,”
2 Peter 3:15
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Dear Father,  as we wait and hope, in the mercy and grace of our Lord, whom you did not spare for our sake, let us continue to pray, proclaim your kingdom, and “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” In whose name we pray, praise, and thank you. Amen.  2 Peter 3:18
Audio: Things That God Did Not Spare

Photography: Mike Roberts

Let Us Pray Together For Our Nation

Why should we pray together for our nation? Burdens and prayer go together. As Christians we expect our heavenly Father to place burdens upon us so that we will come to Him in humility for His intervention.

He has given us His Spirit of grace and supplication for times like these.

He has placed His Son, our Lord and Savior at the helm of His kingdom as our High Priest, and through His Spirit, He receives our prayers and supplications.

In these last few weeks before this presidential election, please join me at the beginning of each week to pray each of the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer.  We will see how it relates to each of us, personally, to our families, the church, our nation, and the world.  We ask that other nations join us. (See A World in Crisis)

Please consider fasting as the Lord leads you.

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Dear Father, we come to you with the burden you have placed on our hearts. We see the handwriting on the wall. Believing that you are our heavenly Father who has birthed us into your kingdom, we need no other recourse but you. You care for us through your authority and rule over us as your children. During these times of uncertainty draw us near to you, show us your ways, teach us your paths, lead us in your truth, for you are the God of our salvation.

As we watch the proceedings leading up to this election, enable us to see all in your omnipotence, all happening under your control. Let our responses to these things be honoring to you, as we trust you in all things.

Let us not be anxious; let us not be fearful, but work in us that we may trust you explicitly in these coming weeks and for the end result.

Examine our own hearts and minds. Search us and try us as your people; let us not be found wanting, but in all things honoring you and your name ~ in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Let the work that you do in each of us be honoring to you as a light to others who are fearful.  Let us be a blessing to those who have no hope.

Increase our faith during these times of uncertainty.

Let our attention not be on those who may be physically ruling this country. but enable us to keep our focus on you, your authority, your honor, your power, and your glory, for your name’s sake.
In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Related articles:  A World in Crisis, and  A Crucial Seven Weeks.

Photography: Washington Sunrise by Aram Vartian

A Crucial Seven Weeks

Seven weeks from today America will have a new president.  Those who voted for the winner will be happy. Those who voted for the loser will realize that their candidate was defeated, and their hope is gone.  Others have had no hope in either one.  These may remain confused and uncertain about the future of our country.

These seven weeks are crucial to the campaigns of the candidates. They are also crucial for us as God’s people. We, His children, who have an inheritance in His kingdom, have much at stake. We will never lose our legacy to that eternal kingdom, but we face the possibility of losing the freedom to continue to worship and express our faith here in this nation.

God, our Father can do all things without us, but He delights to include us in His campaign.

While the candidates and their supporters continue to rally, what should we do? We need to be aware of God’s will for each of us, not simply to say, “the will of the Lord be done.”

We Must Rally Around the Throne of Grace

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

It is by His grace that we are able to pray to our heavenly Father, as we seek His kingdom and His righteousness for this nation. We are called to pray in all circumstances, for His will and His glory. 

If you have not already planned or been led by your own pastor for a six-week prayer and fasting vigil, we encourage you to suggest it for your church. Don’t wait until after the election to pray. Don’t wish later that you had prayed. We’ll still need to pray, afterward, but we will know that we did all that our heavenly Father wanted us to do at this crucial time. After the election, we can rejoice and praise the Lord that His will is done, regardless of the outcome.  We can live in the hope and trust that He still rules and reigns over all; no matter who is president of this nation.

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Consider the Psalmist words, as we look to our only hope.

“Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,

Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;

The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!”    Psalm 146:3-10

Dear Father, draw us to your throne of grace as you campaign for your kingdom’s rule in our hearts and lives.  Bring us to examine our faith and know that our hope is in you alone.  Let us praise you always, regardless of the circumstances of this life. In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.
For a guide to prayer for the next six weeks, please consider our last post ~ A World in Crisis.

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A World in Crisis

Was the whole world in crisis when God sent Jonah to Nineveh? It might have been, had God not saved that city.  In this year of 2016, all nations are experiencing some kind of crisis, but especially here in the USA.  At no other time in history have we seen such a lack of hope for a sensible government to rule this nation.  Where is our hope as we near the time of an election for a new president?635174824587222334sad-child-divorce
Are we to sit around and wring our hands? Are we to be concerned about the condition of our nation and the world? Certainly, we should be. But how are we to respond to the reality of the crisis and uncertainty that we now face?

It does not help to send emails about the character and the secrets of candidates that are running for office. This seems to stir up more anxiety and chaos.

What are we to do? Is there anything we can do?

As Jerry and I are watching the scenario from our little corner of the world we continue to pray.

We believe that there is hope, for with or without it, the whole world is affected.

Without hope, the chaos will continue and with continued crisis comes destruction.

When God sent Jonah to Nineveh, Jonah, at first, refused to go. Personally, it seems that a boat to Tarsus would be easier for me, than launching out into the deep to share this article. I am not a prophetess, nor is my intent to preach, but to share a simple message of wisdom and grace from our heavenly Father.

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, they had no idea that the prayer He gave them would fit every occasion, especially for times of crisis. I believe that God, our Father wants us to listen to Him and perhaps for the first time stop whatever we are doing and take a fresh look at our Lord’s Prayer.

Wherever you are, in the USA or another country, please put aside whatever seems important to you right now, and consider that God is listening and desiring us to come to Him at this time of crisis. In the days ahead please take time with your family and church to consider the importance of this prayer.

What does He want to hear?

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”

Take some time to meditate on this first petition. Is He your Father? Are you honoring your heavenly Father in your heart and life? Does your life witness to others that you are a child of God?  Would your character qualify you to govern others?  Do you desire His rule in your life and this world? Do you trust Him to rule over all things, according to His will? Are you encouraging others to trust Him instead of putting their trust in men and our circumstances?

“Thy kingdom come.”

Do you desire His kingdom ruling in every area of your life? Do you see Christ as King of kings, and Lord of lords in your own heart and over the whole world?

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

If we see where Christ is ruling at the right hand of the Father, with all authority in heaven and earth, all creatures and angels are surrounding and worshiping Him.

Is Christ the center of your life? Does your world revolve around Him? Are you following Him daily, looking to Him for all of life; casting your crowns before Him to glorify Him for His grace and goodness in every area of your life? Are you grateful for Him and His sacrifice for you that you may have eternal life in Him? Do you seek His will in all that do?

“Give us today our daily bread.”

Many do not have daily bread, yet most of us have more than we need. Are you God’s means of answering the prayers of others who are in need by sharing the blessings that God has given you? Are you content with the simple things and letting Him be the fulfillment of your life?

“And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

Are you withholding forgiveness from anyone?
A nation’s crisis can be summed up in the total of our grievances and vengeance against each other. Resentment is ruled by the spirit of oppression and is our enemy’s greatest weapon. How can we not love and forgive, when our Father has forgiven us? Our nation and the world will remain in crisis without our love and care for our heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and each other.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

We start with ourselves, praying this personally and for our families, the church, and the world. We must each take an account as we consider how we live and lead wherever we are. As we look to Him for His continual leadership, we are the example of His goodness, and His power to keep us from temptation.

Can We Make a Difference?

We could concentrate on one petition each week during the next six weeks; asking the Holy Spirit to search our hearts to reveal His truth to us personally ~ then during the week of the election, praise Him for His kingdom, His power, and His glory.

Can this prayer make a difference in the middle of our crisis? Only as we come to our Father, in repentance, in faith, in love and obedience will we know how He will make the difference, first in our own lives; then, in His timing in this nation and the world.

Please join us here on this blog each week to pray together for God’s will in this next presidential election.

Two months ago He led me to write a little book, First Things That Last Forever. It is the basis from which I write this article. The eBook is free. Please read it, and pass this article and the link to others. Our Father wants us to come to Him with genuine humility and love; with hope and anticipation of a merciful answer.butterfly-1140x460

Dear Father, hear our prayers; send your Holy Spirit; rend the heavens and come down as the melting fire burneth, and make your name known among the adversaries ~ beginning in our own hearts and lives.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOREVER.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
SEE FOLLOW-UP  ~  A CRUCIAL SEVEN WEEKS

Fran ~ 2016

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Have You Seen Jesus?

“He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
John 14:9

Why is it so important that we see Jesus as God? The Father has made it so. The Book of Hebrews, when studied in depth, opens our eyes to see Jesus as “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature ~ the image of the invisible God, through whom the world was made ~ all things were created through him and for him.” (Hebrews 1:2-3; Colossians 1:15-16)

We are taught in the first chapter of Hebrews that “He upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” How do we see Him there?

“We have such a high priest, holy, innocent,
unstained, separated from sinners,
and exalted above the heavens,

one who is seated at the right hand
of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
a minister in the holy places,
where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf,
Hebrews 7:26   8:1

He is there, having fulfilled all the law of righteousness on our behalf so that He can “save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him.”

“Where we who have fled for refuge
might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
Hebrews 5:18-19; 6:20

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In this hope and assurance, we see Him as our life here and forever.

“And we all, with unveiled face,
beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image
from one degree of glory to another.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

All this is from God, who through Christ
reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
2 Corinthians 5:16-19

What should be our response?

Music:  Come Christians Join to Sing

Come, Christians, join to sing
Alleluia! Amen!
Loud praise to Christ our King;
Alleluia! Amen!
Let all, with heart and voice,
Before His throne rejoice;
Praise is His gracious choice.
Alleluia! Amen!

Come, lift your hearts on high,
Alleluia! Amen!
Let praises fill the sky;
Alleluia! Amen!
He is our Guide and Friend;
To us He’ll condescend;
His love shall never end.
Alleluia! Amen!

Praise yet our Christ again,
Alleluia! Amen!
Life shall not end the strain;
Alleluia! Amen!
On heaven’s blissful shore,
His goodness we’ll adore,
Singing forevermore,
“Alleluia! Amen!”
 Christian H. Bateman (1843)

The Reality of a Dream

Early this morning as I heard Jerry rolling back to bed from the bathroom, it dawned on me. This is real. It is not a dream. I lay there, and seemingly for the first time thought to myself ~ he cannot walk. He has only one leg.

There have been other times when he wheeled past me that my mind did not register.

When I look back to the last fifteen years, it seems that it has all been a dream, and I am just waking up to the reality.

How did we get through Mother’s four years of dementia? How did we survive Jerry’s first surgery a month after her death? Where was I when his leg had to be amputated a month later?

And how, for three years after waiting for healing; another surgery and finally healing? Nothing was normal anymore. From one thing to another; diabetes, pain, and other health problems; my brother’s and his wife’s death; Jerry’s brother’s death; his heart attack in December, and more.

What Is Real?

Was it in this dream that my heavenly Father brought me to totally depend on Him?

That is the only thing that I know to be real.

A spiritual life is a cocoon that encases all of the difficulties of this human experience. It is the Father’s gift to us that enables us to endure. When we emerge from this enclosure, we are enabled to bear the realities of this life with the same presence of the Father, but with a greater reality.  Everything seems like a dream when I look back, especially as God has worked in us this year to be a witness of His grace through writing and publishing, all of which is the proof that it is His work and not mine.

Transition

This reality is part of our transition from this life to the next.

My brother told me years ago, when, at my new birth I felt like a butterfly, that butterflies do not have a very long life. That statement did not keep the Father from His work in me.

So at this age and stage of my human life, there is a sense of another transition as He continues His work in me. I love Paul’s words in relationship to the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24 KJV

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“For I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.” 2 Timothy 1:12

We, as His children, are being filled with His grace, and wrapped in His glory, forever.

This is not a dream ~ it is the reality of God’s love for us and in us ~ and enables us to endure all things, and to serve Him and others with joy.

Gracious Father, thank you that we are enclosed within your arms of grace; that nothing can separate us from you and your love.  We praise you for your presence in every moment of our lives, even before we are aware of it.  I pray that you enable your people today to know your sovereign rule and presence over all things.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

(The dream is recorded in TWO FULL PLATES ~ Learning to be a Caregiver, paperback and a free eBook for subscribers.)

O The Deep Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free;
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me.
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of thy love;
Leading onward, leading homeward,
To thy glorious rest above.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Spread his praise from shore to shore;
How he loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore;
How he watches o’er his loved ones,
Died to call them all his own;
How for them he intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Love of ev’ry love the best:
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
‘Tis a haven sweet of rest.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to thee.

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JESUS CHRIST IS LORD

Jesus Christ is Lord, He is our King.
From heaven He rules;  Over everything.

He rules in heaven,  He rules in earth.
He rules over death.  He rules over birth.

Over all our joys,  Over every sorrow,
Over our todays,  Over our tomorrows.

Thursday, before the duties of my day began, these words came to mind. I am not a poet, but occasionally a rhyme like this starts in my head. There was no special meaning, and I had thought to add the words “unfinished song” as part of the title. But, when the day was over no other words were needed.

imagesAs Jerry and I watched the flames from Cape Canaveral that morning, my first thoughts were of the prophecy of the earth’s demise. This seemed to be a preview of what God can do with man’s inventions. Yet, many other thoughts surfaced. So, bear with me a little as I unravel them.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is quoted by CNN, “I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite. The satellite would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent.”

Zuckerberg also said he has other technologies to help connect people. “We will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided. ” (CNN)  This satellite was supposed to provide internet connections to Africa, where Zuckerberg was visiting when the explosion happened.

From his response, he reveals that he does not have all his eggs in one basket. Nor, do we suppose, his loss left him poverty-stricken. It was only a setback in his plans.

Some may say that God was showing His hand in that explosion on Thursday, but when Zuckerberg succeeds in launching another satellite for Facebook, God will use it to carry the message of His Son to the ends of the earth. He doesn’t need Facebook, but He will enable us to use it to His glory.

And, let us remember that when our dreams go up in flames, the author and finisher of our hopes and plans is still ruling and reigning for His glory, our work, and our joy.

images (1)Jesus Christ is Lord.

Dear Father, thank you for dreams that reach higher than the sky, that are for your kingdom. Continue until you have fulfilled your plan for your work in us here. In Jesus’ name I pray.