Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jefferson's prayer for our Nation...from 212+ years ago

Thomas Jefferson 
A Prayer for the Nation
Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people, the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those whom in Thy name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
--Washington D.C., March 4, 1801

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Who are you?

Who are you (am I)? is not just the title of two (2) contemporary songs but also one of the most existential questions each of us may think about upon reflection. The Bible has a very clear and concise answer to who you are and in his blog James McDonald does a nice job summarizing (below)

Who God Says You Are
James MacDonald - Senior Pastor - Harvest Bible Chapel
But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
—Isaiah 43:1
Isaiah 43:1 tells us God is personal. I love that word formed (v.1) because it’s so intimate. God may have spoken the universe into existence, but He formed you and me. Formed is the same word used in Jeremiah 18 to describe God as the potter with His hands on the clay, personally shaping you. He did not just make your life and bring you into existence, He is forming the kind of person you are becoming day by day. God is making you into who He wants you to be.
So when it comes to your identity, the critical issue is not what you think about yourself—because you can’t be trusted! As Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Ultimately, the only thing that matters is what God thinks about you.
Tune in to the biblical message of who God says you are, and allow His thoughts about you to shape your identity. You will discover a remarkably different thought pattern developing: “I’m not who my parents or my spouse say I am. I’m not who my boss says I am. I'm not what my performance says I am. I'm not what my appearance says I am. None of these! I am who God says I am!” If you begin to let your mind be renewed with His Word, God’s truth—He formed you!—will download into your identity and your attitude. You won’t even have to worry about your actions. They will begin to naturally flow out of who you know yourself to be in the Lord.
The process involves accepting truths about God which affect your identity—and result in an attitude that naturally leads to God-honoring actions. The truth that He is personal, is just one of them.
Isaiah 43:1 also tells us God not only formed us personally, He has“redeemed you and calls you His own.” God paid the redemption price of His Son’s life, so He could have a relationship with those who turn from their sin and trust in Christ alone for forgiveness. Does that describe you? Have you done that?
If you have, God not only knows you by name, He says, “you are mine.” That is who God says you are—and what He says is the only thing that will ultimately matter! Let His truth form your identity, for His glory, today