ON BEING A GODLY CITIZEN
Even though most who read this Devotional are in the United States, the country you live in doesn't matter. One of our responsibilities as a child of God is to be a godly citizen of the country we live in. This is accomplished primarily by obeying the laws and honoring those God has placed in leadership. Here are many scripture references that support this: Ecclesiastes 8:2, Matthew 17:27, Matthew 22:21, Romans 13:1, 1Peter 2:13, 1Peter 2:17, Ezra 7:26, Exodus 22:38, Ecclesiastes 10:20, Acts 23:5, Proverbs 14:34.
For those of us fortunate enough to live in the United States or in other democratic countries, we also have the ability to have our voice heard through our vote. Let me just say this. Voting is an incredible right we have, and it should not be taken lightly. It is one way we can make our voice heard, and at the same time be the Godly citizen we are to be. If you are not registered to vote, then pray about it, and get registered.
One of the most powerful ways to be a Godly citizen is through prayer. Pray for your country. Pray for your leaders. Pray for God to bless your country. Also, pray about those things that need to be changed. In the US for instance, we have an incredible problem with abortions, divorce, and how incredibly easy it is to access any sin you can name. As you know, my philosophy on social change is one heart at a time.
There is a certain amount that can be done politically, but real change can only come from God. A great example was the Prohibition era. Making it unlawful to drink didn't even slow it down. A great modern day example is the illegal drug crisis we are in. The fact that they are illegal is little deterrent to those who want to use these illegal substances. Again, real change comes one heart at a time. The prayers of God's people work.
Another way that you can be a Godly citizen is through getting involved in the political process. In a democracy like we have in the United States, it invites people to participate. Like everything else in this world, sin has perverted the true meaning of public service. In its purest form, it is an act of serving. Unfortunately, it has deteriorated into a way for some to get rich, acquire power, and fulfill self-serving interests at the expense of the people they are supposed to be serving.
However being involved with pure motives can be an incredible way in which to not only serve your fellow citizens, but God as well. Not just as someone who holds public office, but those many, many dedicated people it takes in support positions.
I love you and care about you very much. You will be in my prayers. As you go throughout your daily lives, never forget the responsibilities we have to be Godly citizens. Again, the best way we can fulfill that responsibility is obeying the laws, respecting our leaders, and praying for our leaders and nation. I sense in my spirit that our great land is on the verge of losing much of the blessings God has bestowed upon us these past 200+ years due to our sin and rebellion. We can read clear examples in the bible of how God dealt with the children of Israel when they disobeyed. Even though they were God's chosen people, he took the hand of blessing from them for their disobedience. I hear the trumpet sounding its warning my friends. Let us turn from our sin before it is too late. Being a Godly citizen is one way we can make that happen.
WHY GO TO CHURCH?
A Churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me I can't remember a single one of them. So I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all." This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!" When you are DOWN to nothing.... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!