"Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil." Joel 2:12-13
God is asking the Israelites to return to Him. The reason for their great punishment -- famine, locusts, captivity -- was because they had turned away from Him (see Joel chpt. 1). They had ceased to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord. They had refused to worship God. Instead, they chose to do things their own way.
How many times do we do that today? We choose not to worship God. Or, as in Joel 2:12-13, we worship Him with our outward appearance (by going to church, quoting Bible verses, saying "the words"), but refuse to give Him our heart. God wants more than just the actions. He wants actions coming from a right heart.
In Romans 12:1-2 God leads Paul to say, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Paul is BEGGING Christians, through God's mercies, to stand for Him. It is only REASONABLE that after what God did for us, through the sacrifice of His sinless Son, that we cheerfully, wholeheartedly, give ourselves to Him for His service.
There are things going on in our country right now that should greatly disturb Christians. Things such as abortion. Homosexuality (to the point that it is being taught in our schools and paraded around in public, daring people to confront them), did you EVER think it would be legal here in the United States of America for a man to marry another man, or a woman to marry another woman?!? And that we are to accept such practices? Please know that God calls us to hate the sin, but to love the sinner. These things should be driving Christians to their knees, begging God to work a change in the hearts of the people of our country. Do you think that God is going to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the sins we are committing? And yes, if we don't take a stand against what is wrong, we are just as guilty as those committing these sins.
Our country has become one of serving only self. We no longer care what will affect someone else, only our own selves. What can I get that will make me happier? What can I do that will bring me the most pleasure? What I do won't affect those around me (oh yes, it will!), and if it does, I really don't care. We have become the "me" generation. We don't want to offend anyone. Everyone has the "right" to do as they think best. We do not have the "right" to protest what GOD says is wrong. Where does that leave us? What are we to do?
God calls Christians to seek Him and pray. And not just one time. God gives a promise in II Chronicles 7:14, "IF my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." God was giving king Solomon a promise in this verse, but it also applies today.
We can start taking a stand. We don't necessarily have to become activists, but we can certainly vote. We can pray. We can help and support those who follow after God's laws (I'm not talking about televangelists here). How do YOU accomplish these things? Share your ideas...
No, I am not a pastor or a preacher or a teacher. I am not qualified in any way. I am just a very concerned woman.
From the thoughts and burdens of my heart...