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‘Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, humbly implore his protection and favor…” (1st Proclamation of a national day of Thanksgiving, Oct. 3, 1789).
HARDSHIPS FURTHER HIS KINGDOM
Bill Hybels' The Power of a Whisper (p.110-111):
"Don't ever buy into the idea that everything God prompts His followers to do will be uncomplicated or low-cost. Sometimes God asks His children to carry heavy loads, as He did with the apostle Paul. But even--and often especially--under those backbreaking burdens, God's purposes are fulfilled. When our (whispered) task is tough, the reward of knowing we've helped further His Kingdom and bettered our broken world is all the sweeter.
"If you ever find yourself with a difficult assignment, why not try giving God thanks for trusting you with something that needs your particular strength. He assigns tasks to the right person every time. He did it throughout history, and He still does it today. As you walk whatever potholed path He has asked you to walk, never forget the tough journey that Jesus Himself once made. ...Christ was asked to bear the most difficult assignment of all--to lay down His life as a redemptive sacrifice for humankind. He chose to obey. And because of His obedience, you and I enjoy our redemption today."
“It is my first public declaration that a thing which looks to be unreasonable and seems to be unprofitable, being commanded by God, is law, is law to me. If my Master had told me to pick up six stones and lay them in a row I would do it, without demanding of him, ‘What good will it do?’ Cui bono? Is no fit question for soldiers of Jesus. The very simplicity and apparent uselessness of the ordinance should make the believer say, ‘Therefore I do it because it becomes the better test to me of my obedience to my Master.’” When you tell your servant to do something, and he cannot comprehend it, if he turns round and says, “Please, sir, what for?” you are quite clear that he hardly understands the relation between master and servant. So when God tells me to do a thing, if I say, “What for?” I cannot have taken the place which Faith ought to occupy, which is that of simple obedience to whatever the Lord hath said. Baptism is commanded, and Faith obeys because it is commanded, and thus takes her proper place.
Gene A. Getz, in his book, The Measure of a Church, asks the question, "What is the measure of maturity in the church?" And he lists what others believe are the measure of maturity:
1. An active church (involving people in meetings and programs)
2. A giving church (supporting the church and efforts financially)
3. A growing church (new people coming and staying)
4. A soul-winning church (leading unbelievers to faith and baptism)
5. A smooth-running church (efficient and orderly)
6. A missionary-minded church (supports missionaries around the world)
7. A Spirit-filled church (enthusiastic, emotional)
8. A big church (large attendance, with many programs)
God used Paul to give us a different measure for maturity of the church. Paul says that the church is mature when it functions like one body, where Jesus Christ is the Head.
When Esther was a newborn, we could see her eyes wanting to reach for a toy, but her hands and arms were not yet able to cooperate. As she became more mature, her body parts began to do what her "head" wanted her to d...
Steven Simala Grant
James Packer: sixfold activity: praising God for all that he is and all his achievements; thanking him for his gifts and his goodness to us; asking him to meet our own and others’ needs; offering him our gifts, our service, and ourselves; learning of him from his word, read and preached, and obeying his voice; telling others of his worth, both by public confession and testimony to what he has done for us.
"The Christian who is not committed to a group of other believers for praying, sharing, and serving, so that he is known, as he knows others, is not an obedient Christian. He is not in the will of God. However vocal he may be in his theology, he is not obeying the Lord."
Dr. Ray Ortland
"You have established a new relationship with the powers of darkness. Whatever you were before you were a Christian- straight, horoscope reader, witch, warlock, or satanist- you are now a sworn foe of the legions of hell. Have no delusions about their reality or their hostility, but do not fear them. The God inside you terrifies them. They cannot hurt you, let alone hurt you, but they can still seduce, and they will try. They will also oppose you as you obey Christ. If you play it cool and decide not to be a fanatic about Christianity, you will have no trouble from them. But if you are serious about Christ being your Lord and God, you can expect opposition." Quote from John White, "The Fight."
An unknown confederate soldier wrote:
I asked God for strength that I might achieve
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey
I asked for health that I might do greater things
I was given infirmity that I might do better things
I asked for riches that I might be happy
I was given poverty that I might be wise
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life
I was given life that I might enjoy al...
C. S. Lewis describes it so magnificently in The Screwtape Letters. He says, "Satan’s cause is never more in danger than when a human being no longer desiring, but still intending to do God’s will, looks around upon a world from which every trace of God seems to have vanished and asks why he has been forsaken, yet still obeys."
God is saying that wives, if you really want to serve Christ every day, then submit to your husbands in everything.
Everything?! That goes against the grain of the American ideal of what a woman should be! It shouldn’t surprise us. The feminist movement in America goes against the very core of what God says. Such rebellion against the proper role of a wife started in the late 1800’s and came into full bloom in the mid-1900s. In 1963, Betty Friedan wrote a book titled ’The Feminine Mystique.’ She observed that many college-educated women did not use their training but, as she put it, “remained in their homes resigned to being housewives.” In 1966 she organized the National Organization for Women (NOW). NOW is openly hostile to men, viewing them as the oppressors of women and denouncing them for regarding women solely as sexual objects.
Their philosophy has tarnished the views which this generation upholds. Unfortunately, there are some very tragic consequences for the views of feminism. If you believe that you are your own person, even in marriage, you are dividing the unity which God established in marriage: “The two will become one flesh.” If a wife will not give up her promising career to nurture her family, there can be serious consequences. Our society questions why any woman would submit to her husband. After all, according to them, no liberated woman would “subject herself,” or “be subordinate” to a man, let alone “obey” him! The consequences: A tragic rise in divorces. Broken homes. Children raised by people who are not even their parents. Freedom from God’s will leads only to disaster!