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Summary: This is a sermon dealing with 2 Chron. 7;14, and the healing of our nation and church.

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MUB

JULY 3, 2005

2 CHRONICLES 7;14

if my people, who are called by my name, will 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.

OUR NATION CELEBRATES 229 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE TOMORROW. OUR FREEDOM IS SOMETHING WELL WORTH CELEBRATING. SOMEONE SAID, ISRAEL IS GODS CHOSEN PEOPLE, BUT AMERICA IS GODS SECOND CHOSEN PEOPLE. WE HAVE TRULY BEEN BLESSED AS A NATION, ONE OF THE HYMNS SAYS, GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE, AND TRULY HE HAS. HIS GRACE HAS BEEN ABUNDANT. WE LIVE IN PROSPERITY, OUR STANDARD OF LIVING IS SO MUCH GREATER THAN MUCH OF THE WORLD. ANNE AND I WERE SO BLESSED TO SPEND TIME IN JAMAICA ON THE MISSION TRIP, WE SAW HOMES, MANY HOMES WITH DIRT FLOORS, ONE SINGLE LIGHT BULB HANGING, SHEDS THAT WE WOULDN’T PUT OUR ANIMALS IN, AND PEOPLE WITH FAMILIES CALLED THAT HOME. THOSE PEOPLE LIVED ON A FEW HUNDRED DOLLARS A YEAR. MANY PLACES ITS EVEN WORSE THAN THAT. BUT, THE RICHES WE ENJOY ARE MUCH MORE THAN JUST DOLLARS AND CENTS. WE ENJOY A FREEDOM THAT MUCH OF THE WORLD DOES NOT. THINK FOR A MOMENT ABOUT IRAQ, WE ARE TRYING TO BRING FREEDOM TO THAT NATION, BUT THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN IN POWER FOR SO LONG, DO NOT WANT FREEDOM FOR THE PEOPLE. WHY DO THEY FIGHT SO HARD? THEY ARE AFRAID OF LOSING CONTROL. IF THEY LOSE CONTROL THEY LOSE POWER.

EVERYTHING HERE IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOT AS IT SHOULD BE EITHER. THE SUPREME COURT MADE A RULING ABOUT THE DISPLAY OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS THIS PAST WEEK, AND NO ONE IS HAPPY WITH IT. ITS OK ONE PLACE BUT NOT ANOTHER. WHAT WE AS CHRISTIANS KNOW IS THIS, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE THE BASIC FOUNDATION FOR ALL LAW. THE OTHER THING THAT WE AS CHRISTIANS REALIZE IS THAT JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW. HE ANSWERED EVERY PART OF IT. AND IN FACT, HE RAISED THE STANDARD FOR US.

SANDRA DAY O’CONNER HAS STEPPED DOWN AS A JUSTICE, AND MOST SUGGEST THAT REHNQUIST WILL SOON FOLLOW. THEIR REPLACEMENTS WILL BE HOT BUTTON ISSUES. AS CHRISTIANS WE NEED TO PRAY THAT WHO EVER REPLACES THEM WILL BE THE PEOPLE THAT GOD WOULD CHOOSE. WITH ISSUES LIKE GAY MARRIAGE AND ABORTION, MORAL ISSUES, WE NEED PEOPLE WHO WILL TAKE THE STAND THAT GOD WOULD TAKE.

AS A NATION, WE NEED TO TAKE A CLEAR STAND ON THE SIDE OF GOD. WE MUST NOT ALLOW OUR NATION TO CONTINUE ON THE SLIPPERY SLOPE THAT LEADS AWAY FROM HIM, AND HIS WAYS. AND, WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES ON THAT SLIPPERY SLOPE, GOD HAS GIVEN US THE ANSWER, AND WE NEED TO FOLLOW IT. WHY DOES GOD GIVE THIS PRESCRIPTION? B/C AT THE TIME HE SPOKE THE WORDS TO SOLOMON, ISRAEL WAS ABOUT TO BECOME THE MOST POWERFUL NATION IN THE WORLD, THEY WOULD ENJOY ALL THE BLESSINGS THAT WE ENJOY TODAY, AND HE KNEW, THAT THEY WOULD FIND IT TOO EASY TO SLIDE AWAY.

LET ME ADD, WE OFTEN READ THIS PASSAGE FOR THE NATION, BUT IT ALSO HAS APPLICATION TO THE CHURCH. AS WE THE LOCAL BODY HAVE FACED STRUGGLES, WHEN WE HAVE FAILED TO LIVE UP TO THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD, WHEN SIN HAS ENTERED THE CAMP, WE TOO, AS THE LOCAL BODY, MUST LISTEN TO THE WORD OF GOD.

HE BEGINS BY SAYING, WHEN MY PEOPLE, WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME. THAT IS US. WE ARE HIS PEOPLE, HE HAS CHOSEN US, HE HAS CALLED US, HE HAS BROUGHT US INTO HIS HOLY FAMILY. HE HAS OWNERSHIP. WHOSE CHURCH IS IT? IT IS CHRIST CHURCH, HE PAID THE PRICE FOR IT, HE BOUGHT IT WITH HIS BLOOD. WHEN MY PEOPLE, CALLED BY MY NAME DO THE FOLLOWING;

1. HUMBLE THEMSELVES. PRIDE GOES BEFORE THE FALL. WE HAVE NOTHING TO BOAST ABOUT. WE MUST IN HUMILITY FALL ON OUR KNEES BEFORE HIM. I THINK THAT HE PUT THIS FIRST B/C FOR MOST OF US THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT TO DO. WE THINK, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? AS A CHURCH WE THINK, WE HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR 125 YEARS, WE HAVE DONE A LOT OF GOOD STUFF, WE REST ON OUR LAURELS. BUT GOD SAYS, HUMBLE YOUR SELF BEFORE HIM.

2. PRAY. WHY IS IT THAT PRAYER MEETING IS THE LEAST ATTENDED OF ALL THE SERVICES OF THE CHURCH? B/C WE ARE TOO BUSY TO PRAY? B/C IT LASTS TOO LONG? ITS INCONVENIENT. FOR SOME, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PRAY. I DON’T LIKE PRAYING OUT LOUD IN FRONT OF OTHERS. MAYBE ITS B/C WE DON’T REALLY BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF PRAYER.

BUT GOD SAYS, PRAY. LET ME SHARE THIS WITH YOU, GREAT REVIVALS DO NOT BEGIN WITH GREAT PREACHING, THEY BEGIN WITH GREAT PRAYER. IF THERE IS GOING TO BE CHANGE IT IS GOING TO BE AS A RESULT OF PRAYER.

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