Summary: Loving the Lord through loving our Nation.
Loving the Lord, Part 4
Loving your Nation
Memorial Day is a time to remember – do you remember the soldiers of the Lord? Do you know what they have gone through to give us the testimony of the Jesus?
America, we need to remember their testimony and put into practice what they have taught us … immediately!
Go with me in your bibles to Joel, Chapter 2.
Over the past few weeks we have been engaged in the study of the Word regarding LOVE and the actions which are necessary by all Christians.
This morning, we continue on this same path with a message entitled, “Loving the Lord – Loving your Nation”.
Many will agree that this nation we live in certainly has some issues.
From am attitude of complacency to obey God … to a total perversion of His Word, we really have a complete lack of respect for God in the United States of America.
We are in a crisis today church – a crisis which should shake each believer to the core of their existence; but each day we see more and more of a decline to follow the Word, to follow the Lord, and return to Him with a sorrowful heart.
Many of God’s soldiers have given their lives for us – today we need to engage completely!
Joel 2:12-13 says, "Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
Perhaps today, we can examine what the Word says about being faithful to Him – and if we are, He will be faithful to this land.
Point 1 – Taking an Inventory
Have you ever stopped to take an inventory of the world that we live in?
Consider for a moment these major issues, and how they affect everything around us.
Economy – Gas prices, food prices, struggles for home-owners to even survive today and there are no signs of it getting better.
Social Events – Human rights trampling, attack on marriages / families – it is an all out war on the family, and the church continues to take almost a silent role in the attack or the defense, except for a few (ex. Focus on the Family).
Political Climate – No accountability which is showing our young people and children that as long as you have power there it is ok. Consider the actions of even the highest office in the land during the 1990s (adultery, deceit, lies, and cover-ups) – a slap on the wrist was the outcome and “we” (as a nation) moved on.
Struggles of the Church – Society will tell us that there are many roads to Heaven – do it your own way ideology and everything will work out in the end. The “do it your way” attitude is a lie!
Our nation, even our very lives, are under a constant assault from how this world would want us to live, and look at what the Lord requires of us.
Joel 2:12-13 says, "Even now (ACTION NOW)," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
God is telling us to not rend our hearts (give example of rending garments)
When people rend their garments, they are showing the world that they are in a state of distress. They are demonstrating their understanding that a change is necessary.
The prophet Jonah understood this as he preached to Nineveh the importance of repenting and turning towards God for answers.
As he preached, he said in Jonah 3:5-8, “The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.
However, Joel is telling us to not rend our garments, but our hearts.
When people get serious about change, their will be an outward expression that others will be able to see.